(above : Braves GM Shuerholz, preparing to hand over a baseball inscribed “you’re the best” during David O’Brien Night ceremonies Monday evening)
Last night, Yunel Escobar made his first Turner Field appearance — collecting one of the Jays’ two hits against a dominant Tim Hudson — since being traded from the Atlanta to Toronto last summer. While the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s David O’Brien admits the shortstop is having a fine season, he also contends, “I challenge you to find one individual employed in any capacity by the Braves, from the clubhouse to the front office and everywhere between, who regrets the move.” (link swiped from Aaron Gleeman and Hardball Talk)
He was a petulant hot dog of a player who rubbed teammates wrong at least as frequently as he ticked off opponents.
If he was liked by teammates, the Braves might have put up with such statistics and waited longer for him to develop into the player they thought he’d become. Even though he was 27 last season, he didn’t reach the majors until 24 because of his late start after defecting from Cuba.
The Braves gave him a lot of chances, and defended him a lot of times when asked by reporters about how long they could put up with Escobar’s sometimes-infuriating, sometimes even embarrassing, behavior.
But in the end, the lack of production over a sustained period, coupled with an attitude that showed no signs of improvement, led the Braves to trade him.
To this day, I can’t find anyone in the organization that regrets it.