23 thoughts on “Braves might file grievance”

  1. Let me see if I understand.

    1. The Braves believe they have iron clad evidence that the Yanks and Sheffield had an agreement prior to the arbitration deadline.

    2. The Braves didn’t offer arbitration to Sheffield because they believed he might take it.

    Gosh, it seems to me that the Yanks best evidence in the grievance would be the Braves own actions. Either the Braves didn’t believe that Sheffield’s very public statements about a deal were true or they did. Which is it Mr. Schuerholz?

  2. They didn’t offer arbitration because they feel they are already entitled to compensation, which they would be if the Yanks had a deal with Sheffield.

    Would you want someone who publicly said they wanted to be somewhere else? It would be a nightmare to have to pay him $12-14 million and have him be none-productive all year and screwing up any oppotunity at team chemistry.

    If the Braves want someone like that, they could go get Isiah Rider.

  3. It would be a nightmare to have to pay him $12-14 million and have him be none-productive all year and screwing up any oppotunity at team chemistry.

    While I agree with the sentiment, I have to say I am sick of the nonsense of “team chemistry”. It was a claim of team chemistry that had Javy and Sheff bragging about how far the Braves would go in the playoffs. I cannot think of one year when the Braves have had “bad team chemistry”, and in the postseason it hasn’t amounted to a hill of beans.

    Now, maybe it helps in the regular season, and this team will need all the help it can get in the regular season this year. But if I’m building the new Braves, team chemistry is the last thing on my mind.

  4. If you aren’t interested in team chemistry, then the New York Mets have a place for you in their organization. Your primary responsibility will be to make sure Mo Vaughn drinks his slimfast everyday and be sure to tell Piazza about his pending move to 1st base before the media does.

    Your assistant is Bobby Bonilla. Bobby Valentine is an special advisor via his job on ESPN.

    Good luck. Oh, and did we tell you that we’re going to invite John Rocker to Spring Training? He’ll room with Matsui since his favorite food is chinese. After all, it’s not about team chemistry.

  5. This is a side issue to the argument, but there was an interesting article in the free area of Baseball Prospectus a few days ago:

    http://premium.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=2469

    The argument Zumsteg makes is that the Yankees haven’t announced the Sheffield deal officially because they want to keep an extra player on the 40-man roster until after the Rule 5 draft (which is next week). As you’ll recall, they did the same thing with Andy Morales and Jason Giambi, both of whom were known to have agreed to deal with the Yankees weeks before an official announcement.

  6. 1. Winning creates chemistry, not the converse. And many, many teams have historically fought amongst themselves more than against their opposition and still been great champions.

    2. Sheffield has bitched and moaned about not being wanted many times before. For all the grief he has gotten over it, other than 1992 as a 22 year old in Milwaukee (don’t get me started) his complaints haven’t affected his performance on the field as most notably seen in his 2001 Dodgers numbers.

    3. 2003 was clearly not a “career year” for Sheffield. He was definitely better in 2000 and 1996. Taking the league wide offensive explosion and relevant park effects into account, I’d pick 1993 as well.

  7. They didn’t offer arbitration because they feel they are already entitled to compensation, which they would be if the Yanks had a deal with Sheffield.

    Well officer, I saw that guy run the red light. I could have stopped easily, but I knew he was wrong and his insurance would have to pay, so I just kept going merily along until BANG the accident happened.

    What, you mean I’m supposed to take responsibility for my own actions? How utterly unfair!

  8. Name one team since the Yankees of the 70s that won with infighting versus chemistry.

    On Sheffield, you actually are making my point in that your statement says his better years are behind him (if he had better years 3-7 years ago), so why take a chance at a higher salary?

  9. Obviously, they know a lot more about the situation than you or I, so let’s leave it at that.

  10. Obviously, they know a lot more about the situation than you or I, so let’s leave it at that.

    So we aren’t supposed to second guess front office decisions? My friend, that takes a huge amount of the enjoyment out of following the team. Heck, if that’s the case, I can’t imagine why anyone would read this blog or follow the club until opening day and then just revel in their wins and grieve, without complaint, over their losses. That’s not for me.

    Name one team since the Yankees of the 70s that won with infighting versus chemistry.

    One? How about the 1981 Dodgers. Fist fights between Garvey and Sutton seem rather extreme. Or the 1986 Mets where Ray Knight and Kevin Mitchell fought, Gary Carter and Keith Hernandez were part of a mutual dislike society, and the cutting of George Foster resulted in Darryl Strawberry lobbing charges of racism against the entire franchise. More recently? I’d guess the ’02 NL champs would be a good pick – their two MVP winners Jeff Kent and Barry Bonds got along as well as water and oil. Or that same Mets club you mocked earlier which won the NL in 2000 with wonderful clubhouse chemistry from Rickey Henderson’s card playing and team wide hatred for the manager Bobby V. Plenty of winning teams fought, bickered and showed little positive chemistry.

