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Braves Collection: Bob Wickman

2007 Topps Allen & Ginter
For a few days in a row here, I’m going to feature some of the few Atlanta Braves I just flat out don’t like. Here we have Bob Wickman. For a short period of time, he was one of the best relievers in the game. The Braves acquired the sourpuss in July of 2006, and he was filthy amassing 18 saves in 28 appearances with an ERA of just 1.04. Like many Braves fans, I was ready to embrace this guy as one of our own.

Turns out, he may have been the most selfish player the Braves have ever fielded, and that includes that odious gasbag, John Rocker. Poor little Bob didn’t like to pitch unless it was a save situation. He would pout. He would hang his shoulder. He would even pop off occasionally at teammates.

In late August of 2007, Wickman would groove a pitch to Adam Dunn in the 12th inning and the Braves would lose the ball game. After the game, Wickman went to Bobby Cox and cried about having to pitch in non-save situations. The Braves handled it the way they often handle problem cases: he was immediately designated for assignment.

Ever the diplomat, all Bobby would say is …

I just want to try something else.
Andruw Jones on the other hand would say …
If it wasn’t a save situation, [Wickman] wasn’t happy about [pitching]. It’s not fair to the team. It’s not fair to the manager the way [Wickman] was going about his business.
Well said Andruw. Wickman would end up in Arizona … as a setup man … not pitching in save situations. After the season, he couldn’t find anyone willing to give him a contract to be a closer and he walked away from baseball. Baseball is doing just fine without him.