I really hate 2009

There’s no really easy or fun way to say this, so I’ll just say it: I have cancer.

Now, there’s cancer and there’s cancer, and what I have appears to be totally treatable. The story is intermittently amusing and when this is over I’ll probably write it all up. I’ll be fine, in the long run. In the short run, I am going to need surgery and then chemotherapy. There are going to be times when I’m not around for awhile. If it happens during the season, I’ll scare up someone to fill in while I’m out.

I’ll repeat — I’ll be fine. In the long run. In the short run, if I disappear for a week, or if I seem snappish, just assume that’s why. At any rate, this is all Francoeur’s fault.

366 thoughts on “I really hate 2009”

  1. Mac,

    Take care of yourself. Do whatever it is you need to do to get well. I’m pretty obviously more addicted to this site than anyone else, so if I can handle less frequent posting, anyone can.

    Know that I’ll be praying for you.

  2. Dude.

    This bunch is a pretty motley prayer net, but we’ll do our best.

    I encourage you to vent on the days when you feel like venting. You’re a writer at heart and that’s how writers work through the good and bad (or should, anyway). We’ll be here.

    God bless you and hang in there.

  3. Oh man, best of luck Mac. Our holiday trip to NY was to visit the father-in-law before his chemo starts, the big C is no fun (unlike all those other diseases which are just pure joy). Take care of yourself… we’ll kick Francoeur for you when we see him.

  4. Yikes, scary news, but I’m glad to hear that it’s treatable. Best wishes and get well soon.

  5. Mac,
    I’m very sorry to hear that. Not a big poster here, but you know your efforts are immensely appreciated. You’ll be in my thoughts and prayers and I wish you the fastest recovery.

  6. Mac—I am glad to hear that you will be ok, but it sucks to imagine what you may go through in between. You will be in our prayers and let me join all in wishing you a speedy recovery….

  7. Mac –

    I think I’ve averaged about one post in each of the 5 years that I’ve been reading this site, but I just wanted to echo all the sentiments expressed above. Glad to hear it’s treatable, and you’ll be in our thoughts and prayers.

  8. Wow, Mac. Rough news, man.

    Your work here is always appreciated, and I think I average at lest 5 visits to this site daily, even during the off-season, so thanks for that.

    Persevere as best you can, and of course let us know if there’s anything we can do.

  9. I’m so sorry to hear your news Mac, my thoughts and prayers are with you. Remember that “hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things”

  10. I’m sorry to hear your bad news Mac but glad to hear the good part, that you’ll be fine. At least now I have something worth rooting for. I’ll be sending positive thoughts in your direction and hope we get the all clear sooner rather than later.

  11. Yikes, Mac.

    If it’s any consolation, you’ve got a lotta worldwide visitors here all on your side. Best to you & your recovery.

    Of course, if you need any help on the forum tip, all you gotta do is ask. Snappishness be damned…

  12. Mac, like they’ve said, take care of yourself. A baseball website should take a backseat to your health. That’s good that it’s treatable. I’ll be praying for you. We definitely love you around here.

  13. Take care, Mac. We’ll all be thinking of you. Damn Francoeur. When will his reign of terror end?

  14. Like many lurkers, I’m coming out to say good luck with your battle. Cancer has affected my family and it’s no fun. Fight hard Mac.

  15. I have a feeling posting this season will likely be more detrimental to your health anyways. All the best for a quick recovery.

  16. Best of luck, man. Let’s hope Wren gives us something to smile about soon. You rock, Mac.

  17. Mac,

    Sorry to hear this, but I’m glad you will be ok. Even watching Francouer hit would be better than this.

  18. A prayer for health and recovery.

    How will we know if you are more “snappish”? (a gallows humor joke).

  19. Mac,

    All the best. This is the only blog I ever really go to and the biggest reason why is you. Looking forward to hearing the story after you’ve got the cancer whipped.

    Smitty,

    I mostly agree with you on the Big Ten, (11) even though those are some large generalizations. However, since the Big 12 was formed in 1994, they’ve had at least shares of 5 Nat’l Titles in 14 years. That compares to 4 for the SEC over the same time frame. That also is a large generalization, but I don’t think the argument is as one sided as you make it out to be

    You can say the Big 12 doesn’t play defense, but I can say the top 3 QB’s and WR’s in the nation play there. I don’t know where exactly the line between the great offenses affecting the defenses should be drawn, but you can’t pretend that they each exist in a vacuum.

    Again, I think the title game on Thursday will determine a lot. If Oklahoma gets smacked around, I’ll probably shut up for awhile; however, if OU wins, I don’t see how you can make the case that the SEC is inarguably the best conference in the country.

  20. Do what you gotta do, Mac. Best of luck to you. As it happens, I’m waiting on a biopsy result myself. My handle links to some overwrought ramblings about it….

  21. Mac-
    You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. I hope you use this sight as a vent forum if you need to. We all appreciate what you do here, and would “listen” gladly if you need it.

  22. ON reconcilng DOB’s payroll numbers.

    The Braves stated payroll of 102 last year put Hampton at 16. For internal acounting purposes the Braves “”leveled” it at 8 per year. Therefore, “real” payroll was 94 million. Trading Teixeira saved a little of that and Hudson’s insurance may have paid a little too.

    Somebody has to account for the arb raises to KJ, Diaz, Fancoeur, Infante, and the scheduled increse for McCann. Assuming those at 5, put together, Vazquez at 11.5, Ross 1.5 we have used 18. If 40 (“plus maybe a little”) was the starting point, then 22 to 25 is left.

    I am not sure if DOB MEANT that he has been told that any Smoltz or Glavine money DOESN’T COUNT, but that is certainly what he appeared to affirm. If so, we could still add Lowe at 13 and have 9 or more for a bat.

    We “might” be able to squeeze 3 to 5 more out of Hudson’s insurance this year (usually 50 % of actual disabled time once a minimum is met), and I don’t know how they treat “unspent 2008 payroll” (possible 3 to 5 there).

    I KNOW the Braves did not favor Burrell, but I do not understand the reluctance at those numbers. Further, if we don’t have a “Scott Boras, if you send us a terms sheet affiring that there is a number your client will take and come to ATL without countering, you may be able to get a deal done” sitting at Boras’ place, then Braves have messed up. 13 a year, 3 years, and we pay Boras commission for an extra 1.3 (the amount the Mets would have to add to the bid to equalize on state and local tax) (in other words, 13 a year in ATL for a Florida resident is worth in taxes, not cost of living, at least 14.3 in NY which requires all ball players to be treated as residents for state and city income tax purposes).

  23. Mac–One other thought: nobody is better equipped with humor to deal with a challenge than you. I know that you will need it, but I am sure that it gives you a great weapon. So get well soon….

  24. Good luck, Mac. Like many today, I’m a daily (at least) visitor and an infrequent poster. You have an affect on many, many people in ways you cannot imagine. Heck, I dumped AOL just for you and this wonderful little place. My family’s prayers will be with you.

  25. Mac,

    Sounds like you caught it early. Don’t be afraid (or too proud) to lean on your friends and family. Let them take care of you. I’ll be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

    sansho1, I’ll be doing the same for you.

  26. Cliff,

    Where did DOB appear to affirm that? Was it recently? I remember a month or so ago that he specifically corrected someone in a blog comment who had assumed that was the case.

    As for the payroll, what I’m saying is that if we only have $25 million left to spend, our total payroll is going to be less than it was last year, whether it was $102 million or $94 million. We’re currently sitting at ~$67 million in financial commitments, not taking into account Hudson’s insurance money.

  27. Mac…

    i wish you a speedy recovery.

    there’s this band, the (Young) Pioneers, who have a song entitled, “i’m so afraid of getting cancer.” but in the end, the guy survives.

    this is when life imitates art.

    take care.

  28. Mac,
    Best of luck to you. Don’t worry at all about the times when you don’t feel like writing. Glad to hear it’s treatable. Prayers upward and positive vibes already headed your way.

    Same for you, sansho1.

  29. Dammit, Mac.
    We’ll look forward to the “free and clear” post.
    Barack be with you.

    And while we’re on Macs:
    Baseball:
    Baseball-reference.com has the HOF candidates and career stats on their front page right now. I noticed yesterday that Mark McGwire has 1626 career hits, of which 583 were HRs. Over 1/3 of his hits were HRs? I dwelled on this:

    McGwire: 35.8% of hits were HRs, 51.7% were for extra bases. Wow. And avg’d 114 BBs / 162 games (though of course never played 162 games, so really drew more than that per year, in his 16 year career).

    For comparrison’s sake:

    Pujols: 20.8% HR rate, 44% XBH, 91 BB / 162
    Chipper(1): 17.9% HR rate, 39.2% XBH, 99 BB / 162
    Manny: 22% HR rate, 43.97% XBH, 93 BB / 162
    Papi: 21.7% HR rate, 48.7% XBH, 90 BB / 162
    AJob: 23% HR rate, 41.8% XBH, 78 BB / 162
    Bonds(2): 25.9% HR rate, 49.1% XBH, 139 BB / 162
    The Hammer(3): 20.02% HR, 39.1% XBH, 69 BB / 162
    Ruth(3): 24.85 HR rate, 47.2% XBH, 133 BB / 162

    McGwire destroyed the ball when he hit it, more than anyone, and its not close, at all.

    (1): Chip’s got 2277 career hits to Mac’s 1626, a good three seasons difference, in one less season (though McGwire did essentially miss two whole seasons). Chip has more BBs than Ks in his career. He’s awesome.
    (2): Bonds has the second highest HR rate on this list, and is a good 30% off of McGwire’s pace. His final year he had a 1.045 OPS, a 170 OPS+, in 126 games. He was probably still dirty and is the embodiment of the Cheating Era, but not only could he still play, he was still dominant.
    (3): Babe Ruth hit 136 triples! And under 3000 total hits. A different era, I know, but I’m still impressed. The Hammer had almost half again as many ABs as Ruth (12,300+ to Ruth’s 8400), and had 1000 more hits and the same number of strikeouts (wow). Hammer also has the lowest rate of BBs on this list. Both of which go to underscore what a great contact hitter he was, to go with that power. Rod Carew + Babe Ruth = Henry Aaron.

    As a side note: I think that my job is not unlike an infielder’s defense; if my employers had a better way of measuring my production and efficiency, there’s a good chance I’d get replaced.

