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Smoltz deserved better from Braves

Even through the anger and frustration and cold-slap realization associated with this winter that it’s suddenly not cool to be a Brave, one could manufacture legitimate excuses.

Maybe a free agent used them. Maybe an agent lied to them. Maybe an opposing general manager made ridiculous trade demands.

But this is different. There is no rationalization for this. John Smoltz, a career Brave, a certain Hall of Famer, the postseason gold standard for this franchise and baseball in general, asked for a reasonable contract. The Braves countered with something just north of cab fare to the airport.

Atlanta just lost John Smoltz and Frank Wren just lost the benefit of the doubt.

The Boston Red Sox are guaranteeing Smoltz $5.5 million. The Braves offered $2.5 million. They might as well have hung up the phone.

Do you know what the $3 million difference amounts to? It’s 3.3 percent of last year’s payroll. It’s $40 million less than they paid Mike Hampton in the last three years. It’s 7,400 hotdogs per home game. (The cheap ones.)

The Braves are now a faceless franchise — because the only remaining face, that of Chipper Jones, is under a paper bag. Jones was livid after speaking with Smoltz late Wednesday night. He hadn’t calmed down much by Thursday.

“With all of the gambles that the Atlanta Braves have taken over the years on players, for a couple of million more dollars, you don’t gamble on John Smoltz when he tells you he’s going to be back?” Jones said. “After everything that’s happened to this organization this winter, the players and the fans need something good to happen. The one silver lining we had was John Smoltz being back in the lineup this year.”

He said some teammates “lost a father figure. I lost a brother. If he’s retiring, that’s one thing. But for him to playing somewhere else is unacceptable.”

Smoltz is coming off major surgery. When Dr. James Andrews finished attaching hardware to the pitcher’s right shoulder seven months ago, the assumption was that his career finally was over. We have seen Smoltz navigate medical miracles before, so it’s not surprising his rehab has exceeded expectations.

But this isn’t about that. For all we know, he may throw one pitch in Fenway Park next season, grab his right shoulder and walk off the mound.

What’s key here are two words: risk-reward. In the best-case scenario: Smoltz comes back strong, triggers every incentive bonus and earns over $10 million.

In the worst-case scenario, his career is over. But the Braves could have viewed $5 million as a thank you gift. In baseball’s economic world — and certainly for a legend and a career-franchise player — $5 million is the change bucket.

Smoltz deserved that. He went from starter to closer and then back to starter when nobody thought he could make either transition. He is the only pitcher in major league history with over 200 wins and 150 saves. He is 15-4 in the postseason for a franchise others associated with October failure.

Oh yes, and this: He has passed up chances to pitch for more money elsewhere in free agency, most notably for the Yankees, because he wanted to remain in Atlanta. His children are here. The school he helped build is here. Bobby Cox is here.

What kind of message does this send to players, to fans, to other free agents? This isn’t a budget issue. If the Braves are to be believed — and who really knows now — they have at least another $25 million to spend on payroll. That’s because here we are in January and they can’t get anybody to come here. Their starting rotation is Javier Vasquez, Jair Jurrjens and flip a coin.

If they played three times a week, maybe they could hang in a division race.

“I don’t care how many anchors or staples or whatever are in his shoulder,” Jones said. “If I’m gambling on one guy, it’s John Smoltz.”

It’s one thing for a declining team to struggle to sign a free agent. But to kick a legend and franchise centerpiece to the curb over pocket change is far worse. This wasn’t even a close call.

Permalink | Comments (365) | Post your comment | Categories: Braves/MLB

Comments

By The_Future

January 8, 2009 5:15 PM | Link to this

Wren is clueless and Schuerholz cut and ran upstairs when he saw the writing on the wall. Both can go F themselves. I’m not spending money on this crap and neither should anyone else.

By Gig'em Braves

January 8, 2009 5:16 PM | Link to this

Well said.

By Alan

January 8, 2009 5:17 PM | Link to this

Right on, Jeff.

Please keep the heat up on Wren and the imbeciles in the front office. The deserve to be run out of town for losing Smoltz because they wouldn’t pony up a sum that is the aggregate of what we’re paying our backup catcher and Norton next year.

And still no statement from Wren.

PLEASE keep the heat up until we’re rid of these morons.

By Copy desk

January 8, 2009 5:17 PM | Link to this

Jeff,

It’s cab fare. Not cab fair. We can’t catch everything.

By Paul

January 8, 2009 5:26 PM | Link to this

THANK YOU Jeff. It’s absurd this organization can’t cough up chump change for the biggest name this franchise has ever had. You won’t see me at the ball park this year.

By frank

January 8, 2009 5:27 PM | Link to this

fouck you!!! wren!!!!!!!!

By Scottbravesfan

January 8, 2009 5:29 PM | Link to this

Fire FRANK WREN NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

By staggerlee

January 8, 2009 5:31 PM | Link to this

Something must be wrong with Wren. I don’t know if the players out there dislike him, their agents dislike them or he is just trying to fail. Where is Moore? Oh, yeah, KC. JS didn’t do the franchise any favors by moving upstairs and leaving this mess( of which some is surely his). Players know Cox is going to retire before long. So what is this team to do now? Play under .500 for sure. If DL signs here it will be because he is a mercenary and the Braves offered the highest offer. Not likely.

By Football Ken

January 8, 2009 5:34 PM | Link to this

Jeff, THANK YOU!!!

By Football Ken

January 8, 2009 5:41 PM | Link to this

Jeff, THANK YOU!!! THere is no excuse. NONE!!! Smoltzie deserved a chance. Where is Scherholz now, hiding I bet. My neighbor was a Silver Slugger catcher for the Braves earlier this decade, he told me weeks ago, that Wren was a joke. I didn’t believe him then, but his words look like the Bible now. This is madness, we as true fans can’t catch a break. This hurts more than the Dominique trade. FIRE WREN NOW.

By Football Ken

January 8, 2009 5:42 PM | Link to this

Jeff, THANK YOU!!! THere is no excuse. NONE!!! Smoltzie deserved a chance. Where is Scherholz now, hiding I bet. My neighbor was a Silver Slugger catcher for the Braves earlier this decade, he told me weeks ago, that Wren was a joke. I didn’t believe him then, but his words look like the Bible now. This is madness, we as true fans can’t catch a break. This hurts more than the Dominique trade. FIRE WREN NOW.

By Bring Me the Head of Deforest Kelley

January 8, 2009 5:45 PM | Link to this

Its also not like the Braves are deluged with excess pitching prospects waiting in the wings that -had Smoltz been kept- his roster/rotation spot would be blocking someone else’s career development. I mean, we traded for Javier Vasquez, for crying out loud.

By Einstein

January 8, 2009 5:46 PM | Link to this

Good Riddance! Folks, your money must come a lot easier than mine, or is it just easy spending other people’s money. The Braves offered a more than fair contract to Smoltz…42 years old, 50+ elbow and arm surgeries, always ineffective or hurt or worn-out during the last month. Which of you MDs and/or Orthopedic Surgeons posting can guarantee Smoltz will be able to pitch again? But, he wants (demands) a guaranteed contract. Thank you John for all the wongerful years with us (of course you were generously paid even while on the DL)> It’s past time to quit living in the past…newer, younger, players who will get BETTER, not old icons with diminishing skills. Wren and the front office are correct, and please give them time. Like I always say, insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results. Peace.

By Win

January 8, 2009 5:48 PM | Link to this

Thanks to Frank Wren I will NEVER watch another Braves game. Glad I haven’t paid for this years tickets. I have been a Braves fan since the early 80’s. I will now get my baseball fix by watching the Diamond Dogs. Do Chipper a favor and trade him to a contender. See ya Braves!

By James Gandolfini

January 8, 2009 5:54 PM | Link to this

I’m not sure who has the biggest man-crush on Smoltz—you, Dave O’Brien or the idiot Kinkade on 680, who shrilly shouted down anyone who disagreed with him today,

Good riddance to the self-centered whiner and his Little League antics on the mound.

By Jeff Schultz

January 8, 2009 5:57 PM | Link to this

Copy desk (if that’s your real name): Thanks for the catch. One typo is well below my average. … Football Ken: The Dominique trade is a good comparison, even though that was a trade and this was a free-agency situation. The difference is there, at least you had a decent player (or so we thought: Danny Manning) come in this direction. … Win: The Chipper situation will be interesting to watch, because he came out with some pretty strong statements (see the entire Q-and-A that’s posted online, culled from separate interviews with Carroll Rogers and myself). For marketing reasons, the Braves need him to seem like he’s on board with decisions, given that he’s the highest profile player on the team. … I’ll check back in later. … Jeff

By Sandy

January 8, 2009 5:59 PM | Link to this

FRANK WREN -

If you had any honor whatsoever, you would immediately resign from the BRAVES in disgrace.

Since you apparently have no honor, as you are currently still gainfully employed with that franchise, please take your own life with a dull lawnmower blade from the groundskeepers supply room.

By BravesAreDone

January 8, 2009 6:07 PM | Link to this

The Braves can forget about “marketing reasons” I will not attend a single game or waste a single penny of my money on the Braves for at least this season no matter what they do the remainder of the offseason. Everyone else should follow my lead.

By Dennis

January 8, 2009 6:11 PM | Link to this

Get a grip. Hank Aaron left after breaking Ruth’s record and the franchise survived. Loyalty is a two way street. You say that the Braves “owed” him? Why not “Smoltz owed the Braves”. They paid him last year when he pitched very little and did not ask for their money back. They paid Hampton for years when he was hurt only to see him walk away to Houston despite an offer that was very close to what he could have got by remaining. Let’s face the fact that John more than likely wanted to go to a winning club with a chance to pitch in the postseason. That is fair and his choice, but let’s split this responsibility 50-50 and say that both Smoltz and Braves management share equally in this event. Either could have bent and it seems the Braves are getting 100% of the blame. I, for one, think Smoltz is just as guilty.

By TI

January 8, 2009 6:15 PM | Link to this

BravesAreDone is exactly right!

I say we all boycott the Atlanta Braves until Frank Wren is GONE.

The Braves are going to lose so much more money on fan attendance and merchandise sales than the 2 + million dollars they would have “wasted” on John Smoltz.

By slick

January 8, 2009 6:17 PM | Link to this

you morons. schmuck is toast. he is not the braves future. who cares if he goes? he f*ed atlanta not wren! actually he did you a big favor. ditto mike hampton. what did he do last year for millions? nothing! hope chipper is next.

By Freshmaker

January 8, 2009 6:17 PM | Link to this

Now up for sale apparently:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=300285650890

By NC Braves Fan

January 8, 2009 6:19 PM | Link to this

Why would the Braves hire a General Manager that was fired from another organization? Obviously, he wasn’t getting the job done. In less than two years with Atlanta, we are a worse organization now than we were in 1989. Remember the 80’s Atlanta, they’re back!!!!

By Sour Irony

January 8, 2009 6:20 PM | Link to this

How ironic is it that a felon, loser, degenerate and imprisoned disgrace to all mankind like MIKE VICK is still currently under contract with an Atlanta professional sports team but a true champion, gentleman, proven winner and great baseball ambassador like JOHN SMOLTZ is not ????

By Blue Fox

January 8, 2009 6:25 PM | Link to this

Boycott the Braves is a great idea, let them eat many millions more than the chump change it would have taken to keep Smoltz one more year!

By Patrick

January 8, 2009 6:25 PM | Link to this

Jeff,

That was a great article. Very well written

BRAVO!!!

By steve_97060

January 8, 2009 6:27 PM | Link to this

Well said Jeff… this is a sad day for the franchise… I think FW may have underestimated the fan anger from this.. if so, it just confirms how clueless he really is…

By Steve

January 8, 2009 6:30 PM | Link to this

Thanks Frank Wren for losing Smoltz. Braves will feel the consequences of your actions. A boycott of games will be a start. Next boycott all sponsors of Braves baseball. A good start would be to ship Wren to Kansas City or the Mexican Leagues.

By FL. DAWG

January 8, 2009 6:31 PM | Link to this

People are losing jobs, schools are dropping programs, and mlb is spending money like they make it.To hell with smoltz and the other disrespected millionaries, i think baseball should be more care more about the fans and kids who, pay the salaries. 14 million a year to play a sport while the rest of the country suffers is insane. I cant afford to go to a game and will not watch it on tv. If these players cared about kids they would give back some money so kids and enjoy a game and not break the family, the john smoltz foundation wants donations, hahahaha, tell him to collect from his teammates, and leave the poor working people alone

By Rick Camp

January 8, 2009 6:32 PM | Link to this

I offered to pitch for actual cab fare but Wren would only offer bus fare.

By Alan B

January 8, 2009 6:33 PM | Link to this

How can this be true!! I’m 25 and as long as I can remember being a Braves fan I’ve known Smoltz. And I hear going to work today those days are over. Its bad enough we fail each year to get a worthy contributing player to help Jones and this pitching staff, including this off season, but now no more dominating and crowd pleasing appearances of Smoltz. As a true fan I’m really worried that Chipper is next. Riots will break out in the streets of Atlanta if that ever happened. Wren just lost the respect of all true fans. But I will say on a happier note, I’m glad we don’t have to put up with the worthless, overpaid, over-hyped, sellout, double play hitting Texiera!!!!!!

By grafe

January 8, 2009 6:33 PM | Link to this

i’m not the biggest fan of wren but this is understandable i think, smoltz was a great pitcher and is still one of my favorite players ever but a shoulder injury like his is huge for guys 20 years younger than him, just imagine what it’ll be like for him. if he does bounce back and have a good season in boston that’s great but the braves weren’t making the playoffs this year with or without him so maybe it’s for the better that he can try to get one last ring

By The Big Boy Carty

January 8, 2009 6:34 PM | Link to this

Same ole Same ole. Cubs, Red Sox, Yanks, Dodgers bar no expense to buy players. Didn’t this same thing happen with Glavine when he left us? I’ve been driving down to spring training the past two years but don’t think I will go this year as I see no hope unless we sign some name players soon.

PS: Thank you Mr Smoltz for you good years in Atlanta. You will be missed>

By The Big Boy Carty

January 8, 2009 6:34 PM | Link to this

Same ole Same ole. Cubs, Red Sox, Yanks, Dodgers bar no expense to buy players. Didn’t this same thing happen with Glavine when he left us? I’ve been driving down to spring training the past two years but don’t think I will go this year as I see no hope unless we sign some name players soon.

PS: Thank you Mr Smoltz for your good years in Atlanta. You will be missed>

By Jerry

January 8, 2009 6:35 PM | Link to this

I would have thought Smoltz would have stayed. My thing is why didn’t John come out in the press and let the fans know what was going on. He has done it time and time again. Yes he wants to pitch in the post season so him leaving makes the statement he doesn’t think the Braves are going or he would still be here. I can see that. If this is the way its going then lets trade Hoss. I would think right now he would welcome a trade. I would too. This is wren, Shureholz, Cox and John’s fault. You can’t tell me that if Cox said he wanted Smoltz back he would be here. Wren says it was a total executive decision and that means Cox said to let Smoltz go too. I am a Braves fan and always will be but if this is the route we’re going fine. Trade Hoss and get something for him. Now about the contract. He was offered a fair contract. Not as good as Boston but a fair contract. Smoltz saying the Braves disrespected him well boohoo. He was offered 2.5 million guaranteed + incentives to pitch for the Braves with a potential to make around $10 million. Sounds good to me. Wren said lets wait and see how his arm does. That’s reasonable. Sounds to me like Smoltz was trying to hold up the Braves. I don’t like Wren and the reason I don’t is because this offseason he ran his mouth about all the Braves were doing and it didn’t pan out. The Braves never talked about signings or trades before. Wren is an idiot for that. Keep your piehole shut you a-hole. Can we now please trade Chipper and start fresh and young. I would rather watch young enthusiastic players then the robots we’ve been seeing.

Come on Wren and cowboy up.

Trade Chipper now.

Idiot.

By dawger

January 8, 2009 6:37 PM | Link to this

With smoltz gone, go ahead and get rid of glavine

By Please come home Ted Turner

January 8, 2009 6:40 PM | Link to this

Wow, if only Skip were around to berate the management, to skewer them during every broadcast this season, as we watch Chipper and Bobby try to win with what’s left.

By BILL

January 8, 2009 6:42 PM | Link to this

NOW WE HAVE THE KNOWLEDGE OF WHAT THE BRAVES ARE UP TO(BEING CHEAP). JOHN AND IMMAN SHOULD HAVE BEEN SIGNED TWO OR THREE WEEKS AGO. WHO WANTS TO BE A BRAVES FAN NOW BECAUSE OF THE LYING ABOUT SPENDING MONEY AND A DUMB MANAGEDR AND PITCHING COACH. RUN CHIPPER RUN!!!

By Judge G

January 8, 2009 6:42 PM | Link to this

Congratulations Frank Wren, you just replaced Mike Vick as Atlanta’s public enemy #1.

Vick killed dogs, you killed the soul of an entire franchise.

Do you hate everyone or just Braves’ fans?

By tulsabravo

January 8, 2009 6:42 PM | Link to this

It’s a disgrace how the Braves have treated Smoltzie, and all you people out there who say good riddance, you are Complete Idiots. By the way, does anyone remember the state that Schuerholz left the Royals in when he took over the Braves?

By stamper

January 8, 2009 6:43 PM | Link to this

thank you, Jeff, for this column. i can’t put in to words how terrible of a day today has been.

By Ref

January 8, 2009 6:47 PM | Link to this

Can we get Time Warner back? Oh my God, I can’t believe I’m saying that but ever since the ownership change to Liberty Media and the GM hiring of Frank Wren, the Braves have done nothing but p** off the fans. Ah, the good old days of Ted Turner and John Schuerholz, we’ll never experience that again… wait a minute, we have a similar situation in the Falcons (Arthur Blank and Thomas Dimitroff). Even the Spirit Group look like Godsends compared to the Braves ownership… Oh well, thanks for the memories John.

By bravesloverfromalabama

January 8, 2009 6:47 PM | Link to this

I wrote about this on my blog, atlantabraves09.blogspot.com. It was because Wren is just a selfish loser who wants to see the Braves crash and burn. He has done nothing good for the city of Atlanta or any part of the Braves geographical area of fans. He has failed at getting an ace, caused our three best pitchers, Hudson, Glavine, Smoltz, to have season-ending surgeries and now Smoltz is gone. The good-old days with our new “president” as GM are far over. We all now Cox will retire at the end of the the ‘09 season most likely, we need some major overhauling if the Braves ever want to be in October again, and that includes the firing of the bullcrap of a GM, Frank Wren!!!

By Daybed Wagmoe

January 8, 2009 6:52 PM | Link to this

Jeff,

Excellent article, and you really hit the nail on the head when you said that the Braves could’ve viewed the $5 million as a thank-you gift. He has certainly earned it after all of the years that he pitched for the Braves while being paid less than his market value. Out of 21 seasons, he has been paid more than $10 million only four times, the highest coming last year, when he was paid $14 million.

What a terrible decision the Braves’ brass has made.

By Brian Wright

January 8, 2009 6:54 PM | Link to this

I will usually defend the Braves to death. But this is absolutly rediculas. There is bad luck, but when you lose out on Mike Hampton AJ burnett Rafael Furcal Jake Peavy and now John Smoltz. All of whom you thought you would have. That is bad management. Maybe we were spoiled by John Scheurholz, but Frank Wren is terrible. I have never seen such a bad GM in my life and I highly doubt I ever will. PLEASE FIRE FRANK WREN AND SAVE THE BRAVES.

By JOEBRAVE

January 8, 2009 6:54 PM | Link to this

I for one am calling for a TOTAL BOYCOTT this season at the Ted!!!

By Stovetop

January 8, 2009 6:56 PM | Link to this

It is time for Frank Wren to go. He has proven that he is an idiot.

By #1 Smoltz Fan

January 8, 2009 6:58 PM | Link to this

FIRE WREN NOW! IF YOU DO NOT IT WILL BE GLAVINE NEXT WEEK, CHIPPER BEFORE SEASON END.

HA and here we were thinking that Braves Exec loyalty would give Andruw another shot….please!

FRANK WREN has alienated the Players, Fans, and the city. And Mc”Jerk” can take his “I am shocked” BS out of here. If you wanted fans in the seats your #1 priority would have been Smoltz.

Even in our losing years JS made sure we had a decent rotation Hudson, Smoltz, Glavine, Hampton, Jurgens, etc I will take that any day over……Vazquez, Jurgens, and whoever we can beg/overpay to come to the LOWLY Atlanta Braves. Way to go Braves Execs.

This will be the last Braves Article, Game, that I attend until the headline reads FRANK WREN FIRED!

Thanks Smoltz, Cox, Maddux, Chipper, Andruw, Glavine, TP for a wonderful childhood watching Braves Baseball….its over now.

By Veteran Fan

January 8, 2009 7:00 PM | Link to this

This is hilarious! A 42 year old pitcher coming off major shoulder surgery wanted to leave and he plays all of you for fools so he won’t be booed when he comes back in another uniform! Smoltz lost millions in his investments and he NEEDS the money! He wants another ring and he sees Boston as the option. He is a right handed pitcher in a right handed pitcher’s dream ball park. It is all about Smoltz, not the Braves and not the fans! If Chipper cannot understand this then there’s the door and don’t let it hit you on the way out! The Braves should use his “frustration” to ask him what teams he wants to play for this season and get the prospects we need to rebuild this team! The rest of the team is YOUNG and a champion can be built like Tampa’s! Boston is trying to get out of third place in their own division at this point! In his rush to leave town has he figured out that he is the fifth starter on the Red Sox! I will also bet that he has a sore shoulder when the Red Sox come to town this season!

By Randy

January 8, 2009 7:01 PM | Link to this

I live in NC and I have been a long time Braves fan. I drive to games each season and I am planning on going to Florida for the first time to see some spring training games. I spend thousands of dollars on baseball cards on Ebay (mainly Brian McCann) and caps and jerseys, etc. and I risk divorce in order to watch or listen to every game. I would say that this thing with Smoltz is one of the hardest things to imagine. The longer a player stays with a team, the harder it is to have him leave. I think that it is harder for a fan to have a baseball player leave as compared to another sport because of the higher number of games played in a year. You just see them more even if they don’t play. Spring training to World Series takes eight months of the year to complete. Managers need to understand that even winning will not fill the stands (Marlins). No team wants that. I hope that Chipper ends his career with Atlanta as well as the other guys such as Brian McCann when the time comes to close out his career (which I hope is a very, very long time from now).

By Grimachi

January 8, 2009 7:01 PM | Link to this

Quote: By Dennis

Get a grip. Hank Aaron left after breaking Ruth’s record and the franchise survived. Loyalty is a two way street. You say that the Braves “owed” him? Why not “Smoltz owed the Braves”. They paid him last year when he pitched very little and did not ask for their money back. They paid Hampton for years when he was hurt only to see him walk away to Houston despite an offer that was very close to what he could have got by remaining. Let’s face the fact that John more than likely wanted to go to a winning club with a chance to pitch in the postseason. That is fair and his choice, but let’s split this responsibility 50-50 and say that both Smoltz and Braves management share equally in this event. Either could have bent and it seems the Braves are getting 100% of the blame. I, for one, think Smoltz is just as guilty.

Obviously Dennis, you have not read the comments from Chipper attributed to John.

He wanted to be here and is ticked they didn’t even at least come up with a comparable offer.

John has given his all to this organization and for them to let him go for what amounts to pocket change in MLB is just stupid. He left $20 million on the table with the Yankees to stay here and play. He was not asking for rediculous money this time.

I am joining others…the Braves will not see one dime of my money for the forseeable future. Thanks for totally F-ing this up Frank and Co.!!!!

By Voice of Dissent

January 8, 2009 7:03 PM | Link to this

I would respectfully disagree with you, Jeff, and I think that over the next few days and weeks, the majority of the fans will agree with me. Smoltz, who I have always liked, is bolting for a few more bucks and a chance to play on a team better positioned for a playoff run in 09. That’s certainly his right, and maybe I’d do the same thing, but what he is doing is selling his legacy here for $3 million bucks. This city never forgives athletes who leave. Look at Glavine, who is at about 10% of the popularity he had before he bolted. Look at Deion. If you leave of your own volition, you’re dead to me, Fredo. I’m not in a position to judge John’s or anybody else’s financial situation, and maybe $3 million makes a difference in his life. It would to most of us. But that’s what he’s selling - his place as an Atlanta icon. If the Braves had made no offer, or cut him, that’s one thing, but for him to jet off to the RedSox, which are rising in “hate popularity” to Yankees level, to make a few more bucks, will make him a turncoat, a traitor, and a weasel in most people’s eyes - including mine - and it’s irreparable. Just watch.

