If this article is part of a campaign to drum up interest in John Schuerholz's memoirs, then congrats to John, because it's mission accomplished. Some really interesting material in there. A few observations:
1. It worries me that Schuerholz declined to write the book initially because he only wanted to do it when his career was over. Uh, those rumors that Mazzone left because he knew that Cox and Schuerholz would be retiring soon just got a bit more likely. Let's enjoy this season, as it might be the last for the brain trust for 14 straight divisional titles.
2. Barry Bonds as a Brave? You think we might have won a few more World Series with the best hitter in decades perched in the three-spot in the order, with Chipper following him? The jolt to the Braves' offense, combined with a stellar pitching staff would have been unbeatable, even in a short series lottery. (Of course, we need to remember that with Bonds on the payroll, the team probably wouldn't have had the money for Greg Maddux, so we need to knock that pitching staff down a peg.) Yankees' dynasty? It would have been a bad dream that never came true with Bonds in the fold.
The other, less appealing question would be how we would feel now about Bonds if he would have hit 600 home runs in a Braves uniform. Could we be rational about the fact that our star was teeing off for years with the help of various illegal steroids, hormones, drugs, and fish paralyzers? And how would we have felt about rooting for a guy who is such a prick to the media and his teammates? I've wondered how Giants fans feel about Bonds, a tremendous player who is so unrootable and now turns out to be a cheater. Fans will generally root for anyone who plays well for their team, but Bonds really puts that to the test. I'd feel very conflicted if I was writing the San Francisco Sports Blog, my loyalty tested against my objectivity. (I guess that's the dilemma for sports fans all the time.)
A few other notes: if Bonds would have been a Brave in '92, then the epic '92 NLCS would have been totally different, as it's very unlikely that the Pirates would have made it that far. And was it divine retribution that the Bucs were beaten in such dramatic fashion after they reneged on a deal to send Bonds to Atlanta? And if Leyland doesn't veto that deal and Bonds is still a Brave in '97, does Leyland ever win his World Series with the Marlins?
3. Tom Glavine didn't really want to go to New York, but was pressured to do so by his agent and the union. Well, there's a shock. What'll be amusing about this is the horrified reaction in New York, which will be akin to a hooker being taken aback that her John was lying when he said that he loved her. The Mets have money to offer and nothing else. What rational person wants to play in Flushing in the shadow of LaGuardia? What rational player wants to play for the most underachieving franchise in recent baseball history? What player wants to play in a town where scores of newspaper reporters vie with one another to get and print the juiciest rumors about you? The only possible reason to play for the Mets is the fact that they can offer more money than anyone else, so why are you surprised that a player would find that the only reason to play there? (I guess Pedro's presence makes the Mets a cooler destination now for Dominican players.)
By the way, seeing Glavine come back here to go for 300 wins would make me very happy. After this season, he'll almost certainly be willing to come back to Atlanta on the cheap.
4. Deion, Lofton, and Rocker were all schmucks? Again, not the biggest surprise in the world. Come to think of it, how would Bonds have fit in in the Braves' clubhouse, given that most selfish players find it hard to co-exist with Cox and the Braves' veterans? Or would the current atmosphere that gives the Braves a leg up never have emerged with Bonds wearing the Tomahawk for a decade?