The Atlanta Braves Fired Fredi Gonzalez Because Fredi Gonzalez Was Failing At His Job
By Josh Brown
After the nuclear fallout of the Fredi Gonzalez news this morning, the AJC’s Jeff Schultz wrote a piece on how the Braves fired Gonzalez just because they needed someone to blame. Basically, Schultz blamed John Coppolella for everything.
Now, it’s certainly not the worst Schultz piece I’ve read, but it’s up there.
The Atlanta Braves fired Fredi Gonzalez because Fredi Gonzalez was not performing well at his job. It’s that simple. Was Fredi to blame for the entire Braves record? No. But was Fredi to blame for his lineup and bullpen management? Yes. He was the manager.
Shultz went on to mock Coppolella’s recent moves:
"“Out went Jason Heyward, Justin Upton, Craig Kimbrel, Andrelton Simmons, Evan Gattis and Alex Wood. In came lottery tickets that may or may not pay off.”"
Let’s see. Jason Heyward is hitting .236 after signing a $184 million deal, Justin Upton is hitting. 217, Evan Gattis is playing baseball in the minors (just recalled as a catcher), Andrelton Simmons is on the DL after hitting .219 in 31 games, and Alex Wood has a 4.17 ERA. He failed to mention Shelby Miller who has a 6.94 ERA.
I’ll give him Craig Kimbrel. But, before you get mad at the Atlanta Braves over that one, Google Austin Riley.
So basically almost all of the big names that Coppy and Hart had to say goodbye to in order to obtain younger talent are currently doing terrible.
And meanwhile Keith Law has ranked the Atlanta Braves farm system (consisting of these “lottery tickets that may or may not pay off”) the best farm system in baseball.
Fredi Gonzalez was certainly not set up to win the division nor win the playoffs this year. And his team has been lousy. I get it. But the Braves didn’t fire Fredi Gonzalez just because of how lousy his team has been. Coppoelella understands that Aybar’s slump is not Fredi’s fault and he understands that he probably got it wrong on Hector Olivera – the person.
Next: So What IS Fredi to Be Blamed For?