By Ron

January 8, 2009 7:04 PM | Link to this

Frank Wren should be fired….Ted never would’ve allowed this to happen come back Ted……come back!

By renegade

January 8, 2009 7:04 PM | Link to this

At least john gets the opportunity to try to win a w.s. ring. the only way frank wren will ever get one is to steal it; he can’t even buy one with the players he tries to sign.Good Luck John save Chipper a seat on the plane he’s probably next to go

By prattvillenolzfan

January 8, 2009 7:06 PM | Link to this

Hey Jeff

I was wondering,

I find it interesting that the only comments Wren has issued is “NO COMMENT”

Kinda makes me think that McJerk/Shuerholz put a muzzle on Wren and they themselves might be having an “announcement” soon regarding Wren’s future????????

Whaddya think….

By smoltzrealist

January 8, 2009 7:07 PM | Link to this

For those who say that Smoltz left for a playoff contending team, he turned down a $20 million deal with the Yankees!! They just spend almost $500 million on three players!!! He loves Atlanta, he just did this because of Wren

By mattyd

January 8, 2009 7:07 PM | Link to this

With everyone losing jobs and the economy in the tank, excuse me for not really caring what “Smoltzy” does. I hope we get rid of Chipper too. These guys are making millions while many are losing their homes, cars and livelihoods. Sorry for the dose of reality.

By #1 Smoltz Fan

January 8, 2009 7:07 PM | Link to this

TRIBUTE SUGGESTION:

Possibly a stupid idea, but should the great Smoltzie come back to Turner I suggest the 10,000 fans that decide they still like seeing baseball and Turner is the closest stadium toss their Baseball caps on the field. Maybe Smoltzie will pick one up and put it back on? He will always be a Brave to me.

The Braves will not win this season, no players want to play here.

BOBBY COX- please consider retirement before seasons start, I would not want to see you go out with a year of less fan attendance than the 1996 Montreal Expos.

By gvblack

January 8, 2009 7:08 PM | Link to this

Vaya Con Dios, Smoltz!

Don’t tell me it’s about the money. Tell me the truth. You want one last chance at a ring, and the Braves inactivity in the off-season made you jump ship. Tell the truth! Smoltz missed 3 season due to injuries, and got paid about $30 M by the Braves for non-performance. Smoltz is the disloyal one. Smoltz is 41 years old, and the sun is setting on his career. Time for the Braves to move on. You can’t count on a pitcher that age with that shoulder. 120+ years of baseball history tells the story. Don’t invest in 40+ year old players.

Wren is right!

By gvblack

January 8, 2009 7:10 PM | Link to this

Vaya Con Dios, Smoltz!

Don’t tell me it’s about the money. Tell me the truth. You want one last chance at a ring, and the Braves inactivity in the off-season made you jump ship. Tell the truth! Smoltz missed 3 season due to injuries, and got paid about $30 M by the Braves for non-performance. Smoltz is the disloyal one. Smoltz is 41 years old, and the sun is setting on his career. Time for the Braves to move on. You can’t count on a pitcher that age with that shoulder. 120+ years of baseball history tells the story. Don’t invest in 40+ year old players.

Wren is right!

By Najeh Davenpoop

January 8, 2009 7:10 PM | Link to this

I’m torn about the Smoltz thing… on the one hand, I’ve felt for a while now that the Braves need to clean house and start afresh with prospects and young players, but on the other hand if there’s one Braves veteran I would have liked to see stick around it’s Smoltz. I’m not old enough to remember a Braves team without Smoltz, so it’s gonna be pretty strange to say the least. Yeah, the Braves should have treated him better, but if this results in him winning another ring in what may be his last season, that’s fine with me. He deserves it.

Skip Caray, Pete Van Wieren, and John Smoltz… three people who have been associated with the Braves as long as I can remember, and all three are gone. Weird year to be a Braves fan.

By LMAO @ FW

January 8, 2009 7:12 PM | Link to this

You want to throw money at Andruw but not take a flyer on Soltz???

Maybe Smoltz should gain 40 pounds and we could’ve tried him in Left Field.

He can damn sure hit better than Andruw.

By Hard Times

January 8, 2009 7:12 PM | Link to this

Tens of thousands of folks losing their jobs, and y’all are crying over millionaires…

By Jeff Schultz

January 8, 2009 7:15 PM | Link to this

Dennis: Aaron was traded. The deal: Nov. 2, 1974: Traded by the Atlanta Braves to the Milwaukee Brewers for a player to be named later and Dave May. The Milwaukee Brewers sent Roger Alexander (minors) (December 2, 1974) to the Atlanta Braves to complete the trade. … As for Smoltz wanting to play for a winner: sure. So does everybody. But that’s not at the core of what happened here. The man is divorced and has four kids here in Atlanta. He built a Christian school here. He wanted to retire a Brave and loved playing for Bobby Cox. Do you really think he wanted to leave? ….. Sour Irony: I knew we couldn’t get through one article without Vick coming up. Wonder if they get this in Cooking and Gardening blogs, too? … Patrick: Thanks. …. Rick Camp: I write for MARTA tokens. …. Jerry: I’m not sure why Smoltz hasn’t spoken publicly (other than the statement he put out today), other than to say he hasn’t really spoken this off-season. I know he gets upset from time to time about things that are written or said. But I have no direct knowledge of that. …. Please Come home: I laughed when I saw your notes because I know exactly what Skip would’ve said – and I can’t print it. He was the best. …. JS

By NW Ga

January 8, 2009 7:16 PM | Link to this

I’m happy for Smoltz having the opportunity in Boston to win another ring - this franchise, with the meatballs in the front office, will not win one.

As a Braves fan though, Wren reminds me of Stan Kasten when he was running the team. Wren should give his check back to the Braves. I won’t insult the word “Idiot” by using it in conjunction with Frank “braves killer” Wren.

By Taliban

January 8, 2009 7:17 PM | Link to this

Since we don’t have a starting pitcher to pack the house opening day, how about a nifty marketing promo that will effectively kill 2 birds with one stone???!!

We could have a public stonning of Frank Wren! The first 40,000 fans get Braves commemorative rocks. The first fans get the biggest, heaviest rocks and they get progressively smaller…so get there early Braves fans!!

By Mitch

January 8, 2009 7:20 PM | Link to this

Jeff, thank you for the analysis.

While I was upset that Glavine left us after sixteen years in 2002, the Braves at least made him a decent offer to try and keep him. Three million dollars, for this team, to keep maybe the best pitcher to ever wear an Atlanta uniform, is chicken feed, especially in an offseason where we have already failed to sign Furcal, Burnett, and to trade for Peavy. Even if John never pitched another inning, the “Thank you gift of three million”, you eluded to would average out to a total of $150,000 a year for the 20 years John was here. That is chump change for the best pitcher to ever wear a Braves uniform, and not to leave, until now, when so many others did.

I have loved the Braves for 25 years, and been a loyal fan, from the 106 loss depths of 1988, to the World Series heights of 1995, and every up and down season inbetween. This is truly the lowest moment in franchise history.

Frank Wren should be fired, John Scherholtz should resign in shame, and Bobby, he should know what he has, and just walk away. We lost 90 games last year. We may well lose, oh, 100 this year. If one reads Chipper’s comments today, we may well lose him in 2010.

Braves fans have nothing to come to the ballpark for any more. It seems to be 1988 all over again. We have one aging and injured player, who hits about 20 homers plus, in Chipper, like Dale Murphy did in 1988, and one decent pitcher, Jair Jurrgens, like Rick Mahler used to be in the late 1980s. Besides Jair and Chipper, and Brian Mccann, who is the Bob Horner to Chipper's Murphy , when Bob was healthy, this team has nothing else.

Shame on you, Braves, for not re signing Smoltz for a paltry few million. What would serve this team right, is a triple digit loss season, an empty ballpark, Bobby’s retirement, and Frank and John S’s firing’s. Start all over from Scratch.

What a pathetic winter this has been. My goodness! Mitch

By Russ

January 8, 2009 7:24 PM | Link to this

Does anyone else feel like they just watched their dog get ran over? Wren is a coward for not speaking on the matter as well! This whole thing just has my stomach all twisted.

By #1 Smoltz Fan

January 8, 2009 7:27 PM | Link to this

Taliban: Not sure if I would come to the game to stone Wren……BUT a more reasonable promo would be to have Wren stand at center field while Bobby Cox reads his letter of resignation.

I promise I will buy 2 tickets for that game.

I have to paste this EBAY auction mentioned earlier, all money goes to Smoltz’s charity. It is not my auction but I like the tribute.

http://offer.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewBids&item=300285650890

By Phil Neikro

January 8, 2009 7:28 PM | Link to this

I finsihed in NY. Murphy finished in Philly. Hank finished in Milwuakee. Maddux finished, well, Maddux finished everywhere else.

What did you honestly expect??

By Dixie Dawg

January 8, 2009 7:29 PM | Link to this

Jeff

Excellent column…you hit it dead on..I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Fire Frank Wren and force Liberty Media to sell!!!

By The Grinch

January 8, 2009 7:31 PM | Link to this

Wren bungled this from a PR standpoint by not at least matching the Red Sox offer, but the fact is the offer he made was more than reasonable, as were the offers for Burnett, Furcal and Peavey. Wren is trying to run this franchise in a smart fashion and I agree with him in principle. Smoltz could’ve stayed here if he wanted to; he obviously doesn’t. This city and this organization have rewarded him handsomely with both love and money; ultimately he’s about himself more than he is the team. Which is his right, of course, but the blame should be shared equally.

I appreciate Chipper’s honesty; it’s rare with today’s athletes. That said, he’s hurting our chances with his comments now more than Frank Wren is by being miserly. Wren knows what he’s doing; if it weren’t for him we wouldn’t have gotten JJ, Ohman, and a couple of good looking prospects for the proverbial bag of baseballs. Give him a chance.

By Arthur Blank

January 8, 2009 7:32 PM | Link to this

I specialize in resurrecting ruined franchises.

I’ll buy this pathetic team, Matty Ice will pitch. Dimitrioff will replace Wren. Grady Jackson will take Andruw’s proposed spot in left.

By Dogbyte

January 8, 2009 7:34 PM | Link to this

As I said on another blog, “this is business” but it is bad business. It puts fewer butts in the seats. Duh! And it MIGHT be different if this move was clearing the way for new blood. Where is that new blood? Wren screwed up and JS sat by and watched it. Again as I said on the other blog: Was “homeboy upstairs” still holding a grudge?

By stanley sisson

January 8, 2009 7:35 PM | Link to this

John Schuerholz i have always thought you was very smart and intelligent person but was i every wrong. you could have step in and told Frank Wren to get smoltzie back at any cost. He is the icon of the braves. I hope smoltzie wins a world series this year with the Red Sox. And i hope when smoltzie come back to town this year during the season. He pitches his heart out and beat the braves. And then you will realize what a mistake you let Frank Wren made.PS I have been a braves all of my life and this situation just makes me sick.

By George Dudney

January 8, 2009 7:36 PM | Link to this

I have been a braves fan since the early 1970’s I have been through the good and bad times all these years. I don’t know if I can still be a Braves fan after they treated John Smoltz this way. I beleive John side of the contract because of the way he coducted himself as a true Atlanta Brave. John Shuerholz should have prevented this if Wren could’t handle this the way it should have been done. Thanks John Smoltz!! You have been and will always be a Brave. George

By stanley sisson

January 8, 2009 7:37 PM | Link to this

John Schuerholz i have always thought you was very smart and intelligent person but was i every wrong. you could have step in and told Frank Wren to get smoltzie back at any cost. He is the icon of the braves. I hope smoltzie wins a world series this year with the Red Sox. And i hope when smoltzie come back to town this year during the season. He pitches his heart out and beat the braves. And then you will realize what a mistake you let Frank Wren made.PS I have been a braves fan all of my life and this situation just makes me sick.

By Traver

January 8, 2009 7:37 PM | Link to this

Right on Jeff.

Sometimes the best business decision is the one that is never made. Frank, Terry, John - It can’t always be about the economics you idioits. There are exceptions. Smoltz is an exception.

This is a horrific turn of events. He deserved more than this. Thank you Chipper for speaking up and being honest. Now, you and TG are free to go and play for a winner. You guys deserve better too.

By sportsnut

January 8, 2009 7:39 PM | Link to this

Check out

http://www.Total-E-Sports.com

By Ted Striker

January 8, 2009 7:43 PM | Link to this

I don’t see the fuss is about. John Smoltz has been well paid for his years of service and his health is a question mark at best. If the Red Sox want to pay him some exorbitant salary, let them. Good for Smoltz, good for them. But it’s not good for the Braves. As for the idea that Smoltz is some integral face of the franchise, when the team becomes the Atlanta Smoltz’s — maybe he’d be worth what the Sox are paying.

More dissenting opinion: If I were Wren — and I’m not — I’d sit Chipper down and tell him to get over his hissy fit and appreciate the salary he’s being paid. He gets paid to play. He doesn’t get paid to be some mythical team spokesman. Yeah, yeah, I’m prolly in the minority but darned if it’s very appealing to see players who’ve earned tens of millions of dollars over the years whine about being ‘underappreciated.’

Nuff said.

By TBraveFan

January 8, 2009 7:44 PM | Link to this

Wrong wrong wrong on Tommy…not only did Tommy’s agent try to work out something, but Tommy even tried to call JS personally to discuss a contract - he didn’t even get a return call from JS. Tommy’s situation was all due to the fact that his contract was up the year after he led the labor negotiations. If he had not signed with someone else, he would have not been playing. Just so happened that the Mets gave him the best offer. AND don’t forget, he tried to return to Atlanta as soon as feasible and was again ignored by JS — only to return to where his heart has always wanted to be at a much lower salary than he would have gotten elsewhere last year.

Smoltz can walk, run, pass go and collect his measly few millions more he may make with Boston. Turning his back on his teammates is the ultimate sin - let alone a city filled with fans who worshipped him.

I’m sure one day - fairly soon - Mr. Smoltz will realize that there are some things more important than that few mil he took to leave ‘home’. Good riddance to someone else who took the money over friends, family and fans - you’ve just joined the ranks with Sheffield, Drew, Maddux - but, hey, have fun in Boston.

By olereb

January 8, 2009 7:45 PM | Link to this

Boycott the games till Wren is fired is an excellent idea, he is stupid,stupid, stupid

By SR

January 8, 2009 7:46 PM | Link to this

He surely did deserve better and so do we as fans but then, what can you expect from these inept stooges running the show in Atlanta now. This is sickening beyond belief and no matter how often I read and re-read this story, I cannot fathom how they so badly bungled this siutation. Major mis-calculation. Good luck John Smoltz.

By badmoviereferanceguy

January 8, 2009 7:47 PM | Link to this

Ted Striker,

Surely you cant be serious,,,

By howstupidiswren

January 8, 2009 7:49 PM | Link to this

Money > RESPECT in Wren’s mind. Common sense too.

And still no explaination.The silence is deafening.

Go Braves!

By Geezer

January 8, 2009 7:50 PM | Link to this

The heat needs to be kept up on the Braves mgmt!!!!! Frank Wren, John Schurholtz, Terry McGuirk - If we can get cell phone numbers, home numbers, office numbers e-mail addresses and get them published and Fans need to non stop call at all hours of the night and day…Flood their office e-mails and phones - we can make them wake up and stop taking players and fans for granted….Chipper will be next on the list out of town!!!!

By The Whole truth

January 8, 2009 7:52 PM | Link to this

Ted Striker is serious. He is also incredibly stupid!

By Ted Striker

January 8, 2009 7:52 PM | Link to this

badmoviereferanceguy —

Indeed I am. And don’t call me Shirley…

By So What

January 8, 2009 7:59 PM | Link to this

Besides what difference will it make when Smoltz breaks down AGAIN and gets all of 10-15 apps this year? If he wanted to stay so bad he could have. Like any of us will see $2.5 million in our lives? Cry me a river…

By The Whole truth

January 8, 2009 7:59 PM | Link to this

Ted Shriker. You are not only “prolly” in the minority, you ARE in the minority. And Shirley Shirley Shirley.

By RRR

January 8, 2009 8:15 PM | Link to this

Well said Jeff Schultz!


It’s sad to say, but it’s finally happening, and I can’t believe it’s happened twice in my lifetime: The YANKS caved like this in the sixties, and lost many fans in the process…including me.
In fact, Clete Boyer (my favorite player) was traded here in ‘67, and the Braves then became my favorite team when I was a 12 y/o. Right now, Chipper, is the last of my personal favorites, and he”l be gone shortly, and I can’t blame him.
Somehow, some of these GM/suits don’t understand that this is more than just a business to us fans, in fact, it’s much more than that. Those type GM’s are ultimate failures. Wren, is a failure. It’s clear now, if it wasn’t before. After all, when there is no real owner, the GM becomes the de-facto leader of the organization. Wren is “leading” us to the bottom. Who’d a thunk that possible? Not this fan of over forty years. This is a truly sad reality, and Chipper actually stated it all best…


By Marc

January 8, 2009 8:17 PM | Link to this

To Baseball teams and writers, this is a business. To Baseball fans, this is a game. Some GM’s understand that and act accordingly; some don’t. Losing Smoltz was a slap in the face to the fan base. It doesn’t matter what it cost (and even if it did, they have the funding this off season). He’s a town hero - you fight for your heroes, you just do.

By Grew up in Loserville

January 8, 2009 8:20 PM | Link to this

I will always love the Braves, but I absolutely HATE the current ownership. This is a team without a heart!! Best of luck Smoltzie, you are a class act and a warrior.

By bryan

January 8, 2009 8:20 PM | Link to this

Fouck When and the peace of sh** he wrode in on. What a dummas!!

By back to the drawing board

January 8, 2009 8:23 PM | Link to this

I say for Cox to go ahead and retire as Manager and move him into the GM position everyone forgets it was Cox not John S. that drafted or traded for Glavine and Smotlz and a whole slew of other talented pitchers. We are clearly rebuilding so who better than to set us up for another run than Bobby Cox. I would go ahead and trade Chipper now too after this Smoltz disater he can bring good prospects and it would be nice to see him and Smoltz go out as winners. As it seems the braves front office has lost their minds!!!

By Flowery Branch Brave Fan

January 8, 2009 8:24 PM | Link to this

Frank Wren, your act of being so upset when dealing with agents and players is starting to wear thin. People are starting to smell a rat, I think the front office is what is wrong with the club.

By NCBravesFan

January 8, 2009 8:25 PM | Link to this

Well said Jeff. I’ve had a mix of feelings since this first broke last night. I can somewhat see the Braves’ perspective when you think about Smoltz as a 42 year old coming off major surgery. But it’s like Chipper said - if Smoltz says he’s coming back, your view of his history as a player … as a Brave … has to guide your decision-making process here.

So what if he didn’t make an impact on the field next season? It’s not like it would change the overall trajectory of the franchise moving forward. But having him leave this way raises a lot of doubts about the Braves organization and its ability to focus on the big picture - and the stuff that really matters.

By Jeff Schultz

January 8, 2009 8:28 PM | Link to this

Traver: You hit it on the head when you said that there are exceptions, and John Smoltz should be that exception. He has earned that. If the same thing happens with Tom Glavine, the backlash won’t be the same because, while popular with many, his popularity is not universal, he already left once and he was not spectacular last season.

Ted Striker: Where’s Kareem? Isn’t he still your co-pilot?

Everybody who referenced ownership/Liberty Media. I’m very interested to see how all of this plays out. If the Braves don’t at least equal last year’s payroll – and right now they’re not even close – we’ll know all that talk about spending money was smoke.

Hey, Oklahoma moved the ball pretty well that first drive. (Sorry, wrong sport.)

By Murray Vet

January 8, 2009 8:29 PM | Link to this

Wow…. This should not be a suprise, but it is. I hope John gets a ring with Boston… he deserves another one. He has played his heart out for this team. What is going on here ? Are we going to become the Braves of the 70’s or early 80’s ? Loserville once again ! Unbelieveable ! I can not blame Chipper for being upset… how many players restructure their contracts to help their teams ? Smoltz did… Chipper did… oh well… I can always root for the Atlanta Flames… oh shoot that team is now in Calgary or is it ?

By LivininAL

January 8, 2009 8:31 PM | Link to this

Jeff, Thanks for Saying It All Several Free Agents chose not to come to Atlanta next year. Gonna be a whole bunch more fans that choose not to come to Atlanta next year too.

By N8

January 8, 2009 8:38 PM | Link to this

To hell with what Wren and the Braves owed Smoltz, and as far as that goes, to hell with what Smoltz owed the Wren and the Braves.

BOTH OF THEM have left the Braves FANS down. And that’s a shame.

By Bill

January 8, 2009 8:45 PM | Link to this

Jeff-I take back everything I’ve ever said bad about you. Great post. Thanks

Best of luck to Smoltz and I hope he get that other ring.

Chipper is the greatest for telling the truth.

Mcquirk’s the one that needs firing.

By Alan B

January 8, 2009 8:49 PM | Link to this

To * Arthur Blank’s post*…that would be great if you bought the Braves. But first please remind the Falcons when in the playoff and its 3rd &16 with just over 2:00 to go and a chance to get the ball back for a winning drive… NOT to allow a wide open 17 yrd. completion pass. But even the dashing of an unexpected great season for the Falcons can measure to the loss of John Smoltz!! I hope John dominates the Yankees!!

By rbrewbaker

January 8, 2009 8:52 PM | Link to this

Skip Caray must be rolling in his grave … I remember the day the Doyle Alexander trade was announced .. by far and away the most important moment in the Braves surge from the dismal 80s to the successes of the 90s.

Just once, I had hoped that one of the longterm Braves would retire as a Brave.

By BlueLand Billy

January 8, 2009 8:52 PM | Link to this

As a diehard Yankee fan this is one thing that would have never happened in NY to a Yankee legend. Mo Rivera, Jorge Posada, Bernie Williams were all offered reasonable deals to finish their careers in Pinstripes. Another bad move by the Braves. Pay the future HOFer the money and let him finish it out as the face of the franchise.

It’s a gamble given his shoulder issues but you have to give the guy some respect for what he has accomplished for this team the last 21 years and the impact he has had on the younger players.

By Former Braves Fan

January 8, 2009 8:55 PM | Link to this

With our current GM we have the worst after having the best in baseball in Schuerholtz. Why did the Braves think someone who worked for the Orioles would ever be successful. I will not give the Braves one f’ing dime of my money ever again.
With a porno purveyor as an owner I see no commitment to winning and being competitive. Ownership and Frank Wren are incompetent and clueless in Atlanta.

By canedawg2140

January 8, 2009 9:08 PM | Link to this

WREN IS NOW A FOUR LETTER WORD

What the WREN just happened? WREN you, Frank…

You have no idea what you have done - the wrath from the fans is going to be ruthless, you piece of WREN…

By richbrave

January 8, 2009 9:10 PM | Link to this

JOHN went to BOSTON to get the ring he knew he wouldn’t get in ATLANTA, fans. His actions speak volumes. Stay the course. SIGN OHMAN, we’re gonna’ need him. Trade C. JONES now while his contract has value. HAMELS is not happy in PHILLY. Work a trade. Forget the line-up. Secure the pitching. Work on the hitting next year.

By BigPapaT

January 8, 2009 9:11 PM | Link to this

Props to Chipper for telling it like it is.

How to ruin a class organization? See Frank Wren.

I’ve been a fan for life and my fanhood is certainly being tested. But, look on the bright side…at least we are going to sign a new radio announcer…sooooo…we’ve got that going for us.

By jbutler

January 8, 2009 9:11 PM | Link to this

Honestly. Good thing FW is holding onto all the money - cause they can use it to lure a real GM back to ATL. At least Smoltz gets to go to a pretty automatic contender - one thing ATL used to be. Now the south is left to rott- I hope Chipper will take his toys and play somewhere else- he deserves it. Not this AAA organization that has sprung up.

By chris

January 8, 2009 9:16 PM | Link to this

What a sad sad day in Atlanta Braves history. Die hard fans have given the but wipes upstairs the benefits of the doubt for the last 3 years but there is no excuse for this. I hope we finish 6th in the East and Smoltz pitches the Sox into the World Series..Chipper you da man but I’d be packing my bags too.We’ll probably lose him to the Mets or Phillies and watch them celebrate another World Series. This on WREN and the front office - they suck!

By RB

January 8, 2009 9:23 PM | Link to this

J Smoltz, I wish you nothing but the best in Boston.

