I want an interview!

Talking Chop :: John Schuerholz Interview – Part II

So, some new guy who doesn’t even know how to properly use a comma gets to interview the General Manager of the Braves. Meanwhile, I’ve been doing this since 1998. I was blogging before “blog” was a word, if indeed it really is a word, and I have my doubts. I used to get up every morning and walk five miles in the snow to hand-code Braves Journal entries, which nobody but me read, because only sixteen people had the Internet then and our modems were only 4800 Baud and…

Okay, I exaggerate. Anyway, I want an interview with John Schuerholz. Or at least a book, when his comes out. I’m a librarian! I know books! Make me part of the press tour! Sure, I seem ornery occasionally but in fact I’m very malleable and have almost no shame at all.

So why haven’t I gotten an interview? Well, for one thing I haven’t actually asked for one, because I don’t know who to ask. Probably John Schuerholz has never heard of me. If he has, he has reasons for me to be upset, such as:

1. Me making fun of his son, calling him “L’il’ Jonny Schuerholz” and pointing out that he was named after Jonathan Livingston Seagull.

2. Constantly reversing the “e” and the “u” in his last name because I can never remember which comes first.

3. This picture:

I was very bitter at the time.

4. This post, in which I call for his dismissal, question his sanity, and call him an “incredible idiot”. Though at least I spelled his name right.

Still, if Dave can interview Oprah, anything’s possible.

72 thoughts on “I want an interview!”

  1. Here is how you do it, I tired something like this when I was working as a sports writter for a weekly paper and landed an interview with Phil Fulmer and got to watch a game from the side lines.

    Shoot an email to Brad Hainje, who is the media relations guy on the Braves. Tell him you have been in contact with BB Abbot and were wondering if JS could answer a few questions sometime for you. It is worth a shot, here is his e-mail


  2. I recall you early days, in many ways those were your best days; More provocactive, less reserved. In the old days you would only recap series or when something really got under your skin.

    Maybe it is just me, but I read your recap before even I even look to the boxscore. You are a Braves institution and you deserve some exposure.

    Keep up the good work.

  3. Some of the comments following the Estrada-Millwood trade are priceless – things to the effect of “they’d better have taken Javy, too” and “we’d better get Cliff Floyd now.” Seems like, in hindsight, hanging onto Javy for another year and not getting Cliff Floyd worked out okay for the Bravos . . . i will henceforth bite my tongue re: Marte/Renteria (at least until the latter is hitting .250/.300/.350 while the former is at .275/.350/.500 in Boston).

  4. Additionally, I was skeptical about the merger to bravesbeat, but it seems to have attracted many more readers.

  5. All right, I’m officially toning down my hatred for the Renteria-Marte trade, because I could see myself in those comments from 3 years ago. Funny what hindsight can do, huh? That entry was hilarious.

    Seriously, Mac, go for it! If you drop the BB Abbott card, I’m sure that’ll get you somewhere. You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain.

  6. Even more reason to give JS the benefit of doubt. I feel pretty sure that in two years time we will be looking back on this trade and respecting it.

  7. I thought I might be able to talk about this today. In an effort to stay in the Christmas spirit (so admirably displayed by JS yesterday), I am going to hold off for a bit longer.

    -Julio and Bragg inked minor league deals and get invites to spring training.

    -Lockhart accepted arbitration.

    The fact that these guys got arbitration offers is a hanging offense for JS. Not even considering this week’s other gaffs. AAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!

    Posted by: Jim at December 21, 2002 03:21 PM

    Jenny, good point. I was a little irrational at that point.

    What happened to Colin. He was a great contributor. Makes me miss him…

  8. Just in case you’re wondering, I am the “new” guy who supposedly can’t use a comma. I’m pretty sure you were just annoyed when you made your comment, so I won’t take it personal.

