Longtime Braves executive Jose Martinez has passed away suddenly at the age of 72, writes MLB.com’s Mark Bowman. A special assistant to the GM since being hired by John Schuerholz back in 1995, Martinez was beloved within the front office and by a large number of players whose careers he helped shape when working with Atlanta’s minor leaguers. The Cuban-born Martinez played two seasons with the Pirates in 1969-70 and had a 15-year coaching career with the Cubs and Royals before being hired by the Braves. MLBTR sends its condolences to Martinez’s family and friends, as well as the Braves organization.
Some additional items pertaining to the Braves organization…
- Greg Walker has resigned as the Braves’ hitting coach, Bowman tweets. It will be interesting to see if there are any further changes to the coaching staff once the Braves hire a replacement for the recently fired Frank Wren. Walker’s resignation isn’t surprising, given Atlanta’s offensive struggles over the past two seasons.
- Yankees executive Gordon Blakely has left his post with New York to accept a role as special assistant to the GM in Atlanta, he tells George A. King III of the New York Post. Blakeley, who had been with the Yankees for 21 years (and with the Mariners for seven years prior to that), was instrumental in New York’s signing of Orlando Hernandez, Robinson Cano, Jose Contreras and Hideki Irabu, as well as the decision to draft Phil Hughes, King notes. He has recently worked as a cross checker for the Latin American market but has also held the title of senior VP of baseball operations and president of professional and international scouting.
I’m sure that Walker stepping down was not a surprise, but some fault needs to be placed with a manager who puts .240 hitters with sub-.300 OBP in the leadoff and number two slots.
So what’s going to happen to the assistant hitting instructor: Scott Fletcher? I assume that he’ll be let go, but it’s odd that none of the write-ups mention it especially considering Walker-Fletcher were tandem instructors.
I wonder how long it will take before the call to hire Chipper Jones as hitting coach starts! I would love to see him hired but I thinke he would want to take more than 1 year off prior to taking a full time coaching position.