  30. Mac, from another ‘lurker’,I haven’t followed the Braves as closely now that I can’t watch them on TV anymore, but yours is still one of my favorite blogs. I am sorry to hear the news, but glad that the outlook is optimistic. Good luck, and you’ll be in my prayers.

    Andy H

  31. Dammit Mac! I fucking hate cancer. Get well.

    I’m just glad to hear your prognosis is good. Let me know if you are coming to the Atlanta area for treatment and need anything. I’d be happy to help out in any way that I can, and at least provide you with a good dinner.

  32. Thanks everyone. And thanks for the offer, JC — I’m getting treatment in Birmingham, but if things get really desperate (which they should not) I guess the next stop is Emory.

  33. Mac,

    I’ll be thinking about you and saying a prayer.

    I would expect you will be renaming said disease and/or symptoms as one would rename any other unamable and unwelcome addition.

  34. Man, I prayed for a clubhouse cancer but I meant Manny Ramirez…should have been more specific.

    Sorry but my defense mechanism for shocking news is to make inappropriate jokes. Short term will not be fun, Mac, but you’ll be fine. Just have an attack-mode mentality, like Heap at Burger King.

  35. From one Northporter (I don’t even know what we’re called – Northportians? Northportites?) to another, here’s to a speedy recovery.

  36. I mostly lurk, but who could lurk at a time like this? What terrible news. Mac, best wishes for a full and quick recovery. We’re all pulling for you.

  37. Still stunned! All our prayers, until EPIC FAIL is replaced by CANCER FREE. It’ll take as long as it takes to happen, but you’re irreplaceable.

    I’ve lived long enough to see a change in society where the word “cancer” was whispered even between friends and relatives to where a brave man can post it on his blog and let us all pray for him.

    My best friend is a radiation therapist and he says “It’s Not About the Bike,” by Lance Armstrong is highly recommended reading. I loved it.

    As always… Go Braves!

  38. Somehow Mike Hampton’s injuries can be blamed on this! Either way I’ll echo everyone’s sentiments and wish you a speedy recovery Mac! Get better soon man!

  39. I sure hope Hudson’s injury is a one time thing and not the consistent train-wreck of Hampton… though some more videos would be good clean fun.

  40. Thoughts and prayers are with you, Mac, along with a Tonya Harding inspired club for Francouer and whoever is the new non-hitting catcher that threatens to cut McCann’s career short by not giving him an off day.

  41. Damn Mac – I hate to hear that. I hope all goes well and a speedy recovery follows. Drop me an email sometime if you need help with the site.

  42. Kevin, I thought about that Lance Armstrong book, too.

    Mac, you should read it.

    You do have my prayers. Get well soon.

  43. Good luck Mac. It’s great that the prognosis is good, and that you’re being positive. And being near Birmingham is also a good thing: UAB has some wonderful medical facilities.

  44. I’m so sorry to hear that Mac. I’m happy to know that it’s treatable and you will be in my prayers.

  45. Mac,

    Get well soon. Your efforts here are greatly appreciated by me, and I hope to be reading game wrap-ups by you for years to come.

    Dave

  46. I read this site almost daily and it gives a great perspective on the thoughts of an angry sports fan, which I identify with. Best of luck Mac, kick its ass.

  47. Mac, I really hate to hear that. Ill be praying for you and Im in Birmingham if you need anything email me chadsgoodwin@yahoo.com

    Guys, thanks for the prayers. CSG #2 is here with us and healthy. He’s our newest Brave member

  48. Second that csg!

    Hopefully by the time he’s old enough to remember, we’ll have a team worth remembering.

  49. Mac

    Never posted before, but been reading for two years- wishing you the speediest and easiest recovery from everyone that checks and reads your site every day, for the news and your writing.

    Best of luck

  50. Mac,

    Well I talked to my barber today and he said that we are going to trade your cancer for Pete Orr.

    Expect Orr to arive at your house around Saturday.

  51. Mac,

    With you beating cancer’s ass, is there anything we can do to help out here?

    Maybe we could all take a player and to a write up on them around spring training, like we do for SEC football?

    We can take turns doing a few games a week, just some thoughts.

  52. Well, nothing’s happening right now — but thanks. I’ll let you know if it’s necessary. Hopefully I’ll be done with the worst part before the real games start.

  53. Mac,
    I can’t say anything that hasn’t already been said, but I do wish you the best and you’ll be in my thoughts and prayers. It sounds like your mindset is great at this point and I’m glad to hear that it was found early.

    You talked about the real games starting – if we don’t get a decent #1 starter and an outfielder or two not named Andruw Jones, there may not be any real games. In that case, feel free to take the whole year off (let’s hope that’s not the case) – Smitty and other guys can handle it around here.

  54. All my hopes and prayers to ya Mac. I rarely post but read the site daily and I really appreciate how you have kept this one on the most thought provoking and intelligent sports blog I have come across. Here’s hoping 2009 gets a lot better for you.

    Steve

  55. mac>cancer
    as the gamers say, pwn it!
    and i do agree that it is francoeur’s fault. what a rat bastard.

    on other notes, i saw today that our interest in abreu is only “lukewarm” at best. that is just absurd!

  56. I’m all for you doing a Hudson video, but please don’t use any songs I love. I can’t listen to King of America without thinking about Mike Hampton now. And that hurts.

  57. Heard an interview on WFAN with agent Scott Boras today. They discussed Tex, Oliver Perez & Manny Ramirez. Part of it went something like this…

    Host Mike Francesa: OK, let’s talk about Manny. Y’know, everybody knows that his departure in Boston did not make him look too good.

    Scott Boras: (Silence).

    Francesa: I mean, let’s face it, that was not pretty.

    Boras: (Silence).

    sansho,
    That story’s a blast. I remember those years well & was in Athens for Herschel’s last 2 seasons.

    And Joe’s right: Go watch that run against South Carolina & it’s almost hard to believe. Once again, Larry Munson might’ve said it best: “Ma-a-an, did he turn it on when he had to!”

  58. 81 — ryan c, it is absurd. I’ve been trying to talk myself into the thought that Wren has some master plan and he won’t let on about it at all anymore. But I do wish he’d just go buy an outfielder already.

  59. Mac, good luck to you and your family. if i was in Atlanta, i’d drive by Francoeurs’ house and check out the mob of angry villagers with pitchforks and torches.

  60. God bless you, Mac, and thanks for brightening my life with your stellar blog. Get well soon and make us laugh at your story.

  61. I’m so sorry to hear it Mac. I went through several rounds with it a few years ago and it can leave a mark in all sorts of unexpected ways.

    Keep people around you, keep joking, and rest up. Also, if this isn’t already a policy, don’t watch Lance Armstrong speak for more than fifteen seconds at any one time. For cancer patients he’s a creeping monolith that destroys all that is good and holy.

  62. I haven’t been posting since this place got so popular (Yogi: no one goes there anymore because its too crowded) but I still read most almost all of your posts. I’ll be thinking about you Mac.

  63. Mac – best wishes for a full recovery before opening day. You’ll have a lot of people thinking about you.

  64. Mac I am sorry to hear about that but I am happy you caught it early. The Nature Boy is right here in your corner. WOOOO!!!!

  65. Mac, I wish you all the best. Keep up with the good spirit and keey up with the Frenchy bashing.

    csg, congratulations, but I wish you will come up with a better name for your kid than csg2…ha…

  66. Wish you the best Mac. I echo the others that your work here is greatly appreciated no matter how the team on the field is performing. Can we move on to 2010 yet?

  67. I’m sorry to hear about your cancer, Mac. I can’t imagine how scary it must be. I hope that the treatment isn’t too rough.

    As for the site, you’ve fostered a great community here and it’ll be fine, while it waits on you to get fine.

    Of course, it’s likely that both you and the community will be fine long before the Braves are.

  68. Mac,

    I stopped coming here very frequently about a year ago–because of the Braves, not because of your excellent site. Now, I reckon I’ll be checking in a bit more often, just to see how you’re doing. And maybe the Braves will get a clue and stop sucking.

    Best wishes to you.

  69. #92, we have the same initials so I just went with it. He’s fussy right now, he’s probably just pissed that the Braves still havent done anything

  70. I’m sorry to hear about the news. Take care of yourself and I pray for a speedy recovery. Stay strong.

  71. Wow, one thing that is clear from all these posts is that there are boatloads of people that check this site and appreciate your work that rarely, if ever, post. I’m sure you already knew this Mac, but your work is enjoyed and appreciated by a very large number of people. Thanks!

  72. CSG, congratulations, man.

    Mac, I know you didn’t ask for anything, but I dropped a couple of bucks in the donation bucket. Take care of yourself.

  73. I haven’t been posting since this place got so popular (Yogi: no one goes there anymore because its too crowded) but I still read most almost all of your posts. I’ll be thinking about you Mac.

    I’m not really posting anymore either (different reason, I’m trying to see if I can make my Braves fandom dormant until the end of the Frank Wren era, life’s too short) but I just wanted to send along my best wishes as well. I’m sure you’ll kick cancer’s ass.

  74. Mac,
    Dammit! Cancer Sucks!

    But I KNOW that you will prevail. Please know that I am pulling for you through prayers and good thoughts.

    And to echo everyone else Braves Journal simply rocks. Thanks man. Thanks a lot.

  75. Hi Mac:
    I do not post very often, but I read your website regulary and really enjoy your writing. I am so sorry to hear about your cancer. I wish you all the best and will say a prayer for you.

  76. Wow, folks are coming out of the wood-works to give Mac some love. That’s really cool to see. There’s a guy up there who has been reading for two years and hasn’t posted! That’s amazing! I am just too opinionated (obviously…) to read all the good banter on here and not wanna get in on the action.

    I think this shows why this is such a great website, and Mac deserves so much credit for this. There’s not a whole lot of things that I’ve been doing for as long as I have been reading Braves Journal. I want to say I remember I was reading this since about 8th or 9th grade, and I’m about to graduate college. This is usually the first website I check several times a day, and I really appreciate what Mac has done here, and I really hope Mac beats this with Ray King-sized intensity. You’re the man, Mac!

