Fire Fredi? No, but the Braves did some major mismanaging

Esteemed colleague Mike Luckovich with a flattering bit of imagery.

Esteemed colleague Mike Luckovich offers this extremely flattering bit of imagery.

Midnight had come and gone, and Frank Wren stood in Bill Acree’s office just off the main clubhouse. (Acree is the Braves’ director of travel, and earlier he’d been triangulating the hoped-for trip to St. Louis and then to Milwaukee or Phoenix. Moot point now.) The general manager was staring at a TV above the door. Boston had just lost. Tampa Bay had just won.

“Coming into September,” Wren said, disbelief in his voice, “we [meaning the Red Sox and the Braves] had two of the four best records in baseball.”

Neither will be part of the sport’s eight-team tournament, and today the Braves’ one source of consolation is that the Sox choked even harder than they did. (Unbelievable that two of the three biggest September flops in the game’s century-long annals were concluded within moments of each other. The third happened in 1964 to the Pholdin’ Phils.) There were similarities in these contemporary collapses — starting pitchers got hurt and everything unraveled — but we’ll let long-suffering New Englanders suffer long with theirs.

As for the local nine: Wren did his job. He built a good-looking team. He landed Michael Bourn in July and fleshed out his roster with Matt Diaz and Jack Wilson in August. (And what did the glove man Wilson do? Became the new Brooks Conrad by erring on a double-play grounder that became Philadelphia’s second run Wednesday night.) This should have been a playoff team, and for 5 1/2 months it was playoff-bound. Then it derailed itself.

Blame should attach itself to Fredi Gonzalez, but not the sort that has been tossed around. Jose Constanza would not have saved the season. (He’s a journeyman. Come on.) Starting Derek Lowe in Game No. 161 was a justifiable choice. (You’d start the rookie Julio Teheran instead? Come on.) This wasn’t so much about managing situations — every manager, even the learned La Russa, whiffs on a nightly basis — as in managing people.

I’m not a big fan of team meetings, but sometimes they’re necessary. Gonzalez had one after the Braves lost seven of nine early in the month, which might have been a day too late, and another after they lost Game No. 161 to fall into a tie with St. Louis. What Fredi said Tuesday night was appropriate  — “I wouldn’t pick any other guys over you to go out and win a game” — but by then the panic was full-blown. Panic is why this season ended after 162 games.

Ninth inning, Game No. 162: The kid closer Craig Kimbrel is on to do as he has done 46 times in 53 tries — slam the door. He yields a leadoff single to Placido Polanco, strikes out Carlos Ruiz, walks the part-timer Ben Francisco. It’s clear the kid closer, who’s 23, is trying to hurl the ball through the backstop. (”I was overthrowing,” Kimbrel admitted.) Brian McCann walks to the mound.

Roger McDowell sits in the dugout.

Only after Kimbrel walks Jimmy Rollins to load the bases does  the pitching coach emerge to speak to his kid pitcher. (Something similar happened in Monday’s game, when McDowell watched as the Phillies mustered four base runners and one run in the fourth inning before going to the mound to counsel the rookie Randall Delgado.) It’s entirely possible that a coaching visitation would have had no effect on Kimbrel, but why not try? Why didn’t Gonzalez say, “Roger, get out there,” one batter sooner?

I asked. This was Fredi’s response: “That’s here or there.”

But it isn’t. There are certain things managers can do to manage a game, and dispatching a pitching coach is one. The Braves’ dugout seemed to be a beat slow in this final series, this whole final month. Again, it might have made no difference. Again, why not try?

And then the hitting, or the lack thereof. Once the Phillies tied it, nearly every Brave wanted to be Kirk Gibson. Guys were overswinging as badly as Kimbrel had overthrown. The Phils were deploying pitchers who won’t work a postseason inning, and the Braves’ flailing made Justin DeFratus and David Herndon look like Mariano Rivera.

“We’ve been swinging really, really hard for a while,” said Chipper Jones, who had the best late-game swing — the deep drive that Michael Martinez hauled down in the 10th — of any Brave. And that, sad to say, was this team’s signature: Swing really hard in case it hit something.

