Gonzalez calls closed-door team meeting

A day after saying he didn’t think the Braves needed a team meeting, manager Fredi Gonzalez changed his mind and called a closed-door meeting before batting practice Tuesday in hopes of clearing players’ minds and ending a season-long four-game losing streak.

The Braves had squandered multiple scoring opportunities (3-for-20 with runners in scoring position) Monday night and made a couple of mental mistakes in a 5-4, 12-inning loss to the Marlins.

His message on Monday was to relax and to take advantage of the situation the Braves are in – still 4 ½ games up on the wild card with 14 games to play entering Tuesday night.

“If you had said in Orlando ‘Hey our goal is to make the playoffs and would you take a 4 ½ game lead in September with 14 to go?’” Gonzalez said. “Everybody per man would raise their hand and say yes. OK, well, that’s where we’re at boys. Let’s go. And it’s fun.”

Two of the more vocal players in the meeting were Chipper Jones and David Ross. They stressed attention to detail.

“This is where we all wanted to be in February was controlling our own destiny over the last two weeks of the season and here we are,” Jones said. “The tone of it was we’re in a good spot, but we’re not playing the consistent nine-inning kind of baseball that we all expect to. It’s a pitch here, an at-bat there, it’s a play here. We need to get that mojo back.”

The last time the Braves had a closed-door meeting came June 5 after a loss in New York. They went on to win the next six games, including three against the Marlins. Jones and Ross called a players’ only meeting last Sept. 17 in New York after the Braves had lost eight of 13. They won the next three against the Mets.

This time around, Jones stressed the importance of what just one win can do.

“One win will cure a lot of people’s angst, so to speak,” Jones said. “And then one win hopefully breeds some confidence and brings another win tomorrow, and then all of a sudden we’re talking about what our magic number is to clinch the wild card and how many days off at the end of the season we’re going to be able to get before we start playing for real.”

Jones said players know what they need to do but just having a forum to talk about it can make a difference.

“It’s almost like therapy,” Jones said. “You knew what was going to be said, but it still helps to hear it, to say it, to look in your teammates eyes and let them see your conviction and know that you can’t help what happens next year. This might be your only opportunity. Go out and take it, grab it, it’s there for you. This is what we strived for. This might be your only opportunity of your whole career to get to this point. Don’t let it slip away.”

92 comments Add your comment

BRAVESFAN

September 13th, 2011
6:17 pm

I ate for fish for dinner.

Go Braves!

Jcard120

September 13th, 2011
6:18 pm

hopefully it has a positive affect. 1st

Teheran dominance!

September 13th, 2011
6:20 pm

Go! Braves!

Let’s get’em!

Chad

September 13th, 2011
6:21 pm

What a difference today makes. Hopefully this gets the team energized.

TeheranTime

September 13th, 2011
6:28 pm

The Phish ate Braves for dinner last night.

Heyward grounds out to second

September 13th, 2011
6:29 pm

Let’s hope this gets us rolling! Go BRAVES!

steve

September 13th, 2011
6:34 pm

The problem is situational hitting, how many times are we going to leave guys on 3rd base with less then 2 out , hit the sac. fly and give yourself up , quit trying to hit everthing out of the park and get the bat on the ball because it is as simple as that.

mountain_jim

September 13th, 2011
6:34 pm

Prado almost won it last night. Bourne also so close first. That loss was tough. It all snowballed from the blown save at St Louis though.

Biff Pocoroba

September 13th, 2011
6:34 pm

It is good to know that Fredi was happy to finish second before the season even began. We need a manager who isn’t satisfied with second and wants to win the division. This teams has too many laid back guys who need a firey manager to get them motivated and Fredi just isn’t that guy. We should have known something was wrong when Florida ran him off but Wren got suckered once again.

Has

September 13th, 2011
6:39 pm

Jones did a lot of talking. Who’s the manager? Jones or Fredi?

South Georgia Boy

September 13th, 2011
6:43 pm

This team is good enough to finish the season off and get in the playoffs, but to use an old South Georgia saying, they “got to bear down”. Every at bat and every pitch needs total concentration, because they are all important.

Phils fan

September 13th, 2011
6:43 pm

…it’s gon rain!

Who Me?

September 13th, 2011
6:46 pm

What took so long??? I’ve been saying this the last 2 weeks. Now its time to GATA!!!!

