I’ve never really been a fan of the Atlanta Braves front office. It all started with John Schuerholz’s book which was nothing but an ego-feeding, self-promotional response to Moneyball which glorified Billy Beane. Then you had Frank Wren say he saw Andruw Jones’ decline coming, only a year after Jones belted over 40 homers for the second straight year. But that’s the same team that offered Jones big money, just not as much as the Dodgers did, so you know their back-slapping was out of luck, not brains. Then I was pissed they low-balled John Smoltz to the point he had to go to Boston and instead went out and threw all kinds of money at Kenshin Kawakami. Their latest blunder was to release Tom Glavine who had just thrown back-to-back shutouts in his rehab from shoulder and elbow surgery. That pissed Glavine off something awful and even Schuerholz apologized for Atlanta’s actions:
“I want to offer an apology to Tommy,” Schuerholz said. “We made our decision, but the environment and the tone and the manner at the end of it didn’t feel comfortable to me. I tossed and turned pretty much all night long really, after we finished our meeting with Tommy, thinking about here’s this guy who has meant so much to our franchise, to the game of baseball, Hall of Famer, represented our city in grand fashion, and the meeting ended in a way that didn’t make me feel good. I felt like I owed Tommy an apology on behalf of our organization and from me.”
This is the second time Schuerholz has slapped Glavine in the face; the first time prompted Glavine to leave Atlanta to sign with the intra-divisional rival Mets. So while I have no doubts that the Braves and Schuerholz didn’t take some glee in sticking it to Glavine yet again, I have to say that I believe the move was more about embracing the future than saving money, as Glavine claims. True, Glavine would have made a few million being on the roster for 30 days, but the team is much better off adding Tommy Hanson to the rotation from Triple-A. Hanson had a 1.49 ERA in the minors, 90 strikeouts in just over 66 innings and he’s one of the top pitching prospects in the game. I’m not saying he’s ever going to win a Cy Young Award the way Glavine has or that he’ll ever come close to touching Glavine’s 305 career wins, but I do know that Hanson will do much more for the Braves than Glavine will over the next five seasons. I side with the Braves on this one — the move is much more about Hanson than it is Glavine. He needs to get over it and move on to a new team or retire.