Pt. 2 of Q&A with Braves’ Harley-riding Fredi Gonzalez

Fredi Gonzalez is entering his first spring training as Braves manager, and he has his Harley-Davidson Road King with him in Florida, just in case he has time to sneak in a few rides between workouts and Grapefruit League games.

Gonzalez, 47, is an avid motorcyclist who owns two bikes and often rides with Braves coach Terry Pendleton.

Fredi Gonzalez (right) went for a ride to the Georgia mountains with AJC writer David O'Brien a few day before Gonzalez headed to Florida for his first spring training as Braves manager. (Sara Hanna photo/sarahanna.com)

Fredi Gonzalez (right) went for a ride to the Georgia mountains with AJC writer David O'Brien a few day before Gonzalez headed to Florida for his first spring training as Braves manager. (Sara Hanna photo/sarahanna.com)

Gonzalez went for a ride to the Georgia mountains on Super Bowl Sunday with this Braves beat writer. We stopped for coffee and a one-hour interview in Canton, Ga.

This is the second part of our two-part interview. Read Part i of the interview here

Q. Some critics say Chipper Jones should’ve retired a couple of year ago. But for you, is it good to have him on the team and have a connection to the Braves’ past, at least for another year or two?

A. Yeah. Not only that, he has given the OK [approval of the Gonzalez hiring]. That’s big. That’s a big help in that clubhouse. Plus, he’s not that far removed from winning a batting title. And last year he came into Florida hitting .215, I think, the first series. He was awful. But I tell you what, I don’t care if he was hitting .215 or .315, he still has a … you’ve got to respect him. He’s going to come up with a big hit at a big time of the game. And I still believe he’s got something in the tank, and I think he’s motivated to prove it.

Q. You pay attention to some of the more sophisticated new stats than some older managers. At the same time it sounds like you’re not going to let those stats dictate your lineup. For instance, you’re not going to move Chipper down just because he’s not what he once was. You’re going on what you see and have seen, not just on what stats tell you?

A.Yeah. You’ve got to use all the information you can get that’s out there. Then use your instincts or your gut feeling or whatever.

Q. So you’re not going to make a lineup based solely on sabermetics, on things like WAR or VORP. (Laughter.)

A. No, or – what’s the other one — DIPS? No, we’re not going to do that. Or hit the pitcher eighth. I’m not there yet.

Q. But you don’t consider yourself a dinosaur when it comes to that stuff, either?

A. No, no, no. I look at all that kind of stuff. I really do. [But] you can really get really confused or paralyzed during the course of the game if you get caught up in all that.

I think everything you do is dictated by who’s on that mound that particular day, for you or against you. You’ve got Doc [Roy] Halladay pitching against you, you better scratch out some runs – this game we’re going to play little ball. If you’ve got Tim Hudson on the mound for you, you know if you get one or two [runs] you’ve got a pretty good chance to win that game. So you play it different.

Q. How comfortable are you with going with the young guys, Craig Kimbrel and Jonny Venters, in crucial roles at the back end of the bullpen? Bobby didn’t mind throwing kids in there in big roles.

A. I did it for four years. [Laughs.] We had a different closer every year. We had Kevin Gregg and a bunch of different guys back there that you had to mix and match.

You know what I feel comfortable with? The experience that they went through. [Both pitched in all four games in the division series] and Jonny pitched all through the pennant race. There’s no place else you can get that experience. You talk about veteran guys, but going through that is a plus.

Q. If Kimbrel shows you enough in the spring, you wouldn’t hesitate to go with him as the primary closer?

A. Yeah, but remember two years ago when Bobby had Mike Gonzalez and [Rafael] Soriano [as co-closers]? Then he would kind of flip-flop them. I remember reading the box score and seeing that Soriano pitched the ninth inning one day, then the eighth the next day when Gonzalez pitched the ninth against lefties. We could do that, and kind of break with that until somebody steps up as that main guy.

Q. So you’re going into spring kind of playing it by ear, waiting to see what happens?

A. Yeah. See what happens. But you kind of like the history of what’s happened, the short history with Kimbrel in the big leagues, and Venters, what did he go, 70-some games? And this guy’s not a situational lefty, either. You can let him face right-handers.