C. Tampa Ironworse

September 13th, 2011
6:50 pm

I’m all for closed door meetings…as long as Linkbrink and Alex Gonzo’s bat are on the other side of the door.

Wink

September 13th, 2011
6:51 pm

What has happen with Constanza? Why has he not been in the lineup. He was a big reason for the most recent string of victories, before we started the premature post season celebration with an 8.5 game lead for wild card.

Freddi must have decided he needs to get Heyward confidence back up. Also the return of Chipper & Prado has caused this recent slump in the lineup, when they were playing really well offensively. Too much experimenting; got Chipper batting second.

Constanza… gets alot of infield hits, just by making contact.
Bourne…handles the bat well and will good for hit & run with Constanza
Chipper…would see more fastballs with base stealerson & Uggla on deck
Uggla… would help get more RBI opps; also hustles on infield hits
Freeman… would see more fastballs with McCann on deck; contact hitter
McCann… Pop in the middle of the order; relieve some pressure off him
Prado / Heyward … Left right option to platoon outfield & sub Chipper
Gonzalez…primarily defense/any offense would provide solid #8 spot
Pitcher…bunt & sacrafice runners into scoring position

This would be our best lineup to finish or til we clinch wild card, then Gonzalez can experiment all he wants…seems like some Bobby Cox in his blood…trying to cater to certain players…Constanza has earn the right to play!!

C. Tampa Ironworse

September 13th, 2011
6:54 pm

Contsatnza is hitting uder .200 the last two weeks. He is a 28 yr old rookie that had a bit of magic. That magic is gone…

NO MORE PARRISH

September 13th, 2011
6:57 pm

This is funny. One day ago was not the time for a closed door meeting but Tuesday is?

NO MORE PARRISH

September 13th, 2011
6:58 pm

C. Tampa Ironworse – Parrish ruined him also along with Heyward, Prado and Uggla.

Charles

September 13th, 2011
7:02 pm

I have been a patient followerer of the braves since they came to Atlanta,and it is time they got out of the mentality they have been in.
They need a manager who will tell them what they should do and be a man enought to show them what will happen if they don’t.There is allways a bus back to the farm teams.no matter the salary.
Manager stop being a baby sitter and be a manager.

Biff Pocoroba

September 13th, 2011
7:07 pm

Constanza had two bad weeks but Hewyard has had two bad months. Wren messed up by not sending Hewyard down to Gwinnett this summer to get his swing back because he wanted to protect his ego and not hurt Heyward’s feelings. He didn’t learn anything from the Francouer mistake. Oh well, we are called Loserville USA for a reason.

Legend of Len Barker

September 13th, 2011
7:10 pm

Is it just me or is Alex Gonzalez up in every crucial situation and, barring last night, gets a hit in none of them?

Legend of Len Barker

September 13th, 2011
7:27 pm

Joe Simpson has just informed me of a slight update to the Chipper Jones Tweak Counter.

JSS

September 13th, 2011
7:36 pm

Is Fearless Leader Jones giving the pep speech? He is so good at motivating his teammates to greatness!

LOB Braves

September 13th, 2011
7:38 pm

Apparently the meeting did not help since the LOSERS had runners on first and third with one out in the 1st and STILL screwed it up and did not score. Is there any hope?

LOB Braves

September 13th, 2011
7:40 pm

Biff. You are right. It is time to bring back the Losersville USA tag.

Howard Simpson

September 13th, 2011
7:42 pm

bout time, Booby Lite.

WHIFFLESNAPPER

September 13th, 2011
7:42 pm

HEY BIFF YOU MORON IDOT STUPID WISE GUY GO TO HECK YOU DONT KNOW SH&T

WHIFFLESNAPPER

September 13th, 2011
7:43 pm

LOB YOU ARE AN IDIOT TOO YOU MORON

jch

September 13th, 2011
7:46 pm

Oh good, men on 2 & 3 and the pitcher’s up…..

jch

September 13th, 2011
7:48 pm

What’s considered a good avg with risp?

LOB Braves

September 13th, 2011
7:49 pm

Well if we had anyone running except McCann on the Seabass double we would have scored. And now of course we leave runners on again. Jeez. If McCann was in a race with a pregnant woman he would come in 3rd.