Under hitting coach Terry Pendleton, the 2010 Braves led the National League in on-base percentage. Under Larry Parrish, the 2011 Braves were 14th of 16 teams. Parrish was hired as hitting coach despite never having been a big-league hitting coach. Maybe the Braves would have hit .193 in September with runners in scoring position with Ty Cobb as their tutor. Then again, maybe they wouldn’t.

Yes, players ultimately must bear the blame for plays unmade,  but this fine team was, in the end, both too laid-back in its oversight and too tightly wrapped in its playing. I don’t think Fredi Gonzalez needs to be fired — he did, after all, lose his two best starting pitchers — but I do think he needs to be more assertive. He absolutely needs a new hitting coach, but …

No such luck. Fredi announced Thursday the coaching staff would return intact. Which makes you wonder about Fredi.

By Mark Bradley

585 comments Add your comment

ClemsonBrad

September 29th, 2011
11:14 am

FIRST for Clemson against Mark!! and some love for Albie Lopez!!

Mark Bradley

September 29th, 2011
11:15 am

Kudos to you and Albie, ClemsonB.

ClemsonBrad

September 29th, 2011
11:20 am

I think you are spot on with this Mark. Wouldn’t it be interesting if Cox was manager this season and how he would have handled this situation? What do you think would have been some key differences?

I still believe in Freddi. I don’t really want to put blame on anyone. To me…this was a one in a billion type collapse…alot of bad luck..and the Braves players beating themselfs mentally.

Mainly…every hitter tried way too hard at the plate. Did anyone else noticed how diligent the phils were at the plate? How they always get into deep counts….the Braves were swinging at some horrible pitches last night.

New hitting coach next year as well as a healthy pitching staff in september.

Tired of losing

September 29th, 2011
11:20 am

Why did he pitch to All Star Hunter Pence in the 13th with .197 hitter Michael Martinez in the on deck circle? All the wrong moves the last month.

joliet jim

September 29th, 2011
11:22 am

im still sick. still in shock. but at least none of our players quit or didnt play their hardest.but this will take alot to get over.

Pat McGroin

September 29th, 2011
11:22 am

The culture has to change around here… no more quotes like: oh well, they just outplayed us… or Ya have to hand it them – they’re a great team… or I am proud of what we accomplished… It’s time to say: THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE! We need emotion… we need more from Liberty Media… more for salary so we can afford a good solid bat in this line up.. no more reclamation prjects for guys who once were HR hitters and now are CHEAP!!!!!!!!!!!!

WREN…. LIBERTY MEDIA…. YOU SU**!!!!!!!!!!!!!

PMC

September 29th, 2011
11:23 am

Not fair to compare Jack Wilson last night to Brooks Conrad. Jack Wilson made a ton of great DP’s last night. The ball that he misplayed was smoked, Brooks Conrad well…. he’s been a great pinch hitter, there’s a reason he’s not supposed to be playing in the field.

jimbodude44

September 29th, 2011
11:23 am

Fire him. He’s so nonchalant its not even funny. He just irks me

Mark Bradley

September 29th, 2011
11:24 am

One reason to pitch to Pence: Linebrink had just walked Brian Schneider, who was hitting .176. Do you really want Linebrink working with the bases loaded?

ClemsonBrad

September 29th, 2011
11:24 am

I think you are spot on with this Mark. I don’t think Freddi is to blame for this…more so, this is a one in a billion collapse that was alot of bad luck and overswinging braves hitters. Mark, do you think Bobby Cox would have managed this SAME situation different this past month? What do you think he would have done?

The biggest things that stand out is how horrible the hitting has been the past month. NO timely hits. Everyone is WAY too aggresive at the plate. Basically…the hitters psyched themself out. baseball is a painful, horrible mental game.

Did you noticed how diligent the phillies hitters are? They all work deep counts and get on base.

We need a new hitting coach, and healthy pitching in September..

but again…I dont know who really to blame here…I think more the players for overswinging and a one in a billion just bad luck situation….this last month, nothing really has gone right…

bill

September 29th, 2011
11:25 am

Fredi watches the game he does not manage it.

