Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Fredi Got Fired - Fredi Gonzalez finally gets sacked

Yes, I used the British term for fired because I think sacking someone sounds funny. Are you happy Braves fans? We finally fired Fredi Gonzalez and Brian Snitker will take over as head garbage collector for this team. I mean manager. It's basically a dual title given the current roster.

I'm personally thrilled they finally made the decision. Why? Tons of reasons, but let's go through a few of them shall we?
  1. Fredi was obsessed with L/R matchups - How many times this season and in past seasons did we see Fredi "play the percentages" by sending in EOF or Matt Marksberry because they were left-handed? Against the best hitters in the league with the game on the line? Because it happened way too often for my tastes, and we lost games over it.
  2. Fredi didn't manage the pen well - I'll go for the jugular on this one with the Craig Kimbrel decision in 2013. We all remember sitting there, waiting for Fredi to bring in Craig Kimbrel with the game on the line, but instead leaving David Carpenter in the game to give up the winning home run for the Dodgers, and a loss in the NLDS. But that's just one stupid move. There were moves weekly where Fredi wouldn't use his closer with the best part of the order, or times he'd leave struggling relievers out there forever just to get burned.
  3. Fredi was a terrible second half manager - Do you know what Fredi's record was in September over his career? It was 56-75 since 2011. That's in the most important month of the year, often in playoff runs, with several players at the time who were All-Stars in the years up to 2015. Only in 2012 did Fredi's Braves have a winning record in September, and they had one of the worst collapses in franchise history when they lost the wild card to the Cardinals in 2011.
  4. Many players didn't produce offensively under Fredi - In fact, many players got much, much worse. Is that all his fault? Of course not, but it's stupid that guys like Jason Heyward, BJ Upton, Brian McCann, Nate McClouth, Andrelton Simmmons, Chris Johnson, etc. had maybe one or none good years under Fredi, and the rest of their years were better either after they left or before Fredi showed up. His style coupled with the front office rosters didn't mesh to create great hitters.
  5. Fredi wasn't a PR guy in the media - Listening to Fredi give post-game interviews, you'd practically go insane with how many times he'd tip his cap, or say the team that just lost 8-0 was really playing good baseball, or other inane crap that made no sense. He never called it like it was, and he never seemed to have the fire that many people want out of a manager when things go wrong, or his guys are getting abused by bad umpiring decisions. As a result, many fans never liked him. Then again, after Bobby he was going to be doomed to fail.
There's obviously more than that, but it's enough for me to list right now. I've done my fair share of complaining about Fredi over the years, so if you've read the blog none of this is new to you. I don't hold him accountable for everything, especially individual performances. But when there are trends that happen year to year and nothing changes, you have to look at the leadership of the organization. The Braves removed Frank Wren when that went wrong, and there was no reason to keep Fredi Gonzalez after that decision was made. It probably would have been kinder to fire him then, rather than stringing him along this far. That's the only part of this I blame on the front office.

Going forward, I want one thing out of Brian Snitker when he takes over. PLAY THE YOUNG GUYS. If I have to put up with much more of Eric Aybar, I'm going to scream.


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