Jack G

September 13th, 2011
7:49 pm

Steve
Thats a true fact.

jch

September 13th, 2011
7:50 pm

Team avg that is

Kimbrel rocks

September 13th, 2011
8:06 pm

players that can’t hit with RISP are straight up chokers..bottom line

Smiling Jack

September 13th, 2011
8:08 pm

I am certainly thankful that you losers on this blog who name yourselves “Loserville” residents do not manage nor play for the Braves! None of you can or could do any better than what is being done if given the opportunity. Why don’t you take your Loserville tag some place else?

I mean being dissapointed is one thing, but you “Loservilles” take disappoinment to a whole different level. You are oinly fans, for these people it is there business! Think they are not disappointed? You beat them down with such pathic opinons. What jackasses!

jwmoney12

September 13th, 2011
8:18 pm

Could some on the braves pleae take a first pitch please

LOB Braves

September 13th, 2011
8:18 pm

Smiling Jack

September 13th, 2011
8:08 pm

Where did you learn to spell? At your job as a greeter at Walmart. Also, I feel sure I could do better than these losers!

jwmoney12

September 13th, 2011
8:19 pm

Do the braves have a bunt sign?

Mister Frisky

September 13th, 2011
8:21 pm

The offense is firing on all cylinders as usual.

Mike

September 13th, 2011
8:32 pm

Get ready for the Tomahawk Choke!

Ohh, ohh, ohh … NO, down the drain we go!

Days of Wine & Rojas

September 13th, 2011
8:37 pm

‘…We need to get that mojo back….”

Memo to chip: You don’t “get” mojo back.You make it yourself, by hand, with bats, gloves, hands, and feet. Mojo doesn’t come looking for you, and you can’t find it on a shelf at Piggly Wiggly. Or did T. Turner take it with him to Montana….?

Biff Pocoroba

September 13th, 2011
8:40 pm

Hey Whiflesnaper, at least I know what a caps lock key is. And yes this is a business for these guys, but they will get millions to sit at home in October, so I don’t think they are too worried. The only team in Georgia that has a chance to win a playoff game t his fall is the Atlanta Dream but no one will notice or care. That is why we are called Loserville and why we always bring in washed up has beens in September when other teams go out and get winners.

George Washington

September 13th, 2011
8:47 pm

Hey Smiling Jackass, true fans are pissed off at the way the Braves have been playing lately! It’s September Jackass, it’s time to be gaining momentum heading to the playoffs. It’s time to show frustration cause if someone doesn’t it seems as if we don’t mind being losers. I’m not a loser are you?

DC

September 13th, 2011
8:48 pm

Fredi Gonzalez,Frank Wren,Mike Smith,Thomas Dimitroff & Mark Richt. Something in the atmosphere here makes these guys inept and appear stupid. What is it?

Retired 6 years too late

September 13th, 2011
8:50 pm

I’m sure Chipper leading the meeting will spark this team…………………Ohhhhhhhhhhh No first inning , runner @ third no outs and he is still there after the third out is made.Way to go TEAM MEETING!

jonathan Simeone

September 13th, 2011
8:58 pm

When is someone going to call a meeting with the manager and remind him that sometimes a manager has to show some guts for his team to win? It really doesn’t matter if this team makes the playoffs or not. With the way Gonzalez has abused the bullpen the team won’t win anyway. There was no reason to take Miner out of this game–unless you’re trying to avoid being criticised for leaving him in.

Kissinger

September 13th, 2011
9:00 pm

Is McCann up in every run scoring situation, or does it just seem that way??

jp

September 13th, 2011
9:02 pm

B-mac with a three run homer…all your doubters take a seat. We believe.

WestOfAthens

September 13th, 2011
9:05 pm

There is the Braves one-at bat, pitch here, pitch there

Go Braves , take what’s yours!

WestOfAthens

September 13th, 2011
9:06 pm

Here We Go, Go Braves!

Pegg

September 13th, 2011
9:07 pm

Constanza does not deserve to play. He had a heater and it ended…

Kimbrel rocks

September 13th, 2011
9:07 pm

great here comes the human rally killer—–jason hurtward

WestOfAthens

September 13th, 2011
9:08 pm

Marlin’s pitcher looks very simlar to Venters delivery

ChipsATurd

September 13th, 2011
9:09 pm

Chip is as crappy an announcer as Fredi is a manager. Both are cerebrally challenged and mind-numbing to listen to. Makes we want to go to Dairy Queen.

