Thursday, October 11, 2007


Braves GM John Schuerholz is expected to step down this afternoon. As a Braves fan this makes me sad because he, more than anyone, is responsible for all of the winning my favorite team enjoyed over the past 15 or 16 years. He is perhaps the best general manager of all time, and he will be greatly missed.

This also gives me an opportunity -- albeit a belated one -- to offer an apology to Schuerholz for one of the more idiotic things I have ever said. And no, this isn't about some empty epithet I flung his way from the privacy of my living room upon hearing that Pete Orr or someone like him was called up from Richmond. This is something I said, something that he read, and something that obviously made an impact on some level.

In Schuerholz's book Built to Win, he talks about the negative public reaction to his trade of Kevin Millwood to the Phillies for Johnny Estrada in December 2002. On page 71 of that book, first paragraph, he specifically quotes some of the obnoxious "fans" who said intemperate things about the deal on a Braves message board. The worst was this:

"Unbelievably stupid. I don't watch another Braves game until Schuerholz is
fired or dead. I mean it. It's over."

That comment came from this thread at Mac Thomason's Braves Journal, and it was made by me.

No matter how much I believed -- and still believe by the way -- that the Millwood trade was stupid, wishing death on someone, even in jest, pretty much crosses the line. Yes, civility is all but dead in this country, especially on the Internet and especially when it comes to sports, but there's no excuse for me contributing to it.

While I am confident that Schuerholz didn't lose any sleep over my idiotic rant, I have regretted it since the day I said it -- OK, the day after; it took about 24 hours after that trade to get perspective -- and now that I have a bit of a soapbox, this is as good a time as any to apologize.

I know I'm being a bit presumptuous and possibly dramatic here, but I know some folks in the Kansas City Royals organization read this blog from time to time, those folks answer to Mr. Moore, and Mr. Moore probably has Schuerholz's email address. If anyone along that chain felt like passing this link along, I would be much obliged.

Best wishes in retirement (or whatever it is you decide to do) Mr. Schuerholz. You have earned it for a job well done.


Andy said...

Wow. You rarely hear people apologize much (civility dead and all ) and I believe this is twice I've seen on this blog. Part of the reason I come back I guess, entertaining but with an eye to not hitting the lowest common denomitator.

I've been meaning to post a comment on your blog in response to the long one you left on ours one day, board at work. Reminded me that even if you don't have a soapbox at all, what you do out here does indeed get looked at.

Keep the posts coming, we'll try to do the same about London (about Baseball, well, I'm a little lax).

Shyster said...

Thanks Andy. I try to avoid the lowest common denominator anyway. There are days, though, when I wonder how many hits I'd get if I put up cheesecake pics of, well, this is a baseball blog, so I can't imagine of who. Anyway.

I think this whole "wow, somebody is reading this" thing is a function of my having reached adulthood prior to the advent (practical advent, anyway) of the web. I talk about this phenomenon with younger people sometimes and everyone just sort of assumes that the whole world is watching their blog or Myspace page or Flickr stream or whatever.

Diesel said...

Just be happy that, unlike some of your readers, you can't still count on your toes the number of over-the-top invectives you've issued against people who had the nerve to make a mistake or do something illogical. If I started trying to apologize for all the dumb/inappropriate things I've said (and still say, on occasion) my space bar would die an inglorious death.

Schuerholz is one of the best GMs in sports, period, and the Atlanta franchise is the worse off for losing him.