Saturday, June 6, 2009

7 comments Furman Bisher Recalls the Good Ol' Days But Can't Recall Much Else

We have all been acquainted with Furman Bisher and his extreme hatred of the Japanese people before. Today we get to learn a little bit about what Furman Bisher does like. Unsurprisingly he likes underachieving white outfielders with pretty smiles and really old pitchers who don't know when it comes time to retire...much like someone else who may be writing for the AJC on a blog nowadays (looking at Furman, but he is eating oatmeal and reading a book about birds). I would like to add that the farm system that Bisher proclaimed not bountiful enough had enough decent guys to make a trade for an above average outfielder and to replace a Hall of Fame pitcher in the starting rotation with a younger, better pitcher. I am not hinting that Furman doesn't know what he is talking about anymore, I am actually telling everyone that he doesn't know what he is talking about anymore.

-Let's start with the pretty white boy with an even prettier smile that is among the worst at his position in the major leagues.

These are disheartening days for the Braves. For Jeff Francoeur in particular.

Yes, because no matter how many trades the team makes they can't seem to put together a team good enough to challenge the Mets and Phillies. One year the pitching sucks, the next year it is the bullpen, then it is the hitting that sucks, then it is pitching again, and we are now back to the hitting stinking. Oh, and Jeff Failcoeur is a big, big part of that problem and has been for a couple of years now.

When Mark Bowman, of, wrote that this might be a pertinent time to consider locating another employer for him, oh, did that set off a firestorm! A flurry of conjecture.

Conjecture being defined as "pure excitement," followed by the question of who would be stupid enough to trade for him?

Here was Keith Law's response to whether Jeff Francouer would be on a major league roster if he was not from Georgia:

Did anyone see the piece that indicated that Atlanta is looking at trading him? When you have an old car, and the alternator is dead, the battery is corroded, the undercarriage is rusted through so your left foot drags the pavement while you drive, the front windshield is shattered and the back windshield is gone, the starter makes a horrible noise when you turn the key, the car gets 4 mpg when it runs at all, and there's only one working headlight, it's probably too freaking late to try to sell it, don't you think? You could probably leave it on the curb with the keys in the ignition and a sign that says "TAKE ME" on the dash and still find it parked there the next morning.

So yeah, he's not real high on Failcouer right now.

Let me take you back to those Camelot days, when the Braves’ roster was plump with bright young prospects. There was a pod of them, all seeming to ripen at the same time. A sort of an informal Boy Scout troop of them, who went to each other’s weddings, and celebrated their togetherness like club members.

Here we go. I am surprised Furman can remember anything at all from more than 10 minutes ago. Did these guys also sleep in tents together and prick their fingers promising to be blood brothers until they die?

Remember their names, for some are long gone. Francoeur, Brian McCann, Macay McBride, Kelly Johnson, Ryan Langerhans, and two Canadians, Pete Orr and Scott Thorman.

I would not call these the Camelot days because out of that list there are two average to above average players in the group. These Camelot days also led to a grand total of 0 playoff series victories and have left a ton of underachieving in their wake.

Here's the problem with Furman Bisher. He is fucking stupid. He is trying to pass this rememberance off as truth, when it is revisionist history. There was no Camelot, just a lot of players who have underachieved and were called up too early because the Braves had no other options. This group of has by my count (without looking it up) 3 1st round picks, and 4 2nd round picks in the MLB Draft...there are currently three of these guys on the MLB roster and only two are even decent players. This is not Camelot, but a complete and utter failure to develop talent.

Francoeur played the odds, and banked on going to the arbitration table calling his shots. His timing couldn’t have been worse. What followed is the season of remission.

Francoeur had a salary of $460,000 in 2008 and he is making $3.3 million this year after going through arbitration. I wish my timing were this bad. How wrong can you be in making a statement about how his timing was bad? This is why I can't Furman Bisher seriously anymore. Hang up the typewriter my friend, it's time.

He heard sounds coming from the stands at Turner Field he had never heard before. Boos and taunts, mild at first, but for a local favorite who had reaped nothing but adulation through high school at Parkview and two-and-a-half gaudy seasons with the Braves?

Why is it that Furman thinks local white kids should not be booed? Sure, he was great in high school, but he is now and has been for a few seasons now, one of the worst outfielders at hitting the ball. He gets RBI's because he has hit behind McCann, Jones, and Tex for a couple of years. I could have 80 RBI's hitting behind them.

Look at these numbers for 2008 and 2009. There were red flags before that but no one paid attention to them.

While the Braves spent all manners of time waiting for two dear old relics to return to their days of pitching glory, patience ran low with Francoeur.

