Sometimes, the story is simple. Gary Matthews wanted more money and the Braves weren’t willing to pay. Matthews asked to be traded. The Braves tried to deal the All Star for Dave Collins of the Reds, who was at least a good baseball player. The Reds refused to assume a portion of a loan the Braves were owed by Mathews, so the deal fell through.
The Braves had their backs against the wall during spring training of 1981. Mathews was demanding a 5 year deal. When he asked for more money the previous season, Ted Turner ordered Bobby Cox to sit Mathews. Cox, of course, was “SIR, YES SIR”. The team was desperate to dump him. So, Bob Walk happens. Bob Walk. Yes, Bob Walk.
We all remember Ted Turner’s ownership fondly, but for a long time, he was pretty fucking bad at it. He should have ponied up for Matthews. Not only was he pretty darn good, with his best years in front of him no less, but he was the kind of guy that leaves it all on the field.
There were more bad trades to come.
At least Bob Walk hit that extra inning homer on the 4th that one year. (Also, the Brave still lost that game. People always forget that.)