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Saturday, September 01, 2012

Schultz: Fredi Gonzalez knows if Braves fizzle, he’ll be one to catch heat

Fizzle: Proper bomb design, poor construction, lack of expertise.

One refreshing thing about Fredi Gonzalez, unlike so many in his position, is that he’s not going to try to project himself as someone who has all the answers.

He’ll listen to criticism. He’ll seek feedback from his Yoda-like predecessor, Bobby Cox. He’ll talk to former managers who are now long into retirement, and even managers on other teams. If ultimately Gonzalez fails as manager of the Braves, it won’t be because of ego, arrogance or obstinance.

“I talk to other managers all the time, people I respect,” Gonzalez said Friday. “Why not? I talk to them about dealing with different situations, dealing with crisis. But the bottom line, what most of them say, is you just have to be yourself. You have to be honest with players. You’re going to make decisions that are going to be second-guessed. That goes with the territory. But at the end of the day, you can’t tell yourself, ‘Oh, I should’ve done this or that,’ even though there are always situations when you’re going to feel like that.”

...We can’t be certain what Gonzalez was feeling late Thursday night, except to assume it wasn’t good. As the calendar turns to September, the Braves are sliding again. We know what happened last time they were here. Several decades from now, when Turner Field is gone, people likely will pass by the former stadium site and hear horrifying screams, as if it’s some haunted former battlefield or asylum.

Here are details of the latest bad ending: With the Braves leading 5-4, closer Craig Kimbrel allowed a game-tying homer to Erik Kratz in the ninth and Cristhian Martinez gave up a three-run bomb to John Mayberry in the 10th. The 8-5 loss to Philadelphia, which opened a homestand, buried the Braves another foot in the National League East (they’re now 6½ games behind Washington). The bigger concern is that they’ve now dropped nine of their last 13.

 

Repoz Posted: September 01, 2012 at 12:28 AM | 13 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: braves

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   1. Jick Posted: September 01, 2012 at 02:35 AM (#4224276)
Fredi Gonzalez, of course, is an anagram for "A Fizzled Goner."
   2. Esoteric Posted: September 01, 2012 at 10:30 AM (#4224356)
Hard not to smile when the Braves implode like this.
   3. Joey B. is being stalked by a (Gonfa) loon Posted: September 01, 2012 at 11:53 AM (#4224394)
You've got to love how Hutcheson only posts in the pinko thread these days and is completely invisible in the baseball threads. Gee, I wonder why that could possibly be?
   4. Mike A Posted: September 01, 2012 at 12:16 PM (#4224414)
Last I checked, the Braves still have the lead in the WC and one of the best records in baseball.

In a way, I feel sorry for Fredi because I think he's done a solid job this year. He learned from his overuse of relievers last year and has them on a better pace. For the most part, he's been getting the right players in at the right time. And despite losing his #1 and #3 starters for the year (along with his phenom SS) and a very difficult schedule, the Braves are right in the hunt. Yes, he'll still make some bonehead mistakes here and there, but I haven't met a manager who doesn't.

The Braves are currently stuck in purgatory with a mid-range payroll and mid-round draft picks. Mistakes can no longer be covered up, and unfortunately too many fans think it's still the 90s. Plus, they've been overshadowed by an upstart and surprising Washington team.

If this Braves team wins around 90 games, it's hard to complain. But Fredi will probably get the boot if they miss the playoffs.
   5. Esoteric Posted: September 01, 2012 at 01:02 PM (#4224461)
If this Braves team wins around 90 games, it's hard to complain. But Fredi will probably get the boot if they miss the playoffs.
Even I can realize that this would be a dumb move. But yes, after last season it's not at all implausible.
   6. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: September 02, 2012 at 12:19 AM (#4224895)
The Braves are currently stuck in purgatory with a mid-range payroll and mid-round draft picks.

And a middling GM and manager. They aren't going anywhere good. Their minor league system has spit out a bunch of major leaguers in the last few years which has propped them up. If that ever slows they'll sink like a stone. Wren's forays into the FA market and long term contracts have been comically bad.

But yes, after last season it's not at all implausible.

I would hope so. Most wouldn't survive one historic choke job, much less two.
   7. TerpNats Posted: September 02, 2012 at 09:46 AM (#4224987)
It helps Fredi that baseball is not a soap opera in Atlanta, the way it is in some other markets.
   8. Kyle S at work Posted: September 02, 2012 at 10:14 AM (#4225002)
At least we are stuck in a below market tv deal for the next 20 years.
   9. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: September 02, 2012 at 10:47 AM (#4225014)
Dan Ugglamwill continue to exist though.
   10. jack the seal clubber (on the sidelines of life) Posted: September 02, 2012 at 01:30 PM (#4225077)
Fredi is stuck with having to play the corpse of Brian Mc Cann five days a week, and wondering what days Chipper can play and when he can't, not to mention having Tommy "Five Innings" Hanson in the rotation. Not that I think any of this is a bad thing.
   11. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: September 02, 2012 at 01:38 PM (#4225081)
You've got to love how Hutcheson only posts in the pinko thread these days and is completely invisible in the baseball threads. Gee, I wonder why that could possibly be?


Sorry Joey. Was busy ####### your mom. What was it you wanted me for?
   12. Mike A Posted: September 02, 2012 at 02:13 PM (#4225104)
Beyond Fredi and Wren, it's that horrid TV deal that's really going to affect the Braves for the foreseeable future.

There's a fair chance the Braves will be continually stuck at the bottom of the NL East in payroll (assuming the Mets eventually get their financial mess together).
   13. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: September 02, 2012 at 02:45 PM (#4225131)
For the Braves fans in the crowd, bad news today. Mac passed yesterday.

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