    For the record, I am a very educated individual (CPA with an MBA), and I have been doing this work for a few years now as well. People generally don’t recognize me at http://www.talkingchop.com since I really just moonlight over there. My main site, which is being completely overhauled for an early January re-launch, is http://www.baseballdigestdaily.com. In fact, on a few occasions, I’ve shared other material with you guys including my Bill James interviews, the Francoeur journals, All-Star media day clips, etc. I have an entire catalog of interviews if you would like to see them someday.

    My colleagues and I worked very hard and took a lot of chances to get to where we are. Now that we are accredited by Major League Baseball, we have a lot more access to PR people, media, etc. Unfortunately, it’s still not easy to get someone like Schuerholz to do an interview. It took almost 4 months of emails, calls, and faxes to finally pin John down for 40 minutes.

    I’m more than willing to discuss these type of opportunities with you if I can help you out. Feel free to email me at jhamrahi@baseballdigestdaily.com. But please, take it easy on me, ok? I’m only trying to share my work with people who may be interested!

  9. I was reading the Estrada trade thread, and I think we are letting JS off lightly. Results being ignored, that move by JS was plain dumb. He lucked out big there. That JS couldn’t get anything of perceived value in return for Millwood is laughable..

  10. I for one don’t think you need to do any interviews with Schuerholz or anyone else. The beauty of blogs is that they’re truly independent media. I’d hate for you to hold back any of your great commentary because you thought it might one day jeopardize your ability to land a Schuerholz interview. Besides, he’s just going to give standard answers, so leave the interviews to the guys who ask the standard questions.

    Keep providing great commentary, that your forte.

  11. I think the Millwood trade was more of a salary dump than anything else. Getting back comparable value would mean paying comparable value.

    My dad just had an idea for addressing revenue inequalities: to help small market teams, have them plaster ad logos on their uniforms. His specific suggestion was the seat of the pants, and after pointing out how great Imodium and Preparation H ads would look there, I have to say I think this is a great idea.

  12. That’s fine, Joe. I was lashing out. You did have comma difficulties in your first line:

    I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Atlanta Braves General Manager, John Schuerholz, a little over a week ago.

    That should either read “interviewing the Atlanta Braves’ [note possessive] General Manager, John Schuerholz”, or the whole thing should be a title, with no comma in it, “Atlanta Braves General Manager John Schuerholz.” Sorry, but I’ve been editing for five days now so I pay attention to this stuff.

  13. So…………….

    I guess we need a closer.

    That Lidge guy is pretty good. My money is on Reitsma with Boyer waiting in the wings.

  14. Hey, the coolest thing about the Schuerholz interview is that he said Chuck James will start for us. Whoopee! If Chuck James starts, then that means we don’t need HoRam–another soft-tossing lefty, except that he doesn’t strike anybody out and sucks–and we probably have enough leverage to trade Thomson, too.

    I just hope that JS won’t trade Thomson to Arizona for Estrada…

  15. Who says I don’t run a money factory? :)

    I actually do this work as a hobby because I enjoy being involved in baseball. I don’t make any money this way. I have a normal, dull day job just like most other people.

  16. The late 1990s and the early 2000s are obviously not the best years of JS. I never liked the guy a lot until two years ago when the payroll started strinking. There were lots of terrible trades besides Millwood-Estrada. Remember Grissom+Justice for Lofton+Emblee? Dye for Tucker? Neagle+a pitching prospect for Boone+Remlinger? I still couldn’t believe he included Wainright in the trade for Drew+Marerro. Obviously, the recently Marte for Renteria deal will be something we will routinely bring up in the next few years. The only good trade I can remember is the Hudson trade.

    The more I write, the more I wonder if Bobby deserves more credit than JS for what the Braves have achieved in the last 14 years. However, the farm system is obviously turning around in the last few years, which was in pretty bad shape in late 1990s. Then, there is a question of whether the credit should go to JS or Dayton Moore.

  17. Texas just got Vicente Padilla for “a player to be named later.” Clearly, Padilla was a guy who needed to get out of Philly, but man… it would have been nice if we could have been the team to turn him around.