  77. I guess I’m about the same as Rob, but I don’t comment nearly as often. I try to get a witty comment in every once in blue moon, which usually fails. I started reading this blog about a month or so before the Hudson trade, which I think was my Junior year in high school. Once I get to work I open up a few tabs on Firefox and this is most definitely one of them. An on campus job can get pretty boring, so reading the posts and comments on here is one of the ways I pass the time (the other major way being Facebook, of course). I definitely think you should go after this as forcefully as Turk Wendell slamming the rosin bag down.

  78. Allow me to add my thoughts as well – I really am not the demonstrative type, but I feel a special affinity to you, Mac , and the other denizens here. People probably don’t say this often enough to each other, but those who can instigate the flow of intellectual discourse, regardless of its form are special indeed. In the words of my good pal Mark Twain, “Be not simply good, be good for something”. It’s a bar you pass with ease.

    //I love you, man…

  79. Has anyone else been reading Buster Olney’s blogs this week? Yesterday and today he has included quotes from MLers about Andruw’s defense in his prime. Some pretty good stuff. He is going to continue through at least tomorrow.

  80. Mac, you are the man. Beat this thing like a rented mule.

    I’ll also echo #115 and thank you for creating and taking care of this special place. I am so lucky to have stumbled upon this blog. We really need to have a Braves Journal night at the Ted one of these years.

  81. @111 – Search and Destroy indeed…

    “look out honey, ’cause I’m usin’ technology”

  82. Mac, If your insurance lets you down please don’t hesitate to let us know. I’m sure some of us would be willing to step up and help like we did when your website had to move. PayPal worked last time; it would also work for this. My mom died of cancer and recall the treatment bills were nothing to sneeze at. Get well soon and stay positive (attitude is half the battle).

  83. Mac, whom I love, introduced me to Joe Posnanski via his Braves Journal link. Joe says this about Dale Murphy:

    “Dale Murphy: Yes. I want him to stay on the ballot. I do believe he was a better all-around player than Rice, Dawson or Dave Parker — the other outfielders on the ballot. He had six truly excellent seasons …

    Seasons with 28 or more Win Shares
    Dale Murphy, 6
    Dave Parker, 4
    Jim Rice, 3
    Andre Dawson, 2

    Seasons with 135 or better OPS+
    Dale Murphy, 6
    Jim Rice, 5
    Andre Dawson, 5
    Dave Parker, 5

    Seasons with 10.0 or better WARP1
    Dale Murphy, 4 (and one at 9.6)
    Dave Parker, 2
    Andre Dawson, 2
    Jim Rice, 0 (and one at 9.6)

    Seasons with more than 100 runs created
    Dale Murphy, 7
    Andre Dawson, 6
    Dave Parker, 5
    Jim Rice, 5

    Of course I’m cherry-picking. I undoubtedly could come up with stats that would make Rice, Dawson or Parker look good, too. Murphy’s career was too short, and he was helped tremendously by his home park, and he was not much of a player after he turned 32. But I think Murphy had a higher peak than the others, and he was an iconic figure (especially in the South), and he did everything well …”

    Just another reason for me to love Mac.

  84. If Andruw comes back to Atlanta, does he hurt or help his HOF chances?

    I think he hurts them, expecting more years of decline. But, I also don’t think he has done enough to deserve the HOF, unless his defense puts him over the top.

  85. If Andruw doesn’t have at least 2-3 more GOOD seasons, he’s not going to get any closer to the hall than Murphy has… though I think Murphy deserves to be in, I don’t think Andruw is there yet (and he probably suffers from playing in an era where the roids inflated enough guys numbers so his numbers don’t look as impressive).

  86. @126

    Everything I read about the guy says great stuff. Yet somehow his results never equal it. You hear about him being unlucky, but it seems as if that line has been thrown out to the extent that I wonder as to the reason behind it? You would think that his results would eventually level out.

    Is it that he’s a head case? The homer issue? He’s never been hurt, and has been around long enough that you would expect him to put it together by now.

    Does anyone else have a take on the subject?

  87. Don’t know that I’ve ever posted, but wanted to say good luck and thanks for the great work you do on the site.

    When you’re feeling down about it, just think of what Jeffy would do, and then do the opposite of whatever that is. Chances are you will feel better.

  88. @126

    I looked at what surely is a more crude calculation of opponent strength than the one Carty used. I took the runs per game average of every Vazquez opponent from 06-08 and compared it to the league averages.

    Avg Vazquez opponent – 4.85 runs/game
    League average – 4.86 runs/game

    So far I’m not seeing it. Maybe every manager has their equivalent of Bobby’s Sunday lineups and Vazquez never happened to pitch on a Sunday. Let’s see…

    Percentage of Vazquez starts which fell on Sunday (2006-08) — 16/97 = 16.5%
    Percentage of days of the week which are Sunday (2006-08) — 1/7 = 14.3%

    Hmmmmm…..nope, that’s not it either.

    Well, I’m stumped.

  89. Well, let’s face it, even if nothing else changes, Vazquez (or any pitcher) is likely to benefit from moving from the AL to the NL, if for no other reason than getting to face pitchers and weak number 8 hitters. The real criticism against Vazquez seems to be that (1) he never became as good as he was supposed (same as Andruw) and (2) a la Ozzie Guillen, he is not a big game pitcher. I don’t think either of these is relevant; even if he isn’t an “ace”, he is still likely an improvement on what the Braves have now (given the injuries) and I’m willing to take my chances in a “big” game if we get that far. Plus, it seems to me that he is not that much different than Burnett pre-2008 except that he has been healthier. I doubt Javier is going to win the Cy Young but he should be a solid starter.

  90. Even though the cost was high, I think that Vazquez is a great acquisition for the Braves. He is the one bright spot that I see in this offseason….

  91. For me, Vasquez was a good deal. We’re going to be paying him about what he’s worth, not a great bargain price, but not the inflated FA prices either. The only “problem” I have with him is that he’s only under contract for a couple years… It would probably be good for us to have that anchor #2-3 starter locked in as JJ and Hanson mature (granted, Hudson would probably be a bit better to get that extra year out of, but I’d probably be OK with both playing for us in 2011).

  92. If anyone wants a good laugh, Terrance Moore thinks the Braves should bring Andruw back.

  93. at least Moore is only advocating paying him $1M plus incentives and not claiming he actually is GOOD, just that he’s got a shot at not sucking, and if he’s even partially old Andruw he’d be better than Blanco/Anderson… and if he sucks we can just go with them as we were going to anyway.

    Which… I won’t say is a really good plan, but if we’re not doing anything ELSE… well… I guess… maybe not the worst idea ever.

  94. mlbtr….we will most likely bring Druw back if he’s released and we are in the lead for kawakami

  95. thought this was interesting…

    [Comment From Choo-Choo McBoogie]
    Tim, I thought you were a Cubs fan. What’s with the sudden switch to the Braves? There’s no chance Jurrjens, Vasquez, Kawakami, Campillo and Hanson wins the division unless the Phillies, Marlins and Mets all collapse.

    2:28 I was asked if that could win the division, not if it definitely would. That looks to me like a rotation with at LEAST 3 above average pitchers in it and no one who sucks

  96. re: the Vazquez thing-

    Looking at MLB-average runs per game is incomplete. What the projections did is controlled for quality of hitter faced and location of the game. Now, I’ll say that the projection looks quite optimistic, and I’ll be happy with 200 league-average innings for each of the next two years. But you can’t just compare Vazquez games to all of MLB. At the least, you’ve got to control for the fact that he pitched in a prime hitter’s park.

  97. I don’t understand Andruw, why bother? He was in decline the last season he was with us, can’t field anymore, and is a K machine. Do we really not have any better internal options?

  98. Im starting to think that Wren is just staying away from any player that will cost more than a two year deal and will cost any draft picks

  99. What’s a Kawakami?

    And, yes, bringing back Andruw is the worst idea of all time.

    Even if they pay us.

    Even if Scott Boras agrees to perform humiliating public acts before each game. Well …

  100. #145 – an invite to ST wont cost us anything more than we paid some of these other clowns, but Im afraid Bobby couldnt cut him if he had too

  101. Hmm…this per Rosenthal:

    The Braves could intrigue Dunn; they have interest in him, but not on a long-term deal…

    First I’ve heard that the Braves are interested in Dunn. That would be nice.

  102. yes it would, Im fine with a 3 yr deal for him. Why wouldnt you like 40hr 100rbi .380-.400 obp

  103. I’ve been a poster/lurker here for maybe 4 or 5 years. It’s hard to remember exactly. I haven’t been regular in awhile. This last season really drained my interest to post. Sometimes you just don’t know what to say when the product is so crappy. Anyway, I wanted to thank you Mac for running this site. It has been the number one place for all things Braves and will remain for a long time to come. Take care of yourself and get well soon!!!

  104. If I were Dunn I’d hope a team like the Braves offered me a one year deal with a couple of option years… make $12-16M in 09 and options for the same in the next couple of years. That way he’s still making a bit of money, but has a chance to be on the market in a couple years if things are different.

    I’d rather see that than signing Andruw… though I don’t agree with hankonly that a league minimum spring training invite for Andruw would hurt us.

  105. Ububba, that’s exactly what I did: put Fun House on my iPod as I walked to work this morning.

    I think I once read that Iggy wanted that record to be the equivalent of free jazz, and when I hear all that terrifying Asheton fuzz, I think I understand what he’s talking about. Good Lord, what an album.

  106. The more I think about it, I think I might put a flier out on Andy Pettite over any of the pitchers mentioned here. He already turned down the Yankees for 1 @10 million and I wouldn’t go much higher, but maybe 1 with a vesting option @ 12.5. Excellent pedigree. Balances out the rotation. Would be great in the clubhouse as well. (which should not be underestimated; I think a lot of the younger guys don’t know how to win, and he would contribute immensely to that cause) An 18-7 postseason record isn’t horrible either.

    I know he had a below average year last season. But IMO, there is no pitcher more in baseball more suited to pitching in the NL than Pettite. Plus, 4 out of the past 5 years, he’s pitched 200+ innings. He might refuse, but if Lowe can’t get better than 3 @ 36, it does no harm to make the offer. He also wasn’t offered arbitration, though it’s not as big of deal since we’re protected.

    I’d go with him and Dunn and between them pay around 25 MM. Make legitimate offers to both Smoltz and Glavine and sign Kawakami if possible.

