Braves Salaries Complicate Playing Decisions

Turner FieldThe Braves first two weeks of the season started as well as anyone could have hoped.  Since that time, Atlanta is 13-17, and has had some big time struggles.

I understand that teams are going to have struggles during the year, and players aren’t always going to hit well all the time.  In the Braves’ case though, it is much more than just a slump.

People have talked at great length about the struggles of Dan Uggla and B.J. Upton.  We all know that there is too much money wrapped up in those two players for them to be performing the way they are.  I am not here to write another article, giving you the stats about those two being bad, but I am going to try to make you think a little bit.

Uggla and Upton better be thankful that they are playing professional baseball and not basketball or football.  Think about if your favorite teams’ starting quarterback, or starting point guard, played the way that these two have to start the season.  They would be on the bench, no doubt about it, especially considering these guys aren’t the caliber of a Tom Brady or Chris Paul.  Only in baseball, do you get the opportunity to be this bad, for this long.

Can these guys turn it around?  Of course they can, but what are you really going to get?  With BJ Upton we really don’t know, considering this is his first year, so we give him the benefit of the doubt.  With Uggla however, we know what we are going to get.  You get 20 plus home runs, with 75% of them being meaningless, a bad batting average, a ton of strikeouts, and an inability to get productive outs.

Most Braves fans I talk to are in agreement about Dan Uggla, they want him out of the lineup.  But for Braves manager  Fredi Gonzalez, it is not that easy to just sit a guy making over $13 million.   As for Upton, I think most Braves fans are cautiously optimistic that he will turn things around.  The one thing I know for sure, is that baseball is the only game where these two guys would still be starting on an everyday basis.

What a funny game baseball is, it’s why we love it and hate it, all at the same time.

About James Thurn

James is the host of The James Thurn Show weekdays from 9am to noon. He has been in sports media for 5 years and has followed the Braves that entire time. James was born and raised in "Braves Country" and is excited to now be writing for

  • Bob Long

    As much as I want them both to succeed, I’m really becoming saddened by Dan Uggla’s struggles.
    I understood the first year’s struggles, what with pressing to live up to the new contract. Last year, he altered his spring training plans from what he had always done and I felt that had “thrown him off” during the season. This season, he shed some weight and bulk, went back to his old spring training routine and I expected him to emerge from his doldrums. Except for a 6 game period, he has been equally as bad as the past 2 seasons. I have given him the benefit of the doubt, and I’m still rooting for him to do well, but unless he starts doing well soon, I may just join the rest of the Uggla “haters”.
    I only hope BJ doesn’t mimic Dan’s time in Atlanta.

    • Jim Hart

      Bob, both are showing some signs of coming around. If they do, this Braves line-up will be a real murderers’ row. But at this point it is painful to see two guys making all that money batting 7th and 8th while other guys making the minimum wage are doing the heavy lifting.

  • http://msn bruce gosowsky

    Gotta go! Right now the Braves are often playing 6 men to nine. Not good odds to win. Even the pitchers show some production. Paying fans, who expect the teams best,
    are getting short changed. Front office acts like they are paying these hi-doller players, but it’s the fans who do.

  • Jim Hart

    Fortunately those other six are being very productive and winning games.