By Georgia Girl

January 8, 2009 9:33 PM | Link to this

Being born and raised in Georgia, I grew up as a Braves fan. I remember the 70’s, 80’s, then the excitment came in the 90’s when me and some of my friends walked out of a bar in BUCKHEAD, and saw the wave of people celebrating in the streets because the ATLANTA BRAVES WON THIER DIVISION!!!! SMOLTZIE, Gant, Steve Avery, Maddux, CHIPPER, Glavin, Baby Huey, Lemeke, Nixon, Greg Olsen, Later on Justice, Smith, Lopez, Furcal, Jones, the BRAVES SUPER STAR list goes on….I can’t name all of them…THERE HAS BEEN SO MANY TRADED!!!!!! I remember the 90’s well..I worked at a resturant on Cobb Parkway ( orange shorts ) where a lot of the Braves players hung out..even the married ones, they brought their wives, and kids. Atlanta was a thriving city that finally had the winning team. It’s gone. WHY IN THE HELL WOULD YOU LET THE HEART OF THE BRAVES GO???? My husband,son, and myself always had our second teams, THEM the YANKEES, me, BOSTON, but we were always TRUE BRAVES FANS. My son met Chipper three years ago, because he was is one of his idols, he told me I stink because Boston is geting Smotlz, I told him, you have Tex. He said let’s wait and see who get’s Chipper. I told him that won’t happen anytime soon. He said, that’s just wrong to leave him all alone. THE POINT IS…. YOU HAVE INSULTED ONE OF THE BEST OF HIS KIND, SMOLTZ IS A LEGEND, AND THANK GOD HE IS GOING TO BE A RED SOX. I CAN NOW SAY, I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO FLYING UP TO BOSTON , AND WATCH SMOLTZ PITCH IN THE GREEN MONSTER, WHERE NOW BOSTON IS MY # ONE TEAM. I WISH CHIPPER COULD FOLLOW.

By Georgia Girl

January 8, 2009 9:34 PM | Link to this

Being born and raised in Georgia, I grew up as a Braves fan. I remember the 70’s, 80’s, then the excitment came in the 90’s when me and some of my friends walked out of a bar in BUCKHEAD, and saw the wave of people celebrating in the streets because the ATLANTA BRAVES WON THIER DIVISION!!!! SMOLTZIE, Gant, Steve Avery, Maddux, CHIPPER, Glavin, Baby Huey, Lemeke, Nixon, Greg Olsen, Later on Justice, Smith, Lopez, Furcal, Jones, the BRAVES SUPER STAR list goes on….I can’t name all of them…THERE HAS BEEN SO MANY TRADED!!!!!! I remember the 90’s well..I worked at a resturant on Cobb Parkway ( orange shorts ) where a lot of the Braves players hung out..even the married ones, they brought their wives, and kids. Atlanta was a thriving city that finally had the winning team. It’s gone. WHY IN THE HELL WOULD YOU LET THE HEART OF THE BRAVES GO???? My husband,son, and myself always had our second teams, THEM the YANKEES, me, BOSTON, but we were always TRUE BRAVES FANS. My son met Chipper three years ago, because he was is one of his idols, he told me I stink because Boston is geting Smotlz, I told him, you have Tex. He said let’s wait and see who get’s Chipper. I told him that won’t happen anytime soon. He said, that’s just wrong to leave him all alone. THE POINT IS…. YOU HAVE INSULTED ONE OF THE BEST OF HIS KIND, SMOLTZ IS A LEGEND, AND THANK GOD HE IS GOING TO BE A RED SOX. I CAN NOW SAY, I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO FLYING UP TO BOSTON , AND WATCH SMOLTZ PITCH IN THE GREEN MONSTER, WHERE NOW BOSTON IS MY # ONE TEAM. I WISH CHIPPER COULD FOLLOW.

By waterst

January 8, 2009 9:38 PM | Link to this

Signing Smoltz for $5.5M Guar is stupid. I don’t care how he appears to be right now. His labrum was in tatters when they operated on him. This reminds me of all the idiot fans when they traded Deion, or even Wilson Betemit. Fans are all emotion and no brains, as a general rule. That statement would include sportwriters, who are out to do one thing: sell newspapers.

By justin

January 8, 2009 9:39 PM | Link to this

Schultz you are WAY out of line here. We don’t have the DEPTH at pitching to wait for Smoltz to come back in June. We need five guys in April to open the season. If Smoltzie can’t guarantee that then ok he can go to Boston. We were guaranteeing him 2.5 mil, which last I checked is a hell of a lot better than “cab fare.” From what you yourself and O’Brian and others have written, he would have been able to make up to 10 mil if he could pitch an entire season, same as with the sox. It’s the guaranteed salary and that was the gamble, and we can not afford to take any more gambles with our rotation.

We don’t have the depth in the farm system to do that with our pitching, and that is not because of Frank Wren. He didn’t trade three pitchers for a guy who played in Atlanta less than a year. JS bankrupted our farm system and Wren is the guy paying the price. No wonder JS got out when he did.

By Doyle A

January 8, 2009 9:52 PM | Link to this

As much as I like Smoltz and appreciate all he has given, it sounds like he isn’t “banking” on making it through the season. Who knows? You can’t blame him for taking the best potential offer. It’s the twilight, and you’ve taken less before.

It’s just common sense that the odds of getting return on your money from a surgically repaired 40+ pitcher are less than good. Branch Rickey had it right. The big question is, will the GM take that money and make it work with younger talent? Either way, he obviously didn’t consult with the marketing department.

As for Chipper a) he’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer, b) he IS a self-centered whiner (he takes the Smoltz situation and turns it around to talk about how it will affect him), c) who else do you expect you expect him to side with? (you’re a player, you want to put the best team on the field).

If Chipper were paid his salary like most people, by showing up and punching in, he’d be the 20th highest paid player on the team. My boss never cuts me any slack when I tell him my hamstring’s “tender”. You appreciate all he’s done but you’d also like to see him on the field more.

It would be nice to have your heroes with you forever, but you can’t live in the past. Give him $5M for appreciation? Sentimentality won’t win games. If you’re a Braves fan, you’re a fan of the Braves, even if the GM hasn’t given you ANYTHING to cheer about. Makes you realize how amazing the run was.

Good luck Smoltz, and thanks. In the day, when it mattered, you were the one we wanted to give the ball to. You always came through. We’ll always remember the magic of ‘91.

And thanks for not going to the Mets or Yankees…

By WHY!!!

January 8, 2009 9:58 PM | Link to this

Why!!!!!!!! Ted, can you buy the Braves back??? !!! The Braves are owned by a porno company, what the hell do they know about baseball? Filming sex, owning a baseball team??? BIG DIFFERENCE!!!!! If I were all of you Braves players, I would demand to be traded. The braves went from first to worst since the 90’s. Everyone who has been traded to other teams have done 10 times better, than when they played for the Braves. SMOLTZ good luck to you. CHIPPER, if you don’t perform well this year, nobody will blame you. You are the only one left, other than Glavin. Nothing against Franceour, or McCann, or Johnson. You can’t win ballgames without PITCHING!!!!

By Fred Miller

January 8, 2009 10:09 PM | Link to this

Frank Wren is a joke of a general manager. There have been six of us in Orlando, Fl. who has driven twice a summer for weekends to watch the Braves for the last 10 years. That has now ended and we will be spending those weekends watching the Rays in St. Pete. It’s cheaper, closer and they don’t have an idiot as general manager who now has ended most of the past tradition of the Braves.

By wreckmaniac

January 8, 2009 10:10 PM | Link to this

This is black day for Atlanta. This city has lost a sports icon. For what ? Nothing. Jeff, I appreciate your thoughts about this. This will be remembered for years. Just as Butler for Barker is still remembered. Lets just hope Smoltz wears a Braves cap when he is inducted at Cooperstown.

By WHY!!!

January 8, 2009 10:10 PM | Link to this

yes. childhood heros, and yes chipper can whine, but you can’t dis him for over all performance, and for smoltz, YOU CAN’T WIN BALLGAMES WITHOUT PITCHING. young talent or not, the BRAVES DON’T HAVE PITCHING…I DON’T CARE HOW WELL YOUR TEAM HITS, DEFENCE WINS BALLGAMES!!!!

By BigPapaT

January 8, 2009 10:12 PM | Link to this

To call Chipper selfish is absurd. He has always taken pay cuts to stay with the braves and free up money to benefit the team. So, you don’t like him, but as far as today’s players go it’s a stretch to say he’s selfish. He’s p** (and rightly so) at the disrespect shown a friend, HOF veteran pitcher and the face of an organization. Like the fans and sportswriters, he doesn’t like the direction in which the Braves are headed. Any true competitor would feel the same, especially one on the back end of his career (not to mention, he’s still putting up MVP numbers).

BTW, these guys do something that very few can do and it’s something that pays well. As fans, we watch it and support it financially. He doesn’t have to merely show up and punch in. If that’s the argument, then we should all be playing professional sports. If you don’t like it, don’t support it, but don’t complain about it.

As a fan, Smoltz leaving sucks, especially when it looks like the Braves aren’t making the moves necessary to win. Only a fan would be upset.

Kudos to Chipper for saying what most people are thinking, and he knows more about it than any of us.

By Dixie Dawg

January 8, 2009 10:13 PM | Link to this

WHY

That’s right, Liberty Media is behind the porn you get on tvs in motels.

By jon

January 8, 2009 10:20 PM | Link to this

Fvck Wren!!

By Traver

January 8, 2009 10:21 PM | Link to this

I completely agree Jeff. I know Tommy’s deal is different and frankly, I think he was hurting as far back as spring training just watching him pitch (us athletic trainers watch for that kind of stuff). By anyone’s standards his poor year and the fact that he was gone for five years sort of takes the flame out of that fire if he were to leave again. However, his departure to the Mets still hurts. I know he wasn’t liked by some because of the perceptions of the way negotiations played out and the baggage that went along with his involvement with the player’s union but that whole deal is still more on Schuerholz that Tommy. The same lack of respect went on then as is going on now with Smoltz. I think about Game 6 of the 95 series and Game 7 of the 91 series and can’t understand who out there has mean’t more to a franchise in the last 20 years than Glavine and Smoltz have meant to the Braves.

They might both go out there, throw one pitch this spring and have their arms fall off but they are Hall of Famers that had a great deal to do with taking the laughing stock of MLB to the class of MLB. They just deserve a chance to try it again and that should be with the Braves if that is where they want to try and pitch. They have earned that right. I know they are no longer number ones in the rotation but man what a four and five if the arms were to hold up. All I am saying is the Braves should see it as being worth the risk given who they are dealing with. Especially with Smoltz. Normal people don’t accomplish what he accomplished the last year and a quarter with a shoulder problem. A pure warrior that would do anything to win and anything for the Braves. Its comparable to Tiger Woods and playing with the bad wheel.

By the way I don’t mean to leave Mad dog out of the conversation. Only one of the greatest of all time but still different. He just got too expensive and while I have always considered him a Brave, he didn’t grow up in this organization. Glavine and Smoltz did.

Chipper deserves a nod as well. I know he has had injury issues but still a gamer and a leader. I feel this move with Smoltz is as much a slap to Chipper as it is to Smoltz. Wrong message. Very wrong. I’ll say it one more time in hopes it will make me feel better - Smoltz is the exception.

I can’t beleive how short-sided the Braves are being on this one.

By SJ

January 8, 2009 10:23 PM | Link to this

Wren needs to be fired ASAP!

By Bob Gorton

January 8, 2009 10:24 PM | Link to this

Can you say last place. FIRE WREN NOW, YOU JERK

By Dixie Dawg

January 8, 2009 10:24 PM | Link to this

Damn, DOB’s blog crashed,

Oh well, I’ll be floating between here and the Chop Chick

By jrock310

January 8, 2009 10:52 PM | Link to this

anybody ever notice all the boston jerseys at the Ted when the Sox show up?

I’m betting this year when they make the playoffs, there will be a whole bunch of new Sox ‘Smoltz’ jerseys in Atlanta, even if he doesn’t throw a pitch. and I’m betting that conversion will be permanent for a lot of folks. They would’ve turned a nice profit with a 4th place team that kept its aging hero at home, and that would’ve meant as much as a ring in today’s world. Nice work, Frank. Southerners value loyalty very highly, and you just put the screws to your entire fan base. Liberty Media is knocking, and they want to talk to you.

Chipper’s still here, and you better shake the earth to get him to stay and retire in that uniform.

By Track&PuntReturner

January 8, 2009 10:52 PM | Link to this

There have been athletes in the city of Atlanta that I will miss. Dominique Wilkins, Greg Madux and John Smoltz are a few. Ted Turner would never let this happen, period. Liberty Media can kiss my season tickets good bye. I was mad about the braves product, now I am really upset. Atleast if I have to watch dismal Braves baseball under the new Liberty media franchise, atleast I can watch an icon of the franchise play and reminance about the days of old. Does Liberty media really care about the chemistry of the team, a veteran who will make the pitching staff better, bull pen and starter. He is work 5.5 million whether he pitchs or not, he can teach the pitchers a wealth of knowledge about how to pitch in this league.

This is the biggest slap in the face. You may say his market value the braves offered at 3-3.5 mill is all he is worth. The market value is 5 mill, where he was picked up on by Boston.

By i'M FROM BALTIMORE

January 8, 2009 10:56 PM | Link to this

WREN…………WHAT THE F*******- WERE YOU THINKING???? BASEBALL IS THE NATIONAL PASTIME, AND YOU JUST F-UP OUR TOWN. I MOVED HERE IN 66 FROM BALTIMORE, AND I KNEW YOU WOULD F-UP THE BRAVES , JUST LIKE THE ORIOLES. GO FIGURE….THE FALCONS ARE GETTING BETTER, AND THE BRAVES ARE DONE. THEY CAN’T EVER BE ON TOP AT THE SAME TIME. GEORGIA IS MADE FUN OF SO MUCH IN THE MOVIES BY BAD ACTORS WHO CAN’T PERFORM A SOUTHERN ACCENT, AND WE ARE CRITISIZED BY ARE EDUCATIONAL TEST SCORES, NOW WE CAN’T EVEN HAVE SPORTS. BASKETBALL..THE HAWKS ARE PLAYING WELL, THRASHERS SUCK. F*******….. WHY CAN’T WE GET OUR ATLANTA TEAMS MANGED WELL!!!! SMOLTZIE.. I WILL BUY A RED SOX JERSEY.

By Dixie Dawg

January 8, 2009 10:59 PM | Link to this

check out this little jewel from Wren when he was fired from Baltimore…

see any correlations??

http://www.oobleck.com/orioles/archives/columns/2000/frankly.html

By ASKING

January 8, 2009 11:06 PM | Link to this

FRANK WREN…..Maybe when you get fired as the GM of the BRAVES, you can be the “STAR”, of a new “LIBERTY MEDIA” PORNO FILM, whoops, you would not be able to get it up, just like you couldn’t GET IT UP WITH THE BRAVES! urafup. LOSER!!!!

By Johnny B

January 8, 2009 11:13 PM | Link to this

THANK YOU JEFF SCHULTZ!

You sir, have brillantly articulated exactly everything I am feeling at this moment. (Thats why you’re paid to write and I’m not - LOL!)

Unlike you’re less than esteemed collegue bradley, you get it and understand how a lifelong Braves fan is feeling.

Again, thank you Jeff….A sad day indeed.

By bravefalconhawk

January 8, 2009 11:29 PM | Link to this

FIRE WREN,FIRE WREN,FIRE WREN…AFTER READING CHIPPER’S CONVERSATION IT SOUNDS LIKE HE WANTS OUT TOO.WORST OFFSEASON EVER!!!JOHN S. COME BACK PLEASE

By Chris in Marietta

January 8, 2009 11:31 PM | Link to this

Agree 100% Jeff. The Braves “Brass” turned out to be more like tin today. They gave up their integrity by lying about the “offer” to Smoltz, only to have him set the record straight. McQuirk should be ashamed of himself…I’d boo him if I went to another game…but honestly the Braves front office has made this a very difficult team to support. Shame on them.

By Lamont

January 8, 2009 11:33 PM | Link to this

After reading about all the complete STUPIDITY by Frank Wren during his brief tenure as GM of the Braves, I thought for certain he was black until I saw his picture today.

By GEORGE

January 8, 2009 11:44 PM | Link to this

SMOLTZ I HOPE YOUR ARM FALLS OFF IN MID PITCH YOU SELFISH PRICK!!!!! WE PAID YOU 14 MILLION LAST YEAR FOR WHAT 6 CRAPPY STARTS AND ONE DEBACLE OF A RELIEF APPEARANCE. YOU OWE US AND SHOULD HAVE STAYED BUT YOU FELT THE BRAVES WAS NOT GOING TO COMPETE SO YOU WANNA JUMP SHIP AFTER 21 YEARS OF OUR SUPPORT. I WOULD HAVE MORE RESPECT FOR YOU IF YOU WOULD JUST BE HONEST AND ADMIT IT INSTEAD OF TRYING TO BLAME THE BRAVES AND THE DEAL THEY HAD ON THE TABLE. GO BRAVES!!!!!!!!!

By bill

January 8, 2009 11:48 PM | Link to this

Congrats to Frank Wren, he is the worst GM in the game today. Remember he basically destroyed the Orioles and now the Braves.The only reason for Shurholz not to fire him is his ego wont let him admit he blew it.I hope Smoltzie pitches a cg s/o in game 7 of the ws.And is it just me or does this team look like it could be 1988 all over again.

By Boo Boo

January 9, 2009 12:05 AM | Link to this

The Braves traded Doyle Alexander (an established major league pitcher) to the Detroit Tigers for a 20 year old minor leaguer named John Smoltz, in 1987. Alexander retired after the 1989 season, having pitched in the big leagues 19 years. John Smoltz has pitched for the Atlanta Braves since called up to pitch July 23, 1988. Count that as 20 years, since Smoltz could not pitch in the year 2000. He was injured in 1994, only winning 6 games, pitching only 134 innings. He was babied along in 1995, pitching almost 195 innings, winning 12 games. In 1998 and 1999 he again failed to pitch 200 innings, getting injured, requiring the surgery that had him miss all of the 2000 season. In 2001, Smoltz became a relief pitcher because of the injury that kept him out in 2000. He was a premier closer for four years. He went back to starting in 2005, because of his self-denial that he is injury prone. So he has been a starting major league pitcher for 16 years, and a premier closer for four years. Last year his arm blew out. He has be injury prone as a starter. He does not want to be a closer. At his age, the Braves would have been foolish to guarantee paying another pitcher for throwing his arm out. Would there be any guaranteed money that Smoltz would not get injured again this year, at 42 years of age? Today was not a sad day. A sad day happened during the Kentucky Derby, when Eight Belles gave all she had, coming in second, then collapsed of a broken ankle and was euthanized on the track. John Smoltz, Tom Glavine, and Mike Hampton all had happy years in Atlanta, because not once were they euthanized for pulling up lame. The Braves had sad days paying them to be unable to contribute because they were hurt.

By Whopper Dawg

January 9, 2009 12:15 AM | Link to this

Normally, I would not post after this number of responses, but Jeff, I think that maybe you may read them all, and I haven’t read any, but there is only one term for this move:

Bush League

Too bad. I am the big 50, keeping up with the Braves since inception, in the early days through the radio and the paper. Watching the 100 loss seasons on TBS with Skip. Celebrating the Murphy years and rejoicing since 91. But they have lost their principles to do this. I am all in favor in a youth movement, but not with Smoltz. Not with Chipper, not if they want to stay. If they want to move on, fine, I would try to accomodate them. But Smoltz wanted to stay. We know where the class is in this act.

By Ken Stallings

January 9, 2009 12:27 AM | Link to this

Jeff Schultz,

You aren’t “hand-wringing” over this one. This one you nailed. Well said — every single word of it! And very glad you said it!

By NickB

January 9, 2009 12:33 AM | Link to this

Smoltz left over $500,000 not $3 million.

If he is on the roster for 60 days he would have gotten $5 mill. I think Johns ego got the better of him.

By HockeyDawg

January 9, 2009 1:16 AM | Link to this

Schultz, I don’t agree w/ you that often, but you hit it right on the head w/ this one. This is not just about what Smoltz may or may not be able to do on the mound this year. He brings much more to the team than that. It’s also about what he means in the clubhouse and the intangibles he brings to a club that few other players in the big leagues bring. He’s like an extra coach, mentor, father, and motivational speaker rolled into one. You can’t replace that.

The Braves’ front office is taking a big hit on this one, and deservedly so. Ridiculous that they let the face of their franchise walk away for about $3 million. Just ridiculous!

By Supes

January 9, 2009 1:31 AM | Link to this

Jeff, normally I tend to disagree with you, but you are COMPLETELY correct in this case!

I feel BETRAYED as a Braves fan by WREN and the rest of the management staff.

Stabbed in the back comes to mind.

John deserved better, they should have MATCHED Boston’s offer dollar per dollar. If he then decided to leave, so be it, can’t be upset with the Braves organization. However, low balling the FACE of the FRANCHISE as it stands (with Chipper right behind) and basically forcing him to leave is another matter.

The Idiot who wants Chipper to “shut up”…Sir, you need to turn in your BRAVES fan gear and get the hell out while you can. Chipper has EARNED the right to say whatever the FRAK he wants to. He is the offensive (position players) leader and has been for the past several seasons.

So if he speaks out (and he doesn’t do it often), you should respect that and SHUT your own Mouth when you don’t have a FRAKING clue what’s going on internally with the Braves. Apparently Chipper does and he has LEGIT concerns.

FRANK WREN has BEEN a complete FAILURE as a BRAVES GM with 1 exception. The Jair trade with the Tigers. That’s it. He got taken by the Angels last year, and made to look like a fool so far this entire OFF SEASON.

As a lifetime Atlanta Braves fan, it’s a DARK DAY for the entire organization and fanbase who understand what WENT down yesterday!

How soon can we get Arthur Blank to purchase the Braves from the PENCIL PUSHING COWARDS that are LIBERTY MEDIA. A bunch of COWARDS and EMPTY SUITS.

FRAK LIBERTY MEDIA!

By Braves 1966-2009

January 9, 2009 1:35 AM | Link to this

Here is my take on things. Yes I’m sadden Smoltz is gone… Given the current MLB payroll system he should have gotten a contract no brainer. But there is a bigger problem than SMOLTZY HERE…the current state of major league baseball and the ridiculous amount of money being thrown at players shows us how badly MLB needs a salary cap. AND HERE IS WHY AL-East 2009 Champions NYY, AL-West Angels, AL-Central Detroit/White sox, AL-Wildcard Boston. I guarantee at least 3 of these teams will be in the playoffs. The national league isn’t much better either. My point is as a baseball fan I get tired of hearing about gross amounts of money being thrown at guys like Teixeira, Sababthia, etc. There are doctors curing diseases that work 30+ years to make what this clowns do in one season…MAYBE. And not even talking money, think about the low market teams. Tampa was a fluke and cant realistically think they can compete in this current market. The NFL has 2-4 surprise teams every year. And people like that! I know MLB generates a huge portion of money but during a recession I WILL NOT pay the redicioulus amount of money it cost to get a decent ticket, park, eat, and god forbid drink at a Braves game. I’m 22 years old trying to finish college and spending a decent portion of my paycheck on tickets to see a team who couldn’t resign a legend pushed me over the edge. Yes MLB needs to change the payroll system but given the current system SMOLTZ HAST TO STAY! I played ball in college and my dad carried me to my first Braves game in 1986 when in August when I was 4 months old. I have gone to well over 100 games and never gone a season without seeing a game. THAT WILL CHANGE THIS YEAR. Thanks a lot Braves….

By Dan Morris

January 9, 2009 1:45 AM | Link to this

Wake up and smell the $6.95 coffee!

The times when men got paid many millions of dollars to play a game are over as soon as the next Great Depression hits.

Who cares about John Smoltz. (Not a question) If he refused $20 to play for the Braves in 2008, after all the Braves showed to him in loyalty, he is a w*******. I hope he suffers mental problems from pitching in the American League where they pay has-beens to bat for pitchers. Gosh, I had 19 good years with my ex-wife, but sometimes enough is enough. I didn’t build a shrine to go cry at each year. I moved on.

Whoever wants to get someone signed, give up your own bucks to the Braves. They could put a box out in front of the Ted for donations. Give it all to them. You will go broke trying to pay for just one million dollar baby. Then you can go sit on the curb and cry. Cry hard about how no one in Atlanta saw all the good you were trying to do to help keep a has-been, rich man playing a game for your homies. Cry real hard when you realize you went broke during a pending depression. Scr3w you crybabies.

