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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Ya know what?

Not even gonna talk about it. Sorry, no rants today. He got his money, and a chance to be in an 8-man rotation with a team with a decent chance to go to the postseason. Good for him. Hopefully he'll be able to pitch this year and doesn't have any Hampton-like setbacks. A chance at another title, a couple million more bucks and a career stat line with one extra team at the end is apparently worth more than the opportunity to finish your career playing for only one ballclub. Like Gehrig, Williams, Banks, Yount, Brett, Ripken and Gwynn. That's fine, he made his choice and it was probably a good one. Might as well get out now when the franchise is down. I'll just move on and root for my team. I have as much loyalty to him as he has for us.


FanOfReds said...

I understand how you feel. Loyalty in sports is gone, it's only loyalty to money now (for both players and owners).

Laurens said...

The Red Sox are likely going to pay Smoltz just for a chance he might actually pitch in 2009.

Smoltz probably felt the Braves were not willing to pay to wait for him to get healthy and maybe he feels a little betrayed, but that is life as a pro.

Bluesky said...

Frustrated’ Chipper questions Braves’ dealings with Smoltz
Third baseman says Smoltz was upset when they spoke on phone Wednesday

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Chipper Jones took the news of John Smoltz’s departure extremely hard, both in a conversation with Smoltz on the telephone Wednesday evening and in conversations with AJC reporters on Thursday.

When speaking with AJC reporter Carroll Rogers Thursday afternoon, and in a subsequent conversation with AJC columnist Jeff Schultz, Jones had some harsh words for the way his former teammate was treated by the Braves. He also raised some doubts about how his own career with the Braves might end.

Jones is in the final year of his contract and now the greatest link back to the run of 14 straight division titles. Here are excerpts from those conversations:

Q. How did you take all this?

A. I am disappointed. Very disappointed. Deflated. Frustrated. It’s been a very long offseason, not a lot of stuff to really get excited about and then to have this it just is the icing on the cake for me.

Q. You understand why Smoltz decided to sign with Boston?

A. I get it. Ultimately, it’s Smoltzy’s decision to go. But I don’t think anybody is blaming him. The money is significantly different. He doesn’t feel like the Braves are giving him the same respect that the Red Sox are … I’m under the impression they basically told him be ready for June. My whole thing is John Smoltz has earned the right and earned the respect of everybody here to if he wants to come back and pitch and says he is healthy enough, he deserves that opportunity. And you do whatever it takes to get it done. We’ve made so many gambles on players that haven’t panned out over the past few years and if there was one guy in that clubhouse that I’m going to gamble a couple of million dollars on, it’s going to be that guy. If he says he can do it, I believe him.”

Q. Fans are questioning why the Braves didn’t offer Smoltz more money when this is an offseason when the Braves have said they had money to spend. Do you agree?

A. For Smoltzy! That’s what I don’t understand. That’s what’s frustrating. I’m trying to be as diplomatic and as upbeat as I can possibly be and it is being made very hard on me to be that way. John Smoltz has been one of the faces of this franchise for 20 years. There’s no reason for him at 41 years old to be playing anywhere but here.

Q. How was he when you talked to him last night?

A. He was upset, as well he should be. You can liken it to a breakup. This organization is all we have ever known. We all have these dreams of playing our last game in this uniform and it goes back to what I’ve said all along. Every dog has his day. And everybody’s got that day that’s coming when a shot of reality sets in. The business of baseball goes on, and no matter how loyal you are as a player, no matter how much you sacrificed as a player for a particular organization, there comes a time when that organization wants to go a different direction. And that time is now for Smoltzy, and I would imagine that my time is not too far off in the distant future.

Q. How was the conversation?

A.He went through the whole scenario with me. The underlying tone was extreme disappointment — and from my end it was shock. I could see anyone one else going somewhere before John Smoltz. … After everything that’s happened to this organization this winter, the players and the fans need something good to happen. I’ve been keeping up with the news. I’ve been reading the blogs. The one silver lining we had was John Smoltz being back in the lineup this year. We could have had that dominant guy back in the lineup. But we won’t — and for what, a couple of million dollars?

