Don’t Cry for me, John Schuerholz

John SchuerholzExcuse me for a minute while I opine. I don’t like the Braves and similarly, I don’t much care for John Schuerholz. His ego got in the way a year or so ago after Billy Beane got all the attention from the best-seller, Moneyball, when he felt the need to write a book about all his successes. In the book, he made it very clear that he was hamstrung by a tighter budget, and that the Braves, not unlike the A’s, were a small-market team.

Well, if that’s the case Mr. Schuerholz, then how can you afford to bring Mark Teixeira aboard? The guy is making $9 million this year, and set to make a few more in his final season of arbitration this winter. Moreover, how can you also be in talks with Kansas City about bringing Octavio Dotel in, who with his bonuses, is set to make around $7 million this year? How can you talk out of both sides of your mouth, crying poverty from one, and bringing in high-priced players at the deadline out of the other?

The Teixeira deal was bad enough. Now, if you pull off another one for Dotel, then we’ll certainly know all those rumors of cheapness were a sham. Sure, your resume is impressive, just don’t go crying poverty to me and we can all be friends. OK?

– CB

Schuerholz Implies Andruw Is Gone

On the cusp of free agency to be followed by millions upon millions of dollars, Andruw Jones is struggling through a crappy season. No matter, Braves GM John Schuerholz is already preparing for life without Andruw. Asked if he could imagine the Braves without Jones robbing hitters in center field, Schuerholz offered the following on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball to Jon Miller and Joe Morgan:

Well we have to Joe, the reality is in our business today, his contract is up. We’d like nothing more than to have him remain here and be a big part of our ballclub as he’s been for the previous 10 years. But the reality is, there’s a lot of money out there for star-caliber players like Andruw and someone may be willing and able to pay him more money than we can. Our job, my job as a general manager, and our job as an organization is to put the best 25 guys together, not to necessarily pay what has to be paid to star-caliber talent. We can’t put a team on the field – we’re an $80+ million payroll team. We can’t do that if we’re obligated to pay star-caliber players what the marketplace bears. We can’t match that. What we have to do, is put the best 25 guys together and try to compete like that. That’s always our goal.

Much like the frequent references in his book, Schuerholz wants everyone to know that he’s running a low-budget, low-payroll club. OK John, I get the picture, you have an $80 million budget — spending $18 mil/year on Andruw probably isn’t the best way to go. So unless U is willing to give Atlanta a hometown discount — the way Hudson and Smoltz did — he ain’t staying with the Braves. I’m guessing the center fielder gets dealt prior to the deadline.