Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Arbitration aftermath

I hated J.D. Drew when he played for St. Looie. I'm talking 'bout a deep-down, soul-searing, Rage O' Hatred- the likes of which I reserve for few persons on this planet. (Don't ask me why I hated the man so much, because I don't understand it myself: it simply was the way it was.) I actually heckled the man at a Sounds/Red Birds game a few years ago- and I don't heckle at ball games. Ever.

I got over my hatred when he came to Atlanta; I wasn't neccessarily a fan of his, but I learned to respect him in his role as a productive member of the team. Well, those days are officially over, as the Braves did not offer Drew arbitration. Scott (the Devil) Boras has tagged J.D. out of Atlanta's price range and he'll be looking for bigger payouts elsewhere. So long, Mr. Drew.

The Braves also declined to offer arbitration to SP Russ Ortiz and RP Antonio Alfonseca. Ortiz's departure likely paves the way for John Smoltz's return to the starting rotation. Alfonseca's departure simply puts a smile on my face; I'm not a fan of the six-fingered man.

Management did offer arbitration to three players they'd like to keep: SP Paul Byrd, 1B Julio Franco, and SP Jaret Wright, although it looks as though Wright is very close to signing a three-year, $20 million contract with the Yankee$. (Has anyone bothered to tell Yankee$' management they can scout, sign, and develop their own talent, rather than signing every hot free-agent during the offseason?)

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