The Braves have offered the general manager job to John Hart on a permanent basis, reports Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports. Hart, formerly the head baseball man for the Indians and Rangers, has already been named Atlanta’s interim GM after previously serving as a senior adviser.
Hart is still mulling the offer, according to Passan’s report. Were he to take over, Hart would be expected to “groom” assistant GM John Coppolella. The 35-year-old Coppolella could still be a candidate for the GM position if Hart declines. He remains with the organization after the dismissal of his boss, former GM Frank Wren.
One of the game’s most respected front office men, Hart played a key role in pioneering the use of early-career extensions during his time in Cleveland. He recently discussed the history and future of extensions — including, of course, the handful of significant offseason deals reached by Atlanta. He praised Wren at the time for crafting a strategy that enabled the Braves to lock up multiple talented MLB players for their primes. Of course, as club president John Schuerholz said earlier today, the team’s concerns with Wren’s performance seem to be rooted primarily in the areas of drafting and development.
It’s amazing how many people want to throw cox under the bus just for believing in Gonzalez. Did we already forget he is the one that took us from worst to first in the first place?
Bobby Cox also hired John Schuerholz back then. The best thing FG has going for him right now is the fact that Bobby is his mentor.
You are missing the point. When Cox basically handpicked Gonzalez as his successor, I had no quarrel. Sure it may not have been my first choice coaching hire, but I didn’t think that this would be the outcome. I respected the decision. Where I have a problem is that Cox refuses to give up on a lost cause. He is stifling the Braves from a better future in the name of friendship. Friendship is great, but this is a business first.
I really don’t think Freddie Gonzalez has had the quality people that cox did and most of that is the fault of wren. Cox also isn’t going to ruin his own image over a friendship. I’m sure he is the same with Freddie as he was with his players. He was loyal but tough with high expectations. And I believe he knows given the proper tools Gonzalez will be successful. That’s why he is sticking by him.
They got rid of the right person I believe. But I also agree we need a new hitting coach and I really don’t know why they haven’t asked chipper Jones if he would be interested. I think it would be perfect for the best hitter in recent time who is now a couple years out of retirement to be offered the opportunity.
I would imagine the job is waiting on Chipper for whenever he might want it. He left the game when he still had a few years left in the tank, so I can’t imagine him being in a rush to get back to it. He has helped out in small ways on his terms, and imagine he will keep doing so for a little longer. Any time he wants the job I would love to see him back in the dugout though.
Chipper seems more like a “special assistant” type, though. The kind of guy you bring to spring training and for occasional hitting sessions. He just doesn’t strike me as an everyday teacher — he looks like he’s enjoying retirement and was also relatively quiet and reserved when he played. I don’t mean that he wasn’t a leader, just that we shouldn’t assume good hitter means good coach.
They need to bring Bobby Cox back. Or Chipper Jones would also be a good change for the team. He is possibly the Braves best player of all time….
If you forget about Hank Aaron, Warren Spahn, and possibly Eddie Matthews, then yes, Chipper is the best player in Braves’ history. I’d also rank Glavine and Smoltz ahead of him, but that could be a personal preference.
Freddie Gonzalez is dealing with the hand he was given by wren. Now I do think he made mistakes but I don’t think he should be fired. Wrens mistakes were the biggest blows. I’m trying to remember the bench cf we had that wanted more playing time but he stuck with bj for example. He was released finally by Atlanta and Minnesota twins picked him up. He is hitting over 300 with 14sb in about 3 weeks I believe. Jordan Shaffer was the name. That’s the leadoff hitter they have been looking for all year
Small sample size theater huh? Jordan Schafer has 1200 career at bats proving he is terrible. But this 3 week run must be the real Jordan, he is clearly an all star now.
He is batting 288 through 41 games and 130ab. 15sb. They could have at least platooned him and bj
And how is not playing Schafer Wren’s fault? I understand the question as to why not at least platoon him while here. He did do poorly this year in limited play, but consistent at bats could have helped. My point is you are contradicting yourself when you say Fredi had the hand Wren gave him…yet Schafer was part of that hand and he didn’t play him.
I agree that was one of freddie’s mistakes. But not worth firing him ove. Like you all say as a career hitter he is probably worse than bj however could have been squeezed for more this year. That’s all Monday morning qbing by me though I admit. He would have had better options with another gm giving him better players to work with
I agree that if that was the only hiccup it wouldn’t be one to fire him over. However, it isn’t. All you have to do is look at the nightly performances. You can tell that they have quit on him, and that all falls on his shoulders. This is a young team. I think we sometimes forget how young they are. Fredi had the same problem with a young team in Miami. It started off well and slowly decayed. This is the organization that has won more games than any other since 2010, but over the past three seasons they have started to get worse. The roster is almost exactly the same as last year and look at the drop off. I do think that not having a veteran leader did hurt us. Again though that is something you have to call on your manager to try and work with
Is this where you tell me to play bj against lefties when bj can’t hit lefties?
BJ can’t hit righties either.
He can’t hit armless pitchers either, but that might be small sample size.
Whether he’s leading off the game or an inning, Schafer has a career .221/.295/.330 line in over 600 major league at bats. That is AWFUL. Just because you have speed and can occasionally bunt for a hit doesn’t make you a leadoff hitter, especially with those stats.