Benjamin

September 29th, 2011
11:26 am

No disrespect to the legend from Royston, but I’m pretty sure that the current version of Ty Cobb could be as good a hitting coach for our club as Larry was this year. Why were we so unsatisfied with TP in that role again?

Mark Bradley

September 29th, 2011
11:26 am

It’s impossible to know how it would have worked out with Bobby Cox. But I don’t think his teams played tight. (At least until the playoffs.)

Worm

September 29th, 2011
11:27 am

In Chipper’s best Gator voice, “We can take the Phillies in the playoffs”.

Chi Town

September 29th, 2011
11:27 am

We need Saban.

01HAWK

September 29th, 2011
11:29 am

Need new owners

New GM

New Manager……………..Clean house of all UNDERACHIEVING BOOBY COX DISCIPLES.

New 3rd Baseman

New SS

2 New Outfielders……………………………..JHEY will not be half as good as the SAY HEY KID…………….WILLE MAYS.

JWHAT is what his name needs to be……………………….Awkward swing. Aren’t left handed hitters suppose to have the most beautiful swings ? Not HEYWARD. Throws awkward and is not a good outfielder. Can not catch balls near the wall. What a mess.

What a mess this team is.

Release DLOWE, McOUT, KAWACRUMMY, and see if SLIPPER JONES WOULD ACCEPT A TRADE TOT THE AMERICAN LEAGUE AS A DH. Of course BRAVES would have to pay probably over half his salary, but so what……………………….He is not worth 14 MILLION.

i am fed up with this team ……………………………….THEY SUCK !!!!!!!!!

Sonny Clusters

September 29th, 2011
11:29 am

We think the Braves are okay with being “almost good” and nothing is going to change. Being almost able to make the playoffs is about the same as making them and then being dispatched in 3 games by a seemingly inferior team. Watching other teams celebrate on Turner Field get old but there was no real celebrating last night because the Phils didn’t have to win like the Braves did. Watching the Braves shuffle off the field is commonplace if you’ve watched BobbyBall before and nothing has changed with Fredi but the walkoff came a few days early. The regulars who seem to know what it takes really don’t. They only know what it takes to be almost good and to tank at the end. They don’t figure the early games count for much because there’s still games to play . . . and then they play poorly and suddenly they have to win. When this team has to win, it cannot win. It’s BobbyBall squared. When they play abc they are a different team and Bourn is now our best player. That says something right there. We would like to see some changes and especially some culture changes and some comfort levels change. The Braves don’t know how to win. They are led by those who are “almost good” and don’t know how to finish the drill. Sad.

Andrew

September 29th, 2011
11:30 am

Why lose with the back half of the bullpen? Why not get Beachy or Minor in there once it became an elimination situation? Gonzalez just went down his bullpen in order like it was an ordinary game in August. He saved both starters for a game that will never happen and lost with his 7th best reliever. He blew it.

Henry D.

September 29th, 2011
11:30 am

Finally, someone agrees with what I have been saying in these comment sections all year long. The Braves care nothing about situational hitting, getting a single when they need one or maybe a double. No. Everything had to be hit to Stone Mtn. I love McCann, but how many hits could he have had this yera when the shift was deployed by bunting or just putting a bat on the ball down the 3rd base line. Nope. Got to swing as hard as he can and pull the ball, regardless of where it is pitched, right into the shift. It’s either hit a home run or pop up. Alex Gonzales is the same way. I also believe that is Jason Heyward’s problem. Everything has to be a home run or else. I watch Chipper hit, and while he had a tough night last night, he does not try to kill every pitch that comes his way, but he will hit singles up the middle, doubles THE OTHER WAY, or whatever needs to be done.

Start by getting rid of Larry Parrish, get rid of some of the dead wood players on this team regardless of whether or not they are great guys, pay Lowe to go away, and someone light a fire under Fredi G. Maybe then this team can win.

Steve

September 29th, 2011
11:30 am

The pitching was good enough to win. But when you only score 0-1-2-3 runs per game it magnifies any pitching mistakes. The lack of hitting was this teams problem all year. I remember reading an article about Parrish before the season started and how he wanted the Braves to be more aggresive. Last year JeyHay was the talk of MLB because of his discipline at the plate and his ability to wait on a pitch that he could hit. The aggressive approach to hitting really set him back this year. The combination of Hayward all year, McCann and Prado the last 4-5 weeks and the lack of a lead off hitter before Bourn was just too much to overcome.

