Hello everyone out there in radio land. This is your host, Casey Kasem, and I have a special dedication going out to a down-and-out guy in Atlanta, Georgia. Here is the touching letter that I received that led to this dedication:
I am heartbroken. My world has been turned upside-down. I run a professional baseball team in Atlanta that I would rather not name in order to protect the innocent. I thought I had a deal with an exciting free agent shortstop who began his career here in Atlanta, who I would also rather not name.
I had a verbal agreement with his agent. I faxed him a term sheet with my signature. Then that weasel backed out of the deal and the player signed with his former team. Now our nameless team in Atlanta looks like it has the plague. No one wants to play here. Please play a song for me that will help me forget this fiasco and keep a stiff upper lip.
Signed, Frank Wren
What a sad story! My heart broke for Frank when I read his tragic letter. Frank, you deserve better than this. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and use this song that I'm dedicating to you to help you get past this challenging situation.
For you, Frank, I'm playing Justin Timberlake's "Cry Me a River."
Wah, wah, wah. Poor Atlanta and poor Wren. Wren is mad. The Atlanta Braves are mad. The Dodgers swooped in and stole Rafael Furcal at the 11th hour from the Braves. How dare they!
So what? This is baseball, not church league bingo. Wren should know that unless he had Furcal's signature on a contract that anything can happen in this uncertain world of Major League Baseball. Since when are sports agents Eagle Scouts?
We may never know what really happened between agent Paul Kinzer and Wren. Wren says Kinzer did him and the Braves wrong. Kinzer says that there was never a "deal" in place and that he told Wren that he was going to give the Dodgers one more chance to improve their offer.
It doesn't matter how it went down. What does matter is that, like Mulder and Scully used to say on the X-Files, Wren should "trust no one." Athletes are greedy. Agents are greedy. Team owners are greedy. Why should this situation with Furcal surprise anyone?
The worst thing that the Braves can do is to continue talking about the Furcal situation. It won't change anything. Furcal is going to be playing in Los Angeles and all the sour grape talk in the world isn't going to change that now.
Were the Braves treated unfairly? Probably. Should the Dodgers be blamed for stealing Furcal from Atlanta at the last minute? Definitely not. The Braves would have done the same thing if the glove were on the other hand.
The world of professional sports is a cut-throat culture where a person's word rarely means anything more than a spot on ESPN SportsCenter. Loyalty ceased to exist back in the 1970s when players still stayed with an organization for their entire careers.
Now, players are looking toward that day when they can test the free agent waters and get their next big paycheck. The jersey on their back rarely means anything more than something to be tucked into their pants.