    On Sheffield, you actually are making my point in that your statement says his better years are behind him (if he had better years 3-7 years ago), so why take a chance at a higher salary?

    Because even at his slightly diminished level, he is one of the five best hitters in the league. He hasn’t had an off year since 1997 (and even then had an OBA over .420). Consistent greatness is worth the $11m the Yanks are paying and any amount reasonably projected in arbitration. Age is always a consideration, but projections for future performance MUST start with the players performance and not the age. I’d much rather have a great 35 year old like Sheffield than a mediocre 30 year old at half the cost like Jacques Jones.

    Mike Adams, if you are reading, I can’t believe that I’m defending Sheffield. Blech. I’ve got to go bleach my fingers for having typed this!

  11. There’s a big difference between one cancer in the clubhouse, which is exactly what Sheffield would have been had the Braves listened to you and offered him arbitration, and 2 guys who fight with each other. Albert Belle is a great example (I’m not saying Sheffield is like him, he just has the potential to be). His teams made it to playoffs but didn’t close the deal in spite of his great numbers.

    The Braves aren’t a team of greatness right now, and one digruntled player could turn them into the 2001 and 2002 Mets. That’s what bad team chemistry did to the 2000 club. Well that and a psychotic manager.

  12. I’m truly sorry, dan, truly I am. It’s just as painful for me to post positive things about Bret Boone, if that helps.

    Anyways, it’s hard not to defend Sheffield’s *baseball* performance. Braves fans are acting like he’s some clubhouse cancer when most of his teammates and the press have nothing but praise for him. Fans have also decided that his evaluation should be based on his playoff performance, which really isn’t fair. I mean, he had a legit MVP year last year and you don’t replace that with Juan freakin’ Encarnacion no matter if Sheff went 3-30 in the playoffs.

    Anyhow, I do disagree with you about the Yankees and Sheff. The NYDailyNews today reported that the Yankees did indeed let false info leak about a ‘snag,’ and for that I think they should be punished. The funny thing is, the deal actually *did* hit a snag (whoops!), and JS got wind of this and apparently could not offer arbitration. But IMO that doesn’t excuse the Yankees from their previous actions.

    Granted, all of this is from a NY paper, but at least the Daily News is more reputable than the Post. We’ll see what happens with Sheff. The Daily News also reports that Sheff threatened to go back to the Braves, but the Braves decided to wipe their hands clean instead. That’s a bit disappointing to me, as I wanted Sheff back. But this whole deal is just so complicated I don’t really know what to think anymore.

    And chalk me up as another who could care less about chemistry. Give me talent over chemistry any day of the week.

  13. This whole mess with Sheffield is a testament to the questionable wisdom of a player acting as his own agent. Think this would have happened were Scott Boras running the show?

  14. Name one team since the Yankees of the 70s that won with infighting versus chemistry….
    There’s a big difference between one cancer in the clubhouse, which is exactly what Sheffield would have been had the Braves listened to you and offered him arbitration, and 2 guys who fight with each other

    Well, the example I’d throw out there would be the Braves the year after teh Rocker debacle broke. Cox held the clubhouse together by a thread, but there were some differing opinions abouthow that should have been handled within the clubhouse. Unless you don’t count Rocker vs. Jordan calling him a cancer as ‘two guys fighting’.

    As another poster said, winning drives chemistry. When guys are losing, they get pissed off, so they have bad chemistry. When they win, they’re happy, so all the chemistry looks good. The talent decides the chemistry almost always, not vice versa.

  15. The Daily News also reports that Sheff threatened to go back to the Braves, but the Braves decided to wipe their hands clean instead. That’s a bit disappointing to me, as I wanted Sheff back.

    Well, if the reports are true, then in the preceding week Sheff had gone to the press to tell them all about how John Schuerholz screwed up in their negotiations and how he faked JS by at least listening to him while he had a deal already in place. Then he followed this up by perhaps trying to leverage more out of the agreed upon deal. With all this as background, I can see why JS would want no part of further negotiation. With Sheff so unpredictable, he could have been chasing after him for so long that any other replacements would be gone.

  16. Team chemistry has a lot to do with winning as a team. Look at the Eagles, Rams and Patriots and tell me that their talent created the team chemistry with the starts they had. There are a few very good articles on ESPN that make this point along with this tidbit from Deuce Staley.

