Jeff Schultz blog 

This AJC sports blogger takes things seriously when he has to, but he really would rather not
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Frank Wren failed at Braves’ major decisions

  • 11:35 am Monday, September 22nd, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Three members of the Braves' hierarchy (from left): Terry McGuirk, John Schuerholz, Frank Wren. (AJC photo)

Frank Wren is out as the Braves general manager, not because he failed to make some shrewd trades or sign some good players or even oversaw a minor league system that failed to produce talent.

Wren is out because he simply wasn’t good enough.

In his seven seasons, the Braves failed to reach the postseason four times and failed to win a playoff round even once (losing seven of their nine postseason games). Even with the difficulties that go with inheriting a bloated and aging roster that required significant rebuilding in the winter of 2007, that’s not an acceptable standard.

The Braves’ job [More]

Braves’ Terry McGuirk is on the clock (UPDATE: Wren fired)

  • 9:10 am Monday, September 22nd, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Braves CEO Terry McGuirk promised accountability this season. (Phil Skinner/AJC)

UPDATE: The Braves have fired general manager Frank Wren and named senior adviser John Hart, the former Cleveland general manager, as his interim replacement. The Braves made the announcement via Twitter.

Here’s a copy of the news release:

Atlanta Braves president John Schuerholz announced today that executive vice president and general manager Frank Wren has been dismissed. Schuerholz has named former Major League executive and MLB Network analyst John Hart as the club’s interim general manager. 

In addition, the Braves have formed a three-person transition team that will include Schuerholz and Hart, as well as Hall of Famer and former Braves field manager [More]

Short takes on Georgia’s bodyslam of Troy (UPDATED)

  • 2:59 pm Saturday, September 20th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Sony Michel runs for one of his three first-half touchdowns in Georgia's win. (Brant Sanderlin/AJC)

ATHENS — I’ll be back shortly with my column on Georgia’s 66-0 drumming of Troy. Until then, here are my three “Short Takes” on the game:

UPDATE: Here’s a link to the full column on MyAJC.com.

1. WHAT THIS PROVES: Well, not much. Beating a winless team from a non-power conference (Sun Belt) that your athletic department paid $900,000 to for the experience of getting pummeled generally doesn’t register much in the polls. But it does count for something that Georgia buried Troy early and never let up. That’s not a common occurrence in the Mark Richt era. The Bulldogs have [More]

LIVE: Winston’s exit could help Georgia

  • 11:04 am Saturday, September 20th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Todd Gurley and Georgia should have an easy game today against Troy. (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

ATHENS — Good morning. What a beautiful day for college football … almost everywhere except Tallahassee.

In case you missed it, No. 1 ranked Florida State late Friday night suspended quarterback Jameis Winston for its entire game tonight against Clemson instead of just the first half for his profane goofball exclamation on campus the other day. It’s noteworthy that the announcement was made by FSU’s president and athletic director and not coach Jimbo Fisher, whose name wasn’t even on the news release.

The decision to suspend Winston for the whole game was the right one, given his off-the-field resume, even [More]

LIVE: Which Falcons will show up tonight?

  • 7:41 pm Thursday, September 18th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz

In  Week 1, Matt Ryan and the Falcons gave us a view of this team’s upside.

In Week 2, they showed us their ugly alternate universe.

So projecting what happens tonight, even against the apparently horrible Tampa Bay Buccaneers, is risky. But if the Falcons had to pick an opponent in this situation — a short week and coming off a bad game — they might choose Tampa.

The Bucs are 0-2. They’ve lost to two backup quarterbacks, Carolina’s Derek Anderson and St. Louis’s Austin Davis (19-17).  Tampa is in the early stages of a transition/reconstruction under coach Lovie Smith and [More]

Predictions: Falcons win, Jackets lose, Goodell cowers

  • 4:28 pm Thursday, September 18th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Determined to improve on last week's regrettable investment advice.

Before continuing with our investment season, which has been quite profitable if you discount the last three weeks and 35 picks and the fact it’s really hard to handicap NFL games when you’re not sure which team has more players in leg chains and how many times the invertebrate commissioner is going to stick his finger in the air (editors made me type “air”; my mind was thinking somewhere else), here’s this week’s legal update:

Roger Goodell has placed three highly paid dunderheads on the NFL’s double-secret Exempt/Commissioner’s Permission List, which almost nobody knew even existed until about 10 [More]

Braves see Nats celebrate (Pirates may do same)

  • 11:04 pm Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz

The Braves celebrated the signing of a title sponsor for their next stadium Tuesday.

Washington celebrated something that moves the meter a little more with fans — the National League East Division title.

There’s your balance-of-power update, Braves fans.

The Braves lost to the Nationals 3-0 at Turner Field. They watched the Nationals stream out of the dugout for a brief on-field celebration, which was followed by a dizzying champagne-and-beer soaked party in the visiting clubhouse.

This kind of thing isn’t new in Atlanta. The Braves have lost elimination games in 10 postseason series at home since 1992, and this might as well [More]

Braves’ opponents often celebrate here

  • 9:51 am Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Freddie Freeman and Braves have had reason to be angry, and another may be coming tonight. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

UPDATE: Here’s a link to tonight’s MyAJC column, addressing how much responsibility manager Fredi Gonzalez shares for this season.

The Braves have been dead in the National League East for a while. But adding an element of humiliation to the recent free fall is that Washington, which is on the verge of clinching the division title, can celebrate at Turner Field with a win tonight or Wednesday.

It wouldn’t be the first time the Braves have seen another team celebrate on its home field (either Turner or Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium). Since 1992, the Braves have lost postseason elimination games at [More]

Short takes on Falcons’ loss to Cincinnati

  • 4:20 pm Sunday, September 14th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Matt Ryan struggled behind Falcons' banged up offensive line. (AP photo)

I’ll be back shortly with my column on the Falcons’ ugly 24-10 loss to Cincinnati Until then, here are my three short takes on the game.

UPDATE: HERE’S A LINK TO THE FULL GAME COLUMN.

1. Problems up front: The Falcons’ offensive line was pretty good against New Orleans in Week 1. Not Sunday. Losing starting tackle Jake Matthews (ankle), after already having lost starter Sam Baker in the preseason, was too much. Matt Ryan was sacked only two times but he was forced out of the pocket on several occasions and rushed on throws. Ryan was only 24-for-44 and threw [More]

LIVE: Falcons’ line to get tested by Bengals

  • 12:04 pm Sunday, September 14th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
This guy look familiar? Falcons face former Georgia star A.J. Green today. (Getty Images)

CINCINNATI – There are a number of ways to gauge how good an NFL team really is, but here are two of them: 1) How well do they play in December; 2) How well do they play on the road.

December is a few months away. But we’ll learn a little more about the Falcons’ level and toughness today when they play their second game against the Cincinnati Bengals. They were impressive in many ways in last week’s 37-34 home win over New Orleans, showing both their strength (Matt Ryan and the offense) and their weaknesses (defense). But today they will [More]

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