    If we still had Leo, I know Padilla could have been a Cy Young contender again… sigh…

  18. Oh yeah, the McGriff trade was very good too. So, I guess we will have to wait another 10 years before JS will pull another good trade!

  19. Any fantasy baseball fiends here? I have some tough keeper decisions that need to be made soon (well, by mid-March, but who’s counting?). Week-long games, points-based league with $260 to spend in the auction. I only have 5 keeper slots by virtue of finishing in the playoffs (otherwise would have 6). Players can be kept up to 3 times for a 20% increase (minimum $1 increase) in salary each year. The points generally correlate with VORP for offense and pitchers, so try to think in terms of projected value in that sense (i.e. steals are okay but not god-like as they are in 5×5 leagues).

    Players I’m Keeping for Sure
    Mark Teixieira $14
    Felix Hernandez $5 (best $4 I ever spent)

    Players I’m Leaning Toward
    Jerermy Hermida $2
    Francisco Liriano $2

    Other Possibilities
    Dan Haren $10
    Matt Cain $2
    Erik Bedard $2

    Long Shots
    Andy Marte $2 (*sob*)
    Chris Shelton $2 (will not qualify as a C)

    Love to hear your ideas. Again, can only keep 5 of those guys total, and it’s realistically a battle for the last three shots. If you pressed me now, I’d say Tex, Felix, Liriano, Hermida, Bedard, but am open to changing that. Thanks in advance!

  20. Hey, the McGriff trade was BEYOND good. We got the franchise player for half the decade in return for Melvin Nieves.

    That’s like trading a hundred dollar bill for a Stone Mountain penny.

  21. Personal is an adjective. Adjectives describe nouns. “Taking” is a verb, thus you should have used personally.

    But I think the more serious crime is your misspelling of Betemit.

  22. busterbros, I don’t think Lockhart was part of the Dye/Tucker trade. He was signed as a free agent.

    Kyle, I agree with David, I wouldn’t get rid of Danny Haren as well. I think you should choose one among of Liriano, Bedard, and Cain.

  23. I would not choose Bedard. He sharply regressed at the end of last year and I’m beginning to think his great first half was a fluke. I’d pick somebody else. But I don’t really have any concrete reasons.

  24. Kyle, I WOULD get rid of Danny Haren. He’s not worth $10. I’d go for Cain and leave out Bedard–the Orioles are way too snakebit right now, and I think he was pitching over his head last year.

  25. Thanks Mac for correcting my mistake, but that didn’t make the trade much better as JS did throw in Jamie Walker into the deal.

  26. Yeah, but Walker was a Rule 5 pick whom the Braves probably couldn’t keep anyway. They certainly couldn’t have kept him around until 2002 when he finally found himself. I don’t think you can hold a guy who didn’t develop for five years against JS.

  27. Mac, I hope that you get your interview–but the blog is great as it is.

    With respect to JS’s trades, I also thought (or just assumed) that the Tucker deal was really to move Dye. Otherwise, it never made any sense to me.

    Some of these trades have been subject to poetic justice: the Braves don’t like Justice (no pun here)because of his attitude and bring in Lofton and Embree.

    That said, I am trying to move beyond Reteriaphobia: if the numbers are to be believed we got him for about 6 million a year. Even if he does not go back to his 2003 form, he should still give us an effective shortstop. Possibly more important, the extra money (Furcal was going to cost at least 2 million a year more) gives JS the ability to do other things. Marte, of course, remains a prospect.

    I still would not be surprised to see us trade for Zito or some other starter. If not, I really hope that the starting rotation is Smoltz, Hudson, Thomson, James and Davies/Lerew. Even if the Braves win less games, it might be worth much more in the long run to let the young arms develop.

    I just wish that we could trade HoRam….

  28. Hey, Jenny, it looks like you and I were thinking the same thing as far as Bedard goes. Can I be an honorary Orioles fan?

  29. Splitting an infinitive is allowed in English grammar. The only reason people think it isn’t is that certain grammarians thought that English should be more like Latin, where you can’t split an infinitive.

