Friday, May 23, 2014

Food-Issue Friday: When Your Future Ain't Lueken Too Good

"Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than speak out and remove all doubt." ~ adage attributed to Abraham Lincoln

"You know when that [bullpen] phone rings and I tell you to warm up? That's your role." ~ Bobby Cox, speaking to relief pitcher Rick Lueken

1990 Braves Dubuque (Perforated)

Maybe it's just me, but...

The last thing one should do when underperforming on the job is to complain. And if you feel like you must speak out, for goodness sake- choose your timing wisely.

The 1990 season was a disastrous one for the Atlanta Braves. Celebrating their 25th anniversary in the capital city, the team gave fans very little to cheer about. In fact, the team finished last in attendance and last in the NL West with a 65-97 record. Fifteen games below .500 on June 22nd, the team fired manager Russ Nixon and replaced him with GM Bobby Cox.

Returning home from a bad west coast road trip (remember, this was back in the days of them 'competing' in the NL West), Luecken began voicing his displeasure about how he was being used. A  few fellow pitchers urged Luecken to take his issues up with the manager, and so the pitcher did just that- in the clubhouse at 4am. Probably not the best advice he had ever received at that point in his career.

Eleven days later, after post a 1-4 record with a 1.943 WHIP,  Luecken was claimed off waivers by the Toronto Blue Jays. Rick appeared in one game for the Jays (givine up two hits, a walk and a run in one inning) toward the end of the 1990 season and would never throw another pitch in the majors.

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