Saturday, May 9, 2009

7 comments Furman Bisher Struggles Acclimating to the 1990's...Unfortunately It Is Currently 2009

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if your grandfather was a sports columnist and absolutely refused to stop writing once he hit the age of 90? Well wonder no more, I would like to think Furman Bisher of the AJC could be a decent representative of what type of article your grandfather would pen. Furman has had a long and distinguished career as a writer and notice I used the word "had" because he no longer is lighting up the typewriter with distinguished columns. Now we get mostly bitter, angry screeds against the world and columns that may as well begin, "back in my day," much like Fire Joe Morgan profiled and mocked a few years ago in one of my favorite posts by them. I respect what Furman did many years ago...but now he is just pushing his luck with my kindness. He is the reason I have the tag "picking on old people" and so is this column.

Once upon a time, as fairy tales usually begin, the Braves were a baseball team that was home-bred, carefully incubated in the farm system, and nurtured all the way up to the major league level.

Yes, I remember the days when your glove was just an empty milk carton and the ball was actually dried sweat (provided by your parent who worked 26 hours a day at a plant that provided American made products for only Americans) tied together with rubber bands that were stolen from the local office supply store. Back in those days, there was no free agency and this was before all these foreigners started infiltrating the game. These were the days when there were separate water fountains for every color of human being and violent and gross racial atrocities were being commited on American soil. Ah yes, those were the days.

Don't mess with our American game foreigners! Just because you can beat us consistently at the sport doesn't mean you are superior to us. We want white, home-bred players on every team to play baseball the way it was meant to be played...inferiorly.

There they won championships and pennants and played in the World Series, one of which they won.

1 out of 14 ain't so bad. I miss those days. Besides if pennants and World Series were so important to the Braves, how come they aren't on the scoreboard?

Then something began to change after the season of 2005, and the once-flourishing franchise has been groping ever since.

(Furman is shaking his fist violently at the keyboard and thinks to himself) "Fucking foreigners, always screwing up good stuff. Now they take our pennants away from us in the name of equality so some stupid Hispanic kid can hit or pitch a ball and mumble a bunch of words I can't understand. Go make me a t-shirt or grow my bananas you alien looking asshole."

(Then he thinks) "Now, how can I put that in a sentence?"

Now, the Braves’ “farm” system reaches from Venezuela to Japan.

First they take our car manufacturers, then Bobby Valentine, and now they are sending foreign spies---I mean players---over here to play the sport we invented and perfected...even though they can beat us? This wouldn't happen if parents still spanked their children.

Deals are made, faces change, and only this season have they reached deep into their jeans to play a hand in the free agent rat-race. A payroll that once was held around the $80-million level, by order of the McScrooge ownership, has now zoomed to about $97 million.

So let me get this straight...It's not all right to sign young players from other countries to build a baseball team, but signing the players after they have become more expensive is perfectly fine? I bet they spent all of this AMERICAN made money on foreigners didn't they? How can you let this happen Furman? Now we are outsourcing our baseball jobs to foreigners!

I actually have no idea why Furman is mad. Is sounds like he doesn't want the Braves to scout overseas and he doesn't want them to sign free agents (yet he calls the ownership "McScrooge")...I have no idea how expects any MLB to build a winning baseball team.

They even splurged $60 million on Derek Lowe, a 35-year-old they niftily lifted from the Dodgers.

Sounds like a Canadian name to me.

They traded for Javier Vazquez, an $11-million-a-year pitcher,

Furman doesn't recall playing baseball on the streets of North Carolina with a kid named Javier, so this is just another example of the Braves selling out and refusing to draft home-bred white guys for the team and relying on foreigners to contribute to the team.

(Actually, if any team in the major leagues drafts homegrown talent fairly well, it is the Braves. Brian McCann, Jeff Francouer, Blaine Boyer (traded early this year), Jason Heyward, Clint Sammons, and they pretty much draft from the state of Georgia it feels like. This makes Furman's complaints so much dumber in my mind.)

and then they really hit the high road. They invaded Japan.