Q. You worried now about how things might end with you?

A. I don’t know how it’s going to end with me. This is my last year under contract with Atlanta. And this last 24 hours certainly hasn’t gone unnoticed by me. I haven’t been offered an extension. If we’re 15 games out in July or August, I doubt they’re just going to let me become a free agent and get nothing in return.”

Q. So you’re preparing yourself to be traded?

A. It’s not beyond the realm of possibilities.

Q. Were you expecting the Braves to make you an offer for an extension this winter?

A. I was told that it was going to happen by the Braves.

Q. Do you think it still might?

A. We’ve got over a month until spring training. Yeah, it could certainly happen. I’ve just been chalking it up to the Braves have bigger fish to fry. But it seems like somebody keeps coming along and eating all our fish.

Q. For those who say Smoltz’s taken less money to stay with the Braves before, how do you explain why this time is different?

A. It’s easy. If the Braves would have handled this right from the beginning and gone ahead and bitten the bullet and offered him a contract, knowing that when John Smoltz sets his mind to it and says he’s coming back and is going to be back at full strength, that the second another team came into this, the Braves should have taken him aside and said ‘What do we have to do to make this work.’ John Smoltz has earned that respect. We’ve all taken less money to stay here, but the fact of the matter is that John Smoltz has nothing else to prove individually. He wants to win. Who has the best chance to win right now? Boston.

Q. Hard to take in, isn’t it?

A. Never, even in a million years did I think this day would come for John Smoltz. I never did. He was the one guy, I honestly thought that everybody would go somewhere else before John would, just for the simple fact that his family here in Atlanta, the school, all the extracurricular stuff that he does off the field, never thought this would happen. So that ought to tell you how disrespected he feels.

Q. Did you have a chance to tell him you’ll miss him, what he’s meant to this organization?

A. We were so upset and so shocked that this is happening. We didn’t even really think about what could happen, that we’d be facing each other, that he could be pitching at the Ted for Boston, that we could be facing him in Fenway Park. We didn’t even allow ourselves to think about that kind of stuff. We’re so shocked that this is actually taking place and that he’s moving on and playing for a different team. I wished him good luck. It’s like losing a brother. We’ve been to war with each other for the last 17 years. Now that’s not going to happen anymore. It’s very upsetting.

Q. Does this send the wrong message to players and fans?

A. This can only hurt.

Thorzul said...

That list of one-team players you rattled off were, in a word, men.

gcrl said...

i used to think that kirby (and others like him) owed it to the twins to remain a twin, regardless of the money or how he was treated. i now believe that, had kirby not been forced to retire, he would have one day played for the white sox, because eventually pohlad would refuse to pay him what kirby thought he was worth.
anyway, i feel your pain dayf.

Dave said...

Couldn't believe it either. Here's wishing he has a Rafael Furcal-esque backpeddling move up his sleeve. Otherwise I will be sad to see him suit up in another uniform.

Now, suppose Smoltz suffers a setback, can't make it out of rehab and never suits up with the Red Sox. Now I never, EVER wish injury on a guy...but if it did happen...could we just ignore it and pretend he stayed a Brave?

dinged corners said...

Sorry to hear it, dayf. Other than money, the only loyalty anymore is fans to teams and players. Not the other way around.

MMayes said...

Tough couple of years. Last year Smoltz gets divorced from his wife. This year he gets divorced from his team.

Still, compare John Smoltz from 1987 - 2008 to Doyle Alexander from 1987 - present. Pretty good deal. There were probably a few of those years he could have gotten the Tigers closer to .500

andrew said...

I more upset with the organization than with Smoltz Front office showed Smoltz no respect. Wren kept spouting all this "wait and see" BS and this is where it got him. If the Braves had made a reasonable offer a few weeks ago none of this would have transpired.

bailorg said...

It's a painful thing being a fan at times. I almost know I am setting myself up for a severe disappointment in hoping that I never see Albert Pujols wear anything other than the birds on the bat in his MLB career.

hollin said...


The Braves offer was less than half of what the Sox offered???

Damn. What the hell is that FO doing?

Furcal, Burnett, Smoltz.....