Q. Are you a guy that tried to take care of young relievers to make sure they don’t get worn out? Are you conscious of not relying so much on the same few guys night after night?

A. Yeah. You have to be. Because if you lose a guy there, it’s a big hole. And I’ll really lean on Roger [McDowell pitching coach] to tell me, and for the kids to tell Roger, “I can’t go today, I need a breather.”

Q. You want guys that’ll go out there every day, tough guys, but you also want them to be honest and tell you when they’re hurt or tired and need a rest, right?

A. Yes, because it’s not always the number of games. A guy might only throw two games in four days, but he’s been up every day, getting ready and then we get out of an inning and don’t use him. But he still threw 30 pitches in the bullpen.

Q. I sensed that some guys, especially young guys, wanted Bobby to approve, so they wanted to go out there every day, even if they were hurting. Then when it gets a little worse and they have to come out, they say, “I should have told him.” Is it a fine line?

A. It is. It’s a fine line. You’ve got to trust them.

Q. But you want them to tell you when they’re actually hurting?

A. Yeah, because you’d rather give them a day or two instead of being on the DL for a month or 15 days.

Q. There are also those who think Bobby Cox should have retired a few years before he did, and that maybe the Braves should’ve gone in a totally different direction than you for his replacement. I’m guessing there are worse things than being called Bobby 2.0?

A. [Laughs]. Yeah, you can go to the mound in Philly or New York and be called a lot worse than Bobby 2.0. Obviously he’s made a big impact in my baseball knowledge and how I run a game. A big impact. You spend four years with Picasso, if you just pay attention, you learn.

Gonzalez is on the right, O'Brien on the left.

Gonzalez is on the right, O'Brien on the left. (Photo by Sara Hanna/sarahanna.com)

But there’s going to be some stuff that’s a little different. Subtle stuff. Did [George] Seifert really do much different when he replaced [49ers coach] Bill Walsh? Probably about the same, right? It’s hard to tinker with success. They [Braves] have had success. A LOT of success.

But there will be some differences.

Q. But it’s not going to be boot camp in spring training?

A. I don’t know where everybody’s getting that idea, boot camp. We’re going to get in, get our work done and get out.

Q. The players have always liked the fact that the Braves do that, that the workouts are efficient and they don’t waste much time and stay out there all day in the spring.

A. Yeah. But you know what? You’re there to get ready for a major league season, not to get ready for the PGA. I say PGA because everybody plays golf. And I play golf, too. We’re going to do our work, then after we get done, I encourage them to take the family or whatever and go to Disney World and spend time with the family and your hobbies, whether it’s playing golf or whatever.

Q. And you and Terry will have your bikes there?

A. Yes. And we’ll have some days we get out of the ballpark early enough to go out and get a ride.

Q. When you look back now, how much of your professional career do you think was affected by happenstance, meeting the right people, being at the right place at the right time, that kind of thing?

A. When you’re young, you hear the clichés — things happen for a reason, right place/ right time. I’ve had all that stuff happen to me.

I go from, first time around with the Marlins, thinking I’m going to be there 50 years, and it doesn’t happen because of the sale of the team. I end up going to Atlanta, right? End up signing to manage the Macon team, because Carlos [Tosca] was going to manage the Richmond team. And Dick Balderson [former Braves player development director] goes, “You’re going to manage Macon.” I say, OK. But he adds, “If Carlos gets a major league coaching job, then you’ll manage Richmond.” So I say, that’s fine, Dick.

So I sign up to manage an A-ball team. Ssure enough, a month later Carlos gets the call to go coach third base in Toronto. I manage Richmond. I’m thinking, I’m going to be in Richmond a long time. Like [other long-time Braves minor league coaches], thirty years in the organization and never get a major league opportunity.

Then Ned [Yost, former Braves third-base coach] gets the job in the Milwaukee. I’m sitting watching something on TV on Halloween, I see Ned got the job, and I’m thinking Snit [Brian Snitker], Rick Albert, Randy Ingle, one of those guys is going to get an opportunity, because they’ve been there 25 years. Never even crossed my mind that it’d be me.