WestOfAthens

September 13th, 2011
9:12 pm

Francouer Vs Heyward, take one……two years removed………………..GO

Fredi Gonzalez

September 13th, 2011
9:12 pm

I’d like to tip my cap to closed door meetings.

Fredi Gonzalez

September 13th, 2011
9:12 pm

I’d like to tip my cap to closed door meetings.

Dwayne C

September 13th, 2011
9:14 pm

Braves are one and done in the playoffs. Hitting isn’t consistent and pitching, which had been the strength of this team, hasn’t been either lately.

Braves fan in NY

September 13th, 2011
9:16 pm

Why doesnt Constanza play?? He keeps calling on heyward and he strikes out all the time…like tonite

LOB Braves

September 13th, 2011
9:16 pm

Heyward is the biggest loser on this team. He could not hit a beachball right now. Fredi please sit his a** down.

Braves fan in NY

September 13th, 2011
9:21 pm

I miss Bobbys Belly….

ChipsATurd

September 13th, 2011
9:26 pm

I miss Pete VanW.

Pegg

September 13th, 2011
9:31 pm

LOB Braves

Your comments are utterly worthless. Please stop.

Scott from Fairburn

September 13th, 2011
9:47 pm

GD, Fredi Gonzalez can’t help himself … Venters in with a 5-run lead

Scott from Fairburn

September 13th, 2011
9:48 pm

That fat bastard should have to run a mile for every pitch O’Ventbrel throws over the last 14 days of the season

LOB Braves

September 13th, 2011
9:55 pm

Pegg. I will stop if FG sits Heyward on the pines.

Heyward grounds out to second

September 13th, 2011
10:13 pm

Great game! Braves come out swinging and drive in runs! Great outing by Minor minus that one inning by walking Murphy leading to that one run.

We looked good, and Gonzo is playing out of his mind! GO BRAVES! Let’s finish strong!

Orange Brave f/k/a Billy Jack's BBQ

September 13th, 2011
10:32 pm

I am just saying. A win is a win. Long way to go in what should have been a short jump…….

GT 92

September 13th, 2011
10:41 pm

You negative people are the same idiots that all of a sudden became Braves fans in 1991. It’s a shame that you can now hide under the anonymous cloak of the internet. GET BEHIND OUR TEAM!

Pee Wee's Big Adventure

September 13th, 2011
10:47 pm

Diaz blows, please send him back to Loserville. How is it even possible to get jammed on every pitch like he does? Braves will make the playoffs, but won’t score any runs once there. If we don’t homer we don’t win.

Tom G

September 13th, 2011
11:04 pm

This is for you people who say Constanza should not be playing. Yes, he has slumped from over .400 to a current .320BA with 7-8 SB’s. It seems like a conspiracy to me, the Braves wanted to keep playing their hand-picked guys like Heyward, McClouth, for example instead of guys who excelled at AAA like Constanza and Gartrell for example. It makes the Braves brain-trusts look like idiots judging talent! Constanza will be fine, some other teams have seen him and I bet he will be on someone’s roster next season! Another stupid decision by the Braves, just like the one when they ley let Frenchy go for a has been player. Constanza and Diaz should be playing ahead of Heyward, knowledgeable fans see it, why not the Braves if they really want to win.

Tom G

September 13th, 2011
11:09 pm

Wink – I agree with you 100% on Constanza, a very exciting player to watch. He will be on someone’s roster next season, mark my word!!!

Tom G

September 13th, 2011
11:12 pm

Pegg – Go back to the kitchen, you do not know anything about baseball!!!!!!!!!!

Patrick Romano WAR DAMN EAGLE

September 14th, 2011
12:10 am

To: Retired 6 years too late, you’re a negative idiot and CJ#10 is a first round ballot Hall of Famer, what have you done with your miserable life?

Moron, Go Braves, PLR

Stinger2

September 14th, 2011
3:41 am

Nothing much worth commenting about on this blog except to say there are a lot of bickering Braves fans.

George

September 14th, 2011
6:28 am

They are over it 1 win out of 5 games.
THAT GREAT.

Arkie

September 14th, 2011
7:26 am

Two things that we all have in common, love our Braves and our opinions on how to help them win. Name calling and bickering is a foolish waste of time. We all have our opinions, which are worth nothing except to our selves. I voice my opinions about our coaches, pitching, hitting, defense, etc often. (also our manager) Constanza will probably play and lead off for some one else next year. Wren and JS, hopefully, will plug up some holes next year. (I doubt it.) Lets cheer our Braves into the playoffs, this year. Be positive – Go Braves!!