Graham

September 29th, 2011
11:31 am

Mark, congratulations on an excellent article. Following the high tension, disappointment and hysteria of last night’s events, I think you’ve absolutely hit the nail on the head with your thoughts. We had 162 games to earn a place in the play offs and failed. This is something the organisation (yes, that’s the correct spelling, I’m Scottish!) must reflect on and ensure does not happen next year.

Tumbledown

September 29th, 2011
11:31 am

I am a longtime suffering fan who can only offer my opinion and feelings as to how awful it is to support a team that continually underachieves, underperforms, and chokes year after year. Whatever good feelings surfaced after the 1995 World Series (which came after much heartbreak in prior World Series and playoff appearances) has long since been cancelled out by the following:

(1) collapse in 1996 World Series against Yankees.
(2) loss to inferior Marlins team in 1997
(3) loss to inferior Padres’ team in 1998
(4) World Series blowout against the Yankees in 1999
(5) blowout by Cardinals in 2000 divisional series
(6) domination by Diamondbacks in 2001 NLCS
(7) losses in three straight Game 5’s in 2002, 2003,and 2004 divisional series (all at home)
(8) losses in two divisional series in 2005 and 2010 which involved blowing leads late in many of the games
(9) one of the worst regular season collapses in 2011

I would rather be a fan of any other MLB team right now than the Braves. Yes, I would rather be a fan of the Red Sox in spite of their similar collapse. At least the Red Sox have two WS rings in the recent past and have the money to bounce back and shore up what went wrong.

The Braves MUST fire the manager and every coach right now. They need to trade Chipper or force him to retire. They need to dump Derek Lowe. In short, every coach, manager, or player (except for McCann and Hudson) that has a leadership role needs to go. It is the only way to reclaim a portion of the dwindling fan base. They have the talent to succeed now. The window may be a short one, and the current environment is terrible.

The great thing about sports is that there is no script. You are not supposed to know the ending. With the Braves, however, I have come to the point where I know the ending is always going to be bad. I had no hope going into the last week. I knew the Cardinals would overtake them. I should not feel this way about a sports team. I am so frustrated because I cannot enjoy a sport I used to love to watch.

General Patton

September 29th, 2011
11:31 am

With all due respect and bless your heart, but your take is idiotic!!!! This is management and coaching incompetence 101…10-30…how’s that not manager stupidity? The bottom line, Cox, Gonzales stupidity personified!!!! No Heart, No will, NO CHAMPIONSHIP! It’s not the coach…shut up! NO GOOD SPORTS WRITERS IN ATLANTA!!!!!

Sonny Clusters

September 29th, 2011
11:34 am

Heyward is a mess. He needs instruction. McCann would benefit from working with Eddie Perez in the off season. Prado needs some time on the beach and regain his strength. He didn’t forget how to play.

the hot seat.....

September 29th, 2011
11:34 am

Hey Mark, is Freddi now on the hot seat instead of Mark Richt?

PMC

September 29th, 2011
11:37 am

Mark, I don’t want Linebrink pitching EVER, but yes, I feel much better with him taking his chances against Martinez than letting the best hitter left in the lineup beat them.

There was no good reason to pitch to Pence, and he was getting ahead in the count too actually last night, Linebrink just isn’t good enough to get guys like that out. I think Utley was 0-2 and he fouled off about 20 pitches.

No excuse pitching to Pence.

Larry

September 29th, 2011
11:37 am

Just look at Schultz’s blog for bold, honest journalistic courage.

Mark,

You had the chance and blew it!

Quote from a managerial and leadership expert:

“The very best of managers and leaders in any profession simply find the way to get the very best out of those they manage or lead”

Rob In Fayetteville

September 29th, 2011
11:38 am

I mentioned on a couple of other AJC blogs that you can change the cast of characters, change the coaches, and even change the manager himself, and nothing will change until the culture, attitude, and approach to playing the game changes. The Braves are too low-key, laid-back, undisciplined, and fundamentally unsound, and it has been an epidemic for years. When the pressure comes, they become tight and choke, because they have no experience in playing with a sense of urgency or grit.