  30. I think the Braves moved Dye to get more balance. Tucker was a LH-hitting OF. Andruw was judged to have a higher ceiling than Dye and played the same position (RF at that juncture).

    And, of course, we got Keith Lockhart.

    Tucker will always be cursed with having the most beautiful swing that can’t catch up with a grade A fastball. The guy’s swing is darn near perfect. Textbook weight distribution and hand action, but a smidgen too slow. But, oh so tempting.

  31. First of all that was a great look back at the Millwood trade. I think anyone and everyone felt the same way at that point.

    Second, has anyone seen the story or report that Arthur Blank could be buying the Braves? My friend showed me the article but I cannot find it. I do remember reading it. It said something like the hot news in the business world is that Home Depot founder, Blank, will buy the Braves from Time Warner.

    How incredible would that be!! Has anyone else seen that article?

  32. 50PoundHead, I’m not sure what this says about me, but one of my favorite swings I ever saw in a Braves uniform belonged to Tony Tarasco.

  33. And, Zach, yes, someone mentioned that rumor yesterday. Check this thread, starting from Chris M’s post at 9:06 AM on December 11.

    He linked to an article in the Marietta Daily Journal which said, “The hottest report in business circles is that Home Depot co-founder and multimillionaire Arthur Blank is buying the Atlanta Braves from AOL.” No corroborration, no nothing. Just said there’s a rumor, which ain’t saying much. Was this the article you saw?

  34. Yep that was it. I feel kinda dumb, I was searching all over the internet for that article and of course my friend saw it here. I sure hope there is something to that rumor especially with the possible breakup of Time Warner.

  35. Millwood for Estrada wasn’t so much an error as the result of one, the original sin being offering Maddux arbitration.

  36. How exactly was trading Denny “I have 2 bad shoulders” Neagle, Rob “TANSTAAPP” Bell, and Michael Tucker for Mike Remlinger and Bret Boone a “bad” trade? Lots of fans disliked the trade, but they were wrong.

    After the trade, Remlinger was easily more valuable than Neagle (both short and long term), Boone was more valuable than Tucker (again, both short and long term), and Rob Bell never really panned out. Plus, the Braves saved about $2.5 million in payroll in 1999 (and more in 2000).

    Given Neagle’s health track record at the time, I’d say the Braves did a masterful job of selling high.

  37. Joel, I think you make a very good point. If John Schuerholz hasn’t always gotten the best players in return on his deals, he has almost always known what he was trading away. As people on here have already pointed out, there have been virtually no Braves prospects who have become immediate stars after being traded by Atlanta. Even the best, Jason Schmidt and Jermaine Dye, took several years to reach star-status, and both have been hampered by injuries throughout their careers.

    I don’t know what that says about a can’t-miss guy like Marte, but I’ll reserve judgment for the moment.

  38. Can I be an honorary Orioles fan?

    Alex, are you smoking crack ;-)? Why on earth would you ever want to be associated with that team?

    FYI, Sidney Ponson was just sentenced to 5 days in jail for his last DUI arrest but has now suddenly been charged with falsifying his driver’s license application (guess he lied about the prior arrests question we have here). 5 days? For the 3rd arrest? That is ludicrously lenient. Perhaps I’m too touchy because my brother’s friend was killed by a drunk driver last year, but if it were up to me, the first offense would be like 5 YEARS in jail, not 5 days. That would be a deterrent.

    And yes, I thought Furcal got off too easy as well.

  39. Ah, yes… you detected my sarcasm. You’re right, I don’t actually want to be an Orioles fan.

    I think that at this point, jail is too good for Sir Sidney Ponson. Instead, I’d recommend just kicking him to Cuba and making him play on Castro’s baseball team. Hopefully, a little whiff of Communism will make him learn to mend his ways more than the American penal system has.

