February 21, 2004 [LINK]

Orioles (+), Braves (-)

Peter Angelos is feeling pretty upbeat about his team, apparently convinced that the "threat" of the Expos moving to Washington has greatly diminished. He says that is what has given him the confidence to beef up his payroll... The Washington Post had one of their online chat forums last Wednesday, and I got the following response to my query:

Staunton, Va.: What is going on with the Atlanta Braves letting their best players go elsewhere? After all the post season disappointments of recent years, is their ownership just giving up?

David Sheinin: The Braves definitely are slicing payroll. Looks like they've lopped off about $15 million this winter, by letting Maddux, Sheffield and Javy Lopez go. When I talked to their GM, John Schuerholz, a few weeks ago, he said ownership simply came to the conclusion it could not keep operating in the manner they had been accustomed to.