    This might stretch the budget a little, but the Mets are better, the Phillies are World Champs, and the Marlins will be improved. Why even make the Vasquez trade if you are going to half-ass the rest of it.

    Best case gives you:

    LF-Dunn
    CF-Blanco
    RF-Francoeur
    1B-Kotchman
    2B-Johnson
    SS-Escobar
    3B-Jones
    C-McCann

    1.Vasquez-RHP
    2.Pettite-LHP
    3.Jurrjens-RHP
    4.Kawakami-RHP
    5.Smoltz/Glavine/Campillo/Hanson/Reyes/Morton

    Not really a gang buster in the rotation, but solid with plenty of depth. The lineup has easily the potential to be average-to-above average in every position except maybe center and the black hole in right(sometimes you have to pick your battles)

    That team could compete. Probably not dominate, but I would at least go into the season with some optimism. And the farm would still be intact.

  107. AJones gave the Braves great defense and pretty good offense for a centerfielder. He played every day, and he even took a below market contract to stay with the Braves, going against Bora$$’s wishes. He was never as good as anybody thought he would be; but his last year and a half with the Braves he played with at least one bad knee, and he played almost every day even then.

    Why all the hate? Is it so unlikely Andruw can become 80 percent the player he was in 2005? For a contract of about $5M after incentives, that seems like a good deal to me; and as others have said, if he’s done, stick a fork in him, thank him, and send him on his way.

  108. Please no Andruw Jones. Cox is going to put him on the team and start him everyday till June no matter how bad he is. Do we really want two-thirds of the outfield to consist of Andruw Jones and Jeff Francoeur?

    From Talking Chop:

    I know we’ve got this O’Flaherty character and something called a Boone Logan as possible lefty setup guys, but they are not established major leage LOOGYs.

    http://tinyurl.com/9xxryb

    I think he stole Mac’s joke directly there.

  109. According to Peanut, the Braves seem to be focusing on guys like Garland and Pettite and maybe an outfielder like Ankiel or Ludwick. If that’s true (and he is the mouthpiece, right?),it’s hard to see the Braves being competitive in 2009.

  110. AAR,
    Yeah, The Stooges were kind of a three-way cross between late-era Coltrane, The Doors & a very rudimentary blues band—fronted by a maniac, of course.

    To me, Funhouse is their best record overall, just so much impact and the grooves are so tough. The other stuff is pretty great, too. Asheton’s wall o’ fuzz on “No Fun” & “I Wanna Be Your Dog” still makes my arm hair stand on end.

    Stooges Trivia: I’m reading a lotta Asheton stuff today & a lotta people point to the Raw Power album. It’s great, no question, but Asheton didn’t play guitar on that one—he’s the bassist. A guy named James Williamson is responsible for the iconic riffs that later showed up in films & TV ads.

    Anyway, RIP Mr. Asheton.

  111. if thats true, its hard to see us being competitive ever again. Geez, that would be such a waste of payroll. Garland sucks, I dont care how many wins he has. An era of 4.50+ in 6 of his 9 years is garbage. Hanson could give us that at no cost. No way we give Pettite more than $10mil. I would trade for Ludwick and would possibly offer Soriano, just to get rid of his salary. No way I move Gonzo for him.

  112. I kinda think that Pettitte will still end up in The Bronx. I’m not saying he deserves this much or that much from them, but he’s obviously looking at the cash they’re slinging around & he’s playing a little brinksmanship.

    The Yanks should just finish out the last 2 spots in the rotation however they can—Pettitte, Hughes, Garland, whoever—and move Chamberlain to the setup spot in the bullpen.

    Then, if they get to the post-season, they’ll be legit scary. The dumbest thing they can do is keep Joba in the rotation.

  113. Stu, are you a Lions fan? They do have the #1 and #20 picks. Moreno probably won’t last until the 20th selection.

  114. So, they both decided to go pro, right?

    Have to admit I just read the headline and it was not so clear.

  115. I’m a Vanderbilt fan, HK, and a team with which we already seemed to match up pretty well over the past few seasons just got weaker.

  116. James Williamson was a fine guitarist in his own right. Like the first album, Raw Power was a collection of songs more than an album-length freakout like Funhouse, but it’s a hell of a collection of songs. And Ron and his brother are a murderer’s row of a rhythm section.

    Williamson came back and produced one of Iggy’s best solo albums, New Values, and also was on the Kill City sessions. Didn’t do a lot after that. Guess he didn’t have to.

    Right now I’m listening to a band that must have grown up listening to a lot of the Stooges — Thalia Zedek’s band Come, the album Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. She sounds like Patti Smith after about 5 packs of cigarettes and a Dorothy Parker-sized wallop of scotch. If anyone’s looking for something to listen to, it’s well worth a spin.

  117. You watch, Georgia will be better next year. Kinda like how UT won it all with Tee and couldn’t with Peyton.

    Joe Cox might be the kind of QB that works best for Richt (a la David Greene).

    They’re going to miss Knowshon, though. Best college running back I’ve seen in a long time.

  118. And we don’t hate Andruw. Yet.

    If he came back, sucked, and Cox let him “play through it” like Francouer, the fanbase would split completely apart.

    I forget who said it about Claudell Washington, but it kinda applies to #25, as well: “He’ll break your heart everytime.”

  119. Alex,

    That’s interesting. I wonder if they did anything to alter it.

    Also,

    Neyer links an article to the guy who left Rickey Henderson off of the ballot.

    Read the comments on the article Neyer links. Another hamster gets roasted.

  120. AAR,
    Know that album very well—I still like the previous one (11:11) a little better. In fact, 2 old Athens friends (Come’s rhythm section, Arthur & Sean) moved to Boston & joined that band.

    #164
    The brief Joe Cox/Caleb King Era has begun. Hope this new kid QB Aaron Murray can stay healthy.

    And Stu, forgive me for having a small chuckle at the expense of the up-and-coming Vanderbilt football program.

    I mean, with one win per decade vs. Georgia—going back to the JFK administration—I wouldn’t say that Vandy ever exactly “matches up” with Georgia. They hardly ever beat us.

    In my lifetime, I think they have 4 wins and a tie—and I’m 45.

  121. Mac,

    I wish you the very best. Would be very interested in hearing more about your diagnosis when you’re able to share.

    Godspeed to you, sir-

    Scott

  122. I was opening for Iggy Pop in ’82 or ’83 (can’t remember – old) at the old Wooden Nickel in Birmingham. He hit me with a mike stand during his performance. Having thrown a drink in his face mid-song moments earlier, I certainly didn’t hold it against him. Kind of tied the whole era up in a neat little bow for me.

  123. Chuckle all you want, ububba, but we beat you in Athens in ’06, lost by 3 at home in ’07 (in a game we shoulda won), and lost by 10 in Athens in ’08—and, thanks in large part to your NFL defections, the talent gap will be smaller than it’s ever been in ’09.

    I never said we’re in UGA’s league in the grand scheme of things, but like it or not, we’ve been right there with you in head-to-head matchups the last 3 years, and I see no reason why that should change next season.

  124. What an amazing outpouring of prayer. Mac, there’s nothing any doctor can do that will be more effective. Add me to the list of those who don’t know you, but will lift you up in prayer. God bless.

  125. That 1998 Tennessee team won more becasue of Al Wilson and the defense. Martin started off really slow, but steped it up after Jamal Lewis got hurt. Of course, Traivs Henry wasn’t a bad back up.

    I don’t see an Al Wilson or a Deion Grant type player on D for UGA.

  126. Stu is right about Jamal not being let lose until the UGA game in 96. It is that kind of stuff that did Fulmer in at UT.

  127. I was at that UGA game in ’97, smitty. Lewis went off in that game, but I think he actually first played against Ole Miss the week before.

    I remember all the UGA fans thinking they really had something with Mike Bobo and the 5-0 Dawgs. Then Lewis—who UGA didn’t recruit hard because of Jasper Sanks, LOL—just went off.

  128. @184: Rennie Curran may not play Al Wilson’s style of LB, but he might just be better. Geno Atkins, and Asher Allen (if he returns) aren’t much to sneeze at either.

    As for Jones, I think the Braves would be stupid not to offer him the league minimum deal, which is all it would take, and give him a crack to return home. I’ve always thought a lot of his struggles were caused by the stresses of leaving the organization he grew up in. (In my opinion these likely led to the physical causes as well, so it may take him time to get back into form.)

    Sign Kawakami!… why not?

  129. Al Wilson was a monster. Ask Jessie Palmer.

    I think Asher Allen is a solid player, but they don’t have the talent that UT did in 98

  130. Mac,

    I haven’t been around in a while, but I wish you the best and hope for a full and speedy recovery. Get well soon.

    Brandon

  131. Jessie Palmer still has nightmares about Al Wilson.

    My buddy went to the Fiesta Bowl that year and knew we were going to win the game before kick off when Al Wilson came over to the UT section and started yelling for all the fans to “Get up! We’re going to win!” He said he had no choice but to get up, Al Wilson made him.

  132. @144

    Looking at MLB-average runs per game is incomplete. What the projections did is controlled for quality of hitter faced and location of the game. Now, I’ll say that the projection looks quite optimistic, and I’ll be happy with 200 league-average innings for each of the next two years. But you can’t just compare Vazquez games to all of MLB. At the least, you’ve got to control for the fact that he pitched in a prime hitter’s park.

    My supposition was that, by looking at all Vazquez opponents, I was de facto controlling for those variables. After all, he faced everybody in the league, multiple times, both home and away, and 6 or 7 NL teams as well, and it came out dead even. The Chisox division opponents have not been a particularly outstanding offensive group, and he’s faced them an appropriately disproportionate amount.

    So if you want to project ’09, do it on the basis of 1) switch from AL to NL, and 2) hitters park to neutral park. Because I couldn’t find anything to suggest he was facing tougher competition than any other AL pitcher toiling in a hitters park. If you want to find a pitcher facing tough-luck opposition over the last few years, I’m guessing anyone on the Toronto staff would be a good place to look.

  133. Stu,
    Close counts in horseshoes, hand grenades & atom bombs, but not in SEC football games.

    The reason we have NFL defections is because we get NFL-calibre talent & often replace it with NFL-calibre talent. (Joe Cox ain’t that, but Caleb King & Aaron Murray could be.)