Phone rings. It’s Bobby. If you’ve ever talked to him, you know it’s not a crank call; you recognize the voice. “Hey, I want you to be my third-base coach.” Talk about being in the right place at the right time, and lucky.

And he goes, “John will call you about the contract. I said, oh, great, Skipper I’d love to do it. I hang up the phone, and about four days later I still haven’t gotten a call from John. I’m thinking, you know what, I think I just got punked. And Pam’s telling me, “Call Bobby back.” And I say, I’m not calling him back [laughs].

Sure enough, John had been traveling. He finally called me back about four days later…

And then I get an opportunity to manage the Marlins, hometown and that whole deal. Then going through all that, a great experience, and then you get fired. Things happen for a reason, right?

Q. And you get fired right as Bobby is retiring?

A. Yeah. Instead of a year too late or something.

Q. So you didn’t try to get fired? [Both laugh.]

A. No, I did not try to get fired. I’m not that confident.

Gonzalez is on his Road King in this photo. His other bike is a custom Bourget chopper given to him by Brian Jordan to persuade Gonzalez to give up No. 33 years ago (he wears the number again now).

Gonzalez is on his Road King in this photo. His other bike is a custom Bourget chopper given to him by Brian Jordan to persuade Gonzalez to give up No. 33 years ago (he wears the number again now).

Q. You listened to the Cubs before pulling out of that managerial search. But this was the job you wanted, right? I mean, it was going to take a team offering a whole lot of money to get you to consider taking another job first….

A. Yeah, but I tell you what, it was nice that [Cubs general manager] Jim Hendry called. But you know, you don’t know if you’re going to get that job. I think they hired the right guy with Quad [Mike Quade, new Cubs manager] in there, I really do. Solid decision.

But there was an attraction there to the Cubs. Hell, if you win there, if you win the World Series or are just lucky enough to get to the World Series, they might name that John Hancock building after you, or Rush Street – here, it’s Gonzalez Street, not Rush Street anymore. [Laughs.]

But, yeah, here – this [Atlanta] was the place. The area’s great to raise a family.

And here’s another thing. [While managing the Marlins] we had said we weren’t going to make a decision about moving back to Miami for another year, until after [Gonzalez's son] Alex graduated [from high school]. Because I had another year on my Marlins contract. I would have been back this year, and we were thinking about moving back this year after Alex graduated. [Gonzalez's aughter] Gabrielle is already out of high school.

Things happen for a reason, right?

– by David O’Brien, Braves blog

64 comments Add your comment

Billy Jack's Barbeuce & Shrimp Co

February 14th, 2011
5:34 am

Insominia puts me in the top tier this AM. Great article DOB.

Dbacks01

February 14th, 2011
5:37 am

Braves will take the wild card. Just worried on the transition from Wagner to our new closer. Chipper playin out in the outfield. Hope trading that CF last year for Farnsworth and Ankiel doesnt hurt us. Hope Nate can regain his form, and that Dan can hush the doubters w his D. Also hopin Jair shows his dominant form again. And that Freeman progresses and becomes a solid first basemen. A lot of what ifs..just like if the starting pitching can be HUGE again and we dont have to rely on last AB’s to win the game. Great as a fan, but cant be relyin on it frequently. Great JOB DAVE and lets go braves

retired

February 14th, 2011
5:38 am

good luck Freddi

Dbacks01

February 14th, 2011
5:51 am

** correction – -
chipper playin third base. Prado will be playin outfield. so lets hope chipper can stay agile and stay healthy all year..so his 11 m will be not go to waste on the DL

baseballsback

February 14th, 2011
6:18 am

DOB

Have you talked to Schafer or at least heard anything about how well he is coming along? i know he’s been working hard over the past couple of months to get ready for another shot, but have you personally seen or heard anything to encourage us about him?

K.Conway

February 14th, 2011
6:47 am

So that’s why the Braves kept TP..riding buddies…sure wasn’t his coaching!

old man

February 14th, 2011
7:12 am

I’m watching Lucas and Mather. Curious to see if one of them makes a significant contribution.

