Look, I know that Furman Bisher is supposed to be this legend, and someone who has probably earned the right to write about anything he pleases without being edited, but maybe it's time to put an end to that. Bisher's latest column on AJC.com is riddled with innacurate statements and failed assumptions. (I wasn't aware Bisher went to Yale.)
Reading the title of the article, "Braves failing to keep farm stocked," will tell you the first inaccurate statement. This is an article that comes on the heels of MLB.com naming three Braves among the top-50 prospects in baseball. Bisher begins the defense of his title by saying, "Once upon a time the Braves usually dealt from within when talent was in need." The assumption here is that they don't do that anymore... that's just wrong. The Braves just dealt four prospects for an established starting pitcher in his early 30's. They traded five prospects two years ago for one of the top sluggers in the game, not to mention other trades that acquired minor pieces like Mark Kotsay, Dannys Baez, Omar Infante and Will Oman, and on and on.
Bisher also erroneously suggests that John Smoltz was a product of our farm system, that's just plain wrong, he did pass through our farm system, but he was a product of the Tigers' farm system.
Bisher tries to suggest, again trying to support his failed hypothesis, that the Braves have been missing the playoffs because they no longer have home grown stars: "Three seasons have passed now and the Braves haven’t had a whiff of playoff aroma. Most of those homebred stars have moved on." Again, this is just plain wrong. Last year our starting position players consisted of over half homegrown talent: Brian McCann, Chipper Jones, Yunel Escobar, Kelly Johnson, and Jeff Francoeur, most of them recent additions to the major league roster.
Amazingly, Bisher says and then repeats that we "signed" Javier Vazquez. Is this a senior moment? He goes on to say that we also signed Russ Ortiz, Albie Lopez, and Mike Hampton, when we only signed Lopez, and traded for Ortiz and Hampton. In both trades we used young homegrown talent in the trade. Not to mention, lumping Lopez in with the other two is a bit silly since Lopez was signed to be a fourth or fifth starter and Ortiz and Hampton were acquired to be top of the rotation guys.
He ends with this amateurish and lackluster finish which does more to discredit his hypothesis than support it:
In the past season the Braves have traded away a busload of prospects for, in one case, a mere flirtation with Mark Teixiera, who was merely passing through town. They did happen to pick up an inexpensive Casey Kotchman in the deal, but back to Vazquez again, they traded a hot number with power, Tyler Flowers, for him. And Tyler can play first base, and has power.
What should bother Frank Wren is what’s going on with all those 47 scouts and those special assistants who are supposed to be covering the world and feeding that fallow farm system. That’s all.
If we traded away a "busoad" of prospects then we must have had a well stocked farm system to begin with. He also now admits that we traded for Vazquez (whereas two paragraphs earlier he says we signed him), and then mentions the prospect we traded for him... again, we couldn't have done this if we didn't have a stocked farm system.
Bisher has absolutely no clue what's gong on with our farm system, a system still considered to be one of the top ten systems in all of baseball even after all the prospects we've traded the last two years. That's a result of those 47 scouts and special assistants doing thier job.
This article reminded me of something the former Tigers' broadcaster Ernie Harwell said when he decided to end his career several years ago. Harwell said he was retiring now because he didn't want someone to come up to him years later and say, "I heard your last game, and it should've been." Well Mr. Bisher, I read your last article, and it should've been.
For a more in-depth destruction of Bisher's article, see beeniez Fan Post.