    I mean, Vandy played us close in Herschel’s last year & the next two years after that. But those 3 games added up to 0-2-1. Look, you had a nice season. But until you beat schools like Georgia with some regularity, you’re not going to keep us up nights.

  134. Mac, I was coming here for my usual dose of humor and braves news, your news hit like a hammer. Actually, it reminded me how close to the surface my feelings about when my wife got the same news. Sounds like your docs are on top of things and your attitude is positive which is great. I’ll share one piece of advise that helped us through the tough times, the reason you got cancer is so that you can help someone through theirs at some point in the future. If it’s not too personal, let us know how things are going, it can be theraputic to document the journey. Know that you are in our prayers. cheers, kp

  135. I’d be ecstatic at this point with signing Pettitte and Garland (2 durable starters) and getting Dunn.

  136. Nick Cafardo, of The Boston Globe, reports the Boston Red Sox have made an offer believed to be in the range of $5.5 million guaranteed with the opportunity to make $10 million with incentives to free-agent RP John Smoltz (Braves). Smoltz has said that he would like an opportunity to start but he could also be an option to relieve.

    http://www.kffl.com/gnews.php?id=548507

    I think I am going to be ill.

  137. See, you gotta love the Red Sox…I am not too worried about Smoltzie, he will be a Brave at the end of the day.

  138. I can’t see Smoltz leaving the Braves for another team–but if they should let it happen, it will literally be hard to watch the team for awhile. That was my reaction to losing Niekro and it certainly would be Smoltz or Chipper…Smoltz aside, what are the Braves going to do?

  139. no way Wren could survive Smoltz playing for another team. After having this offseason and to then lose Smoltz would be the ultimate PR nightmare. If Smoltz pitches it’ll be here in Atl

  140. gotta love these sources….

    As of last night, sources indicated that Smoltz was leaning toward Boston’s offer which was said to be somewhere in the vicinity of $5.5 million guaranteed with the opportunity to earn a few million in incentives which could hike the salary up to $10 million. The Sox and Smoltz have been talking since before the Winter Meetings. The Sox do not anticipate that Smoltz will be ready until later in May, but one of the incentives being discussed would be a roster bonus if he’s with the team by June 1.

  141. Yes, the Red Sox are close to signing every one on earth and every one will end up signing everywhere else.

  142. I blame Frank Wren.

    Smoltz probably has been watching Wren’s offseason and wants off the sinking ship that is the 2009 Braves.

  143. If there’s one lesson to being a Braves fan, it’s this: sooner or later, they all leave. Spahn, Mathews, Aaron, Niekro, Murphy, Glavine, Maddux. Now, allegedly, Smoltz. Every single iconic Brave. If you want to blame Wren for this latest defection, go right ahead, but realize that the same thing has happened to most of his predecessors.

    Anyway, the guy is 41 years old and practically shredded. His presence has felt like one long auld lang syne for two or three years now. Good luck, see you in Cooperstown.

  144. Wren is terrible. What the fuck is he doing? He needs to make a move, but he is sitting on his ass. Fuck him and the horse he rode in on.

  145. The difference sansho, at least from where I’m sitting, is that Glavine and Maddux left for monetary reasons. Smoltz’s leaving is a direct reflection of Frank Wren’s inability to put together a championship caliber baseball team.

    Thank god for Roy Clark; he is the only reason the team has any hope of being relevant any time soon.

  146. 210–I can’t or won’t believe it at this stage….If true it sucks royally and it is probably because Dan is right: Smotlz wants to get off a sinking ship and play for a winner…..

  147. I find it ironic that while I’m reading that Smoltz is signing with the Red Sox, I’m wearing my RED Braves/Smoltz shirt. I really hope this is a false alarm, but since Smoltz’s name is not “Furcal”, since ESPN is now reporting it, it’s probably true.

  148. Wren is the worst GM in all of baseball. He can’t sign anyone. He can’t trade for anyone. When he gets clsoe to getting anyone, he blows it. I bet he couldn’t trade Chipper for a sack of balls.

  149. He’s taking the money AND a realistic shot at another ring. I don’t blame him — it’s business. This franchise needs a fresh start anyway. I’m a Braves fan, not a Smoltz fan, because Smoltz is doing what’s right for Smoltz, as any rational player will do. As long as it dovetailed with the Braves’ interest, I’ve been a fan. But the minute HE decides to go elsewhere, it’s with neither regret nor anger that I say good luck to ya.

  150. Sorry to hear about your cancer, Mac. Hang in there. If Smoltz is really gone, this is about as bad a start to 2009 as they come.

  151. Hate to see Smoltz pitch for anyone else. But the story says that he won’t pitch until June 1.

    Not sure if I’m alone here, but I’m not sure what kind of contribution we could’ve expected from him in ’09.

    At least he’s not a Met.

  152. I hate the thought of Smoltz leaving, and I hope it isn’t true.

    That said, I’ll stick up a bit for Wren here. We don’t know about Smoltz’s recovery and it might be smart not to guarantee him 5.5 million at this point. Reports are that he won’t be ready to start the season; that’s not a big deal per se but it speaks to the uncertainty about his health.

  153. Im happy for Smoltz, I just can’t figure out Wren. is he going to do anything? Does he really think an outfield of Frenchy, Anderson and shag bucket is a suitanble outfield?

    OUr rotation is Jurgens, Vasques, pitching machine,Campillo and Bobby Cox. Really?

    We are wasting McCann and Chipper. We should trade them to the Yankees now and get it over with. Oh wait, dip shit can’t even do that.

  154. I just can’t figure out Wren. is he going to do anything? Does he really think an outfield of Frenchy, Anderson and shag bucket is a suitanble outfield?

    Hey, be fair. Wren is considering Andruw Jones!

  155. @220

    Couldn’t disagree more. I’m a Braves fan first, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t still a Maddux fan when he left. If there was ever a direct conflict, of course I’d side with the Braves, but you can’t just disassociate yourself from everything he has meant to you as Braves fan. That actually wasn’t as bad because he didn’t come from here and the writing was on the wall for a few years prior.

    Smoltz has never pitched anywhere else, and until 15 minutes ago, I never thought he would. He was always the big game pitcher could match up “stuff wise” with anyone in baseball. The thought of seeing him pitch in another uniform makes me sick.

    Again, the only reason he is doing this is because Wren has not been able to put together a contending team.

    DOES anyone think for a second he would be leaving if the outfield wasn’t the worst in baseball and the last three spots in the rotation were TBD?

    However it turns out, this one goes on Wren

  156. Mac,
    Get well soon and best of luck with your treatment. I don’t think Jeff Francouer is your doctor so I’ll be stopping by to read updates with good news.

  157. If the story is to be believed, he’s been offered “attainable” performance bonuses that would boost his salary to $10 million with stated intent not to start pitching him until June 1. So what’s that, $10 million for 120 innings? And you don’t believe it’s at least partially about the money? Sorry, you’re fooling yourself.

  158. I understand the uncertainty with Smoltz’s health but this should have been one of the easiest of the off season moves to make happen. Maybe they over estimated their position again and took Smoltz re-signing for granted. I just wonder how Wren is going to handle another PR nightmare. More silence and sitting on his hands I would bet.

  159. Can this offseason get any worse? Did we even offer Smoltz a contract? Who cares if he can’t pitch for half the year….damn….we’ll piss millions away on backup catchers who can’t hit, loogys who can’t loogy, & various scrap heap infielders….Arghhh!!!!!! We’re gonna suck this year, but at least we would’ve sucked with my favorite player on the team…

  160. I am stunned that we may seriously have lost Smoltz.

    Did Wren tell him, if you want to win go somewhere else?

    I don’t think we win with or without Smoltz. That’s why I would guarantee the $10M to keep him.

  161. I would’ve been happy to have Smoltz making $10 million to sit around for the year, & pitch 30 innings….it’s John Smoltz for crying out loud…This is going to be a long year.

    Atlanta Braves Lineup June 2009:
    1b-Kotchman
    2b-Johnson
    3b-Chipper
    ss-Escobar
    c-McCann
    rf-Jeffy
    cf-Andruw
    lf-Blanco

    sp-Campillo

    Ugh…..

  162. Stunned is not the word. He is absolutely worth 5.5 million guaranteed even with the injury questions. Right now I’d give him better odds to have a good, solid 2009 than Ben Sheets. This team has the potential to be so bad, Smoltzie, Chipper and McCann were shaping up to be the only players on the team worth the price of admission.

    I understand if he just wants another shot at a ring. But if he is bolting for Boston because A.) He wasn’t given any indication of a firm guaranteed deal from Atlanta; or B.) Because of some perceived lack of interest/respect from Wren, then I don’t see how Wren digs out of this hole. He’s a shithead forever if he bungled this. Mac, earlier I said I didn’t see any way Wren could possibly be fired in the space of 18 months. I was wrong.

    Would anyone here really be pissed if Wren gave Smoltz 8-10 million guaranteed? I think just in terms of PR and trying to get people to the stadium…you can’t lose John Smoltz. Irreplaceable player whose impact extends far beyond what he gives you on the mound.

  163. And you don’t believe it’s at least partially about the money? Sorry, you’re fooling yourself.

    Maybe you should read this again.

    A good line: After the 2001 season, Smoltz turned down a much more financially-lucrative offer from the Yankees to remain with the Braves.

    One of the reasons I’ve always loved Smoltz is that it has never been all about the money to him. If this team, (as it is currently comprised) had any kind of shot of winning, there is no way he would be leaving.

    And, the chance of 4 months of a career average John Smoltz is easily worth 5.5 MM. Especially if it includes the postseason. Which is something that it doesn’t now seem like we will be worrying about.

  164. Yes, Braves fan first… but Smoltz is probably my 2nd favorite Brave I’ve ever cheered for. At least I could have pulled for an improbable return from him in what projects to be a lousy 2009.

    I don’t blame the Sox, but man I can’t stand them even more now.

  165. And now Dix is going to expect me to throw up on myself… and I can’t even muster that. Sorry to delude you, Dix.

  166. I… am… stunned.

    Here’s a question for pondering: Assuming that Smoltz is actually leaving, what could Frank Wren do at this point to reverse your opinion of his offseason “moves”?

    I’d almost rather that he tell Bobby to tank the season and play the kids.