So the inference here is that the Braves have patience with Smoltz and Glavine, so why not with Francoeur? A simple answer will suffice. In Major League Baseball it is a lot easier to find a corner outfielder who can produce than it is to find pitchers who can go 6 innings and pitch quality starts.

Not to mention waiting on those two older pitchers was a mistake, so simply because a team makes a mistake on one or two players does not mean they have to make the same mistake again on another player. Smart teams learn from their mistakes and don't repeat them.

Was it because he had taken off to Texas in hope that Rudy Jaramillo, the Rangers’ hitting guru, might help him return to glory? It was furtively done, and true, he also recommended Andruw Jones try the same “cure.”

I'm no genius, but we have two players here coming off horrendous years last year. Both have had similar problems with striking out and bad hitting habits in the past. They both take the advice of the same hitting coach and one improves and the other players actually manages to have his numbers get worse. Why do you keep that player who doesn't improve on the roster again? How much patience does he require since he is regressing through his career? Any smart team would cut bait and bail.

Is there not enough patience to help him work his way through it?

There are other players on the team who are affected by his struggles. It's not just him out there. Baseball is a team sport, and much like Ortiz in Boston, if a player is struggling then it is time to move him as far down in the order as possible or get him out of there. How much time does a person deserve to get to perform?

Smart teams don't let one player drag them down, but just because he is a local white boy and has a pretty smile Furman thinks the Braves should stick it out with him on the field. He has moments and has potential, but that's all there is any more. Every team has a player that just seems to drag the team down and you can't fault them for trying to replace that player.

There were no good ol' days with Failcoeur on the roster, except the ones that Furman Bisher imagines in his Japanese hating head.

-ESPN had 4 items about Tom Glavine on their bottom line last night. The Braves cut a 43 year old pitcher, I did not know it would cause this much ruckus. I don't like the entire way the whole release of Glavine was done, I thought it could have been handled better, but I can't argue with them doing it because I did not think they should have signed him again in the first place. Nostalgia only gets you so far.

This doesn't stop Furman from not liking this move either. I wish the Atlanta Braves had let Furman Bisher choose the entire roster this year and then allow the team to go 51-111 with 15 players on the DL and Furman asleep by the 4th inning in his favorite rocking chair. You know what, he should just be the Commissioner of MLB. That would be interesting as well.

Well, they led him to the altar, but they couldn’t get him to say, “I do.” Speaking here of the “Tom Glavine affair,” which is not going away, and which the Braves will have plastered across their dossier for time to come.

The way it was handled was pretty poor but this move should have been made months ago when the Braves should have never signed him in the first place. There were zero other teams willing to offer him a contract this offseason. He had no other firm offers, but he gets a couple million from the Braves (he had already netted $1 million of that before he got released) this year, after getting $8 million for the worst year of his career last year. I just don't get why any team would owe a player more than an opportunity in a similar situation somewhere else.

Coming on the heels of the indifferent dealing with John Smoltz — who tired of waiting for a commitment — we now have become witness to the end of an era:

I think I am growing to hate Furman Bisher. Smoltz got $5 million guaranteed from the Red Sox and was only offered $2 million guaranteed from the Braves. It was about money, don't let my favorite Braves player ever tell you any different through his whining.

If they were going to release him, then why this agonizing process of rehabilitation tests at Gwinnett and Rome?

This is my only problem with this decision. How it was handled.

Then someone mentioned the speed readings that had been reported. “They were not accurate,” Wren said, “just ball-park figures.”

Noooooooooo...ball parks would not inflate pitch speeds. They would never do that.

A million dollars is a pittance for this club with an extended salary cap this season. They poured out millions to sign Derek Lowe, Kenshin Kawakami and Javier Vazquez.

Stupid foreigners! Taking the money of hard working Americans to play baseball and now they are taking the jobs of white American born players. Something has to be done immediately. Furman probably thinks we should bomb Japan again.

Surely another million wouldn’t have disturbed their budget, but deep down inside, you had to feel that it was a matter of, “is it worth for a 43-year-old pitcher coming back from surgery?”

No. Not when you compare it to bringing up a pitcher literally half of his age who has incredible minor league numbers. It's actually a pretty easy decision. Put a 43 year old guy on the mound who has a ceiling of 6 strong innings and a 4.00 ERA or call up a pitcher that struck out better than a batter an inning in the minor leagues and costs less money. It's not a hard decision.

For one who has won 244 games for you, yes. And for one who has been a reputable citizen, and deserves the courtesy of ending his career here, yes.

Again, Furman misses some facts. The Braves offered to let him retire, he declined to do that, so he chose not to end his career here. It wasn't a completely one way street. You also don't live in the past and expect to win here in the present and the future. No team should keep a player because of what he did for that team in the past.