Every postseason there is a goat, or a collection of them, and it all comes back to attitude, approach, accountability, and fundamentals, and I seriously believe that has to change first before you change anything else.

It is an organizational, system-wide problem. Guys make it to the big leagues and suddenly forget how to play the game when the pressure’s on, when they’ve achieved all season long otherwise. The Braves need to seriously reassess who they have in their organization, top-to-bottom. If there is not a more, fiery, disciplined attitude coming from each and every manager in their farm system, all the way up to Fredi Gonzalez, they need to be sent packing.

No more coddling. No more excuses. No more “carrying on tradition,” because that tradition is one of losing when it matters most, to put it bluntly. No more tipping of caps to the opponent. I’ve never seen Tony LaRussa tip his cap to anyone, or Lou Piniella, or Earl Weaver, or Kirk Gibson (who should be manager of the year) or any other disciplinarian manager.

Until the Braves change their approach, all throughout their system, you’ll keep getting disappointed every single year. Bank on it.

rich

September 29th, 2011
11:38 am

Something that Garciaparra and Hershiser pointed out on ESPN2 was how detached the Braves players were in the dugout during their at bats in extra innings. They both said, this is where you should be excited and fired up, this is your chance to score and win the game…but the Braves starters were sitting on the bench some like Alex Gonzales even looked bored. This seems to be part of the Braves culture – they want to be ‘professional’ at the expense of any positive emotions. They need to have some fire

Who knows

September 29th, 2011
11:40 am

Perhaps we don’t need to replace Parrish, but supplement his work with a mental hitting coach. It was clear througout the season, that most on the team lacked good approaches consistenly. It was amazing to watch Uggla become patient and all of a sudden become a tremenoudous hitter. I don’t doubt the love and desire the Braves have for the game, but it wasn’t visible the last 3 weeks. It was comical how many times the Braves would swing at balls and foul off good hittable pitches. It was evident we had no mental approach at the plate other than “see ball…swing”.

I fault our lack of hitting for wearing out our bullpen because if we had a consistent offense, we would have had more than 3 run leads in several more games and therefore O’flaherty, Venters, and Kimbrel would not have been needed and therefor fesh down the stretch. I don’t blame Fredi for overusing those guys because they were our horses and were dependable. The lack of offense eventually ruined a very promising season where a lit of positives took place.

Phil

September 29th, 2011
11:42 am

01Hawk-You really want to call out a kid(Heyward) that just turned 22 late in the year. A lot of people forget we had two 21 year olds starting for us in this year in Heyward and Freeman and Kimbrel is still young. The Braves will be good in the future. 01Hawk-what were you doing at 21? Probably calling out every football player on your college team, just like you do now at whatever age you are.

Pat McGroin

September 29th, 2011
11:42 am

Someone please help teach Heyward how to play right field!!!! PLEASE!!! I am not sure if he forgot how to play out there, but my heart is in my throat everytime the ball is hit out there.

Mark, I understand that pitchers make adjustments and oftentimes stump rookies, but how is it that Heyward has become a liability in the field? What happened in your opinion??

Bear

September 29th, 2011
11:42 am

Bourn was safe at third and Ugglas 2 run homer should of been a 3 run homer. If we get that call we would be talking about playing the Cardinals.

dap01

September 29th, 2011
11:45 am

Yes, I would start Tehran before Lowe. Lowe is not even an AVERAGE pitcher right now and his record proves it. With Tehran, we would not have said 4 runs in 6 innings was good like with did with Lowe.

The hitting philosophy changed with our team this year. Last year, we were patient and very good. This year we were horrible. The hitting coach should be fired.

Being calm is not the only good quality that is needed in a manager.

MitchC

September 29th, 2011
11:46 am

Two things I see.

One: What you mentioned: Losing JJ and Hanson hurt. Maybe, with them, we get several more wins, and The Choke never happens.

