On Glavine and PR

Written by Colin on June 5, 2009 – 8:06 am

OK, so the Braves have a damn good rotation. We don’t have room for Tom Glavine, a Hall of Fame lock 43 year old coming off shoulder surgery. We paid him $1M without seeing him pitch and then rehabbed him, only to tell him we didn’t think he had the stuff to make it in our rotation. Now he’s upset, along with a lot of other people.

And one side of me says they’ve got a little room to complain. No, Glavine shouldn’t be on the roster. But maybe we could have told him Hanson gave us a better rotation and we’d prefer to give the young buck a chance.  Maybe Wren didn’t have to comment on his “stuff” and how it wasn’t as good as it used to be. Now, the problem with not commenting on his “stuff” is that the move then looks like a money issue. There was no real easy way out of it for the Braves. And it’s really hard to win with PR when you have a griping Hall of Famer who thinks he still has said “stuff” whining on talk radio. It’s really hard to pick a good position here.

Mark Bradley of the AJC has a good point. We paid him $1M to rehab his shoulder when nobody else would go near him. We gave him a serious look. And now he’s whining.

The bottom line is that Wren shouldn’t have given Glavine a contract without seeing him pitch. That’s a lot of risk to put on the shoulder and elbow of Glavine. And it didn’t pay off – not financially, not in the game of baseball, and certainly not as far as public relations goes.

There’s another side of me that says we owe Glavine no loyalty because he ditched us for the effing Mets. It was about money for you then, Glavine, so shut up and stop whining. You’re coming off as a bitter has-been who can’t admit when his best days are behind him.

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16 Responses to “On Glavine and PR”

  1. By matt on Jun 5, 2009 | Reply

    Couldn't we have used another lefty out of the bullpen? Was that an option? Or was Glavine not willing to consider being a relief pitcher?

  2. By Colin Ake on Jun 5, 2009 | Reply

    Even if he were willing to consider it, we'd be paying a LOT of money for a relief pitcher… Especially when all I remember of Glavine's glory days were first inning troubles. Not sure first inning troubles mesh well with 1-2 innings out of the 'pen. Plus, he's not really a power pitcher. I think it'd be a bad fit.

  3. By Mario on Jun 5, 2009 | Reply

    First off, he wasn't paid the $1M. He would only have been paid if he was placed on the active roster.

    Was it the right decision? That's debatable. I certainly don't have the first-hand account as to how he was performing in those rehab starts. But even if it was the right decision, from a PR perspective it was bungled, which left longtime fans and a future HOF alienated from the franchise.

    Any team can fill stadiums when they win, but the fans that make up the core of any franchise's following — are devoted because they have a personal investment in the players that make up the team. When management pisses on one of them, fans will almost always side with the player.

  4. By Jonathan on Jun 5, 2009 | Reply

    He got paid $1M. He was guaranteed $1M, with another million coming when he was added to the roster, as well as the 30 and 60 day bonuses.

  5. By Colin Ake on Jun 5, 2009 | Reply

    You beat me to it, Jonathan. I was actually spending time researching to make sure I was right about the $1M.

  6. By Grant on Jun 5, 2009 | Reply

    Wasn't even an option.

  7. By Mario on Jun 5, 2009 | Reply

    Oh, sorry. Thought we were talking PR here.

  8. By dave on Jun 5, 2009 | Reply

    I think the braves mishandled the Glavine situation. They were upset along with all Braves fans, when Furcal and his agent used us. The Braves it seems to me fed Tom from the same spoon. I read where Tom said just be straight forward with him. I think this is where the Braves were too shady. They should have told him they wanted to give Hanson his chance. I think Glavine could have handled this much better than telling him he wasn't good enough to pitch for them. I do not blame him for being upset. I do not disagree with the braves it is time for Hanson to have his day. I just do not think if it happened the way I have read they did not treat a future hall of famer with the respect he deserved. I think Tom would have made a great pitching anything with the Braves. These are my wishes, but whatever he decides to do I thank you Tom Glavine for the memories, and the service you have given the Braves, and their fans. God Bless

  9. By Keith on Jun 5, 2009 | Reply

    This is just business. Although I do not completely agree with the way things were handled, we will all forget about this week if Hanson is successful, Nate brings some life to middle of the line up, Garret Anderson continues to improve, Jeff Francoeur is traded, starting pitching holds up.We should improve upon the record if these few things happen. If the Braves were to luck out, make the playoffs and advance deeply then all will be forgotton. It's all about what have you done lately with most fans. Tom Glavine's feelings on the other hand will not be so easy to mend.

  10. By Colin Ake on Jun 5, 2009 | Reply

    We are talking PR. I don't think anyone disagrees with you on your points regarding PR… I argue we shouldn't have signed him in the first place and there wasn't really a good way out of it. Now Scheurholz has offered an apology and hopefully it can go away.

    You're the one who disputed the $1M :)

  11. By Colin Ake on Jun 5, 2009 | Reply

    Glavine knew we had Hanson in the minors and that we were looking at bringing him up. He had several set-backs in coming back that, had he not had, would have given him the opportunity to pitch before this point. I know – it makes me feel a little bad for Glavine as well because I wouldn't like it to happen to me. I hear your opinion here… I just can get past it pretty fast because I don't love Glavine much.

  12. By Colin Ake on Jun 5, 2009 | Reply

    I'm not sure Francoeur is about to be traded. Who wants him? Who would we get in exchange? I think he sticks with the team.

    That said, I do like our chances going forward. Anderson is continuing to improve as are others. We can still make a run at the NL East for sure.

  13. By Grant on Jun 7, 2009 | Reply

    You know that's kind of the unfortunate thing about the whole scenario in this day and age. The question isn't "right or wrong?" – it's "Can we get away with it?" or "How quickly will people forget about it?"…. One thing is for sure, signing Glavine was a risk from the get-go. His set-back in April pushed a scenario in which the Braves felt they have better current options (and I agree Hanson deserves the chance). But why bring Glavine in, plan a rehab scenario, set it in motion, watch him go through with it, and then say the radar gun was wrong? As if anybody has stuck to radar gun readings to accurately judge Tom Glavine. Hopefully, he'll get it over it. But it appears to have put a bad mark on yet another Braves relationship with a future HOF'er.

  14. By David Pierce on Jun 8, 2009 | Reply

    colin I really agree with everything you said this time which is unusual. The only mistake made here was wrens willingness to pay him to come back. We GAVE him 1M to rehab this year and he is complaining because of the money. I am sure it was a bit of everything. I am sure the braves dont want glavine roughing it to get through 5 innings per start, I am sure they are concerned his stuff is not up to par and I am sure they wanted to use the extra money to offset the mcclouth cost. It all makes sense and its sad he couldnt stay healthy last year and ride out in style but now if he want to roll the Brett Favre way be my guest. Again we paid him 1M to rehad and throw a few games for fans Gwinnett. What a deal he got there! Put it to rest Glav, payback is kinda a bitch sometimes.

  15. By David Pierce on Jun 8, 2009 | Reply

    I also am with Colin on the whole Glavine Love as I am seeing it rolling around different sites regarding this. Glavine left us when smoltz and chip were trying to restructure to stay. He wanted the money and bailed to a rival. I don't feel sorry for him here. I still love him for what he did for us but ever since that happened my Glavine Love has fallen quite a bit. He is lucky we even gave him another chance, still waiting to see if anyone will sign him for free. I hope so. I wouldnt mind the braves management looking right for once on this one.

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