Greene Hornet

February 14th, 2011
7:52 am

DOB: You are in mid season form and it’s barely spring training! I know I have to start stretching out my Tomahawk Chopping arm…I would hate to hurt it on the first day and be out the rest of the season…

Kat

February 14th, 2011
8:10 am

Great part 2, David.

I hope Atlanta treats Fredi well and that Fredi can bring this team back to the playoffs in 2011.

And Spring Training begins….Happy Valentines Day everyone!

Bruce

February 14th, 2011
8:14 am

Ride on brother!

Trickster

February 14th, 2011
8:15 am

I hope they “get the work in” instead of going bike riding and golfing… Braves need a serious coach to get them into shape to win instead of another player’s manager like Bobby Cox.

Trickster

February 14th, 2011
8:18 am

Overweight managers like Cox & Gonzalez tell you that they don’t work out and don’t expect their players to either. Look at Tony LaRussa, trim and slim. But fortunately most players are professionals and work out whether its mandated or not.

Fish Bisch

February 14th, 2011
8:21 am

I miss my zx6r now that riding season is almost upon us.

New Braves’ Manager Rides A Harley |

February 14th, 2011
8:26 am

[...] about bikes and baseball. You can read part one of the interview here. Part two can be found here. The accompanying photo, which shows O’Brien on the left and Gonzalez on the right, was [...]

Part II Interview : baseballmusings.com

February 14th, 2011
8:28 am

[...] is part two of the motorcycle interview with Fredi Gonzalez. Dave O’Brien asks him about his use of advanced stats: Q. So you’re not going to make a [...]

Cecil34

February 14th, 2011
8:32 am

Bobby’s spring training was the PGA Lite tour.

Let’s hope Fredi gets them to focus on BASEBALL in the spring so they won’t be playing into shape and dropping games in April.

Jurrjens4NLCY

February 14th, 2011
8:35 am

Just pointing it out: sabermetric stats aren’t in favor of moving Chipper from the 3rd spot.

Anyways, thanks for the Q&A reading!!

Isadore Shines

February 14th, 2011
8:43 am

While there’s some unknowns, this much I am sure of. You will not see Chipper Jones in the outfield.

Isadore Shines

February 14th, 2011
8:47 am

Wonder if Braves have “injury” clause in Fredi’s contract like they did Ron Gant’s? Motocycle injury ended Gant’s career with Braves.

David O'Brien

February 14th, 2011
8:49 am

Isadore Shines: I don’t know, but do you think the GM has a skiing clause in his own contract? Frank Wren is a big skier. Statistically, that’s surely more dangerous than riding a motorcycle on the street.

By the way, if a manager had Ron Gant’s injury, it wouldn’t end his career.

Isadore Shines

February 14th, 2011
8:53 am

David, That really didn’t come out the way I intended. I have a Harley myself. Sorry if I came across as critical. That was not my intention.

Felix Millan

February 14th, 2011
8:58 am

Trickster– Look at LaRussa, and when you’re done, look at Dave McKay, his 1st base coach.Then look at McGwire,Canseco, et al.

Gil In Mechanicsville

February 14th, 2011
9:03 am

Ron Gant was ridding a dirt bike at the time, different set of circumstance, besides, he had been told not to do it… Too bad too because Gant was really being counted on for the season.

timthebrave

February 14th, 2011
9:16 am

DOB, thanks for the article…good read

mrnatural

February 14th, 2011
9:28 am

Nice interviewing style DOB. Control the answers by asking leading questions. Take a deep breath next time. Park your ego next to your Harley and ask some questions that elicit honest, thoughtful responses.

Brian

February 14th, 2011
9:29 am

What about trading for Michael Young to play Short? Give up Kawakami and Gonzalez in exchange for Young. That would offset the payroll issue and lock up a shortstop beyond this season.

Reid Adair

February 14th, 2011
9:44 am

Best of luck to Fredi Gonzalez. I think he was definitely the right man for the job. However, he’ll still face the issue of a limited roster at the hands of Frank Wren.

Luke M

February 14th, 2011
9:49 am

Michael Young is a terrible defensive shortstop and his contract is horrendous.