BOYCOTT BRAVES BASEBALL!!! BOYCOTT PROFESSIONAL SPORTS!!! MAKE THEM ALL GO OUT OF BUSINESS FOR PAYING MEN ASTRONOMICAL SALARIES TO PLAY A CHILD’S GAME, WHILE PASSING ON THE COSTS TO JOE BLOW AND HIS $35K/YEAR JOB AT THE SOON TO BE CLOSED PLANT. LET THEM ALL LOSE THEIR MANSIONS WHEN EVERYONE ELSE IS UNEMPLOYED AND CERTAINLY CANNOT AFFORD TO TAKE THE FAMILY TO A GAME THAT WILL COST THEM $250. MAYBE THEY CAN FIND SOME POTTED MEAT ON SALE, TO GO WITH DAY OLD BREAD AND TAP WATER.

Get real people. A w******* left town. No big whoop.

By tr

January 9, 2009 3:43 AM | Link to this

Though I do have a long and somewhat successful history in marketing and advertising, I don’t consider myself a genius in the area, But it wouldn’t take a genius to market the ‘09 season for John Smoltz as a Brave,

Even if the Braves guaranteed the entirety of his contract and he never pitched an inning, I could market his appearance in a Braves uniform over the season to cover it. Events and merchandising to commemorate his fabulous Hall of Fame career would generate that much!

And what if the most competitive-natured athlete the city has ever known actually does what he has done before? What if he pitched like the #1 starter the team so desperately needs? The cash register rings even more and more and more!

And what of his value as a mentor to the new crop of young players? If even a small fraction of his experienced knowledge and competitive spirit rubbed off on Morton, Hanson, Boyer, etc,, the team could benefit for years to come. He never even had to be asked by management. It was, and would’ve continue to be a part of his basic nature to mentor the youngsters. They, like fans, flock to him.

Limiting the subject of contract consideration to whether his health would allow him to compete effectively for the entire season thus limited the contract offer the team made. Smoltz has been quoted as feeling slighted, underestimated, and unappreciated by the Braves.

They (Braves management) missed a HUGE opportunity to profit from the situation. Now, in the eyes of many paying fans, they looking cheap and uninterested in how we feel.

It might (but I doubt it) turn out to be a good baseball decision to let him go. But history tells us that John Smoltz will do everything possible to contribute his considerable talents to the on-the-field product. I would never count on him to fail in that regard.

But regardless of how the strictly-on-the-field matters turn out, team management will never realize the HUGE business mistake they made by letting him go. They will never realize the opportunities (and dollars) they missed by letting the most marketable face of the franchise slip away!

Very short-sighted and stuck inside a very small box of thought!

By ram

January 9, 2009 7:10 AM | Link to this

BOYCOTT THE BRAVES being cheapm is not good

By JackP

January 9, 2009 7:31 AM | Link to this

Smoltz is washed up as the Redsox will soon findout. His arm is gone. What a waste of money on a has been. The Braves finally did a smart thing in getting rid of a dead arm.

By South Carolina

January 9, 2009 7:40 AM | Link to this

We are changing our official bird to the crow, which is significantly better than the wren. Pray for us that the fowl stench from Georgia isn’t blown to the NE.

By Reality

January 9, 2009 7:45 AM | Link to this

Very simple: This isn’t about money or ego. John Smoltz left because he wanted to play for a team that had a chance at going to the postseason. The Braves have zero chance of that. So, blame ownership for not fielding a competitive team, not Smoltz. Notice how Smoltz didn’t leave until it was pretty clear that this offseason was going nowhere for the Braves? The man simply wants to know he’s playing for something this season if he spends all that time and effort rehabbing.

By Blair

January 9, 2009 7:49 AM | Link to this

Schultz, You outta teach Mark Bradley how to write a column. Absolutely right, and now the front office morons are trying to bust on Smoltz, when it all comes down to them screwing up!

By Ross

January 9, 2009 8:02 AM | Link to this

I guess Smoltz forget about all those years he was paid millions when he didn’t pitch at all.Loyalty works both ways. Good riddance and take Tom Glavin and that crybaby third baseman with you. Ross

By BREAKING NEWS

January 9, 2009 8:09 AM | Link to this

Smotlz/s Health, Age ‘Worried’ Braves

In other news…..

Frank Wren’s Incompetence, Arrogance, Stupidity Worries, Frustrates, Angers Braves Fans & Employees

By BobCee

January 9, 2009 8:11 AM | Link to this

Let’s deal with reality. So the Braves showed no respect or love for John after his many years of devotion to both the team, organization and fans. Isn’t this what happenns in the real world. Hard working Americans devote their lives at work for their company, the people they work with and for their families. Today manu of these same people have lost their jobs and most do not have another one to go to as John does. He should be thankful that the Red Sox will take a cahance. Chipper needs to take a reality check and stop acting so immature. And Jeff so you lose a golf mate - Big Deal. Time for everyone to take a reality check and stop feeling bad. I know a lot of people who would love to have a guaranteed salary of 2 million for 4 months of work. Look at the salaries that are being offered to lure an athlete today. It is obscene, especially with the stae of todays economy. And we are supposed to feel sorry. GET A LIFE PEOPLE

By Mark

January 9, 2009 8:14 AM | Link to this

Ive made comments about this in a few blogs but I would imagaine that ole Frank does what JS says to do so really the blame goes to JS who has never and I mean never shown caRE whether a Brave finishes his career as a Brave look at Greg Maddox greatest pitcher ever to put on the uniform..we coould have kept the trio longer than we did maddox, glavine smoltz but JS to cheap…braves need owners who love them who owns braves media somethething o well Smoltz will love pitching in baseball land Sox Yankees…wow what fun for him….

By Anthony

January 9, 2009 8:21 AM | Link to this

Well said Jeff. This is the saddest off season I’ve ever seen from the team I used to be proud to be a fan of. I’m so ashamed of how Smoltz was treated. For all that he has done for both the Braves and the city of Atlanta. Damn you Frank Wren for making such a dumb decision. Damn you for destroying the team I fantasied playing for as a kid. Damn you…

By BigPapaT

January 9, 2009 8:59 AM | Link to this

Why get on a blog about major league baseball and whine about what professional athletes are making. Stop comparing their jobs to your job…it’s not the same. They do something that very few can do and they are paid well for it. If any ONE of you had the opportunity to make what they make, you would take it in a heartbeat. If you don’t like it, DON’T SUPPORT IT. But, for the love of God…SHUT UP ABOUT IT!!!!

By Eleanor

January 9, 2009 8:59 AM | Link to this

Just remember Wren takes his orders from Schuerholz and Schuerholz should have been booted a long time ago. What they did to Smoltz is unconscionable; there is absolutely no excuse for it. Get rid of Schuerholz, give Wren a chance to be his own man and not the puppet of Schuerholz. The handwriting was on the wall when Smoltz referred to Schuerholz as “home boy” simply because Schuerholz thinks he is the king of the hill. Not only have the Brave lost a good pitcher and a good clubhouse guy; Atlanta has lost one of the greatest people insofar as “good deeds.” I hope that attendance is down so far at Turner Field this year that Schuerholz’s salary can’t be paid. And when Schuerholz moves his kid up to the majors at Turner Field, I feel sorry for his kid because of all of this - that kid will get booed everytime he hits the field and gets to bat. Schuerholz - you - through your puppet - have created one heck of a nest.

By AlphaDog

January 9, 2009 9:00 AM | Link to this

I thought Frank Wren was made to look like a fool the off season, now i’m beginning to beleive is because he is a fool.

Any word from Cox on this?

By richtfan

January 9, 2009 9:00 AM | Link to this

if smoltz loved the braves so much he would have taken less to stay here. I don’t buy this loyalty crap. it cuts both ways. how many years did the braves pay his salary when he was not able to pitch due to arm surgeries? same thing with hampton. The organization made a business decision.

By John

January 9, 2009 9:01 AM | Link to this

I think the Braves deserved better from John Smoltz. How many years did he not pitch while getting payed class A wages? We deserved a discount and he is a acting like many many other uneducated atheletes, me me me. Good luck in Boston John, its cold up there.

By AlphaDog

January 9, 2009 9:01 AM | Link to this

I thought Frank Wren was made to look like a fool the off season, now i’m beginning to beleive is because he is a fool.

Any word from Cox on this?

By md2020

January 9, 2009 9:07 AM | Link to this

To h—- with the Braves! I am done! After 40 years of being a loyal fan, good times and bad, I am done. You low life jerks! I hope they lose every damn game but I won’t know b/c I won’t be watching. Congrats John on getting away from these losers. Chipper, get out ASAP! You people who say Smoltz should have taken a discount to play for the Braves must be wealthy yourselves, though I doubt it. Wealthy people don’t make decisions that cost them millions. How stupid can you get? He should take a cut in pay to play for the Braves! He just got divorced. How ridiculous

By alcors11

January 9, 2009 9:09 AM | Link to this

Braves have no class. Smoltz deserved much better. Jeff you are so right.

By VickBeliever

January 9, 2009 9:11 AM | Link to this

Frank Wren you did the right thing there was no reason to sign a 42 yr old pitcher whose arm is about to fall off. You rednecks don’t care about wins all you want to see is the good ole boy network staying together. He also needs to get rid of Jeff Francouer sorry behind as well. Still can’t believe that punk complained about going to the minors last year when he sucked all year long.

By Bobby Cox

January 9, 2009 9:20 AM | Link to this

I am prepared now to make a statement about the departure of John Smoltz:

“John Smoltz made many positive contributions to the Alanta Braves and I want to thank him for the thrills he has provided the fans and this ol’ skipper in his time here in Alanta.”

“I have been digging and diggging in an attempt to understand why John would leave Alanta for the Boston Red Sox.”

“I have probed and picked and I have to admit frustration at not being able to come out with anything that would help me understand John’s decision.”

“You can bet that I will spend the greater part of the afternoon digging for answers on why John would leave Alanta.”

“If I could pick just one thing, it would be my nose.”

You didn’t really think it was Bobby Cox, now, did you?

By FalconUGAFan

January 9, 2009 9:23 AM | Link to this

I love Smoltz as much as the next guy. I know he is a competitive guy and he feels slighted by the Braves. I get that, but what about us fans, John? Where is your loyalty to us? Did you really, really need more money or was it respect? There comes a time where the money isn’t everything.

By BigPapaT

January 9, 2009 9:27 AM | Link to this

You’re right…the fans are stupid for wanting a future HOF pitcher back, who, when healthy is just as good as any pitcher out there.

Obviously, the Red Sox and several other teams were willing to take a chance on a “42 yr old pitcher whose arm is about to fall off”. But, you’re right…we’re all as stupid as the Red Sox. BTW, they have won 2 world series trophies in the past 10 years and are poised to make a run at another one this year. The Braves are not.

But, you’re right…we’re all a bunch of dumb “rednecks”.

please note the sarcasm

By PMC

January 9, 2009 9:27 AM | Link to this

There is no salary cap in Major League Baseball. If they are not going to go pay for talent worth seeing they don’t deserve our entertainment dollars.

Let the non baseball fan who likes stupid promotions like hot dog night and t shirt cannons go participate.

By Dennis

January 9, 2009 9:27 AM | Link to this

Mr. Schultz,

Of course I remember that Aaron was traded, but the principle remains the same. He was an icon of the franchise who was cut loose.

I remain unrepentant in my views. You say that “of course John wanted to stay” , but he wanted to stay solely on his terms. That is where I view loyalty as a two way street. Why are the Braves required to essentially give him $5M. Because of his past service? If he is confident he can pitch and pitch well the Braves offer would have paid him roughly the same money. The difference is in the up front money.

At what point would the Braves be justified? What if they met his demands this year and he does nothing for the $5M and then decides he wants to try one more year? Do they pay again because he is an “icon”.

Let’s see where Smoltz is in August on his path ot recovery. If he is blowing people away with no pain, maybe the Braves made a bad business decision, but my guess is that he will spend time on the DL this year and the Braves needed to move on.

By Bravenewworld

January 9, 2009 9:31 AM | Link to this

I can’t believe all you crybabies. You read like a middle-schooler who has just broken up with your girlie. Wake up! The romance is over. Smoltz was part of good times that are past. It’s time to move on to another era. Instead of fading out gracefully, this flat tire makes makes demands. The only thing we can be sure of him pitching is a fit, the same way he did when he sued his neighbor for shading his swimming pool. And please, give me a break from the biggest whiner of all time—Chipper Jones. If ever there was a wuss in sports, he’s it. Can’t play because he has a hangnail. It’s very fitting that this prima donna cries out for his homey. Time to get some tough, hungry blood into the system and rebuild the dream. It’s been fun John, but your time is up. Take your ball and go home to Boston. The weather will be good for your arm.

By gary

January 9, 2009 9:35 AM | Link to this

I can’t understand some of these people. The Braves did not lose a dime on Smoltz last year, Braves have insurance that pays their disable players salary. Smoltz was the best thing that has happen to Atlanta. He played in pain for many years and look at chipper a sneeze and he on the bench.

By Kelley

January 9, 2009 9:36 AM | Link to this

Well said Fl Dawg!

The country is in a deep recession, schools are not going to give teachers a raise (some systems are even asking teachers to give their raises back from this year) but yet John Smoltz and Chipper Jones expect us to feel sorry for them??????????? Wah………

When Chipper plays anything close to 162 games then maybe I’ll listen, big ole cry baby.

Yeah, it’s all the Braves fault, whatever.

The Braves offered Smoltz a very reasonable offer for an over 40 player who has had numerous surgeries.

Smoltz is greedy and not loyal, bottom line.

Smoltz has done a tremendous amount for the Braves, but loyalty does NOT come with an expiration date, either you are loyal to the end or you are not. He proved he is not.

I would argue Bobby Cox has done more for the Braves than anyone wearing a Braves uniform, how much does he make? Is it 10 million a year? Maybe I’m wrong, but last I heard it wasn’t.

What was Smoltz afraid he wouldn’t be able to make the payments on his private jet with just a lousy 3 million a year? Try selling it to the millions of decent Americans who are unemployed, they are probably just worried about buying groceries this week.

By Keeping It Real

January 9, 2009 9:39 AM | Link to this

Smoltz is not worth $2.5 or $5.5 million based on his age and arm condition.This is a business with no room for nostaliga. Smoltz has no loyalty either since he does not need the extra money at this stage in his career. Its all about his ego. Time to move on and sign some young talent. The past does not count. The Braves traded Hank Aaron and he was more of a franchise face than Smoltz. Get over it.

By Okeetee

January 9, 2009 9:41 AM | Link to this

Chipper better “zip it” or he will be next on the train out of town! We’re already paying him way too much money for what he contributes anyway! Does he think the Braves are running a perpetual “Old Timers” game or trying to win ball games and make the playoffs??? If Smoltz wanted to stay with the Braves so bad….he should have taken their offer…..or became a coach, or broadcaster, or scout. We can use that 5 million bucks on players that will actually contribute this year. The Braves are trying to win games and make the playoffs! You don’t do that with 41 year old power pitchers who couldn’t pitch more than 10 innings last year……coming off MAJOR arm surgery!

By ArkyTech

January 9, 2009 9:41 AM | Link to this

All Smoltz had to do was stay on the roster for 60 days to make his $5 million.

By CC

January 9, 2009 9:42 AM | Link to this

======================================= This is all squarely on John Smoltz’s (weakened) shoulders. For all his class, he has failed, like so many others, to recognize when his time was up. Brett Favre should have quit in Green Bay. John Smoltz should have quit when, for not the first time, he couldn’t deliver a reasonable portion of a season, when a year ago he adamantly assured the organization, the fans, the media, that he knew how to rehab and he’d be back.

I hate to say it, but John, you pulled a Mike Hampton in 2008. And now you’re just being a goofy idiot, to have put your beloved Braves in such a position as to have to make a decision such as this. Alright, fine — you sincerely thought you were going to survive last year, and more importantly, you still had a contract to honor. But when you didn’t and when your contract had finally run its course, you were in a wonderfully pristine position to gracefully and classily take an exit that would have enshrined you in the sports world. You would have continued to be a life-long employee of the Atlanta Braves and a shining star in every family’s reminiscence of Atlanta Braves baseball history.

You, sir, not the Braves, have burned the very bridge to fans and city you helped build — from scratch.

Unfortunately, I’m hearing Chipper Jones take up for you. If he was a true friend and brother, as he called you, he would have counseled you to clean your spikes, grease your glove one last time, and thank the city, the fans, the Braves world, for sticking with you, even when you were a young head-case in the early 90’s crazy pressure cooker. And as he’s looking at the end of his contract and his mounting years and injuries, he would have told you that now was your time — just as his time is swiftly approaching. And the cherished “class of the Braves”, as highly regarded as it always has been, is a legacy not to spit at. Chipper, Greg, John, Tom — Bobby, Leo, J.Shuerholz, among others, were the architects of that legacy.

You have spit in the wind and missed your target. But here’s a handy towel for your face, if you want. I intensely suspect you will never be back - in any capacity. And a picture in the Hall of Fame will become a source of derision for those who will remember one who sacrificed heart and sensible soul because he continued to think too highly of himself and thought that just for the asking he could extract undue sums.

You forced the showdown when it should have been a wonderful ending to perhaps the Greatest Show in Baseball. You, sir, have become the crotchety old grandfather who holds his family emotionally hostage by demanding to keep his driver’s license and car — even though he can’t see the road anymore and traffic has become a blur.

And since it’s about choices John, in deciding to continue on, you have made an error on a mound of your own making — an error worse than any mis-played dribbler to your feet or blown save. It was in your back pocket, John, but the sparkle turned to sputter, and you’ve botched the greatest save in the greatest game of your life — the game of class.

Oh, John….. why are you not still here, with a smile for forever?

By T-Bone

January 9, 2009 9:50 AM | Link to this

You know, I blame Smoltz. Ever since the 94 strike, we fans have to relize that baseball is a business. Period. For everyone—especially the players—who scream that the Braves were not loyal, let me ask this. When is the last time a player was loyal? Between the union and Scott Boras-type agents, there is no loyalty. Mark Bradley was right (and so is Thomas Dimitroff). Let’s not make decisions based on emotion or sentimentality. Maybe we could 15 or 20 years ago, but not now. Not in the age of astronomical salaries, especially when the rest of the economy is in the tank and unemployment is as high as the players salaries.

I love Smoltz. He epitomized toughness. He was a class act for the Braves. But let’s keep in mind that he chose to leave. There was a good, reasonable, viable offer on the table and he chose to go play somewhere else.

But whatever you do, please don’t give me this crap about respect. The players threw out that hope a long time ago.

By Jimv

January 9, 2009 9:50 AM | Link to this

I’m glad you’ve been here long enough to know John Smoltz’ value to this city and the Braves. Apparently some fans (and a few of your colleagues) just got here.

By Chipper

January 9, 2009 9:53 AM | Link to this

Uh, I think so, too. I, uh, will miss Smoltzy and uh, the same dog never gets the bone.

Uh, Smoltzy is my brother and I, uh, feel like the cabbage in the pot won’t cook while I’m looking at it.

Uh, I probably would, too. I, uh, know that my time is coming and I uh, know a bird in hand is better than two birds in a burning bush.

Uh, I hope that clears things uh, up.

By T

January 9, 2009 9:56 AM | Link to this

Dear Frank Wren, you are ineffective. You have shown extremely bad judgement. You are utterly out of touch with this community and our team. You appear to lack class (based on your comments about SMoltz quoted on atlantabraves.com). You appear to be cheap and lack intelligence. In short, you are incompetent. Step aside NOW before you do more damage to this team and this city.

By DirtyDawg

January 9, 2009 9:59 AM | Link to this

Hey Gary, I don’t know what an insurance company charges for coverage of a 40-plus pitcher with a history of a sore-arm and several major surgeries, but my guess is that it’s about as much as the salary would have been. Regardless, the reality is that Braves management has to make business decisions and to say that they haven’t lost money on old, sore-arm pitchers over the past few years is ridiculous. If nothing else they devoted 25-30 million dollars against the budget for Smoltz, Glavine and Hampton and got zilch for it - seems to me somebody had to make a tough decision and they did.

I recall one of the Bavazis (of the General Manager Bavazis) once saying, ‘Name me any other business where your cost structure is determined by your dumbest competitor.’…well the Braves in the early days of Ted’s reign were just that, the ‘dumbest competitor’, and JS and the boys were brought in to change that, and they have. Well now the Yankees, the RedSox and a few others are making the dumb decisions by throwing money at everything they see. Will they regret it? I hope the hell they do. I say lighten up on the Braves…give ‘em a chance and wish Smoltz well.

I’ll still bet you that when he and Glavine and Maddux go into the Hall they’ll be wearing Braves hats.

By Bob Electra

January 9, 2009 10:01 AM | Link to this

Good article Jeff, agree on many points.

My take: Ultimately, Braves will not make the playoffs with or without him, it’s unlikely he will be active MORE than he is on injured reserve, Sox may make the playoffs and Smoltz deserves another shot at post-season if he pitches well (and I am a huge fan of his), Braves need to groom a starter for the longer term, so starting now is good.

Let’s not let our emotional attachment to Smoltz undercut the sound, business judgement exercised by Wren, given the facts. Wren may be wrong and Smoltz may pitch well, but he may very well be right, given the facts. No need to fire Wren. I wish John the best in every way.

By Richmond Braves

January 9, 2009 10:02 AM | Link to this

HA HA from Richmond! The curse has just begun.

By BravesFan and native of ATL

January 9, 2009 10:02 AM | Link to this

Well…. its all about money isn’t it Smoltz? $2.5 million not good enough? All you had to do was stay on the roster for 60 days and it was $5 million. I am so SICK of the whining about money. In this economy fans will be scrapping together dollars just to buy a ticket this season and poor John Smolz who swore he’d never leave Atlanta has to go play somewhere else because the big bad Braves won’t show “respect” and give him more… MONEY. Stop your whining Smoltz. Stop your outrage Chipper. Where’s the allegiance to the city? Where’s the allegiance to the organization that supported you for many many years?? Where is the RESPECT to the game, your town, your team, your principles? Players these days don’t care about any of that. They only care about money. Only money determines where they play. Well chase after it John Smoltz. You’re not getting any sympathy from me!

By Richmond Braves

January 9, 2009 10:03 AM | Link to this

HA HA from Richmond! The curse has just begun.

By Richmond Braves

January 9, 2009 10:04 AM | Link to this

HA HA from Richmond! The curse has just begun.

By Richmond Braves

January 9, 2009 10:04 AM | Link to this

HA HA from Richmond! The curse has just begun.

By 1eyedJack

January 9, 2009 10:07 AM | Link to this

Red Sox fans will not be as forgiving as Braves fans nor as patient.

By john

January 9, 2009 10:07 AM | Link to this

After paying for Hampton what kind of reasoning can Wren have not to go get Smoltz?

Wren is useless; it was more than proven when he came back with nothing from the winter meetings. It looks like I won’t be getting the MLB season pass on Directv this year and now I actually have a reason to go see the Sox when they come here to KC.

Smoltz not a Brave is not an option.

Is Bill Parcells available? Maybe he can take a stab at being a baseball GM and we can run Wren out of town.

By FalconUGAFan

January 9, 2009 10:07 AM | Link to this

Frank Wren’s quote:

“We were willing to pay John as much or more than the Red Sox to pitch,” Wren said early Thursday evening. “We just weren’t willing to pay him as much as the Red Sox were to not pitch.”

Sounds like he is looking out for the team not one person. I say well done.I appreciate what Smoltz has done as much as anyone, but I think he was just ready to move on.

By Boycott the braves

January 9, 2009 10:13 AM | Link to this

Yep we have some good starting pitchers man..Jo Jo is much better than Smoltz, and WOW Morton is ten times better too, I bet he wins the CY Young and goes on the win 300 games…Oh and dont get me started on all the “young talent”.

This team sucks. I agree with Richmond were in for some pain and years of a sorry franchise. Im no GM but look here is what I would do for one to get the team competative again, however this was only if they kept Smoltz, the team can move to mexico for all I care now.

  • Pettite, Smoltz, Glavine, JJ, Peavy, AJ would have been a awesome rotation

  • You sign Manny for the bat and the “spark” to get the town to get excited again.

  • Bring in Randy Johnson for the closer role.

  • Again who cares the franchise is done and the team is in last place for the years ahead. We sure will win with guys named Morton, Jo-Jo, and Wren.

    By RC

    January 9, 2009 10:15 AM | Link to this

    The bum owes us. Hope he and Hampton can afford maicures together. We paid both generous contracts all the years they were hurt and then they bolt for some pocket change by major league standards. They owe us.