I agree with you that this team needs a new hitting coach. I was away on business and personal matters a lot this summer, so I didnt see nearly as many games on Extra Innings package as I would, from say, late May through some of Sept. However, what I did see was very sorry looking at times.

Two AJC sportswriters, Schultz and Bradley, agree that Fredi should not be fired. The only reason probably is that is was his first season. Had this not been his first season.. or.. if the Braves arent contenders next season, or dont finish the job and get the wild card, my bet is that Fredi is gone after 2012.

For some reason: This feels worse than Leyritz;s homer off Wohlers in 1996, or Spragues homer off Reardon in 1992, . In both of those cases, the Braves had great seasons, and the homers prevented us from taking commanding leads in the World Series, and probably winning the World Series both times. At least those times we got to the postseason. This time, we just imploded.

We will have a longer winfer than we planned to think about it. It will be interesting to see what Frank Wren comes up with for changes.

The Bream Team

September 29th, 2011
11:47 am

No reason to argue about the call at 3rd. You can’t make the first out of an inning at 3rd, with your 3,4,5 hitters coming up.

If anything, we should have squeezed Wilson in the 2nd to get the run in from 3rd. As it was, we didn’t score. Fredi has shown a lack of instinct in his managerial decisions. From the handling of the bullpen to the hiring of Larry Parrish, it’s been a disaster. Not having a consistent lineup. When players are hot, they’re benched for rest. Heyward put his two best swings of the year in NYC and then doesn’t play for a week. It makes no sense.

Parrish and Pendleton have ruined this team and young players. Pendleton and Parrish wanted our players to swing more and be aggressive. Heyward had incredible plate discipline when he came up and it has eroded at the coaching of Pendleton and Parrish. We don’t have productive outs, and we swing at poor pitches. No knowledge of the strike zone. But we can be aggressive. Please!!!!

MarkMc

September 29th, 2011
11:48 am

I’m very proud of what the Braves have accomplished these last 20 years, and I would never disparage that, but not coming through in the clutch, the inability to get the “big hit”, has always been a problem!

Rob In Fayetteville

September 29th, 2011
11:49 am

Rich, Garciaparra and Hershiser were winners in their playing days, and they could see as well as we could what happens when a “business-like” approach to the game decimates a team. No fire, no guts, no excitement. I think all of that left this organization somewhere around this time in 1996, when Mark Wohlers served up a fat slider to Jim Leyritz. They shipped one of their gutsiest players (David Justice) traded a future star away who would later help the White Sox win a championship (Jermaine Dye) and became an emotionless, even-keeled corporate machine rather than an exciting baseball team.

O'Brien

September 29th, 2011
11:50 am

Mark,

Even Chipper said he blames himself a little bit for not talking to Kimbrel at the start of the 9th.

And to be honest, I didn’t like Fredi’s responses. He seemed too upbeat, talking about we’ll get ‘em next year, and how we battled (going 10-20 down the stretch is not battling), blah blah blah.

I just didnt get the impression that this loss (and the way the team finished the season) was eating him up. He just talked about guys being proud of what they did over the course of the season, and how it was a good season etc. I was not impressed by his post game interview.

The White Rat

September 29th, 2011
11:50 am

Have to snicker at you brave fans. Six weeks ago, all the boards were full of how you guys would take on the Phillies and beat them in the playoffs. Maybe someday you will learn a lesson, the lesson of history. In 1964 the Cardinals came from no where to win the pennant and the World Series. This season the historic franchise that knows how to win, expects to win and settles for nothing less, made mid season moves that once again worked for the Cardinals. Maybe you brave fans and Chipper Jones need to keep your mouths shut. It is a 162 season and until you clinch you can always pull a Brave and collapse. All you guys with your inflated sense of man love for your beloved braves, will think twice the next time you make plans for the playoffs in August. Somehow it is fitting that it would be the Cardinals the National leagues most storied franchise that took you down. Well no surprise there, some fight and win, others makes excuses and quit.

Mikey D

September 29th, 2011
11:50 am

I think we only have one real “leader” on this team and he is looking older by the day. As far as next year – I think it’s time for Alex to be A-Gone. Until Chipper retires it looks like we are stuck with him at third – but after watching the games this week (I was there Monday) I think it’s obvious he is still more of a leader than anyone else here – maybe even our manager.

