Braves One Year Wanker, Rick Cerone was thrust into the national spotlight starting with the 1980 season, after he was traded to the New York Yankees to take the place of Yankees Captain Thurman Munson, who had been killed in a plane crash the previous August. The 26 year old Cerone had not hit very much in his 5 major league seasons with Cleveland and Toronto, still Chris Chambliss was included in the haul back to Toronto to fill the Yankees’ 1B hole.
Braves One Year Wanker, Rick Cerone
Cerone rewarded the Yankees with 14 homers and a .277/.321/.432 line, and nabbed 51% of prospective base stealers, leading the league. He accumulated 8.0 career WAR over 18 seasons in the majors, and 4.2 of it came in 1980. Knowing this, you can probably guess how well Rick did when he came to Atlanta in 1985. (Writers call this warshadowing, probably.) The 31 year old was coming off of a .208/.269/.283 season with the Yankees, and he posted a perfectly predictable .216/.288/.280 for the ’85 Braves.
A Collection of Meh
1985 kicked off the first of six consecutive seasons in which the Braves would touch 70 wins only once. If there was a theme to this desert period it was a fascination with bringing in well known older players, and Cerone became the first degree of cooked bacon. Rick was traded after the ’85 season to Milwaukee in a package for 36 year old Ted Simmons. That 1986 season also saw the arrival of 37 year old Ken Griffey Sr. In 1987 they added 42 year old Graig Nettles, and they liked that so much that in 1989 they added 42 year old Darrell Evans.
Cerone lasted 7 more seasons after leaving Atlanta. He had 8 career seasons where he was credited with negative WAR; interestingly, 1985 was the last of those (-0.4.) After leaving Atlanta, he had positive WAR all 7 of those final seasons, hovering around 1.0.