  167. It would be slightly against what he has done in the past, but is it possible Smoltz is using the Red Sox to force the Braves hand a little? If he really wants to stay and they weren’t giving him enough love he could be trying to get Wren to get off his a** and offer something so he can get on with his rehab. Is it possible amother team is being used as a pawn this time? Probably just wishful thinking…..

  168. I may take more shots than Kobe Bryant if these reports are correct. Very depressing.

    I can’t really blame Smoltzie though. He’s basically got one more realistic chance to try and get a ring and let’s face facts, it’s not going to happen within the next two or three years with the Braves, even if everything falls right. He has an opportunity for a Ray Bourque type situation where I think even Braves fans would be happy if Smoltzie gets another ring and playing in Boston and interacting with the media can’t possibly hurt his future broadcasting career either.

    With that being said, I hope he wakes up tomorrow and changes his mind.

  169. I guess we’ll find out more soon, but were the Braves allowed to counter? What’s going on?!

  170. I’m watching an MLB Network show on the 1995 season—gotta watch that.

    Plenty of Braves highlights & talk on there, including an interview with Smoltz about the superdominant rotation. Of course, as he spoke, the scroll on the bottom of the picture was announcing the Red Sox deal.

    jjbag,
    Let’s not forget that Smoltz already has a ring. I’ll not be rooting for the Red Sox, and I damn-sure wasn’t rooting for Colorado in that NHL Final—I’m a Devils fan.

  171. I have tried to take a “wait and see” approach to Wren. If it’s true that he’s letting Smoltz go to the Red Sox I’m officially in the fire Frank Wren camp. He is an absolute disaster.

  172. ububba, I know you are a huge Devils fan, it’s not an exact duplicate of the Bourque situation. I was saying it’s similar in the fact that they both have spent their entire pro careers spanning 20+ with the same team, their old team falling on hard times, so they get one last shot at a ring. I know there won’t be any parades in Atlanta if the Sox win. I mean, if the Braves aren’t going to win it, I honestly would be happy to see Smoltzie get another one. He deserves it. As pointed out many times he’s turned down more money multiple times before. He has a chance to set himself up for sure fire HOF status, a leg up on his broadcasting career, and get another ring, while still making more money than the Braves probably would have given him. You really can’t blame him in my opinion.

  173. Wow. I leave the internet for a few hours, and you guys let this happen? I don’t really know how to respond. Easily my favorite baseball player ever. I agree with ububba on this, though: I won’t be pulling for the Red Sox or Smoltz.

    Now, as for another ububba POV…

    Close counts in horseshoes, hand grenades & atom bombs, but not in SEC football games.

    The reason we have NFL defections is because we get NFL-calibre talent & often replace it with NFL-calibre talent. (Joe Cox ain’t that, but Caleb King & Aaron Murray could be.)

    I mean, Vandy played us close in Herschel’s last year & the next two years after that. But those 3 games added up to 0-2-1. Look, you had a nice season. But until you beat schools like Georgia with some regularity, you’re not going to keep us up nights.

    Congratulations.

    You might want to go back and read what I was saying, because that’s not what you appear to be reading. I don’t expect UGA fans to be intimidated by Vanderbilt’s football team, and I wasn’t suggesting that you should be. I was only saying that, ever since 2006, UGA football hasn’t been keeping Vanderbilt’s fans up nights, either.

    I am glad that Stafford and Moreno are gone because, whether you like it or not, that gives Vanderbilt an even better chance to win than it’s had in the past 3 years when we’ve had a good chance each time we’ve played.

    I must say that it’s quite bizarre to be seeing such defensive, uncalled-for comments from a generally knowledgeable UGA fan, though. Guess it’s been a rough day for you.

  174. You can blame Smoltz some, but the overwhelming majority of my ire is towards the front office. They can’t put together a decent enough team so that a HOF pitcher that has spent his entire major league career with them doesn’t want to finish there. They can’t put together a decent enough team that a Cy Young winner that keeps a home in Alabama and grew up a Braves fan doesn’t even want to come here.

  175. Frank Wren, you and your Atlanta Braves…you are dead to me. This organization is officially dead and gone. We are now on par with teams like the Pirates and Royals.

    Safe to say I will have a lot of free time this coming spring. And I think just might ship all of my Braves gear back to the office of Mr. Frank Wren in the coming days.

    Rot in hell Wren…

    P.S. Now they should trade Chipper.

  176. Mac, first and foremost, we all wish you the best and a quick and speedy recovery. My thoughts will be with you, and I look forward to when you’re able to return to action full-time.

    On a baseball-related note, I wonder if Smoltz leaving is the action that finally springs Wren to life. There was a suggestion in a Buster Olney blog a few days back that I know a lot of people wouldn’t agree with, but I think it should be visited. Basically, it stated that since the Braves were so close to a deal for Peavy a few months back, and since Orlando Cabrera is still available, sign him, and do what’s necessary (Trading Escobar) to get Peavy, before the new ownership takes over and he’s locked in there for the foreseeable future.

    With the number of blunders this offseason, both of his own doing and completely out of his hands, it’s been an embarrassing time to be a Braves fan. It’s time to stop being the bridesmaid with all of these free agents and trade targets, and make a deal to make this team competitive.

  177. I’m going to go ahead and put this out there: I’m considering dropping the Braves and becoming a hard-core Yankees fan. They keep and acquire all the players they want to, and their fans are able to hate the Mets and Red Sox with equal vigor.

    What’s not to like?

  178. You know, after low balling all the mainstays like Chipper and Smoltz and the restructuring of contracts, I can’t blame them for leaving. They haven’t even attempted to put together a team this offseason. Why would Smoltz stick around? This corporate front office doesn’t have a clue!

    I’m dead serious about sending my shit back. I would encourage you all to do the same. What other voice do we have?

  179. Here’s to hoping Tommy Hanson is included in the Swisher deal so that I’ll still be able to root for him.

  180. Yeah, Frank and this ball team aren’t worth the gas or cost of airfare but there might be a little nugget of goodness included with those hats and shirts.

  181. Looking forward to seeing what the Braves end up paying Will Ohman.

    DOB was right about this being a big week.

  182. Say it ain’t so John, say it ain’t so!

    I wouldn’t be disappointed if he had decided to go home to Michigan, but the Red Sox just seems like a really cheap move at one last shot at glory. What’s it really going to mean to John? He’ll have to be in top form to even make a postseason start for the BoSox, and if he’s lucky enough to make one it will hardly be noticed. I wouldn’t have been miffed if he had waited another month to see how things shaped up, and I know there would’ve been an offer waiting.

    You still can’t blame Wren entirely, the comedy of errors that has been this offseason has been all but unavoidable. The Hudson injury opened a huge whole at the top of the rotation, which really set the whole series of events up. Just about everyone on this site chided him for even considering a Yunel-Peavy deal, not to mention the Padres expanding demands, and ultimately we don’t know if Peavy would’ve even waived his no-trade clause. Vazquez looks to be a great pickup given the other problems, Burnett wanted to stay close to home and his wife. Raffy wanted to stay at SS, and Smoltz, if he leaves, will leave because he wants another shot at the postseason… I guarantee you it isn’t anything about money, or he would’ve been holding out longer.

    I hope I wake up tomorrow, and this last few months has just been a bad dream, but if it is true I think we need to start looking into the rules to see if we can’t figure a way to just sit 2009 out, and get rested for 2010.

  183. We don’t lose John Smoltz this way Frank. You don’t treat John Smoltz like that. I know John is a health risk, but you are willing spend $80M on Burnett, $30M on Furcal but not a few million gaurantee dollar on John. That’s f**king pathetic.

    You can still redeem yourself. Match whatever Red Sox is throwing at John.

    I have never been this mad before. Frank, go ahead and trade Chipper as well.

  184. Thanks Stu, gotta add that…and he is willing to pay millions to keep Ohman…f**king pathetic.

  185. OK, so I just felt like someone pissed in my cornflakes after reading the Smoltz headline — I guess Brett Favre isn’t the only beloved athlete who wants to extend his career on a “contender”. WTF.

    Seriously, though — people here need to get realistic about “building a contender” for 2009. If you believe for a second that Wren (or Schuerholz, or Branch Rickey, or Ghandi, I really don’t care who’s in the front office) was going to:

    1. Find an ace to compete with Hamels (PHI)/Santana (NY)
    2. Expect Frenchy to turn into an all-star by some kind of fairy magic (I’m SOOOO tired of people thinking that he can regain his shitty “Oh, but he was really good!” 2006-2007 seasonal form)
    3. Find league-average to above-average LF and CF positions
    4. Expect the Kotch-rocket to be league-average at first base
    5. Expect another season out of Chipper like he had last season, for at least 120 games
    6. Oh wait, expect Campillo and Jurrjens to repeat their performances of last year (anyone ever thought they might go through sophomore slumps? it DOES happen)
    7. Expect Kelly Johnson to continue his development as the streakiest hitter in all of baseball
    8. Expect Soriano, Gonzalez, and Moylan to stay healthy and pitch well all season
    9. Do this all with the supposed $40 mil in monopoly money we have, all the while dealing with superior bidders like the Yankees, Mets, and Red Sox

    which would allow us to contend for 2009, YOU’RE DELUSIONAL. We had a better chance of Glavine and Smoltz pitching well and staying healthy last year than having all those things go right this year.

    You don’t need to be a sabremetrics guy to understand that this team, as it stands now, with Bobby Cox at the helm (which will cost us at least 2-4 wins with his in-game management, guaranteed), is no better than a 70-75 win team, which won’t cut it with the Phillies and Mets in the NL East.

    Man, I love reading this blog and posting to it every once in awhile, but you gotta realize that we haven’t seen the playoffs in 3 years, and until Philly and NY tail off and our kids from the farm pan out, we aren’t going to sniff the playoffs any time soon. But if it makes you feel better to pin all this on Wren, go ahead. Sheesh.

  186. Stu, I can abide a lot of things, but smack-talking fans of a football team we’ve defeated 40/45 times—or 2/3, if you prefer—isn’t one of them.

    We’ve lost better players than Knowshon Moreno and Matthew Stafford in the past & the progam was still standing after they left. As long as Ray Goff doesn’t re-enter the picture, I expect it still will be.

    BTW, there’s no genuine joy in being a Yankee fan. Better to root for the ‘Dores.