I would agree with you in normal circumstances but his competition was bj Upton. It’s not like bj was even giving us 230 or even enough home runs to warrant keeping him in. And no matter how you look at it that 41 games was coinciding with the braves offensive tanking and slide out of contention. I think those numbers in leadoff with the decent pitching we had would have helped at least make it a race
I don’t and don’t think it would have mattered who hit leadoff. They came out flat after the all star break, started their slide on the 0-8 roadtrip through LA, SD, and SEA, and have been phoning in the effort since mid August.
Well as of late you may have a point since nobody has been hitting with the exception of an occasional single or walk from Freeman no baserunners and no home runs. I definitely don’t think he would have been a permanent fix for the leadoff spot but sometimes you have to squeeze the most out of what you have. That’s what Gonzalez job is. It really didn’t get done but that was a small part of the problem they have. I just hope this new gm can get them back to contact hitting and baserunning. Situational hitting.
Schafer as leadoff in 2014: 158./333./158.
For Atlanta because they didn’t give him enough ab to bring it up. Bj for entire season at any position 207. Schaffer got the ab in Minnesota and batted 288 as leadoff for them
Hire John Coppolella. Fire Gonzalez. Let Coppolella pick the manager. Automatically in a much better position.
I hope Hart takes if for no other reason than to keep Schuerholz’s former “yes man” Dayton Moore in KC and as far away from the Braves organization as possible. Moore is basically Frank Wren with people skills. And as Mark Bradley at the AJC said the other day, if you put their 2 resumes next to each other, I don’t know if Wren loses that contest.
Back to Hart. IMO, I think he can get this club back on track to where it should be in terms of the roster and player drafting/development while grooming Coppolella (who will take over in a few years). And other than somebody like Epstein or Beane, he also might be the only one to cross Saint John and Saint Bobby and give Fredi the pink slip he deserves.
I don’t know about long term but bj certainly wasn’t and if they would have given him that playing time his 300 average with those stolen bases in leadoff this year with the pitching we had would have helped during the playoff run.
Just saying they had nothing to loose and everything to gain.
Please stop hiring re-tread GM’s and Managers. John Hart needs to stay on the MLB Network. Give someone else a chance instead of replenishing this guy’s bank account, he’s made enough already.
He also had success. You would rather have the guy who agreed with Wren’s decisions running the team? Who cares if Hart has made his money? Now I’m fine with a new manager like Giambi or Vizquel.
People who have mentored under other GM’s and managers deserve a chance to see what they can do. It happens all too often in all sports. Retreads getting another chance, regardless of success getting hired over and over and over again. Watch, I bet Frank Wren gets another chance somewhere else. Please… Tony LaRussa just hired Dave Stewart to be the D-Backs GM. This is what I’m talking about, give others a chance.
Edward Lo Sasso
Fire Gonzalez. He is such a terrible game tactician. In the late innings especially he does not use lefty vs lefty and righty against righty in critical situations. He would use the tired 6th inning 7th inning 8th inning and 9 th inning rotation with limited success. You can only get away with this strategy with overpowering pitchers such as Kimbrell. Tony La Rusa would change pitchers two or three times in one inning to get the proper match up. You know about his success as a manager Hart is a great fix…He has been successful wherever he has been. Cleveland especially…Let him hire the replacement.
It’s harder to do what you’re saying in the NL where you have to pinch-hit every time the pitcher comes up in the 2nd half of the game.
That said, with the Braves offense, I’d just let the pitcher hit.
I don’t think drafting and development really was Frank Wren’s weakness at all. McCann, Kimbrel, Freeman Simmons, Heyward, Prado, Venters (when healthy), Minor, Beachy are all above average big league performers and are guys that he drafted and developed. And trades have been a strength of his as well for the most part.
His real weakness was signing guys too late in their career. Derek Lowe, Dan Uggla, BJ Upton to name a few.
Honestly, I don’t really consider Lowe and Uggla as huge mistakes. Lowe was a big part to making it to the play offs in 2010. It was a move he probably had to make. Uggla seemed like a steal in that trade and a great long term signing at the time. He was a premiere power hitter and suddenly stopped knowing how to hit. Those moves only look somewhat bad because of the Braves’ market size. You make those moves in Boston, New York or either LA local or several other markets and nobody blinks an eye. The BJ deal is what was the costly one. Honestly though what big free agent signing was the last one to actually work for the Braves. Was it the Big Cat? It has been awhile. Wren was great at the small moves. Being able to trade away pieces that you never heard about again for pieces that helped. It’s something that is over looked and I hope isn’t taken for granted by the next GM
I think being the Braves GM is one of the most difficult GM jobs. There are very few teams that haven’t gone through a rebuild in over 25 years. Even those few years when the Braves finished below .500 after the run of division titles they never sold off any pieces. Add the fact that they are a mid market team and usually only take on players with good character, it all adds up to a tough gig. When Wren took over the Braves had an extremely weak farm club. Largely in part because of the Tex trade. Wren has actually built it up a good bit. One of, if not the, best closer in the game. One of the best all around shortstops and first basemen. One of the strongest catching prospects. And the best defensive outfielder in the game that isn’t horrible with the bat. Doing that while never really having a great draft position is tough. Wren lost the job because of BJ and his personality…this is the guy that cut ties with John Smoltz and Tommy Glavine (the second time.) I understand the axe has to fall after the end product this year. I just think with the potential on the field there are others that it needs to happen to like Fredi and Walker. I think it is good form to let the next GM make that decision. If they don’t though I believe it will be a very bad start to their reign.
I agree with Ryan 100% plus any manager that would have played Ugla and BJ as long as he has deserves firing..
Hart was the GM who when he was with the Rangers signed A-Rod to that horrible contract that took the Rangers years to get out from under !!