Saturday, March 11, 2006

Built To Win- Let's Steal His Thunder

It has been an amazing thing to watch the Atlanta Braves the past 14 years- amazingly frustrating, amazingly aggrevating and amazingly boring, as their stranglehold on the division title looks like it could finally be over. John Schuerholz, one-half of the Braves amazing braintrust (along with manager Bobby Cox), has been at the helm longer than many teams have even existed. The third prong in their "trident," pitching coach Leo Mazzone, finally moved over to the Camden Mets (oops-Orioles) this off-season. The Braves have never been more ripe for the taking, and Mr. Schuerholz may have done us one big favor in publishing this book. Mr. Tom Glavine was one of those guys you hated as a Brave, because he was so cool, calm and collected, and he threw such junk that you would get sooo frustrated that we couldn't hit him worth a darn. It took 2 years before most of us finally warmed to Glavine, as Braves-hatred runs pretty deep among die-hard Mets fans. This year is Glavine's last contracted season, as he will be a free agent in the offseason who will probably need around 10 wins or so to hit 300. Most people assumed he'd try to return to the Braves after this season, as it would seem to be a fitting tribute to all of his great seasons in Atlanta. However, in this book, Schuerholz recounts the period of time when Glavine was just about to sign his contract with the Mets, and apparently (and admittedly by Glavine) he had some second and third thoughts about leaving what was his only baseball home as well as being the home his family came to know and love. Glavine is now upset that Schuerholz revealled, pretty extensively, the details of these second thoghts, to which he responded "My situation was private and should have remained private." Apparently Glavine had decided, after agreeing to a three year deal with the Mets, that he had made the wrong decision for his family and he and his wife met with Schuerholz in a long meeting a mere 2 days before he was to sign the official contract with the Mets. The Braves only offered Glavine a 2-year contract, as opposed to the Mets 3-year deal, at less money, and Glavine seemed okay with that. Schuerholz was to hear from Glavine on a Saturday, but failing that, called the hurler and learned that Glavine decided, after all, to sign with the rival Mets. While this makes for fascinating reading, it seems to us that Schuerholz either should have left this passage out of his book, postponed the books' release until the offseason, or informed Glavine personally about how the passage would read prior to releasing it, at least if he hoped to have any chance of resigning Glavine this offseason. This situation seemingly portends the following: Glavine will resign with the Mets this offseason, achieving 300 wins in the orange and blue; Glavine will be even MORE motivated to dominate his old mates this season; and finally, the betting is that Schuerholz will finally call it a career, at least full-time, after this season, as the perfect way to promote the book's release with a farewell tour of sorts. I would also bet that they had no intention of resigning Glavine anyway, which just makes it easier for us to resign him to a 1-year (or more) contract this offseason (or perhaps during the season?) First Mazzone leaves, then they fail to get a bullpen stopper, an finally they piss off Glavine- man, it's nice to see the fall of Rome happening in front of our eyes (Rome, Georgia, that is...)

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