    “At halftime inside the Eagles locker room it was Staley, the steady, unifying bridge Part II of this trilogy, who called out his teammates for their lack of fire in the first half. After a training camp holdout Staley could have moped around, whining about his reduced role and poisoned the locker room waiting for his free agent escape. Instead, he has become a steadying influence just when the Eagles needed it most.”

    What is so different talent wise about the Raiders from last year? Not much. Their chemistry is bad because of a couple of selfish players.

    The Braves got rid of a then good player in Rocker because of how he was affecting team chemistry.

    Now don’t get me wrong. You have to have talent, but it’s a team coming together to overcome adversity (Rocker) that makes a winner.

  17. Wait a minute.

    First, I think that football is a very different game than baseball. Getting mad at the opposition isn’t going to let you hit the ball harder. Muscling up on a pitch is not a good way to be able to throw faster. Unlike football, baseball is a game of controled reaction and response and is often harmed by emotional play.

    Second, you are suggesting that the same coach, same ownership, same management, virtually the same players can have dramatically different “chemistry” from year to year? If your position is that this desired commodity is so malleable that merely the turning of pages of the calendar can change it from good enough to go to the Super Bowl to bad enough to be a laughing stock, then we’re never going to agree.

    What you are doing is creating a circular argument. The Raiders won in ’02, so they must have had good chemistry. They have lost in ’03, so the chemistry must be bad. Tell me what it is, what players or teams have it or don’t and then use it to show how a team will outperform or underperform its expectation. But don’t tell me that the explaination for past actions is some undefined nebulous chemsitry.

  18. You’re not even recognizing the fact that team chemistry could have anything to do with a team’s success. My point on the Raiders is they are virtually the same team, but fell apart just prior to the Super Bowl because they were so worried about themselves that they couldn’t pull together when one of their players went AWOL (due to being bipolar). That has carried into this season and made them a wreck. Look at the difference between the Rams and the Raiders. Both lost their starting quarterback, but they are going in different directions. The Rams pulled together, the Raiders pulled apart. That’s team chemistry. That means sucking it up and trying a little harder when things get difficult. If you whine and complain or are unhappy about not getting picked by your favorite team (i.e. Sheffield) it WILL hurt the team.

    What does getting mad at the opposition have to do with anything anyway?

  19. You’re not even recognizing the fact that team chemistry could have anything to do with a team’s success.

    No, I’m just asking you to tell me before hand what chemistry is rather than use it as a excuse after the fact. I don’t deny that interpersonal relationships affect work output; heck the sure do in my office. But its more complex than some simplistic, Sheffield will sulk therefore the team will lose.

    Heck, he was a happy camper in 2000 with the Dodgers then whined and complained his way out of town in 2001. In 2000, the club fought and clawed its way to 86 wins building upon the good feelings from its superstar. In 2001, with that self-same star sulking, they managed only … 86 wins.

    PS, I think equating someone potentially unhappy about his contract to someone missing the biggest game of the year after a Tijuana drinking binge is a bit off.

  20. The Braves got rid of a then good player in Rocker because of how he was affecting team chemistry.

    The Braves got rid of Rocker because Cleveland was offering two actual good players for him (Steves Reed and Karsay). rocker, while still good for ATL, had seeen his actual talent drop off after the SI debacle (his walk rate almost doubled in 2000). When he was traded he was looking better, but the Braves decided to sell high – as it turned out, they were right to do so, as Rocker just dropped off a cliff.

    If JS had traded Rocker for crap, then you’d have a case for chemistry; he traded Rocker for superior talent.

    You’re not even recognizing the fact that team chemistry could have anything to do with a team’s success

    I don’t know about anybody else, I’m just arguing that team chemistry is not something you can plan well for in advance of it’s actually happening; to that end, I plan instead for the stuff that can be planned for, and hope success brings ‘chemistry’. John Schuerholz has been buying character for years – fromt eh quiet leadership of guys like Galarraga and Weiss to the fiery leadership of guys like Jordan and Sheffield. When the postseason rolled along, all of that meant exactly jack diddly squat.

    Colin

  21. I think at the end of the day you would agree that Sheffield’s bad attitude would have a negative affect on the club had they decided to offer him arbitration and he took it after what transpired last week.

    When you look at a roster or in business, you look for people who can work well together as a team. That’s chemistry. Would you take Carl Everett for all his talent? The Red Sox got rid of him for how he affected the team chemistry. Whining ultimately affects productivity. That’s why the Raiders are so pitiful.

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