That was the final straw for Furman. He knew he would have to write an article three months after this happened complaining about it. How dare the team try to improve the team and not use home grown talent! But of all places, Japan? That is where the shitty Magnavox television he bought in 1973 came from. He will never purchase from a Japanese company again, much less cheer for a Japanese person on HIS team.

The Braves should have called up several AA/AAA pitchers who were completely not ready for the major leagues and would fail miserably...but at least they could beam with pride that all of the shitty pitchers on the team came from the organization.

I know everyone is not a Braves fan so not everyone cares but the entire starting lineup outside of Casey Kotchman and Garrett Anderson are from the Braves farm system. The pitchers...not so much, but with pitching at such a premium that is to be expected sometimes. Of course that is still not sufficient for Furman.

Kenshin Kawakami is a good-natured 33-year-old pitcher, and I say that without understanding a word he says. When you hire one Japanese player, you get two Japanese.

I like this borderline completely ignorant comment. I have always thought that if a columnist throws in a little borderline ignorance or racism it really helps to prove his point. Hey, Furman called him "good natured" so it can't be a ignorant comment, right?

Any interview is sort of an Edgar Bergen-Charlie McCarthy act.

Also referencing ventriloquist acts from the 1940's helps to prove your point in no particular way.

"You can believe and trust what I am saying, though my references and attitude aren't relevant, it has no bearing on the message not being relevant."

"Back in my day..."

When I asked him his view on American umpires, he said (so Daiche said), “the plate seems to be narrower over here,” and illustrated with his hands. It does give us a variety we haven’t had in a Braves clubhouse before.

"Those crazy foreigners with their bizarre hand motions and funny way of dressing. I am glad they serve as a way to amuse us Americans. They are like little puppets that we can put our hand up their ass and make them do what we want them to do."

The best prospect of a leadoff man was traded to Detroit, Josh Anderson, a .300 hitter with base-stealing speed and center field experience in the majors. Jordan Schafer probably would have benefited from at least a half-season in triple-A.

But Furman, the Braves traded originally for Josh Anderson to get him on the team and Jordan Schafer is home-bred, just like you want. That doesn't jive with your original premise that the Braves don't have enough homegrown talent.

What's that Furman? You are old and senile and potentially should have retired before either Josh Anderson or Jordan Schafer were born? You are tired of me picking on you? Quit writing incoherent, incredibly wrong columns then.

There’s a problem at second base right now, but I’m a believer in Kelly Johnson.

Well as long you, the baseball expert who thinks major league teams should not look overseas for baseball talent despite the fact they have proven they are better than the U.S. in international competition, believe in Kelly Johnson they should be fine.

They’re suffering the loss of Brian McCann, which nobody has figured into the equation.

Yes, no one has noticed that the All-Star catcher and cleanup hitter the Braves have has not played because he has been on the disabled list. Why didn't someone notice this earlier? Who the hell has been playing catcher? This could really affect the hitting ability of an already weak hitting team. Thank God Furman Bisher is here to point these things out.

Hold on a second, I wonder if anyone has thought that the Yankee lineup missing A-Rod has been figured into the equation?

(Tex is doing great in New York isn't he? He will pump those numbers back up when A-Rod returns. Remember he is the best second-best player in MLB.)

The Braves didn’t simply trade Adam Wainwright to get J.D. Drew for a year, but they also threw in Jason Marquis, now a $9.8-million starter in Colorado.

There is no way Jason Marquis is worth that much money. I can give you Adam Wainwright but Jason Marquis is not worth that money.

That deal will be haunting this team for years, as will the deal that sent five golden talents to Texas for a season of Mark Teixeira — who, as a Yankee, is currently hitting more than l00 points below Casey Kotchman. Three are on the Rangers roster and a fourth, pitcher Neftali Feliz, may be the best of them all, Bobby Cox said. Right now he’s tuning up on the Oklahoma City farm.

So Furman's argument that the Braves farm system has been depleted because there is no homegrown talent is backed up by an example where the team traded 5 prospects? Is that really the best example of how the Braves don't have any homegrown talent?