What I Can With What I Got

February 14th, 2011
10:02 am

Anxious to see how he and Roger manage the pen. He’s got a lot to work with and hopefully doesn’t develop tunnel vision. I know circumstances dictate the majority of the time but you have to have faith in the whole crew. Chop Chop

Ken Stallings

February 14th, 2011
10:41 am

You certainly scored a coup with the new manager. Insightful — got to learn a bit about what makes the man tick and that’s valuable for a fan of the game but certainly a fan of the Braves.

Ken Stallings

February 14th, 2011
10:44 am

Dave,

You said you don’t want heated gloves, but have you thought about using some of the thin chemical heat packs? They are designed to be inserted into the gloves.

[...] Fredi Gonzalez and David O’Brien stopped riding their motorcycles long enough to talk some baseball. The most telling bit is about his expected usage of Craig Kimbrel and Jonny Venters: DOB: If [...]

ATL FAN

February 14th, 2011
11:30 am

Fredi’s gonna be a great manager and will hopefully be around as long as Bobby was… but we NEED another outfielder to compete this season, especially with the Phillies

GovClintonTyree

February 14th, 2011
11:37 am

DOB, sounds good. Really excellent form to get your first major interview with Fredi in the context of a ride out to the mountains. Hopefully that starts a good solid working relationship between you and the new boss.

I like Fredi’s approach as far as balancing stats and his judgement. I don’t think you can do it without one or the other.

The most useful piece of information is that he intends to play matchups with Kimbrel and Venters in the eighth and ninth until one wins out. Y’know, that Soriano/Gonzalez year started that way, but then Soriano basically won the job. I was watching some Kimbrel highlights, and a lot of the pitches that guys punched out on were not strikes. As he makes the rounds, teams are going to force him to throw strikes and he may not be able to do it.

The Living Legend

February 14th, 2011
11:39 am

Brian, you cannot be serious about KK and Gonzo for Young. Even if the Rangers did that, Young has a very high salary, and while not an “iron” glove, I will take Gonzo’s glove any day of the week, plus Young has multi years left on the contract that is too steep to pay.

DOB, we should invite Aybar, ha ha………..couldn’t resist throwing him back in there.

[...] Pt. 2 of Q&A with Braves’ Harley-riding Fredi Gonzalez [...]

TommyTheB

February 14th, 2011
11:59 am

Boy, do I hope the Braves’ PTB (Wren, Schuerholz, McGuirk, and yep… Liberty) are all getting creative on potential offers to AlbertTheP.
MAN… what an opportunity this is starting to present.

SCBrave

February 14th, 2011
12:21 pm

I love Chipper and he has been a great Brave. That said I think a great deal right now would be to trade him to Texas for Michael Young. It would give Chipper a chance to be close to his ranch and prepare for retirement, no pressure on playing in the field and a great DH for Texas. The Braves get the next 3rd baseman they really need. When Chipper goes we will have a deep hole with no one in the depth chart to fill in (need power at 3rd).

The Living Legend

February 14th, 2011
12:48 pm

The Braves will NEVER trade “SCBrave”, it would bring about terrible backlash. Chipper will be a Brave until he retires or this contract is up…………..I would say that is 99.99% for sure.

TommyTheB, we do not need Pujols and that huge salary he will demand. That would put way too much payroll into one player, and I do not see Wren doing that, or Liberty Mutual allowing it, gone are the days of Ted wanting to win. I would love for there to be one or two owners, who are very passionate and want to win, but we are not currently in that situation. I am not sure what percentage of Liberty Mutual’s profits the Braves are, but it is extremely a small percentage on their overall line. Plus, most of Liberty Mutual execs are fans of other teams, they are strictly an asset, nothing more, we need another Turner, who is more passionate about the Braves, and wants to win.

ramblingman

February 14th, 2011
1:04 pm

Too, too funny to read someone complaining that Bobby would not run a boot camp and hoping Fredi would, and then turning around and saying most players are professional who keep themselves in good shape.

BTW, today’s headline on Foxsports re: Morosi’s column was “Home Run King Wants To Play For Blue Jays” and my reaction was, Hank Aaron is contemplating coming out of retirement?