  40. I room mate just told it was Wade Boggs day (how he knows this, I don’t know) so I told about Wade drinking 64 beers on a cross country flight. So Tuesday evening, after we take our last final, we are going to try to combine for 64. This is going to be nuts and I may die

  41. Devil Rays assistant GM just got busted for DUI this morning. BAC of .12. That’s pretty damned drunk. So not only is the Tampa front office criminally incompetent, they’re also just criminal, period.

    And why does Michael Vick get hurt so freaking much? Does he really get whacked that badly or is he just bad at toughing things out?

  42. Arthur Blank is just wishing he could buy the Braves. The AOL “break-up” is being talked about by 2 guys, with about 3% of the total shares. talk about moving an elephant? with what? And furthermore, (NYTimes is my source) TimesWarner Entertainment, is not about to sell the Braves as long as they bring in new fans…like you and me, as a result of the youth movement.

  43. Jenny, Vick gets hurt because he scrambles and is fair game for hard hitting line backers. Not that he should change his game, because he wins, but the Falcons need to make sure for the next five years they have a solid back up QB. But I hear it is just a bruse and he will be ok. I know he was in the pokcet last night, but there was nothing he could od about getting hit late.

  44. Smitty: my friend Robert drank 100 beers in 50 hours a couple weekends ago (started on Friday after work, finished Sunday night, went to work the next morning [!!!]). So you can do it.

  45. Mac, I’d enjoy reading an interview between you and Schuerholz, but its not like I don’t already click on this site at least several times each day … Congrats on how far you’ve come and for creating such a wonderful community.

  46. I’ll second that, BD. In just the 10 months or so that I’ve been coming here things have grown quite impresssively AND your commentary has matured (I mean that in the way that is neither condescending nor implies that your rants are anything but terrific). But I certainly understand the appeal of getting an interview like that, and it would be fun to read.

  47. And I’ll say this… even if I’m wrong ;-)

    Cox built the foundation for a dynasty and, by way of being a true genius at the art of the deal*, Scheurholz has managed to keep it going without having to actually develop many prospects. This is simply not a club that has built for the future in the past. It’s more like the bizzaro Yankees… replenishing the club with outside talent generally acquired in rather shrewd and financially responsible ways.

    *In this sense, “deal” meaning the actual mechanics of the exchange (trade or FA) especially including working the dollars to his advantage.

    All that being said, the Marte trade stinks, in my opinion. I’m not all that down on Renteria (not at $6M, at least). I may well end up liking him fine. But I hate seeing Marte go, and I question the value we got in return. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’d rather him suck with Atlanta than be good somewhere else. So, really, I’ve backed myself into a corner on this one… no matter what happens with Marte, I’ll be disappointed in this deal.

  48. I saw on ESPN.com that Jacque Jones will decline to accept arbitration from the Twins. I’m concerned that he’s the kind of guy the Braves might try to pick up. I don’t think he would be any better than Langerhans.

  49. O.K. a couple comments…

    If BB Abbott really runs a money factory, then why doesn’t he buy the Braves? Please…anyone would be better than AOL.
    Why is it so quiet? My guess is that it is quiet because JS is about to anounce a huge trade for a closer. The guy is still the king of pulling a rabbit out of his hat.
    As for Jones, what would he bring that we couldn’t get from Johnson or Langerhans?

  50. Even more frightening is his K/BB ratio and lack of walks. He might be a decent CF for the Yankees, but he has no business getting $5m plus a year to play corner outfield somewhere.

  51. It seems like the Braves are worrying about a closer before LF, since it’s the more pressing need. Whatever happens in LF, the Braves won’t be plunking down big money…so probably not Jacque Jones. (Man…at the end of this offseason, we could’ve had Chipper, Andruw, Todd and Jacque.) If the Braves do sign a new LF before acquiring a closer, get ready to see Reitsma in the 9th because apparently it was a rough market this offseason.

    I wonder what the Mets are going to give up if they’re serious about Baez. Heilman? Let’s hope the D-Rays get all that they typically ask for.

  52. Dont give the job to Reitsma, why do we still give him the opportunity to blow games for us. If we arent going to get anyone then give the job to Boyer, but please no more Reitsma!!!!

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