The Ghost of Greg Norton

September 29th, 2011
11:51 am

I think Fredi does deserve some of the blame for his management especially in the past week. I was at the game in Washington on Saturday afternoon. During Brandon Beachy’s rough inning (the only one he had that day, but the decisive one), I was amazed that not once did the pitching coach come out to talk to him (and come to think of it, I can’t even remember McCann going out for a little chat). But those are the kinds of things a manager can do.

With that sad, you can’t blame Fredi for veterans failing to bring in runs with runners in scoring position. The second half for our good friends Prado and McCann really brought us nothing.

I also appreciated Fredi’s willingness to make move. For example, I think Cox would have stuck with Kimbrel to lose the game in the 9th last night, but Fredi had the guts to make the bold moving of bringing in Medlen who had made one single appearance for the whole year. That gave the Braves 4 more innings to hit – something failed to do against the fine arms of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.

Rico

September 29th, 2011
11:51 am

Fredi managed the last 20 days like he had a team of “vet’s”. He should have managed a little more involved and aggressive. So many young arms and players who have not been under “playoff type” pressure.

3DawgKnight

September 29th, 2011
11:51 am

Constanza is a journeyman, okay, I’ll give you that.
But, you must concede that he stepped in
and gave the Braves a spark.
Not to mention, he and Bourne had become a signature,
of sorts, for our team. We had an identity. [speed kills]
Then he got buried ?
Injured ? Dawg-house ? What ?
Not even to pinch hit in front of Bourne last evening ?
*[nothing against Hinske]
Could Georgie have saved the season ?…yeah…resoundingly !
____________________________________________________

As for Lowe (game 161):
Yes, I would have started Teheran.
*[using "Johnny Wholestaff " in relief]
*with respects to -Ernie Johnson-

Sonny Clusters

September 29th, 2011
11:52 am

We was wanting to add this: If a change is going to be made to get this team moving in the right direction let it begin with tearing down all those little division signs in the outfield. Leave up the ones when the Braves won the pennant. Take down all the false win division signs. Set the sights high and accept no less. Don’t try to make division signs and wild cards anything special. The Braves lose and lose and lose and then they tell us they are division or wild card champions. Ha!

Pat McGroin

September 29th, 2011
11:53 am

The White Rat: “Have to snicker at you brave fans. Six weeks ago, all the boards were full of how you guys would take on the Phillies and beat them in the playoffs.”

You’re an as*! What would any fan base do when playing well? They’d say the same thing – that we like our chances.

Enough with the lame troll posts already. Get a life and celebrate with your philthy-delphia fat chicks and guidos! Yo.. Adrian!

hoho

September 29th, 2011
11:55 am

Fredi should absolutely be fired & many of the points in the piece seem to support that. No fire, no passion, no motivation in this team & that is all a product of Fredi’s do-nothing ineffective managing style. Listening to his post-game interviews, it doesn’t even seem like he was watching the games. This team needs inspiration, plain & simple; not another Bobby Cox disciple. Sorry.

Hayseed Dixie

September 29th, 2011
11:56 am

I’d rather see the Braves hot going into October than limping into the postseason.

Go home, rest, get healthy. Get motivated.

I, for one, am glad the lame horse got put down. What, getting swept in the first round is better than this?

The expanded playoffs continue to expand baseball’s unmatched cruelty. Still love my Braves.

Rico

September 29th, 2011
11:56 am

Oh, and as a Tech fan, I always blame everything on Bill Lewis. It’s coach Bill Lewis fault that the Braves lost.

jgsbirds

September 29th, 2011
11:58 am

if we don’t homer we don’t score. after the uggla homerun last night every hitter seem to have the approach of hitting it out or bust. once it went extra innings it was obvious if we didn’t get a homerun we weren’t going to win this one. even jack wilson swung the bat so hard i could feel the breeze up here in chattanooga. i’ve noticed this flaw about the braves for a long time…and the fact that we let great pitches go and then swing at pitches way out of the strike zone. tough times in atlanta sports right now–come on falcons!!!!