Gone are the rich old farm days that gave us John Smoltz, Tom Glavine, Steve Avery, Mercker, Stanton, Wohlers, Lemke, Blauser, Chipper … a bumper crop of farm products

Smoltz was actually not a Braves farm product, he came from the Tigers.

The farm system currently has 2 of the top 5 prospects in all of minor league baseball and are ranked #6 by Baseball America as the strongest farm system in MLB. Just because the farm system is not being utilized for the pitching staff and it doesn't put out a large group of white men doesn't mean the system is not strong.


Martin said...

Yeah, this guy was all over the freaking place with that article wasn't he? He's just an angry old man.

I'm jsut going to address his final part...As you said Smolotz was a trade, Glavine fine, Avery never amounted to the hype pretty much average, Mercker couple decent years hit and miss overall, Stanton long time durable reliever, Wohlers was great until he totally lost it, Lemke was a good field, below average hitter until the playoffs, Blauser was a bad field overrated hitting shortstop, and Chipper.

That comes out to two top of the line players, a good long time reliever who spent a chunk of his career not in Atlanta, and a bunch of spear carriers who weren't any better then 250 guys in the majors. That's great! Least they didn't have slanty eyes!

Bengoodfella said...

I don't even know what he was trying to get at, except things used to be better back in the day. He doesn't like that the team scouts outside of the U.S., signs free agents and signs foreigners. That's about all I got. Furman Bisher used to be great and he is not a racist because he authored a couple of books with/about Hank Aaron but I don't know why they let him write anymore.

The farm system is strong, you can't always get homegrown talent and even the names he listed weren't that great. The funny part is that he did not list players like David Justice who actually made an impact and led the team to the World Series. Whatever, I hate picking on him but he deserves it for not doing research and seeing the farm system is in good shape even if it does contain players not from Georgia.

I guess at a certain point you have to let the man write if he still wants to.

Martin said...

Exsactly. Guys like justice were left off. Javy Lopez, Ron Gant, Ryan Klesko, Kevin Millwood, were all much more worthy of mention then some of the guys he did toss in there. I think if you go back and look at that list it's full of "gritty" guys. Damn near Ecksteinian in their effort to overcome total mediocrity to make hundreds of thousands of dollars playing baseball and only managing to get the Braves a single World Series victory. Well, them and Bobby Cox overmanaging like he read Tony LaRussa self-help books before each post season.

Seriously, Bobby Cox, from this Los Angeles based observation, seems like a really really good in season manager. He gets young players involved, brings them along pretty well, doesn't over tax his starters or bullpen, keeps the everyday guys fresh. Then he gets to the playoffs and he's just terrible. Between him and Kent Hrbeck, I've always thought the Braves really should have at least 1 if not 2 more Series victories.

hahaha "noses"

Bengoodfella said...

I guess it is official. Furman Bisher likes gritty guys...and they were also incredibly white as well. Those guys you mentioned do deserve a mention as well.

Bisher also loves Bobby Cox, which I am on the fence about. He is good in the regular season and players love playing for him but in the playoffs his moves are sometimes indefensible. I could go on about this but your observation is correct in my opinion. He tends to overmanage at times but then in the playoffs I think he tends to undermanage and not make some moves he should make. I thinking directly of anything involving Charlie Liebrandt being in the game at any time.

The Braves should have won in 1991 and 1996 but they didn't. Shoulda, woulda, coulda I guess but both of those series were blown by poor managing and the team just choking. I bet Bisher remembers those as the glory days though.

Chris W said...

I don't know if you remember this, but when MLB opened in Japan the other year, Furman Bischer is the one who somehow tried to connect that with Pearl Harbor.

As seen here:

This guy does not care for the Japanese.

Martin said...

So he really is all about Mighty Whitey it appears....sort of.

Bengoodfella said...

I think the Braves paying $8 million per year for Kawakami sent him over the edge then. Maybe he has some bad memories from WW II and just doesn't want any Japanese people on his team. I like how he sounds so semi-condescending when he is talking about the interpreter for Kawakami.

He used to be a great writer, but now he seems bitter and angry. If I had a heart, I would not pick on him, but I don't have a heart and that article was bad.