    By RC

    January 9, 2009 10:15 AM | Link to this

    The bum owes us. Hope he and Hampton can afford manicures together. We paid both generous contracts all the years they were hurt and then they bolt for some pocket change by major league standards. They owe us.

    By I may be "Frank Wren" or not

    January 9, 2009 10:16 AM | Link to this

    Ladies and Gentlemen,

    You all need to calm down. John Schuerholtz put me in charge. Please know that I am fully aware of what I am doing. John Smoltz is over the hill, his arm is mush. His mouth is worse, I had to get rid of his ego. Please prepare yourselves as Larry (Chipper for your rednecks) is next.

    Thanks.

    F (as in U) Wren

    By Boycott the braves

    January 9, 2009 10:16 AM | Link to this

    Yep we have some good starting pitchers man..Jo Jo is much better than Smoltz, and WOW Morton is ten times better too, I bet he wins the CY Young and goes on the win 300 games…Oh and dont get me started on all the “young talent”.

    This team sucks. I agree with Richmond were in for some pain and years of a sorry franchise. Im no GM but look here is what I would do for one to get the team competative again, however this was only if they kept Smoltz, the team can move to mexico for all I care now.

  • Pettite, Smoltz, Glavine, JJ, Peavy, AJ would have been a awesome rotation

  • You sign Manny for the bat and the “spark” to get the town to get excited again.

  • Bring in Randy Johnson for the closer role.

  • Again who cares the franchise is done and the team is in last place for the years ahead. We sure will win with guys named Morton, Jo-Jo, and Wren.

    By Jasonntn

    January 9, 2009 10:16 AM | Link to this

    What little allegiance I still had for this pathetic franchise just ended. Chipper should demand a trade so he can play for a professional baseball team. Clearly Atlanta no longer has one. I hope the Braves lose 110 games this year and Wren gets fired. It’s what he deserves.

    By RC

    January 9, 2009 10:18 AM | Link to this

    The bum owes us. Hope he and Hampton can afford manicures together. We paid both generous contracts all the years they were hurt and then they bolt for some pocket change by major league standards. They owe us.

    By chuck

    January 9, 2009 10:19 AM | Link to this

    John Smoltz is a warrior. He help make the Braves a winner. John Smoltz is a very generous person. He gives a lot to many charities. John Smoltz will have many other great careers. Thank you Detroit for such a great gift. Can’t wait to see your plaque at Cooperstown. Now. Frank Wren is running the Braves as a business. We did not always do that. Say before 1990. Lets sign Derek Lowe. Then another bat. Then we can start winning again. Hang in there Chipper. We still love you. For you reading pleasure. Thanks.

    By Arthur

    January 9, 2009 10:20 AM | Link to this

    Its time for Smoltz to go. He has a chance to win it all and very little with the Braves. I have been a Braves fan since 1966. I have seen great players and good guys leave over the years. you live with and move on. Smoltz got plently when he was hurt and couldn’t pitch because that is how it is in baseball. I did not see Smoltz pitch but a few games last year. Not seeing this year is okay. GO BRAVES!

    By Arthur

    January 9, 2009 10:23 AM | Link to this

    Its time for Smoltz to go. He has a chance to win it all and very little with the Braves. I have been a Braves fan since 1966. I have seen great players and good guys leave over the years. you live with it and move on. Smoltz got plently when he was hurt and couldn’t pitch because that is how it is in baseball. I did not see Smoltz pitch but a few games last year. Not seeing him this year is okay. GO BRAVES!

    By Reality

    January 9, 2009 10:24 AM | Link to this

    Good Lord, How many of you are over 14? Wren inherited a train wreck. The Braves were no longer the class of the NL. If anything Wren showed great sense and leadership. He had to know this wouldn’t be popular but stuck by his guns. Hundreds of players in all sports have “left” their beloved franchises after their days are numbered. Smoltz had a very fair offer to stay. He obviously does not love you like you do him. He is playing the public pity card at it’s lowest. I’m glad we have a GM with some balls. Just a note but if all you “fans” that keep claiming you have been a die hard Braves fan and attended games back in the 70’s were true, that stadium would have been sold out every game back then. If anything I want my money back for Smoltzes dreadful performance last year. How many thousand of dollars did he get per pitch last year? You guys are feeling sorry for the wrong dude. Let the millionaires keep complaining about a few million dollars while I get back to work.

    By Johnny Dragon

    January 9, 2009 10:26 AM | Link to this

    I am just as livid today as I was yesterday. The Braves have lost a fan. I will not watch or go to a Braves game this year. I really feel bad for the guys like Chipper. I hope that they understand it is not against them. But this current front office has got to go. They are a problem. The team needs to be sold to someone who cares about baseball. Arrrgggg

    By Andyk

    January 9, 2009 10:27 AM | Link to this

    Wren is already a failure. the Smoltz incident only caps an embarrassing off season. The Braves have gone from the class of the League to an afterthought, or worse, a joke.

    My fiance and i will gladly spend the money we spent on Club level seats doing other things.

    By stupup74

    January 9, 2009 10:29 AM | Link to this

    For all of you bashing Smoltz for taking the Boston offer are way off base. Athletes make obsene amounts of money, that is given and we can’t do anything about that, but lets put the situation in a real world example.

    If any of us were working for some local company and a Fortune 100 company came and offered us as salary that is MORE THAN DOUBLE what our current employer was currently offering would not jump at that. Let’s us also say the fortune 100 company would also give us a much better chance to participate in exciting career projects. (aka the playoffs) Add in the fact that while we were at that local company for 21 years and given one elbow and one shoulder to it and they low ball us with an offer and then make terrible excuses as to why they did not make us a better offer.

    We would all take the bigger offer and run, and if we did not we would be stupid. We would also tell our old boss to kiss our rear end as we run out the door.

    It is not John Smoltz’s fault that the BoSox had Mark Texiera money left over.

    It is not John Smoltz’s fault that Shurholtz and Wren have gutted the farm system with quick fixes and experiments that did not pan out to the point that they could not pull off trades for a big bat and/or Jake Peavy in order to make Atlanta attractive to other FAs.

    It is not John Smoltz’s fault that the braves ownership spends money like they are the Pittsburgh Pirates.

    It is not John Smoltz’s fault the braves targeted the wrong pitcher in FA (Burnett), then not do enough to get him. It is also not Smoltz’s fault that the braves are going to spend the some of the money that should be his on Derek Lowe, (a massive mistake).

    Look, if the braves wanted to go younger then fine, do it. (Lowe does not qualify as young or an ace.)I don’t trust Wren to rebuild this thing. If you do want to retool, fine but but do not insult the face of your franchise with a terrible offer.

    If Smoltz felt like the BoSox give him the best chance to pitch in October again then we should give him that opportunity. He did give the braves everything we could ever ask for. I am cool with that. I am not cool with running him out the door with an insult offer.

    Chipper has never been MORE right when he said he spoke about gambling on Smoltz.

    I know the economy stinks and we all struggle. I would love to make millions of dollars. I also wish I could throw a baseball 95mph to a dot on a mitt. Also since the economy is so bad then it is of Smoltz’s advantage to take more money at the end of his prime earning years.

    If you were Smoltz would you rather pitch in Boston, in Fenway, in a pennat chase from day one for more money, or would you pitch to a stadium less than half full because our management has ruined its fan base with team that might lose 110 games this year?

    I love the braves and Smoltz has been for many years. I am angry and hurt at the braves for doing this. I am NOT upset at John Smoltz and wish him the best. After our 100 loss sesaon, I will pull for Smoltz if the BoSoxs make the playoffs and hope he gets one more ring.

    By kessler

    January 9, 2009 10:30 AM | Link to this

    I cheer for the braves for who they are. They are mostly home grown talent and watching boys become men and those men go through tials and tribulations from births of children to divorces through rehabing an injury to losses of a loved one. We can relate to some of these guys. Those are the reasons I want to spend my money to go see them play and cheer for. For 21 years we have followed Smoltz as he has gone through all the surguries and family issues. We have watched as he grimmised with pain as he tried to give this organization one more pitch. He changed arm motion, he change delivery and when asked he went to the bullpen and back to starter with no regrets or complaints. What he has done for our community over the years is incredible. 2 or 3 million dollars??? and after, isn’t that what this is all about, taking the fans money and reinvesting that money to satisfy the fans wants. Mr. Wren not only have you failed this entire off season to make this organization better, you have really dissappointed a great number of fans. Look for attendence to be pre-1991. My family will not be attending a game this year and I hate that.

    By Mark

    January 9, 2009 10:30 AM | Link to this

    I have been a Braves fan since the mid 80’s…mainly do to Smoltzie. I was there in 92 when “Sid slid” and beat the Pirates. I have stayed with the Braves through Thick and recently Thin but after this debacle … they lost a fan! John deserves better!! Sorry Bobby.

    By The Hell with Frank Wren

    January 9, 2009 10:33 AM | Link to this

    All I Can Say is we better enjoy this season boys, cause Chipper Jones will be playing somewhere else after this year cause Franks Wren will offer him some bogus contract, Im a lifelong Braves fan but im looking for a new team to chear for, This makes me livid and my grandmother is probly rolling her grave saying, “FIRE FRANK WREN”. My Gosh my grandmother died in 1993 and was a Smoltz fan. Thats the impact he had on Atlanta, This is ridicoulous

    By Andyk

    January 9, 2009 10:36 AM | Link to this

    Smoltz was guaranteed twice as much money to play with Boston than Wren offered. How many of you part-time baseball fans blasting Smoltz would turn down an offer for TWICE the salary, guaranteed? None. just like John.

    Wren is an idiot.

    By Ryan

    January 9, 2009 10:37 AM | Link to this

    You know what separates the NFL from the MLB? Fans accept it as a BUSINESS. I am ashamed of all these pitiful Braves fan thinking the world has come to an end. You know who made Smoltz leave? John Smoltz. Good for him and good for the Braves. He went to more money and a better chance to win. We didn’t have to waste money and we will be able to look to the FUTURE. Newflash: John Smoltz, Tom Glavine, Bobby Cox, and Chipper Jones are the past. Atlanta needs BRAVES fans, not fans of Braves players. Good job Wren, keep up the good work on building a new franchise in Atlanta.

    By SSG from NC

    January 9, 2009 10:38 AM | Link to this

    I just wanted to say I’ll definitely miss Smoltz but I want what is best for him. He has been an Atlanta Brave since I was 12 and on many occasions, I have made the 4 hour drive just to see him pitch. He is and always will be my favorite baseball player. He and Dale Murphy will always be my two heroes. Good luck John. Hopefully I will be in Atlanta June 26-28 cheering for you in a different uniform.

    By Ryan

    January 9, 2009 10:38 AM | Link to this

    You know what separates the NFL from the MLB? Fans accept it as a BUSINESS. I am ashamed of all these pitiful Braves fan thinking the world has come to an end. You know who made Smoltz leave? John Smoltz. Good for him and good for the Braves. He went to more money and a better chance to win. We didn’t have to waste money and we will be able to look to the FUTURE. Newsflash: John Smoltz, Tom Glavine, Bobby Cox, and Chipper Jones are the past. Atlanta needs BRAVES fans, not fans of Braves players. Good job Wren, keep up the good work on building a new franchise in Atlanta.

    By paraklete

    January 9, 2009 10:38 AM | Link to this

    Almost everybody is kicking the Braves over this…

    Am I disappointed that JS won’t be back? Yes. Do I think it is all the Braves fault? NO.

    Look at it the other way:
    If John loved the Braves as much as he said, if he REALLY wanted to end his career as a Brave, then why didn’t he accept less money (as he has done in the past) and save the Braves some money to spend on others to help the ball club and in hopes to make it more competitive in his last season? It isn’t like he needed the money. He did what a number of players do, he equated money w/ love and respect. Stupid.

    Does John Smoltz really think the Braves respect him less because they offered less money? PLEASE! The Braves have been dragging tail the last few years after a run of success. Why? Pitching. Why? Suspect offers to questionable people. Is JS competitive? Absolutely! Did that get him past shoulder problems last year? Absolutely not! Will his competitive nature let him pitch injury-free the entire upcoming season? Absolutely not! I am not saying he won’t pitch injury-free this season, I am just saying he apparently has NO REAL CONTROL over it or he would have done something about it before now. Can the Braves afford to have him sitting the bench and throw away 5 million? NO!

    With the Red Sox, JS is insurance of other starting pitchers getting hurt (he is not expected to be ready out of Spring Training). In Atlanta, he would have been expected to be a piece of the rotation. So to sign JS, the Braves would have to have paid him and set up (and pay) someone behind him in case he couldn’t go (no matter what Chipper thinks, JS can’t WILL his shoulder & elbow to stay healthy).

    It wasn’t just 2 million dollars difference between the offers, the Braves would have had to invest more money than that to sign John Smoltz.

    By Suffering Cats

    January 9, 2009 10:39 AM | Link to this

    I thought they said Schultz was leaving for Boston. Damn.

    By Mac

    January 9, 2009 10:39 AM | Link to this

    This is not an outrage. In fact, Smoltz could have avoided all this by getting his arm fixed after the 2007 season. He obviously knew something was badly wrong. I mean, remember the, “I’m going to be over here by myself getting gingerly getting ready,” spring training of 2008? Unless the Braves are lying, they offered a contract that would pay him Red Sox money if he pitched well. Why blow $3 million guaranteed on a guy who may, or may not be able to pitch. Yes, he’s given the Braves a lot … and he’s been paid well over $100 million for it. Do they also owe him a $3 million tip? No.

    By Polly Sigh

    January 9, 2009 10:41 AM | Link to this

    There is ZERO difference between Frank Wren and Monica Lewinsky.

    Well, maybe it could be said that Ms. Lewinsky is better educated, better looking, more articulate and has much more class.

    By BravesFan and native of ATL

    January 9, 2009 10:43 AM | Link to this

    Well…. its all about money isn’t it Smoltz? $2.5 million not good enough? All you had to do was stay on the roster for 60 days and it was $5 million. I am so SICK of the whining about money. In this economy fans will be scrapping together dollars just to buy a ticket this season and poor John Smolz who swore he’d never leave Atlanta has to go play somewhere else because the big bad Braves won’t show “respect” and give him more… MONEY. Stop your whining Smoltz. Stop your outrage Chipper. Where’s the allegiance to the city? Where’s the allegiance to the organization that supported you for many many years?? Where is the RESPECT to the game, your town, your team, your principles? Players these days don’t care about any of that. They only care about money. Only money determines where they play. Well chase after it John Smoltz. You’re not getting any sympathy from me!

    And yes, Wren is not the best at what he does and I’m not sure he’s a good fit for Atlanta, but this particular issue is about Smoltz and the pity card he’s playing with the city and the team he said he’d never leave. I’m fed up with the high salaries and the whining of the players.

    By AGTfan

    January 9, 2009 10:45 AM | Link to this

    There’s a pattern here, and it stinks!

    They did it with Glavine! They did it with Maddog! Now they’ve done it with Smoltz! next they’ll do it with Chipper!

    The Braves front office has no respect for the players. To them they’re just cattle. Instead of being willing to pay what the market says is the value of elite players, they decide they and they alone should set that value. After all one cow’s as good as another. And the Braves front office has no respect for the fans. We’re just sheep to them. We’ll keep coming no matter how non-competitive a product they put out is.

    When I first saw this I thought I’d calm down after sleeping on it. I was wrong. I just keep getting more and more disgusted.

    I’ve been a Braves fan for about a half century now. I started when I was a small child and my father would take me to see the Crackers play. I almost walked away from them when they treated Glavine so disgracefully. Maybe I’ll stay away this time. I’m tired of being a sheep. If the Braves front office won’t treat the players and the fans with some respect, why should we continue to support them. Even when they were regularly terrible, I didn’t think they treated the players as badly as they have treated the super-stars that made the 90’s so enjoyable.

    Why are we unable to attract the top free agents? I think they’d love to play for Bobby Cox, but wat to avoind the Braves front office. Blame Frank Wren all you want, but my money says this decision came from a higher pay-grade.

    By J.P. Davis

    January 9, 2009 10:48 AM | Link to this

  • Run a well-tarred and feathered Wren out of town on a rail.

  • Boycott the first home game. If no one shows up, that will cost the Braves at least $1 million and send a message that fans aren’t powerless.

  • By Kenny

    January 9, 2009 10:50 AM | Link to this

    Come on. How much money do these guys need? Do the Braves not get something back for paying him $14million to be injured and not pitch. Are there no athletes these days who do not think that being paid millions and millions to be injured requires something of a give back to the team who got nothing for their money? What if a player said (they are players not gods): “I got paid $14million last year and could not contribute like I wanted. Therefore, to make sure you get your money’s worth and out of a feeling of gratitude and the logic that says I should do something for the money I was paid, I will pitch this year for nothing. Last year’s salary will cover this year.” Never gonnan happen cause our priorities and sense of duty are screwed up.

    By BravesFan and native of ATL

    January 9, 2009 10:50 AM | Link to this

    Well…. its all about money isn’t it Smoltz? $2.5 million not good enough? All you had to do was stay on the roster for 60 days and it was $5 million. I am so SICK of the whining about money. In this economy fans will be scrapping together dollars just to buy a ticket this season and poor John Smolz who swore he’d never leave Atlanta has to go play somewhere else because the big bad Braves won’t show “respect” and give him more… MONEY. Stop your whining Smoltz. Stop your outrage Chipper. Where’s the allegiance to the city? Where’s the allegiance to the organization that supported you for many many years?? Where is the RESPECT to the game, your town, your team, your principles? Players these days don’t care about any of that. They only care about money. Only money determines where they play. Well chase after it John Smoltz. You’re not getting any sympathy from me!

    And yes, Wren is not the best at what he does and I’m not sure he’s a good fit for Atlanta, but this particular issue is about Smoltz and the pity card he’s playing with the city and the team he said he’d never leave. I’m fed up with the high salaries and the whining of the players.

    By ben

    January 9, 2009 10:50 AM | Link to this

    Fans will sent Wren a message at the ticket counter come April. This guy needs to go back to Baltimore.

    By 87dawg

    January 9, 2009 10:55 AM | Link to this

    OK, I like Smoltz and always have. I’d like to see him stay if for no other reason than for waht he has done as a Brave.

    That said, have you folks looked at what the Braves were offering him? I know the straight up 2.5 million vs. 5 million looks astonishing on the face, but if he remained on the major league roster for 60 days the offers would have been comparable. The incentives beyond that would continue to make them comparable. For Smoltz to say “no, I want the guaranteed 5 million” is basically the equivalent of him saying he can’t stay on the roster for 60 days. 60 days in baseball for a starting pitcher in baseball is 10 - 12 starts. Maybe more or maybe even less. That is the only reason he would turn it down. He knows he can’t do it. Basically, with the Sox, he just has to sign his name and get paid.

    Good for him, I guess. Heck, I’d take it but to talk about his loyalty to the team and theirs back is ridiculous. The man basically admits he will not be on the roster long. He wants more guaranteed money? I wouldn’t pay a full season’s pay for a guaranteed shorter season.

    I’d have like him to stay but I don’t think the Braves did anything irrational or mean spirited against him. He got offered a lot more than any other pitcher with his age and health would have even heard of.

    By mike

    January 9, 2009 10:55 AM | Link to this

    Wahhh, wahhh, wahhhh!!

    By El Shark

    January 9, 2009 10:57 AM | Link to this

    Wow! Everyone hates this guy Wren. These comments are more about the dislike for the Braves GM than the future “Hall of Fame” pitcher. As most people are saying in their comments, including you Jeff, that the Braves should have offered a MEASLY $2 million more to stay… Well if 2mil is measly why didn’t John just except the Braves offer, with a chance to make $10M with incentives achieved in 09’ with the understanding that if he broke down physically (once again) that he could have retired here in Atlanta and become the next great pitching coach? John appears to be upset because he no longer earns the respect that he was getting when he was a classy sports road-star. He is now an antique with body damage and hasn’t even been road tested after repairs were made. Of course an old shinny car sitting in the garage (bullpen) looks great, but can it still run? So… we now know about Mr. Wren. He is not a gambler and doesn’t like putting up money for older relics. Maybe Wren is looking at Chipper and Cox the same way. Good luck this season, you’ll need it. Go Braves anyway!

    By Tim Scott

    January 9, 2009 10:58 AM | Link to this

    FRANK WREN IS A MORONE HE IS LIVING PROOF YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE SMART TO MAKE IT. I WOULD LIKE TO THANK HIM AND THE CURRENT OWNERSHIP FOR DESTROYING A GREAT FRANCHISE. LETS BE SURE TO THANK TIME WARNER SINCE THEY BEGAN THIS SLIDE. THANK GOD FOR COLLEGE FOOTBALL BECAUSE AS BRAVES FANS THEIR WILL BE NO MORE OCTOBERS.

    By Business decision

    January 9, 2009 10:59 AM | Link to this

    The Braves have every right to say that it was a business decision. And the fans have every right to make a “business decision” and decide that an organization that doesn’t take into account the loyalty a player has shown to the organization isn’t worthy of the fans’ support.

    Vote with your pocketbook; that’s the best way to get their attention.

    By Mel in Midtown

    January 9, 2009 11:03 AM | Link to this

    Frank Wren has undone in six months the good will that John Scheuholz and Bobby Cox built over 15 years!

    By whatacrock

    January 9, 2009 11:05 AM | Link to this

    Jeff, listen man, and listen well, there is NO Loyalty anywhere, any longer! Period! Leave it at that. John could have very easily have said, you know what, after all these times I was on the injured reserve and all the many ways you worked with me, by golly, your 2.5 mil contract is fair.

    So why throw the organization under the bus? It is a “business”. They made a “business” decision. Period. This ain’t the 1940’s any longer and we are NOT in Kansas either so shift the way you view the organization and all players.

    And the way to survive in this economic downfall is to run it like a business. Let your big dollar free agents go to teams that want to blow the money and build your farm club with their prospects. And trade Chipper now! Let a young third base prospect come along and get some time. There are a few ones in the farm so bring em up and trade for a few good pitching prospects.

    And no matter how much money the yanks and the red sox spend, the Rays are still the team to beat with the lowest budget in baseball.

    And guess what else, it doesn’t matter because we are all still suckers enough to spend the money to watch em play and bring our kids out for a day at the ball park - whatacrock!

    By Reid in EAV

    January 9, 2009 11:07 AM | Link to this

    In the immortal words of Lewis Grizzard:

    “Frank Wren, Delta is ready when you are.”

    By Eric

    January 9, 2009 11:16 AM | Link to this

    Fire Frank Wren NOW!!!!

    By Dennis

    January 9, 2009 11:16 AM | Link to this

    “Schmoltz deserved better” - baloney. I now place him in the same category as Tom Glavine for jumping ship because he (or his agent) were upset that Wren didn’t kiss his rear-end again this year and anti-up for damaged and unproven goods. Perhaps we forget that loyalty does work two ways.

    And where are all the noothesayers now - you know, the ones who criticized the Braves for putting so much faith (and money) last year in injury prone high payrollers Schmoltz-Glavine-Hampton.

    To Schultz, I say “loyalty does work two ways, you know.”

    I haven’t been impressed over the last year with the shape the ship was in when Wren took over the GM reigns. Nor, for that matter, with some of the moves he has made. But for him, the Schmoltz issue was and is even more so now, a lose-lose proposition. Further, I suspect when he does face the issue of a Chipper Jones, the situation will not be much different.

    What I didn’t expect, though, was a Schmoltz to turn his back on a 21-year good career with the Braves for pride maybe, and a few bucks - a few bucks, that is, compared to what the Braves have paid him throughout those 21-years on their payroll. Much of which was not productive time because of his history of injuries.

    And I am equally disappointed at what I previously perceived as a “classy” Chipper making the noise he is making. At least it appears Bobby, who is undoubtedly just as upset as anyone that Schmoltz elected to leave the family for hurt feelings or whatever in this twilight of his career, is acting in a more mature manner.

    What a shame Glavine and Schmoltz both let a relatively small amount of money allow them to jump ship and damage their image to many of us who lived, ate, and breathed Braves during their productive days. No doubt Schmoltz will be back with the Braves in some capacity some day - just like Glavine. He would have made a great Brave’s color man on the airwaves and helped bridge the gap created by the departures of Ernie, and Don, and Skip. But for me, at least, if he gets that nod (and I have no doubts he will), he will not be as credible as he would have because of this move.

    I’ll bet his agent is happy, though!

    By Reality

    January 9, 2009 11:18 AM | Link to this

    Keep playing the pity card John. You have a lot of suckers feeling sorry for your multi million dollar butt. Grow up people!!! Smoltz could care a less about you. Way to show some nads Wren.