Luke M

February 14th, 2011
1:05 pm

SC Brave – “The next 3rd basemen” ???? Michael Young is 34, only three years younger than Chipper. He’s also more expensive, with three years at 16MM left on his deal. Not to mention he is worse defensively.

There is no fit for Michael Young on this team. He’s got an albatross of a contract and is not very good anymore.

David O'Brien

February 14th, 2011
1:06 pm

tbhawksfan

February 14th, 2011
1:37 pm

Great pictures. When that obese guy hit the line up double it was just amazing. Don’t know how he can hit so well on a motorcycle…

The last four blogs have either been complaining about his job as a sports writer or talking about ridding. Pitiful

It’s spring training and we get to read this junk.

Fish Bisch

February 14th, 2011
2:31 pm

Kenny R’s right on the money DOB. There will be a huge void in left field when Hoss goes down if he even plays again at all.

Robert

February 14th, 2011
2:37 pm

“Yeah. Not only that, he has given the OK [approval of the Gonzalez hiring]”

Please tell me that was a joke.

Please tell me that Chipper didnt have to ok the new manager

David O'Brien

February 14th, 2011
2:38 pm

Robert, do you understand the difference between speaking literally and figuratively? Just wondering. Judging from you 2:37 comment, I’m guessing you struggle with it. Or perhaps that’s really just selectively struggling with it, to make some point? (please tell me it’s the latter)

Robert

February 14th, 2011
2:39 pm

“Q. Are you a guy that tried to take care of young relievers to make sure they don’t get worn out? Are you conscious of not relying so much on the same few guys night after night?

A. Yeah. You have to be. Because if you lose a guy there, it’s a big hole. And I’ll really lean on Roger [McDowell pitching coach] to tell me, and for the kids to tell Roger, “I can’t go today, I need a breather.”

Common sense in handling the bullpen?

There’s five added wins right there

Robert

February 14th, 2011
2:41 pm

“Robert, do you understand the difference between speaking literally and figuratively? Just wondering.”

I do – but Chipper has been given such prima donna treatment that it wouldnt have surprised me all that much to find out it was literally true

After all, this is the organization that prided itself on how much the bar patrons loved their bartender

old brave, retired

February 14th, 2011
2:56 pm

We definitely don’t need Pujols and his $300 million, 10 year contract. I would rather have Adam Wainwright back, the real difference in the World Series the Cardinals won a few years ago. J.D. Drew for Wainwright still hurts us. It’s taken us years to get back to respectability in the minors for that trade. For now, I love Gonzalez, Chipper will be fine, Schafer will bounce back, but I worry about McClouth. Tries to be a pull hitter, when we really don’t want that from him. Our bullpen looks good to me. Venters and Kimbrel are real, real good. Bench should improve with speed guys. I like our club. The Bravos all the way in 2011.

Mark (another one)

February 14th, 2011
3:15 pm

I do not understand the fascination with Young, nor do I believe too many people in baseball would be willing to take KK without the Braves absorbing most of his salary. Trading KK and some combination for Young won’t happen. Everyone knows the Braves have all but ended their relationship with KK, and someone is going to take KK from the Braves and get salary relief in the process. No one is willing to assume his full contract or the deal would have been done already.

Great interview. With Gonzalez being a new manager, I am sure there will be adjustments both for players, fans and the press. However, it looks like Fredi is pretty plain spoken and easy going. Baseball is a long season, and the point is to win the season. There will be good and bad streaks. Its just the nature of things. His leadership will help, especially with the younger players.

I expect the Braves to continue to look for a backup SS solution, and they will keep their eyes open as people become available. The focus this week will be on getting people in camp and getting ready for the season with our current roster. There may be some tuning trades but none involving large contracts (other than KK).

I can’t wait for the season to start. Go Braves!!!

Mark (another one)

February 14th, 2011
3:19 pm

DOB: I meant to say thanks. I am a ‘homer’ but I am no longer a reporter (its been 25+ years). You have a job to do that requires a balance. You are around the team and get to know them as people, but you also have to report the facts surrounding the team. I believe you and the rest of the sports dept. do a great job and I appreciate it.