  187. @273: I really hope you’re kidding. If you’d even consider doing that I would rather not have you rooting for my team anyways. (By the way the Yankees don’t hate the Mets, they don’t even really acknowledge them as anything worthy of hatred.)

    Nothing in life is without its downside, and the Braves long running debt to the God of Division Titles has finally been called in. Let’s face it, the front office has been trying to deny it, or perhaps just trying to cover it up with a little rouge, but we are in a rebuilding period. We’ve done this before, and we’ll do it again.

    In a few years we’ll look back and laugh at how cynical we are being. Out with the old and in with the new. The Braves didn’t turn around in ’91 until they got rid of Dale Murphy.

    I’ll say it now, for the first time, Atlanta Braves 2011 World Champions! (That is, of course, assuming the team hasn’t been moved to Salt Lake City by then…)

  188. I am with kc totally. Still time. Match and even exceed the Sox deal in the morning. If he is resigned to leaving, call Chipper Jones and say

    We know you want out and we don’t blame you. Tell us where you’d be willing to go.

  189. ububba,
    Still not reading for comprehension. Where’s the smack-talk? I wasn’t the one chuckling.

    Gadfly,
    Of course I’m kidding. Shouldn’t you be singing Jeff Francoeur’s praises or something?

  190. Alright, going to bed before I get even grumpier. Maybe I’ll wake up to find that Smoltz is a Brave or Wren isn’t.

  191. @289: While I agree with HawkeyeFan that no one could’ve avoided the problems we now find ourselves in, I’m going to have to point out that he is either speaking from a knee-jerk emotional state, or he obviously knows nothing about baseball.

    I know, that is harsh, but anyone who seriously believes Bobby Cox isn’t at least a league average manager at this stage in his career is clearly insane. I’ll agree that he has struggled managing the bullpen since Mazzone left, and in his advancing age he isn’t quite what he used to be… but any suggestion that he will cost us wins (anymore than any manager occasionally costs a team wins) is preposterous.

  192. @291,

    Impossible, that’s only one year max for a new GM and front office to rebuild the team.

  193. Wren is certainly NOT going to trade Chipper Jones after letting Smoltz leave. Get real. That would be a PR nightmare.

    I still don’t get why Wren apparently does not believe Smoltz is worth six million of that 25-35 million the Braves have but Wren isn’t even spending.

  194. @294: Glad to hear it Stu… I’m sorry if I jumped to conclusions, but I’ve read so much crap that is hard to believe recently that I’m starting to take just about anything at face value.

    Now just so as not to disappoint, I’ll make my second bold prediction:

    Your 2011 NL MVP: Jeff Francoeur!!!

    (Hey, we can always dream…)

  195. HawkeyeFan, if Wren realizes the team is not going to contend in 2009, there is even more of a reason to keep Smoltzie at whatever costs.

    Wren is actually the one who is “DELUSIONAL” as you said.

  196. Umm, Gadfly, I appreciate you trying to be gentle about my “knee-jerk” reaction (which it slightly was), but check out Parish’s post (#214) in the previous thread. THT (I think) just did a study on the number of unnecessary IBB’s given out by managers, and Cox topped the list.

    If you’ve objectively watched a lot of Braves games the last three seasons, you’ll notice that what Parish mentions happens all-too frequently. I’m not saying we could bring in Joe Blow to manage and the team would do better, but if Mike Shanahan can get fired from Denver after 14 quality seasons, why can’t Bobby?

  197. @298: I don’t know if it will be Frank Wren as the titular head of the Front Office still, as I’m wondering if he’s going to have to be the patsy on this one… but it will still be, as it is now, the John Schuerholz-Bobby Cox legacy Front Office.

    With Hansen, Heyward, Freeman, and other strong pieces in waiting, and a young core already in place, I really don’t think it is out of the question.

    I may be a little too optimistic here, but no one on Earth took me seriously when I said the Rays would contend last year (okay contend may be a stretch, but I did predict they’d finish above .500), the Marlins have done it twice, and the Braves did it themselves once.

  198. @289

    Maybe it isn’t fair, but building a contending team is Wren’s responsibility. If he isn’t able to do it, we need to find someone who can. What you bring up are excuses. Clubs like Minnesota are able to compete on a yearly basis with far more limiting restrictions.

    So yeah, I do pin this on Wren. Maybe the Braves resources are more finite than other clubs, but that is what he signed up for; however, as of now, you are absolutely right. This does look like a 70-75 win club. He needs to do better.

  199. Wren’s agenda this offseason:

    – Pretend to spend the so-called $40M
    – Let Smoltzie walks away
    – Force Glavine to retire
    – Make Chipper unhappy and demand a trade
    – Force Bobby to retire by kicking away all his favorite players
    – Fire JS.

  200. @304

    I agree that we have some nice young pieces and should be decently positioned to start competing soon. However, there are perpetually young teams that mature and compete like the Rays and Marlins, and then there are perpetually young teams like the Pirates.

    And if I could describe Wren’s offseason thus far with only one adjective, it would definitely be ‘swashbuckling’.

  201. Most of what I see that is positive about the Braves now has nothing to do with Frank Wren and instead should be credited to Roy Clark. His farm system has been the ace-in-the-hole since Time Warner tightened the purse strings. It is the only thing that gives me hope for the future of this club.

    I still think Wren deserves the benefit of the doubt until the season plays out. That being said, it’s currently not looking good.

  202. Ethan,

    I completely agree with you that Wren needs to do better. It’s just that there’s a difference between a team that is on the cusp of being good that won ~70 games the year before (like the Rays last year), and one that won ~70 games the year before and has some gaping holes to be filled, which would be us.

    All I’m saying is that it would take the perfect storm for us to contend this year, and I don’t think Frank Wren has that magic fairy dust in his back pocket. And he certainly hasn’t helped make what’s been a shitty offseason (minus the Vasquez trade) any more enjoyable.

  203. @303: As a Broncos fan, now you’re in my wheelhouse. Shanahan was fired because he had failed on personnel decisions. If Bowlen could’ve kept him in place and taken away those duties I’m pretty sure he would have, but that just wouldn’t have sat well with anyone, so change was necessary (in his opinion.)

    The other obvious difference is age, Bobby is on his way out, there’s no reason to send him packing. I’m all but certain this will be his last season. Shanahan could be coaching for another 10-20 years easy…

    As my name may suggest I don’t always accept the consensus opinion, and I’m definitely wary of stats, especially oddball ones like unnecessary IBBs. I’ll admit that Bobby has made some questionable decisions over the last few years, and I’ve yelled at my screen plenty, but every manager does that… More importantly for every win that Bobby may cost us by making the wrong move he wins us one with his handling of players… Something they’ll never be able to quantify.

    I will agree with Parish’s point, however, that his inability to commit long-term hasn’t helped us recruit players.

  204. Gadfly, who’s “inability to commit long-term”?

    Wren committed FIVE years to Burnett, THREE years to Furcal, and willing to trade for Peavy’s contract…but not willing to spend one on John.

  205. @309: I certainly understand that for every Marlins there is a Pirates… and for every Rays a Royals… but the Braves have shown the ability to retool with youngsters before. Obviously ’91, but Think of the Chipper-Klesko-Javy wave, and the Furcal-Giles-Andruw wave, and more recently of course the McCann-LaRoche-Francoeur wave… Now sadly we’ve stumbled, and we’ve got more room to makeup this time, but I have no doubt it can be done, and the farm system (not signing guys like Burrell, or trading for guys like Swisher) is what will get this done.

    Here’s to the Yunel-Jurrjens-Hansen-Freeman-Heyward wave!!

  206. @313: Sorry I wasn’t clearer, I was jumping back to a reference made to a comment in the last thread, and wasn’t talking about Wren. The “inability to commit” was about Bobby Cox who has been playing coy on his retirement plans, not that I can blame a man of his age.

    Now: Let’s remember here, it wasn’t that Frank wasn’t willing to spend money and a year on John, nor was it money that screwed up the Burnett, or Furcal deals. This, sadly, isn’t an even playing field, and we’ve lost out on all three of these guys because of non-financial incentives. John isn’t leaving for the money.

  207. Gadfly,

    I’m very sorry you’re a Broncos fan. I was born and bred in CO and had to be there for all four Broncos SB seasons. Anyway, what’s funny is I just talked to three people from CO and told them Smoltz to me is basically like Elway finishing his career with the Cowboys.

  208. But Gadfly, money has to be a factor. Wren is not even willing to match Red Sox’s offer. If Wren comes out tomorrow and said he matches Red Sox’s offer and John decides to leave, then I will be in peace.

  209. jj3bagger: Thanks for the sympathy. At least we finally had a couple good Super Bowls to make up for it, and I’d agree with your analogy completely. As much as I’ve enjoyed every second of watching Shanahan’s “plug-in-any-RB-and-dominate” offense over most of the last two decades his “go-against-any-QB-and-lay-down” defense has been excruciating… I’m sure it has taken at least 2 years off my life.

    kc: In an ideal world I’d agree with you, but I’m pretty certain that discussions have been made behind the scenes, and the Front Office will take this one for John. If the Braves matched the deal, and I haven’t read anything that suggests we wouldn’t in the long run, and John turns them down he’d risk his entire reputation (see Glavine.)

  210. Hawkeye,

    I agree that there were some inherent challenges against contending this year. However, I thought that the stated objective of two pitchers and a power hitting OF was a good start. Who knows, Wren still might pull it off.

    This biggest issue here, IMO, is not that the Braves can’t compete this year. The issue is that by leaving, John Smoltz is saying that he doesn’t believe that the Braves will contend this year. Wren has said repeatedly that the team will competitive in 2009. If the sole remaining member of the division streak doesn’t have faith in that, why should we?

    This all falls on Wren’s shoulders.

    Gadfly. I’m a Chiefs fan in KC. I don’t feel bad for you at all. We haven’t won a playoff game since 1993 when Joe Montana was QB and Marcus Allen was RB. Longest streak in the NFL now thanks to Arizona last weekend.

  211. OMG – this is absolutely horrifying. I have been a big supporter of Wren’s thus far (not of what he’s done mind you – just thinking we should wait until the season to judge). BUT NEVERMORE. Wren is forever dead to me. I don’t care if he becomes the greatest GM ever – I will never forgive him for letting Smoltz go. Unbelievable! I am willing to bet good money that Smoltz would have stayed with the Braves for much less if they would have just offered him a damn contract. None of this wait and see BS. My favorite player is now gone. What do I have to look forward to now? I am utterly pissed off.