    By Dr. R

    January 9, 2009 11:20 AM | Link to this

    I understand the sentiment and I think the world of Smoltz. But how much money do you keep spending on the past? Smoltz, Glavine, Andruw, these guys were anchors of the Braves of the 90s and early 2000s, but their best days are over. It’s time to move on with a fresh roster and new facse. I think it’s valid to criticize Wren for not pulling the trigger on more deals, the Peavy trade chief among them. But it’s time to let the past go. Smoltz will pitch for the Red Sox for a year or so, probably 100 innings or less. And in a few years, when he’s been retired, the fact that he left the team will be forgotten and he’ll again be embraced by the Braves (probably in the TV booth) with his number retired, the whole shmeer. Many great players cap their careers in another uni, but no one remembers that for long (Babe Ruth with the Braves? Joe Montana with the Chiefs? Mike Jordan with the Wiz?) Fans need to let go of their hero worship and focus on winning.

    By andyk

    January 9, 2009 11:22 AM | Link to this

    Dennis…”What a shame Glavine and Schmoltz both let a relatively small amount of money allow them to jump ship and damage their image “

    Nice that 2.5 million more dollars a “relatively small amount” to you…me, I live in a different world. Smoltz was right; Wren is a fool.

    By Rom Nexico

    January 9, 2009 11:31 AM | Link to this

    I quit going to Braves games long ago. For that fact I dont attend any more sporting events. Its a waste of my money. Still sad to see what transpired with Smoltz. He was one of the good guys.

    By Hildy

    January 9, 2009 11:32 AM | Link to this

    Atlanta Braves will not collect Revenue from me this season.

    Wren is a joke.

    By Hamad Meander

    January 9, 2009 11:33 AM | Link to this

    Who are the Braves? It’s like the entire Braves team has turned into a bunch of faceless baseball players with no history or personality for fans to get into. I used to watch the Braves regularly and follow the box scores every week. I’ve completely forgotten to do so the last two years. Resigning Glavine was the last straw for me, but not resigning Smoltzy is certainly the end.

    At least we have the Falcons and the Hawks (can you believe that?) now.

    I guess the thing that really bugs me is that I heard on radio that Wren was willing to offer MORE to Mike Hampton than to John Smoltz. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? John has given a lot to the organization and to the community, while Hampton took millions from the Braves for a handful of starts.

    Let’s just get to the point now where we agree the Braves are rebuilding and get younger now. Stop trading away the farm system and develop some talent within the organization instead of trying to pry it away from another.

    By El Shark

    January 9, 2009 11:33 AM | Link to this

    All these fans complaining about Smoltzy?!?!?!? The Braves need more than Smoltz. They usually have about 12 pitchers coming out of spring training. 4-5 starters 5 middle inning guys a setup guy and a closer. With Hudson out til’ June they only have one starter in Jurrjens. That being said they still need 11 other pitchers, 1st baseman, SS that won’t get injured, a lead off batter and a right fielder that can hit more than his weight along with a speedy center fielder. 3rd base looks to be covered unitll July, that’s when the trade deadline rolls around. The Braves may be 14 games out of first by than. Can we fans say “rebuilding” year. It’s time! Adio’s John. Your were tremendous while you worked here. I’ll miss your competitiveness.

    Good Luck in Beantown. Next stop, The Hall of Fame.

    By Mark

    January 9, 2009 11:36 AM | Link to this

    Smoltz will ultimately be losing a lot more than $2.5 million by moving to the Red Sox. I think a lot of fans have lost respect for John & he has damaged his image in Atlanta and won’t be worth as much in the eyes of many if/when he returns/retires. If what the Braves mgmt. says is true, it sounds to me like Smoltz doesn’t have as much faith in himself as he expects others to have in him — if he was truly able to perform this next year, he would make just as much money with the “A” team as with the “B” team.

    By jammer

    January 9, 2009 11:39 AM | Link to this

    Needed Move. Yes it is sad. no I am not angry at the Braves or Smoltz. It was time for him to go. Dont want another Mike Hampton. Maybe he will get a ring in Boston. He sure wasnt going to get one here. Mike Hampton was hurt for years took the money and ran. if we gave Smoltz $8 million and he got hurt he would do the same. Bad season in 2009. Cox and Chipper go and we go back to the bad years.

    By Jeremy Gray

    January 9, 2009 11:40 AM | Link to this

    Frank Wren is an idiot. I can’t believe schuerholtz let this happen. They need to make a splash ASAP or i wont be at the Ted this year. They need to give chipper an extension too..

    By jammer

    January 9, 2009 11:40 AM | Link to this

    Needed Move. Yes it is sad. no I am not angry at the Braves or Smoltz. It was time for him to go. Dont want another Mike Hampton. Maybe he will get a ring in Boston. He sure wasnt going to get one here. Mike Hampton was hurt for years took the money and ran. if we gave Smoltz $8 million and he got hurt he would do the same. Bad season in 2009. Cox and Chipper go and we go back to the bad years.

    By Barclay

    January 9, 2009 11:41 AM | Link to this

    Well said Jeff, and particularly well written. I also say that you guys have a cup of vitriol for breakfast rather than coffee. But this is coffee, with cream and sugar.

    I particularly love the line, “just north of cab fare to the airport.”

    I’m sure I’m supposed to get outraged, but I just appreciate your good writing.

    thanks.

    By Booger

    January 9, 2009 11:43 AM | Link to this

    Hi, long time reader, first time blogger here. I think it goes back to Bobby Cox. Can you pick just one reason that Bobby is a player’s manager? This is a sticky situation and it’ snot likely it’s Bobby but it could be. Smoltz carries a grudge and he did pitch out of the pen for a time. How would you like to have Bobby rub up a ball and hand it to you?

    By Common Sense

    January 9, 2009 11:46 AM | Link to this

    People… Come on are you really going to boycott your team beacuse a 41 year old pitcher with are/shoulder issues walked for more garunteed $$? I love Smoltz but it takes two to tango and there is the little problem of the REST OF THE TEAM to consider. This isn’t a video game. My lord grow up and make big boy decisions

    By The truth

    January 9, 2009 11:50 AM | Link to this

    You’re all retarded. Who gives a rats A**. Its a boys game played by grown men. If you sit in the stands and cheer, you are a loser. And you wonder why this country is in trouble.

    By ncgary

    January 9, 2009 11:52 AM | Link to this

    its the major league movie plot, evildoers at liberty media sabotaging team so they can buy it individually and move it

    lets just hope the ending is the same. team defys all odds and wins anyway

    By Serendipitous Stipend

    January 9, 2009 11:52 AM | Link to this

    Braves were always a .550 team with no hitting.

    By David Baird

    January 9, 2009 11:54 AM | Link to this

    I have been a Braves fan since they left Boston for Milwaukee. I might well have been their first fan in the State of New York. Right now I am disgusted with the Brave’s organization and will never again bother to watch them on television (if they are actually ever on television again…nor will I trek down to New York City and pay a bundle to see them play the Mets.) David

    By JE

    January 9, 2009 11:55 AM | Link to this

    This is so sad. I have grown up in Atlanta and Smoltz has always been on the mound and I thought when the day came he retired he would still be a Brave, that’s what he wanted, that is what this city and it’s fans wanted. If management wonders why less people show up next season and the stands are almost empty, the one reason will be because they let Smoltzy leave over a messily $3 million. This guy has made more money for them over the years, helped to build a franchise, given back and been a positive role model and it what could be his last year, they shaft him. The city and the fans will support Smoltz before they support this franchise. I am trading all my Braves stuff in for Red Socks, they are about the game not just money and bottom lines. To Chipper, get out while you can, screw this team, Atlanta will always love you too. Maybe the Red Socks will offer you a good deal.

    By Goalkeeper

    January 9, 2009 11:58 AM | Link to this

    A winter of such hope and optimism turns into this.A bungled off season and now one of the worst P R moves of all time!

    By KBC

    January 9, 2009 11:59 AM | Link to this

    I have some advice for Frank Wren:

    Stay inside until you learn how NOT to throw one of the best teams in baseball in the trash. Smoltzy is a legend in Atlanta, and a strong force on the field. His dedication and commitment to Braves baseball should have been reciprocated by management.

    Way to go Frank Wren, thanks for all you have NOT done for the Braves! What’s next?

    By Dr. Tim Langley

    January 9, 2009 12:01 PM | Link to this

    What an absolute insult!

    At a time when there’s no loyalty to a team, a city or its fans, ONE stood out among them all, John Smoltz. And, how is that loyalty repaid? With a ridiculous offer like this!

    I’ve been a Braves fan since the move from Milwaukee. Over that time the Braves have done plenty of stupid things. This is the WORST!

    Someone should be shot…or at least fired. Lost ticket sales alone will make this a bad move.

    STOOPID!!!!

    By rexq

    January 9, 2009 12:06 PM | Link to this

    Give me an F-ing break. If you want to stay in Atlanta then take “only” $3 million. People are losing their jobs and you are complaining about being insulted with a $3 million offer. Go F yourself you greedy SOB.

    By Phil

    January 9, 2009 12:11 PM | Link to this

    It is always so easy for you and everyone else to spend other peoples money . If John had wanted to stay all he had to do was accept the offer , he CHOSE to go elsewhere . Good Luck to John , Good Luck to Boston and Good Luck to the Braves

    By Vdawg

    January 9, 2009 12:15 PM | Link to this

    I have always been a braves fan. As long as I can remember anyway and I can remember Hank Aaron as a small child. Nevertheless. this is a lowest of lows for this franchise. I will always cherrish the 90’s where the tomohawk chop began to resonate through any given neighborhood on a cool October night. That, is now a distant memory. It has been replaced by a sickening feeling of desperation much like when the reality set in that Elvis really was dead. Bobby Cox, there is no better time to retire than now. Fantasic job you have done for us over the years. My wish for you is to leave now before the train wreck of 2009 is realized. Chipper, Smotz, Glavine…….Thanks for everything you’ve done. As Don Mclean sang, this is “the day the music died”.

    By Jimbo

    January 9, 2009 12:25 PM | Link to this

    Cut Frank a little slack…do you think he sits in his office making decisions on his own? Of course not, there is obviously input from Schierholtz and McGuirk and others. Speaking of loyalty, how many hundreds of millions has Smoltz made playing with and benefiting from endorsements with the Braves? How about last year…paid $14Million to pitch 28 innings!!! THAT’S $500,000 PER INNING PITCHED!!!!! Yes, he’s a great guy but 42 years old with a history of arm problems. Where’s the rage towards Mike Hampton? The guy is paid over $40 Million, becomes healthy for a handful of games and bolts. What was the downfall of the Braves last season?…Starting and relief pitching injuries. (Smoltz, Glavine, Hampton, Hudson, Gonzalez, Moylan, Boyer, Acosta and Soriano to name a few). An arm only has so many years and so many pitches. Smoltz showed no loyalty to the Braves. $14Million for 28 innings last year ….chump change?? Give me a break!!!!

    By Robbie

    January 9, 2009 12:39 PM | Link to this

    Maybe a free agent used them. Maybe an agent lied to them. Maybe an opposing general manager made ridiculous trade demands.

    This is how most journalists view capitalism. For people who are ignorant of capitalism, every negotiation involves someone being cheated and someone cheating.

    By Murphy

    January 9, 2009 12:41 PM | Link to this

    Thanks Jeff. You speak for most of us with this article unlike Bradley who has nothing of real importance to say in his. (Not to mention in his blog comments which make me wonder if he knows anything about sports at all) Smoltz deserved better. End of discussion. He and Chipper have taken numerous hometown discounts to make this team better. Frank Wren and the rest of management apparently have no CLUE about their fan base.

    By zinoDawg

    January 9, 2009 12:52 PM | Link to this

    Hey Frank Wren - good luck filling those seats at the Ted next year. You’ve got your last dollar from me - ever.

    By klsfriend

    January 9, 2009 12:59 PM | Link to this

    Well my last comment wasn’t posted. Let’s see about this one.

    Are you people kidding? This isn’t about the Braves management. This is about John Smoltz wanting more money than the club was willing to offer. If he had wanted to stay with the Braves he would have stayed with the Braves. He certainly doesn’t need the extra money. We’ve been over that - oh wait, that wasn’t posted. Pay me 14 million for one year and I’m set for this life and the next two. He was paid 14 million last year and has how many previous years? If he doesn’t already have enough money to live on for the rest of his life there’s something wrong with how he’s living.

    And please, Chipper, save the stupid “respect” argument. According to that logic the only player “truly” respected is the highest paid player. Well that’s ridiculous. Get over yourselves. Nobody respects you guys anyway because you don’t deserve it. You were blessed with physical talents by the grace of god and you think you should be respected? I’d respect you if you said “you know, I think I can live just fine on 1 million a year so why don’t we lower ticket prices and let more fans enjoy the games”. Oh wait, then you’d be caring about the fans and we know that’s not happening.

    Pro athletes make me sick!

    By docbailey

    January 9, 2009 1:15 PM | Link to this

    i left Atlanta over 3 years ago and moved to Florida. for retirement. I have kept up with the Braves and over this time frame have seen a once proud franchise become nothing more than a division for a big corporation. Gone are the days to say “Our Braves’, with pride. When players like Smoltz’, were mentioned, people looked at John as one of us and felt the joy and pain when things went well and sometimes not so well. Watching sports, like “my” Braves, used to be great medicine helping me forget just for a little while, the reality of the real world and make that day more acceptable. Some baseball cities still have this, not Atlanta. What happened to John is a real indication of how i am sorry to say” low” this organization has become. Years ago, some players that had given “their all” and become the”face” of an organization ( someone you and your kids could relate to), had earned the right to feel all they had done was greatly appreciated. This died this week. Money is not the issue. John felt and rightly so, HE had earned earned this position with the Braves. If i had spent all my professional career with one team, and had been treated this way, i would feel angry and betrayed. Today, the Braves have become just another ‘run of the mill” organizations with no personality and something i can feel is no attachment to. I am sure most young people today will read this and have no idea what someone that has followed this team from the first day in Atlanta was trying to express . But, thats O.K.

    By Jay

    January 9, 2009 1:26 PM | Link to this

    I knew this day would come when they let Glavine and Maddux go to other teams. This is why I haven’t gone to a Braves game since then. No loyality.

    By MikeR

    January 9, 2009 1:28 PM | Link to this

    The only way to get Liberty’s attention is with $. Lets put our money where our anger is….

    Do not attend the Fan Fest/Autograph Fest. Do not attend games. If you must watch them lose, use the TV. Do not buy any merchandise. Let Liberty know they screwed up. They will notice when average attendance falls below 10k.

    Do not end the boycott until McQuirk and Wren are fired and the payroll is at least $100 million.

    This comes from a fanatical Braves fan since 1969. I can still name the starting lineup of the 1969 divisional champ team. I grew up listening to Ernie and Milo call games on the radio long before cable and satellite systems. At least in the awful 70’s and most of the 80’s there was some hope that management wanted to win. Now all they care about is making a profit and keeping costs low.

    By BravesFanInRockies

    January 9, 2009 1:35 PM | Link to this

    Looks like we’ve blowed up another one of DOB’s blogs. Real good.

    By jimbo

    January 9, 2009 1:40 PM | Link to this

    Docbailey…Professional players including John Smoltz are not “one of us”. They try to act like they are one of us but are in fact controlled by greed and favoritism. If you were paid $14Million last year to work 6 days (6 starts) would you feel that you were being disrespected. If you were paid over $40 Million (Hampton) to do nothing, wouldn’t you feel you owed something to the organization once you were healthy and could contribute? If Smoltz truly cared about the Braves and more importantly, the Fans, he would not have left over “cab fare”.

    By BravesFan and native of ATL

    January 9, 2009 1:41 PM | Link to this

    Why would anyone be angry with the Braves on this? They made a reasonable and, to my checkbook, respectful offer. Smoltz will always be loved by the city but he chose not to take $2.5 million dollars for 2009. Imagine you or I doing that! $2.5 million dollars to play baseball at 42 with an unproven arm, recent surgery, and a woefully incomplete 2008 season. He chose to play the pity card (no respect) and pick up his marbles and leave for….. more MONEY. That’s all it is these days. There’s no allegiance to a city or a team. To the players it’s all MONEY. Well good luck Smoltz. You must not have thought you could stay on the roster for 60 days this season to get the $5 million offered. You must not have thought you could put in a good year and get the $10+ million offered. What a joke. You and Chipper are such a disappointment with your attitudes now. How many millions and millions have you made here in Atlanta and now you act like this. I don’t like Wren either. Maybe there’s more attitude than gratitude at work here. I don’t know. You say you didn’t get any Respect? From who? The front office? What about the fans? Respect is getting an offer that could total $10+ million based on performance and a healthy arm and earned by playing in the uniform you said you’d retire in.

    By carmatter

    January 9, 2009 1:41 PM | Link to this

    On the other hand, we’ve paid Smoltzie a lot of money to rehab over the past 10 years (not as much as Hampton!). This sounds like “Me first” stuff from Smoltz, not disrespect from the team. Somebody should disrespect me 2.5 million guaranteed, 10-12 million with incentives.

    If we’re even mildly competitive this year (humongous if), this move won’t bother me in the least.

    By Jared

    January 9, 2009 1:51 PM | Link to this

    Why did John need $3 million more? Is he having a hard time feeding his family?

    How much does a 41 year old coming off of major surgery and rehab need?

    On the other hand, I didn’t know it was so expensive to take a taxi down to the airport. Thank God for Marta.

    In the grand baseball scheme of things its a piddling amount of money so I ask who needs the money more? The Braves (so they can give it to a healthy player who will contribute) or Smoltz (so he can play more golf with Tiger Woods?)

    And I’m not one of those people that think ballplayers make too much money.

    By Random

    January 9, 2009 1:56 PM | Link to this

    Mr Schultz —

    Thank you very much!!!

    I couldn’t’a put it better myself.

    (And believe you me, I’ve been tryin’!)

    Anyway — thanks.

    By Long Term Braves Fan

    January 9, 2009 2:03 PM | Link to this

    I started following the Braves when they came to Atlanta in 66. The last couple years, I watched the games primarily because of Smoltz. This is unbelievable. The ownership doesn’t seem to want to shell out the money it will take to roduce a winner. They will probably do Chipper his way when he is a year or two away from retirement. But this is it for me.

    By chip

    January 9, 2009 2:06 PM | Link to this

    Cab fare? Um…it’s been a while since I took a cab in downtown Atlanta, but my guess is that it hasn’t risen quite that much. And why do you fail to mention the Braves paid this guy $14 large last year, when he was hurt and pitched in a half-dozen games? Wouldn’t that qualify as a nice thank-you gift? And why aren’t you criticizing Smoltz for taking $14M while giving the team nothing? When did the Braves become a charity for broken-down pitchers? The team got screwed on old pitchers getting hurt last year, so they don’t want to give up a fortune for an iffy pitcher this year — in light of that, their $2.5M offer seems like a reasonable one. I’ll let all the morons demand Wren’s firing, then be glad my Braves are moving on to somebody younger. Here’s hoping Wren is calling Ben Sheets’ agent today.

    By The GM

    January 9, 2009 2:15 PM | Link to this

    Thanks for the memories John but don’t let the door hit you on the way out. Oh, and take your buddy Chipper with you…loyalty is a two way street.

    By Vince

    January 9, 2009 2:23 PM | Link to this

    I read that the Braves offered an incentive package that could have taken his salary up to $12 million. Jeff, can you give us the details of the offer? We know 2/5 was guaranteed, but what was the incentive pkg?

    By Dukes

    January 9, 2009 2:24 PM | Link to this

    Like most fans we relish past accomplimishments and believe the athletes that have performed well should be highly rewared until they are carted off the field. The reality, however, is this: Baseball is a business and it should not compensate on the basis of past performances and popularity. Most of us work on jobs that reward for performance. If our performance diminishes we are placed on probation and run the risk of being dismissed. Are we really suggesting that an aging ballplayer, just returning from surgery, whose skills are unknown, should be given “Thank You” money. Sounds like Smotlz took the guaranteed purse because he is not confident of his own skills. The Braves need to infuse youth into the roster—Let’s not cry over aging, although loved, players.

    By Whats a frank wren?

    January 9, 2009 2:31 PM | Link to this

    Hey Jeff

    When will Frank address the media?

    By Whats a frank wren?

    January 9, 2009 2:35 PM | Link to this

    Hey Jeff

    When will Frank address the media?

    By chuck

    January 9, 2009 2:49 PM | Link to this

    I don’t think that anybody could love Smoltzy more than me. As an avid Braves fan since I was 8 years old in 1966, he ranks only behind the hammer, Murph and Horns as my all time favorite players. That said, HOW CAN YOU CALL 12.5 MILLION DOLLARS AN INSULT?!?!?

    Jeff, you said:

    But this isn’t about that. For all we know, he may throw one pitch in Fenway Park next season, grab his right shoulder and walk off the mound.

    To me though, it IS ABOUT THAT. Look at how much the Braves have spent on pitchers who just sat on the bench and collected a check. Chipper made the statement that if he was going to gamble on one guy, that would be John Smoltz. I agree. My point is, that if Chipper and Smoltzy are so sure that he’s going to come back, then the contract would actually pay him more than he would make in Boston. If not, 2.5 mil ain’t bad. You can bet that he would also have had a cushy front office job after that that would have paid him well also.

    The most telling statement though, was this one:

    Oh yes, and this: He has passed up chances to pitch for more money elsewhere in free agency, most notably for the Yankees, because he wanted to remain in Atlanta. His children are here. The school he helped build is here. Bobby Cox is here.

    Any mention there about loyalty to THE FREAKIN FANS!?!?!?

    How many years in the past 20 has he been paid to sit and watch? How many times have the Braves signed him to deals AFTER huge injuries?

    Here’s the bottom line. Smoltz should have done the right thing and remained in Atlanta to finish his career. At a minimum, he would have gotten $2.5 million to play a freakin GAME. He’s not going to get a lot of sympathy from me since as a TEACHER I make less than $70 THOUSAND a year. Especially since because of their GREED it costs me nearly $200.00 to take my family of 4 to a game. It almost makes me yearn for those days at Fulton County Stadium when I could buy a cheap seat but end up sitting next to the dugout by the end of the game.

    MAYBE when I see you guys running out a grounder, learning to move a runner up, back up on throws and actually paying attention during infield, I’ll start worrying about how much you get paid. Until then the unemployment rate just went up to 7.2% and a whole lot of people can’t even make their house payment this month, so QUIT YOUR FREAKIN WHINING.

    By docbailey

    January 9, 2009 3:04 PM | Link to this

    to jimbo, i didn’t think most of you would understand what i am saying. Jimbo, it isn’t the money. Sure he has all the cash he needs. Lets say for instance, If Jimbo has been with one company most of his adult life and put his guts and blood into it. low and behold, you are now a senior employee and because of this length of time have developed a deep feeling of loyalty toward that organization and feel you should be treated with the same respect because you earned it. Then one day your boss comes to you and says during raise time, well old JIMBO, we have decided to go another direction and not reward you for the many years of loyalty given to us. If you don’t like our decision, tough, go somewhere else. Can old Jimbo feel the screw being placed in his back.

    By Kelley

    January 9, 2009 3:15 PM | Link to this

    Well said Chuck.

    Chipper can’t play 162 games, but yet can complain about his own team that pays him so well? Some professionalism.

    Everyone is all over Wren, but is this any different than what Dimitroff did last year w/ the Falcons? He let some big name players w/ big salaries go,and did not make decisions based on emotions.

    That seemed to turn out well for him huh?

    By chuck

    January 9, 2009 3:19 PM | Link to this

    The Tampa Bay Rays had a payroll of $43 million last year and went to the World Series. We finished behind a Florida Marlins squad with a payroll of $22 million. Our payroll was $102 million and except for the nats we would have finished in last place.

    Why is that?

    I can tell you ONE FACTOR: Those guys actually PRACTICE. Our overpaid prima donnas go through the motions of practice. I love the Braves and always have, but enough is enough.

    By whatacrock

    January 9, 2009 3:34 PM | Link to this

    Oh and one other thing, how many hundred million did John Smoltz make off of the braves in 20 years of work. 100 - 200? Royalties? Guest appearances? And he turned them down over what - 2?

    My gosh people, who threw whom under the bus here? Was it Frank Wren? I don’t think so. Wake up people, hello! Jeff, take another look at your article here - John Smoltz would not be in this position if it was not for the Atlanta Braves - doctors, trainers, coaches, all of the time and he walked because of 2, count them, 2 million dollars? After all he made?

    Go write about something else if you can’t see this. Maybe gardening. Or perhaps, manure shoveling or ice fishing. Whatacrock!

