Author: Craig Calcaterra

John Schuerholz

John Schuerholz claims firing Frank Wren was three years in the making. OK.


Tracy Ringolsby spoke with John Schuerholz about the Frank Wren firing. This is all kinds of special:

It wasn’t about wins or losses. The decision has been building for nearly three years, one Schuerholz had struggled with, because it’s not his style. Those who have known him since the early days of his professional baseball career — which dates back to him giving up a job as a junior high teacher in Baltimore to become an administrative assistant in the Orioles’ Minor League department at the age of 26 — have remarked about his cohesive management ways.

Building for three years? Then why did Shuerholz give Wren a contract extension last February? One possible answer is “well, he didn’t want a lame duck situation to develop.” My response to that is that if you’ve had more than two-plus years of misgivings about the guy at that point, maybe it’s OK to let him dangle for a bit.

My suspicion is that this article and most of what Schuerholz has said about the Wren firing is an exercise in spin. Of pretending that there’s a “Braves Way” and a “cohesive management style” so as to make this all seem like something that had to happen. That was inevitable and all part of a larger narrative in which Frank Wren led the Braves away from The True Path. When, in fact, it was really just a bunch of crappy things happening resulting in a disappointing season and resulting in some heads rolling.

There is no shame in that latter part. Schuerholz is a worthy Hall of Fame executive who doesn’t have to apologize to anyone for anything. Frank Wren screwed up some and the season went into the toilet. Yet, for whatever reason, there is this sense that the mess of the Braves 2014 season has to be treated as if it was something other than crap happening and, rather, part of a larger dramatic arc in which Schuerholz now can justly restore order or something.

Why this baseball team and its remaining executives are given such reverence and are being treated so differently than any other disappointing baseball team is a mystery to me.

The Diamondbacks have offered Dave Stewart their GM job

Dave Stewart


The Diamondbacks’ last GM wanted his pitchers to intimidate opposing batters. The man who may be their next GM can show them how:

Stewart has run his own sports agency for a number of years, representing Matt Kemp most famously. Before that he was the assistant GM for the Blue Jays and a pitching coach for three different teams.

As a player he was Tony La Russa’s ace with the Oakland A’s. Now, assuming the sides can come to terms, he’ll be working for Tony La Russa once again.

Imagining the most hilarious scenario ever

Peter Angelos

In light of the possible Jeter Fest rainout, many are wondering what might be done if the flood does come to pass:

Can you imagine Major League Baseball asking the Orioles to give up their offday before a playoff series so that they might play a meaningless baseball game on the road for the sole purpose of ensuring that Derek Frickin’ Jeter is properly feted?

I’m trying to picture Peter Angelos’ response to that. I mean, sure, as the Nationals and the Ravens can tell you, he’s a man with a big heart who is always eager to accommodate competing interests, but something still tells me that he’d be less than enamored of the idea.

Bill Plaschke, once again, says that Yasiel Puig will be the death of the Dodgers

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Remember in August of 2013 when Bill Plaschke said that Yasiel Puig would end up costing the Dodgers dearly? Well, if you missed that, he said it again in April, this time saying Puig wouldn’t just cost the Dodgers games, but possibly foment a terrorist attack on Dodger Stadium.

Welp, none of that happened, but apparently Puig is once again the biggest threat to the Dodgers. From Los Angeles’ Most Concerned Citizen:

One of the Dodgers’ biggest postseason worries showed up Tuesday night, clearing benches, raising tempers, risking everything.

As long as Yasiel Puig continues to struggle with his emotions, the Dodgers will awkwardly struggle to dodge their flames.

The tempestuous outfielder allowed San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner to get into his head by hitting his foot Tuesday night in a first-inning plunking incident that nearly started a brawl . . . Puig cannot be the sort of cornerstone this team craves until he begins leading with his head instead of his heart. As much as the Dodgers value him, they still can’t really trust him, and that scares the heck out of them.

This from a non-fight, immediately after which the Dodgers hit a homer to take an early lead and after which the Dodgers won, pushing themselves to within a game of the NL West crown. And involving the player who has, far and away, been the Dodgers’ most important offensive weapon this year. And often its most important defensive weapon.

But, apparently, if you get a bit perturbed at being hit by a pitch a few days in a row, and when the HBP came from a guy who was a jerk to you earlier in the year, you’re a team cancer. Never mind that what Puig did last night is absolutely no different than what hundreds of other players have done in baseball history. Never mind that, I am 100% certain, Plaschke has praised other players who reacted similarly to being hit by a pitch as possessing “fire” and “competitiveness.”

But this is Yasiel Puig we’re talking about here. He’s different. He’s going to be the death of the Dodgers, my friends. Eventually. Bill Plaschke is sure of it.