|Braves are Losers in Furcal Situation|
Written by Paul Keen (Contact & Archive) on December 25, 2008
Aside from being almost along the same parallel on a globe and having a reputation of being a coke town, Atlanta and Los Angeles haven't really had that much in common.Â Where they did have a recent similarity was in shortstop Rafael Furcal.Â Furcal, originally signed to the Gulf Coast Braves in 1996, played with the club until he entered free agency in 2005.Â He signed on with the Los Angeles Dodgers, and has remained there since.Â However, Furcal was (or at least the Braves front office had thought) flirting with the possibility of coming back to the Ted to play once more.Â What transpired after that was Furcal has returned to Sunny L.A. and the Braves are vowing never to do business with his agency, Wasserman Media Group, again.Â Which leaves a lot of questions on the minds of fans.Â First of all, what the hell just happened?Â And is Atlanta hurting Wasserman, or themselves, by vowing never to do business with them again?Â
Let's start with the first question of what the hell happened?Â So basically, there has been a lot of buzz about the Braves wanting Furcal back, and Furcal wanting to return to Atlanta.Â Although everyone said it was preliminary info, it seemed legit, and he certainly wouldn't have been the first prodigal son for the Bravos.Â The Braves draw up a contract, and hand it over to Furcal's agency to sign.Â Looks like things could be looking up for the Braves right?Â Wrong!Â Wasserman then takes the contract the Braves drew up, hands it over to L.A., they replace the word Braves with Dodgers, and all of the sudden Furcal is with the Dodgers for the next three years and the Braves are mad.Â So now that you know the story, what is happening now?Â
For starters, the Braves front office is furious.Â They've thrown around all sorts of nasty insults about Wasserman and have vowed to never do business with them again.Â Well, how much of a bite is that going to take out of Wasserman?Â Will it turn out to take a bite out of the Braves?Â Wasserman is a sports business, but they seem to be more about business than sports.Â Mr. Casey Wasserman's company represents a lot of athletes.Â How many you ask?Â Think of a sport, any sport.Â They represent someone who plays the sport you just thought of.Â Even if you thought of something like rugby or cricket, they have it covered.Â They are an international corporation with multiple offices in the U.S. and U.K.Â So will not doing business with them hurt Wasserman or the Braves?Â
The answer is it probably won't make that much of a difference either way.Â There are plenty of agents and agencies who represent baseball players and not having to deal with Wasserman won't be that big of a deal.Â If it were that big of a deal, Schuerholz and Wren wouldn't have gone on record saying that they would never work with them again.Â Will it hurt Wasserman?Â It might hurt them in the baseball department, but they've got so many fingers in so many other pies that in the long run they'll live.Â
The real loss here is to Atlanta.Â The Braves used to be a top club with a lot to offer and you could usually count on seeing them in October.Â Now they seem to be circling the drain these days.Â They are plagued by weak pitching, poor hitting or injuries.Â Sometimes they like to mix it up with a player who has more than one of those things going on.Â It's no secret they could've used a player as powerful as Furcal, but Furcal wanted to play a sneakier game than that.Â
So what can the Braves do about this mess?Â Well, they've already done it.Â They won't work with Wasserman, and they have to move on and try and find someone who can make the Braves shine in 2009.