Thursday, June 11, 2009

Chopping Wood With The Railsplitter

In the Godfather: Part 1, Michael and Sonny Corleone discuss the best retaliation for the assassination attempt of their father. Michael claims that he will kill two men who, in part, are responsible for the attempt. Sonny tells Michael that he is making this personal, and then Michael retorts this classic line, “It’s not personal, it’s just business.”

Last Wednesday, June 3rd, the Atlanta Braves released longtime ace, Tom Glavine. Glavine played 17 seasons for the Braves and compiled the following numbers:

- 244 wins
- 3.41 era
- 52 complete games
- 22 shutouts
- 5 seasons of 20+ wins

After rehabbing a shoulder injury, Glavine was set to return to the mound last Sunday (coincidentally, young Tommy Hanson got the start). Glavine had thrown a combined 11 scoreless innings in his last two minor league rehab appearances, including six scoreless innings for Class A Rome on the evening before his release. "Our evaluation was he would not be successful," Braves GM Frank Wren said of Glavine's major league outlook.

Glavine’s response was classic. "Based on my performance?" Glavine asked, repeating Wren's assessment. "Well, my bad, I just threw 11 scoreless innings. Was I supposed to throw a no-hitter and strike out 15? That's never been my style of pitching." Relationships are now strained to the point where Braves president John Schuerholz issued an apology for the way in which Glavine’s release was handled.

So does a longtime contributor to an organization earn the right to be treated differently, or should this be all about “business”? Should Schuerholz have issued that apology? What do you make of Wren’s statement? Each of us can find an example of this from our favorite team so what’s your take?


PG said...

You know, the emotional side of me would probably say that it was horseshit the way the Braves handled the Glavine situation. I always liked Glavine and he certainly was a premier 90's pitcher (and contributed immensely to the Braves success during that decade).

But I do recall Mr. Glavine leaving Fulton County for GREENER pastures (greener by way of his bank account, not the landscape) when he left for Flushing.

So in the spirit of Don Corleone's "it's just business" mantra, I say the Braves were well within their right to let him go. Hey, they have a younger horse who they want to bring up, get experience, and perhaps be a cog in their rotation for years to come. Glavine is older, coming off injury, and his health is unpredictable. And I believe he had an incentive laden contract that could have cost the Braves $ if he threw a certain amount of innings.

It's not personal, it's business (on both ends). What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

T-Dub said...

I say they could've handled it better, but I just don't feel that bad for the guy quite honestly. It would be a similar deal if a Maddux went away to said greener pastures, came back prodigal son-style, then was cut before a $1MM incentive hit instead of the amicable separation that did occur(in a sense, as much as I love Mad dog, I don't feel near as bad as if he was never disloyal or never chased money out of town) ...

Sure the 11 innings makes it sting, but that's not the point so much. I think the Brave's fan-base can be disappointed in corporate baseball, but its hard to argue he deserves money today just because of his history - if they have a good option and can bypass 1MM, aren't they trying to make money? Forget about it ... business is business from the franchise/mgmt perspective.

Cornholers said...

One could say that Glavine should still be thanking the Braves for being the organization that brought him up, molded him, made him successful and then made him rich beyond his dreams.

Then again, if things didn't end badly they wouldn't end at all, right?

PG said...

WOW, a little wisdom from 3K. A little heavy for a Thursday, if you ask me.

Hey 3K, you warming up your elbow for some dice throwing?

Cornholers said...

Even went and had the traditional manicure. Can't be touching dice with ugly nail beds.....can't wait to throw a quarter on the 5-4 hoppin'!!!!!!