Thursday, June 04, 2009

The Tomahawk Chop

It is a melancholy day to be an Atlanta Braves fan. The team made a good quality baseball move yesterday in acquiring Nate McLouth an All Star center fielder from the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Braves gave up 3 top prospects right-handed pitcher Charlie Morton, left-handed pitcher Jeff Locke and outfielder Gorkys Hernandez. More so in baseball then most other sports prospects are traded for established players so a good deep farm systems can go a long way towards improving your club without those young players ever playing for your team. It is said that the braves have a stockpile of pitching prospects in the minors and we all know that the Braves like their pitchers and that is the backbone of the organization. The Braves were in dyer need of some outfield help as Jeff Francoeur has been struggling, an aging Garrett Anderson is a tad inconsistent at this stage and young Jordan Schafer who is batting .204 and Gregor Blanco or Matt Diaz just weren’t the answer on an everyday basis. McLouth was solid last year and is only 27 and should help out both with his glove and is bat (especially if he has Chipper Jones protecting him in the lineup). He has solid starts this year batting only .256 but with good run production with 9 home runs and 34 RBI.

The worst part of this deal by far was what they had to do to seemingly make it work cost wise and what thy had to give up, and that was not the 3 prospects. In a move that was announced prior to the acquisition of McLouth was that future Hall of Fame lock and long time favorite Tom Glavine was released from the organization. Glavine was just finishing up a rehab stint in Class A Rome and ready to join the team when he was let go. I am sure that it was a money issue at least in part. I don’t mind that they decided to let Glavine go, I mean he is 43 and not the Glavine of old. The Braves under former GM John Schuerholz were known for making moves with star and well liked players while they still had 1 good year left rather then stay 1 year too long, I just don’t like the timing. A guy works that hard to rehab and get to a point where he can get back to the major league level only to be told that instead of getting a start he is getting the boot. It is also a bit annoying that the team seemed to stick with former player Mike Hampton over various seasons full of injuries and arm trouble while he was basically stealing money from the team where a pillar and icon like Glavine was escorted out unceremoniously.
I guess you always must say goodbye at some point. We went through it when Glavine left the first time when he joined the Mets but after Greg Maddux left and John Smoltz left, Glavine came back and it was supposed to be a nice homecoming and allowing him to go out as a Brave, that seems to be in doubt as it looks like he wants to continue in his comeback.

All in all I hope that Glavine does well with whatever he does or where ever he goes and at the very least see him go into the Hall with an A on his cap.
In turn I hope that Nate McLouth can slide into the Atlanta lineup and get them going and make a run towards the top of the division.

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