    By BigPapaT

    January 9, 2009 3:38 PM | Link to this

    For all of you whining about how much professional athletes make, here’s a tip. STOP! Stop writing on blogs, stop buying tickets, stop buying merchandise, and stop watching on TV.

    Revenue determines how much these guys get paid. Every time you watch and buy, you contribute.

    Do us all a favor and stop contributing.

    If you’re honest, the complaints are coming from a place jealousy and bitterness that your earning potential is not as great as these guys. But, if someone were to offer you the kind of money these guys make, you would be quick to defend the earning potential, instead of criticizing.

    So, I look forward to never hearing from you guys again, or seeing you at a game, or in a sports store buying merchandise.

    By WhiteMike

    January 9, 2009 3:52 PM | Link to this

    I’m sorry. I just can’t agree with this kind of thinking. Calling 3 millions dollars cab fare is crazy talk. Even if you compare it all you want to the other salaries of other players, blah, blah, blah, blah. It is 3 million dollars regardless. GM’s are not grown men trading and rejecting players like schoolboys swapping baseball cards and playing with monopoly money. They are realistic people who have the misfortune of operating in a world full of unrealistic critics. The only thing that stinks of this move is the fact John Smoltz hasn’t come forward and admitted he wanted to pitch in Boston (or just somewhere competitive or different). If he didn’t want to leave Atlanta, he would not have left Atlanta. Baseball isn’t Smoltz’s only source of income, and I bet he’s given away TWICE that much in his lifetime to organizations and charities. Money isn’t the issue here. John Smoltz not being straight with everyone is the issue. It was reported that Smoltz would have receive 5 million from the Braves if on the roster for 60 days. 60 days. 60 days with work every five. All that for 3 million. No wonder athletes can act like they deserve the Sun and the Moon - you guys want to give it to them without even having them step out on the field. John Smoltz has been well rewarded for what he has done in life. He lives a life more fruitful than any of us and he has worked hard for it and deserves it. He also has been well rewarded for what he has done on the diamond - sometimes when he might not have deserved all of it. I have spent hours (add them up and you probably could wipe out a couple of years of my life) watching the Braves. I’m not rich, but I’ve spent money I probably shouldn’t have to go out of my way to see something I love in person, and I’ve spent way more money than I want to think about on team merchandise. In my opinion, I’ve contributed to this team too - can I have a thank you gift of say 3.3% of the 3 million you guys say the Braves should have just handed over to Smoltz since everyone is in such a generous mood?

    By chuck

    January 9, 2009 4:06 PM | Link to this

    BigpapaT,

    It’s not a matter of JEALOUSY, it’s a matter of PERSPECTIVE.

    Of course we would take the money if we could get that kind of change for what we do. That isn’t the thing that sticks in my craw. What bothers me is that SMOLTZ PITCHED 28 INNINGS LAST YEAR FOR $14 MILLION DOLLARS AND IS NOW ACTING INSULTED WITH AN OFFER OF 12 MILLION.

    If I was in an organization that had been as good to me as the Braves have been to him, They would not have to have made an offer to me. It would have been worth it to me to finish my career with the Braves even if I had to do it at the major league minimum. But then again, I LOVE THE BRAVES. Apparently, Smoltz just loves himself.

    And don’t talk to me about his charitable works in Atlanta. Most of that just involved “showing up” to get people to come to a charitable event. Not exactly heavy lifting. All of that is appreciated but don’t expect us to fawn all over you because you showed up at a few charity events.

    All that said, I still love John Smoltz. He’s been a great pitcher and an even greater competitor. He has every right to take the money and run. I just think that he let his agent get into his head, when he SHOULD have let the fans get into his HEART. The Braves didn’t insult or disrespect him. You don’t show respect by throwing money. To me, it seems awfully lowbrow to use money as a barometer of respect.

    By JSS

    January 9, 2009 4:17 PM | Link to this

    Jeff Schultz and John Kincade could not buy a clue if you gave them the money and the directions on how to buy it!!!

    Good luck John Smoltz, here’s to you actually having a chance at walking out as a WINNER!!!

    This was on the wall all of last year, especially after they trade away the first baseman…

    It is 1987 again and we stuck in the middle… Where was the learned scribe then (chocking on it)?

    Now go beg Woody to let you borrow your balls back for a couple of hours!!!

    Jeff Schultz Sucks!!!

    By Brave fan since 1972.

    January 9, 2009 4:19 PM | Link to this

    I hate watching the Braves continue to spend money on unproductive players regardless of who they are. I loved watching and cheering Smoltz all these years and would have loved to have seen him in uniform again this year, but at some point the Braves have to evalute the cost of a player against what you get back. Your quote that “whether they have the money or not … the Braves could have viewed $5 million as a thank you gift” is rediculous. The thank you gift was last year’s salary for, what, 6 appearances. There’s nothing insulting about the Braves’ offer. If he pitched, he’d make similar money here. So it’s all about getting paid if things go wrong. Obviously Smoltz wanted to cover all the bases, which is his right, but there’s no dishonor or disrespect in the Braves doing the same thing to prevent another Mike Hamton.

    By Dixie Dawg

    January 9, 2009 4:21 PM | Link to this

    another blog bites the dust…

    By Disgusted Braves Season Ticket Couple

    January 9, 2009 4:24 PM | Link to this

    The BRAVES now have a full-blown public relations disaster on their hands and have moved into full ‘Damage Control’ mode.

    My wife just told me that out BRAVES Season Ticket Representative just called us for only the 2nd time the 4 years we’ve had Season Tickets to thank us for renewing our tickets, to let us know how much they “appreciate” our continued support and to kiss up to us and let us know to call upon them should “ever need ANYTHING” from them.

    My wife said that she laughed and chuckled throughout the whole conversation.

    (*By the way, we renewed our tickets before Thanksgiving and are just now hearing from them. They never called to “thank” us before.

    Gee, I wonder why they are only doing it N O W all of a sudden and not in years past.

    I can’t figure out why*…. )

    By Wes

    January 9, 2009 4:27 PM | Link to this

    Any of the above who are attempting to blame John Smoltz for taking double the money need to take a look in the mirror. If you make $60k, and are offered $130k, what do you do? The Braves should have matched any offer, end of story.

    By Geezer

    January 9, 2009 4:42 PM | Link to this

    Boycott the Braves - Vote with the lack of your presence and your $$$$$

    By Chucksucs

    January 9, 2009 4:47 PM | Link to this

    Chuck, you are a h@mosexual; things that stick in your “craw”? get off the blog a*******wipe.

    By Caedmon

    January 9, 2009 5:00 PM | Link to this

    Everyone is placing the bearded traitor beside Orion in the stars. He is a baseball player who wanted to pad his pocket with a few more guaranteed clams, and he wanted the chance to gather a few more goose bump sprouting post-season triumphs to further perpetuate the myth that most of you subscribe to. Bobby asked him to reconsider, Smoltz bailed. Remember, who left who.

    By Reason

    January 9, 2009 5:19 PM | Link to this

    What a bunch of cry babies all of you are.

    Smoltz is too big of a risk to keep and not worth the money. The braves don’t have the bottomless pockets the red socks and yankees have and they need to spend their money wisley. Paying smoltz what the red sox are is not a good decision. Braves can’t afford a parting $5 million dollar gift. Ridiculous Jeff!

    Besides, lets be real, smoltz probably wanted to leave just as much. And why not? American league, new experience, a better chance of winning a ring? Why blame the braves only?

    Smoltz will be missed by seriously people, GET OVER IT!

    By bunky

    January 9, 2009 5:26 PM | Link to this

    Hey, here’s a twist, How much did Smoltz make with the Braves since 1991? Doesn’t he owe it to the team and the fans of this city who truly love him and all he has done to finish his career here and take one for the team rather than grasp for the final couple million. He needs the money? give me a break! I say loyalty should flow both ways. What would Yaz do?

    By CW

    January 9, 2009 5:34 PM | Link to this

    I’m really struggling to see how the Braves “owed Smoltz better” considering he was paid $14 million last year to start five games and make one relief appearance.

    I’m not trying to be critical of Smoltz and know it wasn’t his intent to be injured last year, but the guy has been paid in excess of $100 million during his career in Atlanta.

    The Braves made a business decision to be more conservative in guaranteeing contract money to an aging player who definitely wouldn’t be ready to pitch opening day and MAY be ready mid season.

    Sounds like a good decision to me.

    By Been Here Before

    January 9, 2009 5:54 PM | Link to this

    Frank Wren doesn’t seem to have a clue on how to negotiate a MLB contract. This offseason has been an embarrassment. This franchise has ruined it’s reputation in a single season under Wren’s guidance.

    By jimbo

    January 9, 2009 6:18 PM | Link to this

    docbailey my friend…so you think old Jimbo should still get paid his salary even though he wasn’t productive the previous year and may not be productive this year? That sounds like Wall Street sentiment…run companies into the ground, lose value for shareholders and pay yourself a big bonus. I fully expected old John to take his spot in the pressbox, but again, how could he survive on $500K or so…not even bus fare according to our esteemed writer.

    By ChuckisRight

    January 9, 2009 6:19 PM | Link to this

    To Docbailey - let’s say jimbo is a ditch digger and can dig the most perfect ditch in the world. He can give you the exact width and depth you need in record time. But each year he gets a little slower and he misses more & more days of work. As his employer a painful decision has to be made. Pay him more for less or go younger and get more. All you employees (docbailey)make me sick. It’s always managements fault. Good luck John but you lost this fans respect.

    By Upset In SC

    January 9, 2009 7:24 PM | Link to this

    Frank Wren is a complete JACKASS! He’s the MATT MILLEN of Baseball, and he will turn the Braves into the Detriot Lions of baseball. What’s even worst he tries to insult our intelligence by saying he wanted Smoltz to return. If that were true he still be in a Braves uniform this year. They give 2 Million to utility players these days. John Smoltz had plenty of chances to leave the Atlanta Braves for more money, but he was loyal to the organization. Frank Wrens’ only claim to Fame will be the fact that he was the MORON who got rid off John Smoltz! Actually Wren, now that I think about you need 3 promotions just to become a JACKASS!

    By docbailey

    January 9, 2009 8:19 PM | Link to this

    to ChuckisRight- i understand what you are trying to say, and agree most baseball players today are out for themselves and have no relationship for the teams they play for. John Smoltz does not fit with theses guys. Sure, John has made million over the 16 years he had been a Brave (AND ONLY A BRAVE)How many hundreds of thousands of fans has Jimbo the ditch digger put into the Braves stadiums during this time. And the pleasure and good feelings of pride being a Braves fan cannot be measured in dollars. He left nothing on the mound he pitched (healthy of hurt) and true fans of baseball appreciated that. That is why he has become an icon of Brave baseball. And if you want to talk dollars how many millions did jimbo the ditch digger earn for his company. Believe me, Smoltz made money for many people not even associated with the Braves,parking lots around the stadiums, people selling Braves merchandise, the sporting goods companies and etc. For what he has made from playing 16 years has been returned many times over to the community in dollars and pride.John knew he was at the end of a wonderful career and wanted from the braves just what Boston offered.He also has something that many young baseball players, and people in general don’t have today. Pride in what you do and what you have accomplished. And remember, he has worked his a* of since being injured and was further along in rehab even to the amazement of the organization. My last word to this blog, when JOHN SMOLTZ enters the BASEBALL HALL OF FAME on the first pick, you people that have crucified him, please don’t be hypocrites and cheer for him as “one of us”.

    By ASKING

    January 9, 2009 8:22 PM | Link to this

    all of YOU who think that smoltz got paid for sitting the bench. HOW F….ING STUPID ARE YOU? YOU ARE CONFUSING HIM WITH HAMPTON!!!!!!!!!!!!! MICHELLE, OOPS MIKE HAMPTON. SMOLTZ EVEN GOT ON TO CHIPPER FOR WHINING!!!!!!!!!!!! John Smoltz played evey game when he was able, and wanted to play EVEN WHEN HE WASN’T!!! F U B******* FOR TALKING SMACK. JOHN WANTED TO STAY, AND PLAY…NOT SIT!!!!! BOSTON WILL LET HIM PLAY. HE WOULD HAVE STAYED FOR LESS MONEY IF HE WOULD HAVE BEEN ABLE TO PLAY. DOES ANYONE KNOW THAT THE BRAVE ONLY OFFERED HIM A MINOR LEAGUE CONTRACT?!!! DON’T YOU DARE TALK SMACK ABOUT SMOLTZIE. HE IS ONE OF THE FEW THAT WANT TO PLAY FOR THE LOVE OF THE GAME, AND NOT THE DOLLAR!!!!!!!!1

    By jimbo

    January 9, 2009 9:49 PM | Link to this

    Asking…are you kidding me?...”HE IS ONE OF THE FEW THAT WANT TO PLAY FOR THE LOVE OF THE GAME, AND NOT THE DOLLAR!!!!!!!” If this was true, he would still be a Brave. Bottom line as several people have written, he wanted an opportunity to play for a contender and perhaps go to a World Series…and he used the Braves as an excuse to leave and said to hell with the Fans. I wish Saint John all the best but some of you guys are wearing blinders.

    By ASKING

    January 9, 2009 9:57 PM | Link to this

    jimbo, do you know the difference between minor and major?

    By ASKING

    January 9, 2009 9:58 PM | Link to this

    jimbo, do you know the difference between minor and major?

    By ASKING

    January 9, 2009 9:59 PM | Link to this

    jimbo, do you know the difference between minor and major? he has been to the world series!!! saint….. don’t bring religion into this. DO U KNOW BASEBALL?

    By ASKING

    January 9, 2009 10:04 PM | Link to this

    jimbo. BLINDERS. NO, I WEAR CCC. CAN U GUESS WHAT EYE GLASS WEAR THAT IS? NO U CAN’T BECAUSE U DON’T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT BASEBALL. MAJOR / MINOR … U R STUPID.

    By ASKING

    January 9, 2009 10:12 PM | Link to this

    WREN. COULDN’T GET IT UP WITH THE ORIOLES, COULDN’T GET IT UP WITHT HE BRAVES, STAR IN LIBERTY MEDIA, THEY WIL PAY U TO GET IT UP. MAYBE U CAN EARN YOUR PAY FROM THEM.

    By ASKING

    January 9, 2009 10:13 PM | Link to this

    WREN. COULDN’T GET IT UP WITH THE ORIOLES, COULDN’T GET IT UP WITH THE BRAVES, STAR IN LIBERTY MEDIA, THEY WILL PAY U TO GET IT UP. MAYBE U CAN EARN YOUR PAY FROM THEM.

    By Hell boy

    January 9, 2009 10:48 PM | Link to this

    Well written. Your article represent most of Brave fan feel about this situation. I am totally agree with Chipper Jones too. You can not run organization base on money even running the business require people as their best asset. Sorry to everyone that I was so busy that didn’t have time take Mr. Wren to Hell!!!!!

    By jimbo

    January 9, 2009 11:07 PM | Link to this

    Asking….what’s your point Major/ Minor?…of course I know baseball and of course I know he has played in several World Series (but was that major or minor league?)…you buffoon!! My point was that he wanted another opportunity to play in a World Series before he retired, genius. Keep writing or attempting to write…you are very entertaining.

    By Baseball PAUL (Altanta Braves Enthusiast)

    January 10, 2009 2:35 AM | Link to this

    John Smoltz WAS the face, heart & soul of the Atlanta Braves along with Chipper Jones electricity. Times are changing rapidly in the world of sports, too fast in fact. This greedy economy and the greatest sport we know Basebal has become a circus show of how much can someone make. Reality is a Salary cap of 130-150M should have came years ago! However, the Braves did insult Smoltz. This man has more competitive fire, balls, guts and determination to end his career on a positive note than any other ball player I have seen in my era. I can also see that he wants to end his career with another glorious highlight reel for his legacy..The man from Michigan wants another World Championship and rightfully so. Smoltz, recently divorced doesnt really have anything else to prove in ATLANTA..and he felt he needed a change of pace and possibly have a chance of earning some new hardware before retiring. I mean seriously, he has 3000Ks, The only man to have 200+ wins and 150+ saves and #1 all-time in Postseason with a 15-4 record. Every ballplayer and Era has a beginning and a ending. Last years 2008 season was a pretty fun year for me. Seeing & Video Docing Smoltzies 200th Win, 3000th Strikeout was a charm, Chippers 400th HR..need I say more? I actually had something to look forward to. Now..I have Javier Vasquez and year full losing to look forward to. 2008 we lost 90 games!! Year before that 78 and 87 after that. I’m TIRED of losing and so are the faithfuls like myself that support this team through thick and thin!

    I will say this is not the last of John Smoltz..He will still be retired a Atlanta Brave no matter what he does in Boston. Boston, Milwaukee & Atlanta will always be forever linked together. So at least he is going to a franchise that has a lot deep rich and proud baseball history. Boston was the founding father of the Atlanta Braves anyways. Boston Red Stockings to the Boston Braves through to the Milwaukee Braves and in the 60s til present the Atlanta Braves. There was no reason to have two boston teams, but there is a reason to be part of history all over again. Do you really blame John Smoltz for wanting more dramatic fun in this outstanding game we all play and love? Do you really blame him for having an opportunity to place 3 more Wins on to his 15 postseason victories? Boston is going to be stacked. They also just signed Brad Penny and soon to trade Clay Buchholz for former Braves Top Prospect Catcher now Texas Ranger Jarrod Saltalamacchia. They are a even more competitive with Smoltz. His pitching knowledge along makes him invaluable. Don’t be surprised if Curt Schilling comes back to play for pennies just to be on this team now. Two future HOFers and a Championship. Good Luck to you John Smoltz. We’ll see you back in ATL for your retirement ceremony in a few years.

    Chipper Jones will most likely end up a DH some AL Team b/c the guy is getting old and prone to injuries. Its the only feasible solution to prolonging his career.

    Frank Wren is not proficient at building relationships between players & top mgmt, team & agent, team, agent & player, contract negotiations and making deals stick!…His hard nosed, hard headed, stubborn approached talks himself out of more deals and hasnt really done anything impressively positive for the team yet this off-season except the acquisition of Javier Vasquez. I cannot say enough about this Vazquez guy. He is an Awesome acquisition & was a huge boost to our starting rotation until Smoltz up and decided to depart for Beantown..The guy has over 2000 Ks in 10 seasons and is the most consistent pitcher that came in the last 10 years of MLB Service. No one else has more Ks than him. I think he is a sure bet HOFer and will end up in top 5 All-Time in Strike-outs. Frank Wren’s ONLY claim to fame is helping an already well stacked talented Marlins Team to a World Series in 1997 only to see them destroy that team and dump there payroll the very next year. Now look at the Marlins..They had to reassemble to win it all again. In addition, he was responsible for anchoring / administering a brand new ballpark for the Washington Nationals that cost the taxpayers of DC more taxes and over ran there initial budget by 63M bucks!!! They’re STILL a below avg team. Frank Wren & John S are incompetent and making a laughing stock of the Atlanta Braves Organization. Start at the Top (the Neck), Check yourself people and work your way down to the staff. It’s time for a change & FAST!

    Tim Hudson is not likely return to the Braves starting rotation from off-season arm surgery until August.

    Don’t let me get start with what the Phillies and Mets have in store for us. The Phillies lost Burrell and one other mediocre player…the core of the team is there..I’m not too worried about the Mets, but they did acquire Johan Santana to there starting rotation. It will be interesting to see how he pitches in Turner Field..It doesn’t have the most favorable HR Index for pitchers among East coast stadiums .The ball loves to jump out when the barometer goes down, at night or when it cools off. In the last 5 years seen 3 of the longest homeruns ever hit at Turner field. Barry Bonds 469 & 467 and Mark Texeira 455. That was against great starting pitching to boot!

    In the last 4 years I have gone to exactly 200 Braves games. I’ve been a season ticket holder for the last two years. I’m not even going to buy season tickets this year nor do I even want to go spend money or support this franchise I grew up watching and loving on TBS as a kid. Dale Murphy was my Idol.Then came Smolzie when I was 14!!..Right now, I would have to say they have a lot of work to do and hope we get some help and major step up from our young pitchers..My predictions and let’s be realistic here, We will be trailing the Phillies from day one of the 2009 Season. It’s looking like it will be another long agonizing the boys of Summer, our 2009 Atlanta Braves!

    Baseball PAUL

    By kevin

    January 10, 2009 5:13 AM | Link to this

    Look everyone, this is not the first time this has happened. Has everyone forgotten when Greg and Tommy left?? Granted Greg’s agent was fishing for a huge contract that by all rights was too much, but there comes a time when these players have to give back to the teams that gave them so much. Baseball’s problem in general is how much money these players can make by jumping ship from the team they made their bones with. In John’s case, who can blame him, the Braves offered him 3 mil less, now many of us say “3 mill is chump change to these guys”, but 3 mill is still 3 mil no matter how you slice it. Someone made the point of that paying a couple of backup players. Back-up or not, that is two players for 1/3 less than it would cost to have kept John. I loved the Golden age with John, Greg, Tommy, and even Avery, but people, organizations have bad years, you cant expect to be great forever, unless you are the yankees whom seem to have more money than the sicilian mob. Free agency is ruining the game, i remember growing up and knowing all the guys on the team by name and face but the older i get the less i see of that. Now we cycle through players like our socks. We dump our minor league talent for schmucks like texiera and hampton. To be honest, the last good big money addition the braves made that proved big was sheffield and even that was brief. Fact is money seems to outweigh loyalty and until MLBPA and MLB decides that its premadonna athletes should give as much as they get this will not change and America will become more and more desensitized to baseball.

    By not surprised

    January 10, 2009 6:28 AM | Link to this

    The house of cards just lost its foundation.

    The Braves should not be shocked. That’s a PR ploy trying to cover themselves.

    Just because Smoltz has said he always wanted to play for Atlanta is no reason to show him this disrespect. His value comes from not only being on the field, but also a leader in the clubhouse. Not just anyone can fill those shoes.

    Those “incentives” offered were window dressing to make the organization appear generous. There’s much to be said for character and not much of that is left in the well in the Braves organization. Frank Wren and McGuirk are tap dancing and I’m not buying it. Their comments are desperate attempts to try to justify an incredibly poor sense of judgment.

    Wren commented about the possible loss of fans as a result of this decision as something that “will remain to be seen.” He has too much faith in the average fan who in this economy will not be willing to sacrifice to pay for tickets in an organization behaving badly. Don’t be surprised at the empty seats in Turner stadium this year. Management obviously was not looking at what brings in their fans. The loss of revenue will be their own doing and the lack of ability to bring in a strong team is a result of how they treat players.

    Jeff, this coverage is the best I’ve read of anything in the media since the story broke. Yes, Wren has forever lost the benefit of the doubt.

    So long Braves. Turning in my tomahawk for good. I’ve just become a Red Sox fan.

    By jimbo

    January 10, 2009 8:46 AM | Link to this

    Kevin…excellent observations…there are so many comments about Frank Wren’s negotiating skills. Obviously, some of you must have been sitting in the negotiation meetings because you have “all” the answers. Bottom line, if you have unlimited $$$ (Yankmes and BoSox) you can be a better “negotiater” . Furthermore, if buying tickets last year to come see Saint John sitting in the dugout while counting his $14Million was your thing, I can’t blame you for not wanting to buy this year. All of you that will no longer support the Braves should pool your money and erect a statue of Saint John next to Hank and Niekro and gather at the statue during the games.

    By Pittsburgh Al

    January 10, 2009 10:08 AM | Link to this

    Braves fans need to get over Smoltz leaving. What’s new about a player going for the most money. In this case it makes all of the sense in the world for Smoltz. A contender, the excitement of baseball in Boston, being relevant again, and more guaranteed money. The Braves never had a chance to keep him. They just gave Smoltz an easy out by offering less. I suspect Chipper will leave because there will be a contender who could use his bat and will pay more than the Braves. I am a secondary Braves fan after moving here 11 years ago. I grew up a Pirates fan and we all know where they are in the baseball pecking order. Unfortunately for Braves fans the Braves are moving in the Pirates direction. They will pay in future years for the “genius Scheurholz” decisions to trade all of the prospects for aging superstars that gave the Braves 1 or 2 years, just to continue winning Division titles. I hope the Braves put together a team that will be competitive, but whether Smoltz is here or not will make little difference.

    By Scoop1985

    January 10, 2009 11:03 AM | Link to this

    Why do the Braves “owe” John Smoltz $5.5M versus $2.5M? Did he not make enough last year when he only pitched what, 28 innings? Let’s see, $14M for 28 innings comes out to $500,000 per inning. I wanted to see Smoltzie retire a Brave as much as anyone, but he IS A BIG RISK that Boston could afford to make. If the Braves don’t sign someone like Lowe, then the Braves should save the money and rebuild…and yes trading Chipper make be necessary. Good luck in Beantown Smoltzie.

