Thursday, June 4, 2009

Columbus Blue Jackets Arena Info and L'Affaire Glavine

A couple of sports items of interest today.

Light The Lamp has an excellent writeup of a blogger get-together with Blue Jackets big-wigs about the recent Arena issue. There's a lot of information there about the background of the whole issue and some insights into where things may go from here. There's obviously a lot of spinning going on here -- who'da thunk it with a confluence of Sports, Big Business, and Politics? Worth the time to read over the writeup if you're interested in learning more about what happened and might still happen with that situation.

Yesterday, the Atlanta Braves released pitcher Tom Glavine. Today, bloggers and a notable former teammate of Glavine's (bet you can't guess which one!) are claiming that this amounted to mistreatment of Glavine by the Braves. I certainly won't deny that it had to be a frustrating end to the situation for Glavine, but it sure looks like the Braves ended up in a lose-lose situation and chose what they deemed to be the less "lose"-y option.

Sure, the Braves could have brought Glavine up but it's been a couple years since he was more than a #4 starter. (Even his 2006 stats show a real drop-off in the 2nd half, from 11-2, 3.48 in the 1st half to 4-5, 4.33 after the break.) Between Kawakami, Medlen, Hanson, Campillo, Reyes, and Morton (now traded) the last thing the Braves needed was another 4th or 5th starter option.

So, their choices were to bring him up, let him block the kids while probably not being any better than them AND pay him millions for the privilege or deal with the sunk cost of the money they'd spent on his rehab and let him try to catch on with another team who might have more use for a veteran at the back end of their rotation. From the position of a baseball team trying to compete with a fairly fixed budget, I can't see how this is anything but a no-brainer.

While Smoltz and others might try to claim that "it's just not how you treat people," it's hard to get too worked up about the plight of someone who was just paid $1,000,000 for 3 1/2 months of work even accounting for the fact that injury rehab in pro sports certainly isn't a cushy job. Finally, if someone says "He came this close to making it back and he just wanted to pitch in the bigs one more time" -- Well, there's 29 other teams out there. If none of them think he can be a valuable component, why should the Braves have felt any differently?

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