Atlanta Braves Podcast: remembering 9/11 and contractual matters

Join the Atlanta Braves and thank those serving our country and communities. 9/11 proves that none of them are entirely safe. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
Join the Atlanta Braves and thank those serving our country and communities. 9/11 proves that none of them are entirely safe. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images) /

In all of the Atlanta Braves news this week, the central theme could be summed up as “what will it take?”

Yesterday we passed the twentieth anniversary of the attacks on New York and Washington (one of these heroically foiled in Pennsylvania) that we refer to collectively as “9/11”.  In many reviews of these events, the role of baseball in the emotional recovery process has been cited prominently… and the Atlanta Braves had their own role as well.

In this week’s podcast, we devoted a couple of sections to this topic with our own recollections of those events from 20 years ago.  Regardless of whether you choose to listen to our words or those from any of literally dozens of other resources, we’d like to encourage you to remind yourselves of that date, for it is one of those seminal markers in the history of this nation in which Things Changed.

We also discussed the news of the week involving the Atlanta Braves, and this is particularly where that “what will it take?” message kicks in.

  • What will it take to get Freddie Freeman into a contract extension?
  • What will it take for MLB and the Players’ Association union to get together on a real solution for issues like criminal behavior vis-a-vis Domestic Violence or crimes against children?

In the latter case, Fred and I got into a detailed discussion about Marcell Ozuna‘s current situation and the likelihood that he will eventually get ‘paid off’ (in my language, that means “rewarded”) despite bad behavior.

While we do expect that MLB will eventually suspend Ozuna for a full season (perhaps more) for his behavior, that still leaves $36 million on the books that the Atlanta Braves might have to give him to “go away”.

The fact that he was signed to such a contract to play baseball is a key part of this.  The fact that he’s now — effectively — persona non grata should also be part of it.

This is a recurring theme:  players accused of crimes in which MLB has determined that there is some culpability has created a situation in which their teams can’t tolerate having them remain on the roster in this day and age.

Forcing these teams to pay off the contract creates another victim of the crime — the unwitting team itself.  With millions of dollars going into the pocket of the perpetrator for doing something other than playing baseball, one could argue that the player is getting away with the crime.

So I’m effectively asking “what will it take” to get the union to agree to get such contracts reduced or eliminated?  It’s truly a problem, since this topic continues to come up… literally every season.

The Freddie Freeman Quandary

An earlier portion of the podcast is spent begging the Atlanta Braves to “pay the man”… not Ozuna, of course, but Freddie Freeman.  It dovetails with this post from yesterday in which we’re getting quite concerned that the Braves could miss key dates that might be appropriate to announce a contract extension.

This is pretty simple in principle:  Freeman is the heart and soul of this team.  He chose to stick around during the tough years while the young talent was gathered.  He’s been able to enjoy some of those benefits of success in these last few seasons, but the best may be yet to come… if he’s still encouraged to stay now.

This needs to happen.

To listen to this podcast, please try one of these three methods:

  • Find it from your favorite podcast subscription site
  • Download at this link for listening at your leisure
  • Click on the player below to start ‘er up now…

About the Rodriguez trade deal. dark. Next

Regardless of your choice:  thanks for listening … we do appreciate your time, and we’ll do our best not to waste it!