    By Schlitz n'Smoltz

    January 10, 2009 11:51 AM | Link to this

    Scoop, you’re wrong. The key is “how many eyes are on television sets when Schlitz is pitching?”

    Eyes on the TV screen is how you pay a pitcher. He was cheap, my friend.

    Now lets calculate how many eyes are on the laptop screen while you’re blogging…….add 2, carry the 3, use your fingers on one hand….aw, too bad, the answer is you’re a moron.

    seems a shame.

    By BravesBlow 09

    January 10, 2009 12:24 PM | Link to this

    I’m absolutely disgusted with the front office. Frank Wren: Your a disgrace. I wish Donald Trump was the owner so he could fire you on national television. John Schuerholz: Your a coward for stepping down right when feces hit the fan. The trades you made over the last few seasons were moronic. What were you thinking? Chipper: Thank you for speaking up. Jeff Schultz: Thank you for the article. Arthur Blank: please sir buy this team and save this franchise. John Smoltz: Thank you for all the great years. I don’t blame you for moving on. Hopefully Boston wins it all (a team that is committed to winning).

    By thr2

    January 10, 2009 12:26 PM | Link to this

    What kind of cabs are you taking to the airport that cost 2.5 MILLION? Maybe you need a reality check but there are a lot f people out there out of work.

    The money was there if his arm held up and he did could do his job. Too much of that crap of “pay for no play” has already gone on. Injuries: Smoltz, Glavine, Hudson, Chipper, Diaz, Gonzalez, Moylan, Hampton who really slapped us in the face. Simple truth is John Smoltz wanted a chance for another ring because he did not even give the Braves a chance to counter. It was his choice.

    By SlimG

    January 10, 2009 12:30 PM | Link to this

    Smoltzy is done. Chipper is done. Most on the active are done. Bring up the young guys and lets stop living in the 90’s. We have good talent in the minors and just need a few ballers. Jeff, Mark, and Terrance should be ashamed for talking this up. Just move on like all the other teams do. It’s a game.

    By H2

    January 10, 2009 2:44 PM | Link to this

    As far as Smoltz, he should’ve seen it coming. This organization is not loyal to it’s player one-iota! Farewell, Smoltzie…may you shut do the traitors that let you dangle while you were down.

    My prediction…the Braves will be out of the chase as early as mid-June….mark my email!

    BTW: I’ve been watching Braves baseball for quite a while (since they arrived in ‘66, actually). I’d like management to harking back to the not so long ago days of 100 game-loss seasons. I’m not suggesting that management speand till it drops…however, I do suggest that they stop being overly frugal (in the midst of raising ticket and concession prices). Remember, no one feels the “economic pinch” more than the FANS! Remember us? Yeah, we’re the ones that paid salaries for your mediocrity over the last three seasons! Oh, and please get rid of John Schuerholz…he values the dollar more than he values the fans. Yes, for me, it’s “SOUR FREAKING GRAPES!”

    By Baseball PAUL (Altanta Braves Enthusiast)

    January 10, 2009 3:40 PM | Link to this

    You’re absolutely wrong…The Braves have had 2 years to give John a new contract..He’s been waiting and waiting and waiting. The injury last season really was the end for him. He’s 41..How many pitcher in MLB History have had 2 arm surgeries, let alone and come back to pitch after 40? None that I know of. The Braves offered him what they were willing to risk vs what they thought the reward was going to be..Meaning 2.5M to throw a pitch and possible screw his arm up all over again with no guarrantees.

    By Scoop1985

    January 10, 2009 3:46 PM | Link to this

    Eyes on the screen? Moron? Your laptop muct have a mirrored screen. Anyways, back to the point, when healthy, John Smoltz is a great pitcher. However, that’s the gotcha. He is NOT healthy EVEN WITH impressive workouts. Oh yeah, how many eyes on TV were watching these impressive workouts. No matter how you paint it, he is a risky signing. The Braves offer was prudent. The Red Sox could afford a bigger risk AND they could afford to wait until June when he MIGHT be healthy and able to pitch at the major league level. John Smoltz has been more than fairly compensated by the Braves. He doesn’t owe the Braves anything AND the Braves don’t owe him either.

    By walter

    January 10, 2009 4:15 PM | Link to this

    Please, I love Smoltz as much as anybody, but It is not like he needed the money, How much did they pay him last year? For nothing this is a business you move on. I don’t blame John for wanting one more year or signing for more money, but I don’t blame Wren either. John made the desicion to leave he was not traded. the Nique trade was much worse. And if Chipper wants to leave Goodbye I am sure we could find another 3rd basemen that would be on the feild a lot more with compareble numbers for a lot less. I like Chipper but thes comments are stupid, I was much sadder when they traded Murphy. God bless

    By BOB

    January 10, 2009 6:38 PM | Link to this

    SO JOHN IS MOVING TO A BETTER PLACE? SHOWS A LOT OF LOYALTY TO THE TEAM AND ATLANTA FANS. LIKE THE MONEY MEANS SO MUCH TO HIM, HOW MANY MILLIONS DOES THIS SORRY POS NEED? HOW MANY YEARS DID HE SIT ON HIS DUFF AND PITCH ONLY EVERY 4 OR FIVE DAYS? HE WAS PAID MILLIONS WHILE OTHERS PLAYED FOR THE MINIMUM CONTRACT AND GAVE IT ALL. NO LOYALTY FOR A CITY THAT IDOLIZED HIM. LET HIM GO, TO HELL WITH HIM, HOPE HE NEVER WINS ANOTHER. HE WILL HOWEVER BECAUSE THE RED SOX DO HAVE A DECENT TEAM. MAYBE HE’LL TEAR A MUSCLE OR NEED ANOTHER PHYCOLIGIST LIKE HE NEEDED MANY YEARS AGO. I’LL STILL PULL FOR THE BRAVES, DID DURING THE LEAN YEARS, I’M NO QUITTER! GO BRAVES!!!!

    By Shane

    January 10, 2009 6:57 PM | Link to this

    Most people are worried about putting gas in the tank. These guys are worried about how many million they can squeeze out of a team. Get it folks.

    By Commonsense

    January 10, 2009 8:38 PM | Link to this

    hey people wake up. Baseball is a business. When Smoltz showed he couldn’t play a whole season any more his value went out the window. Why pay millions for nothing. He was well paid all of those great years. Now he is spending your money and you are pouting about it. The Braves will get a new young stud to carry the team. No one held his hand to the pen signing with Boston. Now maybe the price of a hotdog will go down!!!

    By iheath

    January 10, 2009 8:55 PM | Link to this

    Smoltz has made MILLIONS of dollars with the braves and 14.8 when he didn’t hardly play last year. I’ve loved him as a player all along, but he is greedy. You can’t sacrifice 3 million dollars for a year or two at the end of your career when you have gotten paid millions (like 130) of dollars over the years from the franchise that gave you your start in the bigs as well? I don’t have any problem with the braves not matching the red sox offer. The man is in his 40’s and doesn’t have much left in him. It doesn’t make sense that people are only talking about the braves loyalty towards smoltz, and not talking about smoltzy’s lack of loyalty to the braves.

    By Lee

    January 10, 2009 9:01 PM | Link to this

    I certainly agree that Braves management has made a major mistake, public relations wise and in personnel management, among others, including credibility, in the sad departure of John Smoltz.
    But I am also disappointed and shocked at the crude, rude, inconsiderate and profane language I see on this site in discussion of this matter. What has happened to civility, courtesy, consideration of others. Where has character gone, for it is certainly absent in some of these discussions.
    Please, let’s respond like kind, considerate ladies and gentlemen. We can certainly express opposition, shock and disappointment in a considerate manner.

    By Mike

    January 10, 2009 9:29 PM | Link to this

    Amen, Jeff. Amen.

    By vbw

    January 10, 2009 9:37 PM | Link to this

    I knew the Braves would do this when the team wasn’t sold to Arthur Blank. Liberty Media, please do the Braves fans a favor, see if Arthur is still interested. We know what he is capable of. The Braves performed better then this when AOL owned them.

    By Ruger

    January 10, 2009 9:39 PM | Link to this

    Smotlz deserved better? What a crock. He’s already richer than astronauts and at the end of his career. Its not like the Braves asked him to stick around for free. Just like Glavine he’s following the money. If he wanted to end his career here he would. Good riddance, I say.

    By Smitty

    January 10, 2009 9:41 PM | Link to this

    Smoltz got paid for what he did…we didn’t owe him any more than his salary which was very good…he owed us for getting paid to ride the bench last year

    By Smoltz Fan

    January 10, 2009 9:53 PM | Link to this

    John Smoltz was and has been my favorite player on the Braves, and the only player left over from the winning days. I was flabbergasted that he was allowed to get away, but I’m not surprised. This is after all the Atlanta Braves, and Atlanta is known for teams that can snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. It will be a long time before I ever buy another Atlanta Braves ticket (unless Smoltz comes to town with Boston to pitch a shut out). This Frank Wren guy is an idiot.

    By chadinga

    January 10, 2009 10:44 PM | Link to this

    John Smoltz was paid $14 million for 28 innings in 2008 and $8.5 million for missing the entire 2000 season after Tommy John surgery, and $8 million while pitching half a season out of the bullpen. That’s $30.5 million dollars for 87 innings over 3 injury-plagued seasons. Smoltz and his handlers always say he took less in the past to stay with Atlanta, but he deserved less because he was so often injured. The Braves have more than paid him enough money in his career. So what if Boston is willing to pay him more. Their payroll is twice that of the Braves and they have the revenues to support a mistake on a 41-year old pitcher with a history of injuries. Smoltz is a very prideful person, and the Braves hurt his. Boo hoo, get over it. Hey Chipper, it’s only a couple of million dollars. You make it sound like pocket change. Why don’t you just give Smoltz $2 million out of your pocket if it ain’t much money! Overpaid crybabies!

    By BravesFan and native of ATL

    January 10, 2009 11:19 PM | Link to this

    John Smoltz has been a great pitcher for The Braves for many years. He’s been one of the constant faces of the team and a leader. Wren may be an idiot but what’s happening here is Smoltz is on an ego trip and in denial that its time to retire. I’d like to see him pitch 5 more years but that isn’t going to happen. He’s a tough guy, played hurt, never complained but why should the team give him so much up front when he got $14M last year for hardly pitching at all? He’s a great guy and I wish him the best but this isn’t mistreatment of a Braves future Hall of Famer. He had a very good offer from the Braves that only got better if he could actually pitch this coming season. He must not have thought he could do this and maybe he didn’t appreciate the doubt expressed by Wren. I would have been cautious too in Wren’s place given Smoltz’s last season and his recent surgery. It’s Smoltz’s choice to leave and it would seem he’s just chasing after more money. Bad move John. You’d be MUCH happier staying here and still making millions. It’s your choice.

    By Grace

    January 11, 2009 12:12 AM | Link to this

    This is what happens with corporate take over. I’m only surprised it took this long to run the organization into the ground. I’ve been listening, watching and attending Braves games since 1964. All that’s left to say is farewell, Braves.

    By Grace

    January 11, 2009 12:12 AM | Link to this

    This is what happens with corporate take over. I’m only surprised it took this long to run the organization into the ground. I’ve been listening, watching and attending Braves games since 1964. All that’s left to say is farewell, Braves.

    By Grace

    January 11, 2009 12:12 AM | Link to this

    This is what happens with corporate take over. I’m only surprised it took this long to run the organization into the ground. I’ve been listening, watching and attending Braves games since 1964. All that’s left to say is farewell, Braves.

    By Carole

    January 11, 2009 12:15 AM | Link to this

    I think this is absolutely a disgrace to Atlanta. I have been a Braves fan all of my life and now for this to happen maks me question the leadership of this organization. What The Hell are you doing??????????????

    By SC Dawg

    January 11, 2009 12:30 AM | Link to this

    I remember a braves team beginning a new decade 1991 with players like, tom glavine, steve avery, john smoltz, kent mercker, pete smith, mike stanton, mark wohlers, on the pitching staff with players like rafael belliard, jeff blauser, vinny castilla, brian hunter, mark lemke, and jeff treadway and out field that looked like ron grant, tommy gregg, david justice, deion sanders an dthe old man lonnie smith. did anyone thing that young team would do anything?? Wow, out of now where at the end of the season we here braves win, braves win, braves win. YOU know, we’ll all miss the ole man and his gritty performance on the mound. we thank him for his greatness and the memories in atlanta. But lets move on to the next season with the same unlikely expectations we had when 1991 rolled out. maybe just maybe we win 90 games with this bunch of young guns and bats and we fall crazy in love with our team again. and again we’ll be rewarded with a playoff run that keeps us at the ball park and in front of that new 60” HDTV watching until the final out at 1am to announce. The braves battled back on more time. now folks come back out tomorrow night and lets get that last win and move on to the play offs against those hated mets, marlins, or phillies. I’ll be back sceaming my head off>>>>Go BRAVES and pick us up hoss, we need a run!! I can’t wait spring training in orlanda, a couple of games agains the dogs and jacketts for a little fun. seeing those new pitchers warming up. the smell of dirt and hot dogs and popcorn and beer. what a way to start the spring. lets here it from the ump behind the plate >>> Let’s play ball>>> first up batting in the lead off position….Yunel escobar, 2. kelly johnson, 3 chipper jones, 4 brian mccann 5. raul ibanez 6. gegor blanco, 7 jeff brancour, 8 casey kotchman 9. jorge campillo

    GO BRAVES 2009 OUR TEAM

    By Kashi

    January 11, 2009 12:35 AM | Link to this

    Wren has a attitude problem. He is not good at neogiating. He didn’t even offer a crap to Texiera when he was saying I will listen to an offer before the trade deadline and in spring trainning. You got to take a chance and make your resonable offer. Wren got to go…or liberty media take this team to Denver.

    By Jerry

    January 11, 2009 1:24 AM | Link to this

    The Braves made John a very rich man. Paid him 14 mil last year for little to nothing in the way of pitching. All things come to an end sooner or later. Good luck in Boston!

    By Bo

    January 11, 2009 1:45 AM | Link to this

    Smoltz deserved better??????? How about the fans deserved better! I love Smoltzie as much as the next die-hard Braves fan, but he made over $130,000,000.00 during his career in Atlanta. That’s in MILLIONS man! You want respect? You’ve got over $130,000,000.00 in respect dude. The Braves contract was very appropriate! BOO TO SMOLTZIE! He’s the reason this happened.

    And Chipper’s comment that you gamble a couple of Million $ on a guy like Smoltzie, with his 5 + surgeries and coming off of a major one at 41 years of age … Get over it jerk! You’re my favorite player, but I could live off of 2 Million Dollars for the rest of my life, in COMFORT! And take care of my wife, kids and extended family. I’m tired of those spoiled brat, millionaire comments from MLBers.

    Gees guys, after pulling in over $100,000,000.00 over your career from the Braves, you should be willing to play your last few years for your hometown fans, no matter what the price!

    Did all this start up after Tom “Greedy” Glavine came back from the Muts? Hmmm!

    Do any of you realize that the average family income in America is $50,233.00? AMERICA

    Really guys?

    By HugeBravesFan

    January 11, 2009 2:27 AM | Link to this

    Wait just a minute….

    What is it going to be… for LOVE or MONEY? The timeless question to the overpaid millionare athletes the world over.

    Yes, I am a big fan of the Braves and John Smoltz. However, lets get things really clear. He is getting old. Sorry, he IS old. John is a fierce competitor… and of course he is going to say he can “go” all year long. But really, we cannot take that chance for that kind of money. No matter what. John is the one giving up on the Braves… not the other way around. He has made COUNTLESS millions here in Atlanta… and has plenty of business and familty interests rooted here. He is the one who wants to finish his career here… and decides to play elsewhere for MORE money. Whatever. Sorry family.. sorry schools. Hopefully, John doesnt actually NEED that salary. Hopefully, he’s put some money in the bank… because he should know… not many people make it that long in this business.

    The Braves are still a business. They are there on a relative string budget and cannot keep handing out more millions to players they LIKE that may or not actually be able to play. John is the one who needs to get real… buck up… take the salary demotion and stick around with the Braves to the end.

    Sorry, it’s the truth.

    By SC Dawg

    January 11, 2009 2:52 AM | Link to this

    By SC Dawg

    I remember a braves team beginning a new decade 1991 with players like, tom glavine, steve avery, john smoltz, kent mercker, pete smith, mike stanton, mark wohlers, on the pitching staff with players like rafael belliard, jeff blauser, vinny castilla, brian hunter, mark lemke, and jeff treadway and out field that looked like ron grant, tommy gregg, david justice, deion sanders an dthe old man lonnie smith. did anyone thing that young team would do anything?? Wow, out of now where at the end of the season we hear braves win, braves win, braves win. YOU know, we’ll all miss the ole man and his gritty performance on the mound. we thank him for his greatness and the memories in atlanta. But lets move on to the next season with the same unlikely expectations we had when 1991 rolled out. maybe just maybe we win 90 games with this bunch of young guns and bats and we fall crazy in love with our team again. and again we’ll be rewarded with a playoff run that keeps us at the ball park and in front of that new 60” HDTV watching until the final out at 1am to announce. The braves battled back on more time. now folks come back out tomorrow night and lets get that last win and move on to the play offs against those hated mets, marlins, or phillies. I’ll be back sceaming my head off>>>>Go BRAVES and pick us up hoss, we need a run!! I can’t wait spring training in orlanda, a couple of games agains the dogs and jacketts for a little fun. seeing those new pitchers warming up. the smell of dirt and hot dogs and popcorn and beer. what a way to start the spring. lets hear it from the ump behind the plate >>> Let’s play ball>>> first up batting in the lead off position….Yunel escobar, 2. kelly johnson, 3 chipper jones, 4 brian mccann 5. raul ibanez 6. gegor blanco, 7 jeff brancour, 8 casey kotchman 9. jorge campillo

    GO BRAVES 2009 OUR TEAM

    By bravesFAN

    January 11, 2009 6:48 AM | Link to this

    Let’s not forget that at the end of the day the Braves actually offered MORE money than the Red Sox. Yes, the “guaranteed” money was a little bit less, but the total contract (if Smoltz did his job) would have paid him more to stay in ATL. Is it Wren’s fault that Smoltz decided to leave for less money? Has Smoltz even officially signed his name to the Red Sox contract yet? Maybe this is a cheap publicity stunt by Smoltz to get Braves fans to stroke his ego and tell them how great he is!

    By DAN DEACON

    January 11, 2009 7:23 AM | Link to this

    IT’S TIME TO STOP PAYING ATHLETES RIDICULOUS MILLIONS. I love Smoltz, but everyone of the pro athletes are overpaid and have been for years. It’s time to stop it. Yet, it’s also time to stop looking outside our own country for players - Japan and Mawakasi? What anti-American idiots decided this? We have players right here in the USA equal to or greater than players from other countries and willing to play for half the money. I say flush all pro athletes that won’t take $500,000 to play/work. Anymore than that is overpayment and we the fans are paying everytime we go to buy a product that sponsors the sport at the event or on television and in ticket/concession prices. For $500,000 annually, they’d have players standing in line to have the opportunity to go pro and most likely ones that are superior in ability than those now making millions. Greed is costing all of us and to continue to support it is absurd. None of my dollars will go to support any sport until the salaries are reduced substantially, including attending or the purchase of any sponsored merchandise. It’s time to get our priorities in line!!

    By jp

    January 11, 2009 9:10 AM | Link to this

    Loyalty is a two way street. The Braves honored his contract last year when he pitched 28 innings. He took the money and ran. The Braves made him a fair offer for what he brought to the table and what kind of money they have to spend. We don’t have Red Sox or Yankee money to throw away. We threw enough away on that little weasle Hampton. I wish him luck because I respect him and he is a Hall of Famer. But he was not insulted.

    By Night Moves

    January 11, 2009 9:34 AM | Link to this

    It’s 14 years since many of you swore off baseball because of ridiculous salaries…please. Who pitched more innings per game — Smolz or the rest of this minor league level staff? How much did the Braves pay John for the years of great PR they received for his tireless community work? Wooden bat tournaments, prayer breakfasts, charity events - what was the Braves ROI? When an exec talks about “tough” decisions, always substitute “gutless”, “easy” or “stupid” — usually makes more sense.

    By TM

    January 11, 2009 9:35 AM | Link to this

    Unemployment is at 7.2%…. Even if Smoltz had re-signed, many of us cannot afford the tickets to watch him in person anymore; we’re too busy trying to buy essentials for our families. We should all be “dis-respected” by our employers the way the Braves did Smoltz.

    By Old Man Ribah

    January 11, 2009 10:05 AM | Link to this

    God, I hate the Cards.

    You gonna make ‘em pay, Eli?

    By bravos

    January 11, 2009 10:14 AM | Link to this

    Smoltz made 14 million last year for 5 starts, so if he went to the red sox for 5 million when the braves offered 2.5 million I am glad he got the hell out. Chipper just quit complaing and do your job. Your the same as smoltz you miss 30 to 40 games every year. Goodbye smoltz you traitor.

    By barbara

    January 11, 2009 1:15 PM | Link to this

    Frank Wren should be Ashamed. If we could pay M. Hampton big money for 3 years for nothing, them we could surely have paid a lesser amount for 1 year for “the face of the Braves.”

    Chipper, take warning, and keep your bags packed. Bobby, you’d better pack up also.

    By MIke

    January 11, 2009 2:22 PM | Link to this

    Jeff, you are so wrong. I think Smoltz owed the Braves some loyalty.They have been very loyal to him. The players need to stop acting like victims and live with the system they wanted, free agency. Chipper Jones is wrong to publically cricize the Braves. Snoltz should have worked with the Braves instead of surprizing them with his actions. Absolutely terrible behavior.

    By jajajajoejohnson

    January 11, 2009 4:16 PM | Link to this

    Bravesfan please look stuff up before sounding stupid. I’m really not mad about this. The truth is that Smoltz has a year in him and he wanted to go to a contender that has a chance to win it all. That’s it period.

    By George

    January 12, 2009 5:43 PM | Link to this

    Thank you for not being a company hack. This is the final straw for a 43 year loyal fan.

    By Dawg Fud

    January 13, 2009 11:42 AM | Link to this

    Amen, Jeff.

    I grew up not too far from Richmond in southside Virginia. Coupled with losing Smoltz, I am finished with the Braves.

    In the words of Bart Simpson, I say to the Braves ownership “eat my shorts.”

    We need local owener. I know Wren is partially to blame but the owners are hiding so he can take all of the heat.

    This is complete BS! I hope Smoltz wins the Cy Young!

    By fonzo2

    January 13, 2009 9:40 PM | Link to this

    Guys, as a Red Fan in Boston I was very interested to hear what Braves fans had to think, so I checked this online paper, and boy was I correct in thinking it might be a major fan revolt, mostly. Anyway, I was livid when the Red Sox let Nomar go, and vowed not to watch games, and that lasted for about 1 day. I was still livid, but had to watch. Anyway, a few years later and I am glad they traded Nomar (still bumbed about Manny though, and Clemens several years ago, and Johnny Damon 2 years ago). We all lose ‘em, and I understand that the comparison’s aren’t the same, as Smolt’z history and greatness with the Braces is much more profound. I feel for ya’s, and I’m glad the Red Sox have him for now - if he can pitch, but the Sox may be in a different mode this year. For what it’s worth, I like the Braves as well, but mostly because of Smoltz, Cox, Chipper, and McCann! The Braves need a top young pitching prospect to get excited about, but everybody for years will still lament on the “Big Three.”

    Best Wishes to the Braves

    By fordcobra

    January 14, 2009 9:11 AM | Link to this

    Bottom Line R U A Braves fan or not??

    By fieldofdreams

    January 15, 2009 9:28 AM | Link to this

    It goes without saying that Smolt-Zeus was a mighty thunder for the Braves, but I do believe his arm is shot this time. Sometimes you just gotta let things go. As I remember, we paid John $14 million last year, and he only pitched a few weeks, just long enough, by the way, for him to buttress his Hall of Fame credentials by reaching 3000 strikeouts. What a coincidence. Interesting that he made sure to tell the folks in Boston that personal numbers don’t motivate him. Anyway, $14 million ain’t exactly chump change, especially when families are losing homes and living out of cars and homeless shelters. What happened to his Born-Again Christian charity? He beat the hell out of the Braves last year, maybe he should have given us a discount this time around?

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