Robert

February 14th, 2011
3:22 pm

I dont understand the interest in Young either – for all the times I call out Chipper for his limitations as a player and a leader, I wouldnt even consdier trading him heads up for Young as someone suggested

As for Pujols – ten years? I mean, he can ask, but are you kidding me? Yes there has been a guy or two who was worth big big money at age 40, but that doesnt make it smart

I dont know what Pujols turned down – but if I were a GM, I’d hit him at 7 years $200 million – we might could negotiate an extra $10 million but more than that, and especially longer than that – fuhgedaboudit

Robert

February 14th, 2011
3:23 pm

“Baseball is a long season, and the point is to win the season”

No

Nobody outside Georgia cares about division titles

Just Pat

February 14th, 2011
3:50 pm

DOB

Thanks for the great article AND for the link to Ken R.’s take on the season. I think Fredi is gonna be just fine and has it right. No need for a huge upheaval in the clubhouse or the way ST has been run. Boys are smart enough to pick up on the subtle changes he may want to make.

Just Pat

February 14th, 2011
3:55 pm

Robert

Speak for yourself. When no other professional sports team has done what the Braves have done over the years, the consistency of divisional titles is important.

Glen Hubbard

February 14th, 2011
5:04 pm

I could have ridden a motorcycle, too! : (

Just Pat

February 14th, 2011
5:17 pm

Glenn

You didn’t HAVE to in order to win MY heart back when you played 2nd base! :-)

Puzzled

February 14th, 2011
6:09 pm

Let’s hope KK comes into Spring Training, and show why the Braves signed him in the first place. Sure would get my fire going to know that a team didn’t want me around.

Let’s hope that part of the work tht the players get in (before heading to the golf course) includes bunting and base running drills. Sure have seen enough boo-boo’s in those two areas to last for a while.

Younger Than That Now

February 14th, 2011
7:01 pm

Thanks for the writing DOB! If the purpose of these writings was to give us all a real insight into the managerial mind of Fredi Gonzalez… mission accomplished!

Only time will tell, but I think that all of the Bobby Cox haters will see one day what a jewel the Braves had for all of these years, and what we’ve had as Braves fans is what so so many teams have been striving for… a winning team and a winning manager. There will be days when we miss Bobby Cox… and we wish him well in retirement… but personally I think that we’ve got one hell of a manager here to replace him and that this franchise is in good hands.

So, it’s time to turn the corner… use the past as a gauge and a goal… and look to the future with Fredi Gonzalez at the helm. And Fredi, the guy that had this job before you was here for over 20 years… we expect the same from you! LOL!

Best wishes Fredi and the Braves!

Billy Jack's Barbecue & Shrimp Co

February 14th, 2011
8:19 pm

Everyone must be asleep, as I misspelled “Barbecue” for my first post.

Great article on Brandon Beachy by Carroll Rogers in case any of you cats missed it. Check the Braves section of the Sports Section of the AJC.

Boatdoc

February 14th, 2011
8:35 pm

Jon Cooper writes over on Fox Sports that although the Phillies have the big name starters, the Braves pitchers are nothing to scoff at:

http://www.foxsportssouth.com/msn/02/10/11/Eyes-on-the-prize/landing_braves.html?blockID=408155&feedID=4354

Buckeye Brave

February 14th, 2011
9:38 pm

I’m not buying the argument the Braves have a lot of questions that need to he answered. The rotation is top 5 in all of MLB. The bullpen is as deep as any in the game. McCann is one of the top 3 catchers in the game. Freeman is a rookie so don’t expect .300 BA, 25+ HRs, 90+ RBIs. More likely he’ll be around .270 BA, 15 HRs, 70 RBIs. Uggla will hit & his defense is average but better than most think. Alex Gonzalez is as steady as she goes at SS. Chipper’s knee is the biggest question mark. Time will tell. McClouth (& Schafer) are question marks, can they bounce back? LF only becomes a question mark if Chipper’s knee isn’t healthy. Only two positions have question marks, CF & 3B, with LF being dependent on Chipper’s knee.

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