  212. Honestly Gadfly, if John decides to leave for a winning team, I will support him entirely because he has earned that right. Glavine left the winning Braves to join the losing Mets for the money.

  213. @322: I agree, but I wouldn’t bet that we’re in the majority on that one… just a hunch though, maybe I’m wrong.

    @321: Honestly, I’m starting to come around to realize this whole offseason has been a managed charade (and not the first one the Braves have pulled off: see the Lofton trade, see the Klesko trade.) Everything has been done to make the Braves appear to be seeking improvements, while ultimately dumping payroll (or in this case avoiding adding it) to work on a longer-ranged plan. (This also explains why JS stepped aside when he did, so as not to have his legacy tainted.)

    It might actually be a smart business move, but it is a tough sell for any full-blooded Braves fan. Here’s hoping they have a good plan in place!

  214. Frank Wren is a complete fucking idiot! What the fuck is he doing? Perhaps he should pull his fucking thumb out of his ass and actually like, I don’t know, DO SOMETHING! That’s generally a requirement when you’re attempting to be a goddam Major League GM! This was pretty much the easiest move in all of history. Retain the freaking franchise icon. It’s not rocket science. I was starting to wonder when he managed to bollix up every possible acquisition thus far this offseason, but there was always some way in which it might not have been his fault. However, I think we now know that Frank Wren is functionally retarded. I would not expect any moves to be made the rest of the offseason either. I’m not sure Wren is capable of doing so. DOB is absolutely right. Frank Wren owes everybody an explanation for this complete debacle, but we’re not gonna get one. This is a complete disaster, and if I were Chipper, I would demand a trade.

  215. Gadfly…from what I have been reading up to now…it’s Wren’s unwillingness to guarantee any money to John which leads to this. This make no sense unless Wren thinks the team can contend this year…or the situation you described earlier…the front office taking the blame for John, but I honestly don’t think so…

    …and if Wren believes the Braves will not contend in 2009, he wouldn’t have traded Flowers for Vazquez.

  216. And by the way, this is why it’s a bad idea to not be willing to go overvalue on free agents. Once again, you will never sign anyone if you operate like this.

  217. @325: I could see the Vazquez move fit into the scenario I just outlined. 1st, Flowers was blocked at C, and his value is quite possibly higher now than it would be in a year or two if we tried to convert him to 1B (especially if those efforts stunted his development, or failed completely.) Also remember Vazquez is only 32, so he could still be around to pick up a 2011 World Series ring.

    Also, without the Vazquez deal there would be a price out on his head tomorrow. They at least have to act like they’re trying… ;-)

    Of course the final act of this scenario involves Frank Wren falling on his sword and some brash young executive riding up on a white horse to save us… so stay tuned Wren-haters!

    Now I’m off to drink… the Braves have driven me to it… but any true love will do that… eventually…

  218. Alright, I lied, one more post:

    Let’s remember who the real villains are in all of this: Liberty Media.

    They bought this team as an investment, and they’re treating it as one. They’ll gladly take a hundred-loss season this year if it saves them $20-30 million… but they will eventually need the team back on its feet, so they can get a good sale price.

    If you’re going to curse anyone, let’s start with ownership.

  219. Where is all this talk about Chipper “demanding a trade” coming from? complete fiction, calm yourselves. If you wanna jump off and start following another team, that’s all well and good, but this is all getting a little melodramatic for my taste. Everyone just chill out.

  220. I’m a little behind.

    @289 HawkeyeFan, brilliant post.

    Bravo.

    No way this team contends in 2009, so we pay Smoltz whatever it takes to keep him in our clubhouse. Period.

  221. well, fortunately, Boston is my number two. And honestly, if the Braves weren’t gonna offer him a contract similar to what Boston offered, I don’t blame him for leaving. It’s been well established that this offseason has been a disaster, and anyone who blames a guy for going to another team that not only gave him a better offer, but has a chance to win is foolish indeed.

    HawkeyeFan, Brett Favre didn’t leave Green Bay to go to a “contender”; if you remember correctly, Green Bay was in the NFC championship game last year, and lost in overtime to the Giants. That was a case of someone who felt like he had worn out his welcome, and wanted to play on a team that wasn’t rebuilding and wanted him there. Especially since John was a free agent, seriously, what’s wrong with that?

    I feel like this board has this false sense of how things really are in the economics of baseball. These players don’t have “battered wife syndrome”… If you continue to low-ball them, all the loyalty in the world will mean nothing. Eventually, you’re gonna do it one time too many, and they’ll leave. And that’s what happened here. You should all be thankful that it didn’t happen a few years ago, and that John isn’t wearing pinstripes.

    And @335 – The Dodgers weren’t “allowed” to counter. Raffy’s agents bent and almost broke the rules to make that happen. In that case, the Dodgers had at least been offering competitive contracts, which, to my understanding, the Braves have not. So even IF it weren’t completely against the ethics of the handshake agreement, why would an agent give a team who hasn’t given them good offers an opportunity to match the Red Sox deal? The Braves dropped the ball with Smoltzie, plain and simple

  222. “The Braves dropped the ball with Smoltzie, plain and simple.”

    All the anger is angled toward Wren.

  223. kc, i certainly hope not. I just read one of the comments way up on the page that was stating that it would’ve been “okay” for Smoltzie to sign with Detroit cause it’s his hometown, but it’s “not okay” to sign with Boston. sorry for overgeneralizing, but the uproar in this thread calling for the heads of anyone and everyone is a little over the top lol

    I’ve been pretty lenient with Wren, esp. thru the Furcal debacle, since it really wasn’t his fault. Burnett not signing wasn’t really a surprise and the Peavy deal not going thru was actually refreshing, since the price just kept going up.

    But unfortunately, it’s looking more and more like Wren isn’t the type of GM who can pull the trigger on a deal, whether on a trade or a Free Agent. Being gun-shy is definitely not gonna help this team compete in the foreseeable future.

  224. korobeiniki, I don’t think calling for the head of Wren is unreasonable. The guy is completely dreaming. Even if he is not dreaming, his decision makings defy any kind of logic.

  225. Smoltz was the first pitcher I ever saw and truely appreciated. My first game at Turner Field was Smoltz vs Pedro Martinez. I think John threw 17 strike outs, we still lost, but damn that was exciting.

  226. That was the second game John returned as a starting pitcher…homer by Beltran on a curveball by John…it was a 2-1 game if I remember right.

  227. I have not been so pissed since the Braves lost Niekro….We don’t know all of the facts yet–but we do know that Wren and JS (who I think is at leat partially responsible) had enough money to overpay DAVID ROSS….

  228. Stephen, Wren is showing no respect toward Smoltzie. It seems like he wants to go out and establishs his own legacy by kicking out all the old guards.

  229. If that is true–and it may well be, then he is a total idiot.

    We need a FIRE FRANK WRENN website….

  230. Mac,

    I hadn’t logged onto Bravesjournal in several weeks but I hadn’t realized you had posted about your Cancer here since we’d been talking about it offline for a while. I updated Bob and Cary on things as well this week and of course like with me and my dad, we’re all hopeful you’ll have a long life ahead of you.

    On a lighter note, the Smoltz news is pretty much a capper on the 2008-2009 offseason. There is no reason for this and no reason we can’t give him around $5 mill. to retire as a Brave AND do it effectively.

    This has been the worst offseason for me ever as a Braves fan. Starting with my good friend and our fearless Braves leader Mac’s tough news, the passing this past year of Skip Caray and Pete Van Wieren exiting, then you have all the PR disasters of all the stars we didn’t get this offseason (as the F.A. pool keeps drying up) and the Smoltz news this morning is the topper.

    Frank Wren, you should be fired. You should be walked off a plank and out of the Braves organization for good. I’m sorry, we can debate how healthy Smoltz would be this year, but he’s obviously healthy enough for the Sox, we should have kept him in his likely last year and he should be retiring a Brave.

    Major League Baseball has a problem larger than just my heartache as a Braves fan. The haves and have nots continue this insane financial disparity, despite the absolute decimation of the world and U.S. economy, and yet the Yankees, Red Sox and Scott Boras clients continue to operate in a “business as usual” manner.

    The NFL will forever be better and more popular than Major League Baseball because the Packers can compete evenly with the Giants every year in terms of talent. The Tampa Bay Rays are an anomoly and the teams like Boston and the Yankees will cotninue to drive people out of the sport.

    But I digress…reading the Smoltz news this morning knocked me out of my desk chair. Smoltz could have stayed for $5 million. There is no excuse whatsoever that he will not be retiring as a Brave. Frank Wren needs to go. I’m done.

  231. I may just have to think about the Gwinnett Braves for a while… cept then I’ll get ticked about all my tax dollars paying for the stadium. This morning has taken all the fun out of enjoyment I got last night watching the 95 season on MLB Network.

  232. Yes, it bothers me that my all-time favorite pitcher is leaving my favorite team.

    But it truly ticks me off that he is leaving without providing anything in return to seed the next generation of Braves. If there was any chance whatsoever that Smoltz wouldn’t be resigned, he should have been traded for an excellent prospect or two to add to the next wave of Braves.

    Hell, it would be worth paying Smoltz $6 mil+ this year to trade at the deadline for one of the top Red Sox (or whomever’s) prospects.

    It just doesn’t seem wise to me to get nothing.

  233. Mac,
    I don’t know if you’ll read all the way to comment 358, but as someone who’s read Braves Journal going back to the 90s, I hate to hear of any bad news for you. Glad to hear it’s treatable, and I wish you the best in your recovery.
    Colin

  234. Mac,

    I’m not a commenter here but I’m a frequent visitor who looks for your reaction on Braves news before any other site. My first comment on Bravesjournal is for the purpose of wishing you the best in your recovery and to let you know that you will be in my prayers. God bless.

    David

  235. Mac,

    I mostly lurk on this site but I felt compelled to let you know that I really appreciate your efforts on this site and you will be in my prayers during your trying time.

    Best of luck!

    Craig

  236. Hey man long time reader here wishing you all the absolute best from one cancer survivor to a future one.

    Get well soon.

  237. Also another long time reader, first time commenter, but just wanted to send well wishes to you. You’ll be in my prayers – good luck!

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