LEA

September 14th, 2011
8:54 am

He has some nerve he’s a horrible manager..

LEA

September 14th, 2011
8:56 am

Also Heyward has been getting on base and hitting the ball a lot lately but of course you haters on here ignore that.

talk

September 14th, 2011
8:56 am

hal

September 14th, 2011
8:57 am

comparing my thumb,shoulder,finger,tongue hurtwards too frenchie is blatantly unfair …tofrenchie lol

bigmunE

September 14th, 2011
9:17 am

it is nice to see the support that us ATLiens have for da Braves.

WinNLDS

September 14th, 2011
10:24 am

Braves Magic Number for Wild Card is 10 w/ 13 to go!! Hold on Boys and get warmed up going in to the NLDS and anything can happen!!

Tom G

September 14th, 2011
10:56 am

LEA – Not a hater just a realist. JasonH has been getting a good number of walks lately, I agree. But a RF who is 6′5″, 245lbs should be a threat to hit the ball hard each and every time he bats. He rarely can steal 2nd base because of his size. Now Constanza, about 5′6″, maybe 160lbs, gets infield hits, bunts well also, steals 2nd frequently(almost 50 steals this year between AAA and Atl) is more likely to help Braves win. Even if Constanza starts today, do not expect much, since he has been sitting past 2 weeks. JasonH is a great kid and good role-model but I believe Constanza and even Diaz should be playing ahead of him.

klmbbfan

September 14th, 2011
11:27 am

Heyward starts in Gwinnett next year, because he is too lazy to work on his craft in the off-season.

Wink

September 14th, 2011
11:34 am

@ Tom G…thanks. The facts are there for Freddi to see, he is just refusing to look at them.

Heyward has had his 15 minutes. I like the guy, but he was an all star starter last year and that’s the Fool’s Gold they are looking at…now he is not patient, hits a lot of infield rollers and pop ups. Where is the car smashing power of spring training lore…Constanza can help! It unfortuate for him that he is 28, but he has finally arrived. I guess some players just don’t have to prove themselves in the minors.

Mike in Marietta

September 14th, 2011
11:38 am

Did we need a closed door meeting to get BMac and Uggla to hit a couple of 3 run bombs?

WinNLDS

September 14th, 2011
12:25 pm

@Wink The facts? What are the facts? That you and Tom G. think Diaz and Constanza should start ahead of Heyward? Heyward has had an awful year but he is still batting higher this month than Constanza or Diaz, and Prado for that matter! I think he needs to put the ball in play more but he is better off playing than sitting on the bench. Oh, the stat that Tom G. left out was last month Constanza was batting .432 and started September batting more than 100 points lower. So his “hot hand” cooled off so give Heyward his chance.

Von Trapp

September 14th, 2011
12:28 pm

Proud that der Mr.Jones spoke his mind as Das Jones,Uggla and McCain vill vead das team over the Rhine and into das playoffs………….NO time for das crybaby fans. Ve needs you to pull for us or go homes. Bring it home Braves…………..Bring it home

Wink

September 14th, 2011
10:56 pm

@WinNLDS granted Heyward had done better this month for average. Heyward has been given a full season to get rid of his slump. Constanza has not had as many at bats as Heyward. If you bat 400+ in say 45 at bats, then you can drop 100 points if you only get 15-20 non productive at bats.

If you want to talk batting average then Jason & Constanza both have a higher batting average than Uggla, who been on fire the last two months, his average is just above 220, which in comparison to Constanza dropping 100 points and Uggla can’t raise his 100 points and he has played everyday. So basically everyone is allowed to struggle and stay in the lineup, but this does not extend to Constanza who is still hitting over 300 and provides a needed speed element this team really needs. Speed helps manufacture runs and causes defensive errors. I would welcome Jason Heyward to join the party, but time is running out on the Braves.

[...] to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the Braves last met after a loss to the Mets on June 5, then won six in a [...]

[...] From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “This is where we all wanted to be in February was controlling our own destiny over the last two weeks of the season and here we are,” Jones said. “The tone of it was we’re in a good spot, but we’re not playing the consistent nine-inning kind of baseball that we all expect to. It’s a pitch here, an at-bat there, it’s a play here. We need to get that mojo back.” [...]

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