They paid him $8 million last year to pitch horribly and be injured. They owe him nothing now, though the release could have been done with more grace, but it wasn't.

Details of why he left for the Mets have never been made clear,

They offered a third year and more money. I just made the details clear. You're welcome.

Who did the scouting? Who came to these decisions?

Probably the same guys who put together the Camelot you were just talking so wonderfully about and were also responsible for the glory days that you always speak so fondly of.

Why can't sportswriters get over the past and just accept that things change? There is no loyalty from teams and players now. It's an unfortunate part of the game. Actually, the Braves showed loyalty last year by signing Smoltz and Glavine for another year in the neighborhood of $22 million for both of them and that didn't turn out well...that may be the reason there is no loyalty now in baseball because many times loyalty means a team or player gets screwed over.

Here are three opposing articles from Mark Bradley, if you care to read them. No good exit strategy in these situations. Ripping Glavine. Sort of ripping Smoltz.

Thanks for reading this blog guys and girls (are there any?) I enjoy writing here (though I miss J.S. to help carry the load a little).

I think the Lakers are going to take Game 2 tonight.


ivn said...

so is Furman all torn up about the Braves trading some perfectly good prospects to Pittsburgh for a dirty Irishman?

Bengoodfella said...

Probably...Two of the prospects are white and he probably does hate the Irish as well.

Also, if you ever want to read some ignorant discussion of baseball, read Peter King's twitter conversation about the Red Sox SS position. I don't think he understands baseball at all.

Chris W said...

nothing else needs to be said

Martin said...

So that list was Brian McCaan and a bunch of dudes who might as well be from my park league softball team, right? if the only reason I've heard of a guy is because fantasy sites/magazines/players have said "This guy sucks", then it's pretty unlikely that the guy is or was ever any good. I remember the spring after Franceur had come up. Some scouts were saying they thought he'd be unproductive because he pulled everything, and he started the season slow, but then had a good year. Apparently it took the league one extra year to figure him out.

Bengoodfella said...

That column by Bisher is immortal for its stupidity...that and the fact FJMorgan did a great job destroying it.

Martin, those were a list of what the media called the Baby Braves, which were a group of players called up to the major leagues together because Braves genius management had no other options in place when injuries and ineffectiveness occurred. The point is that group should have been a lot better than they were and for Furman to call that a fertile crop of players is insane. That group's lack of production is the reason the Braves have had to trade prospects for players to fill gaps on the roster. Furman just waxes nostalgia a little much for me when it is not called for.

The reason everyone is so hard on Failcouer is that he has the talent, he just absolutely refuses to make adjustments to how pitchers pitch him. He is a free swinger and once teams realized that they pitched him accordingly. Even after he met with Rudy J. by mid-April he was back to his old habits again and Rudy J. called him and tried to get him fixed again. He refuses to take the blame for his lack of focus at the plate and seems to want everything handed to him like it has been his entire life.

You can't be patient with someone who refuses to show a willingness to improve.

The Casey said...

Most of those kids (Francouer, McCann, Johnson, etc.) got called up straight from single- or double-A, and I think that plays a role in their lack of success. I think they missed out on a level of development and coaching that could have helped them make better adjustments at the big league level. McCann is the exception there, obviously, but I think that's more an individual difference.

The Glavine thing doesn't bother me as much as it did when it first happened. I don't think the $1 miliion dollar bonus had that much to do with it, because a million is a relatively low number when you're dealing with a major league payroll. A lot was made of Glavine throwing 6 scoreless innings in Rome, but that's single-A ball. Also, there's 6 scoreless innings and there's 6 scoreless innings. I didn't see it, so I don't know if the way he did it made it look repeatable on a major league level or not. Pretty much any pitcher can throw 6 scoreless on a given night, depending on how the ball bounces.

Also, Glavine is mad that he wasn't offered a position within the organization, but he was offered the chance to retire and didn't. How could he work in the Braves' front office and be pitching for the Phillies? I'm pretty sure that both sides could have handled this better.

Bengoodfella said...

I think getting called up plays a factor in the lack of success for those players as well. They got called up a little bit too early because Braves management had no other viable options in place when injuries and ineffectiveness occurred.

My bottom line on Glavine is that the Braves paid him a lot of money last year for almost no production. Why would they wait around for him in the hopes he can put up major league average pitching when they pay someone less to do the job and develop the team for the future? I don't buy the argument the Braves owe something to him, because they don't. He already got a million dollars out of this deal. It's time to go and they asked him to retire and he refused.

It was low-A baseball where he was pitching so well. I would hope even at 43 he could pitch well in low-A ball. I am sure everyone appreciates all he has done for the Braves...but it was time for him to go and he needs to realize that. Just because you can still pitch doesn't mean you should.