Jeff Schultz blog 

This AJC sports blogger takes things seriously when he has to, but he really would rather not

Will a fresh perspective elude Braves?

  • 11:44 am Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
John Schuerholz got his man (John Hart), just not as GM. (Curtis Compton)

It was clear to anybody who spoke to John Hart on the day the Braves fired general manager Frank Wren that he did not want the job. When a baseball executive gets to be of a certain age, they learn to embrace the schedule and minimal responsibility that accompanies the semi-retirement jobs of consultant and television analyst.

“The difference now is when you step off the (television) set, you can put the problems that you’ve been discussing aside,” Hart told me when asked about the possibility of becoming a general manager again. “That’s part of the fun of it. It also [More]

Braves’ new GM should’ve decided on Gonzalez

  • 12:29 pm Friday, October 3rd, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Fredi Gonzalez watched the Braves spiral down the stretch again. (Curtis Compton, AJC)

There were reasonable arguments to keep Fredi Gonzalez as the Braves’ manager. There were reasonable arguments to fire Fredi Gonzalez as the Braves’ manager.

But there was no reasonable argument to do what the Braves did Friday.

Interim general manager John Hart announced Gonzalez will return for a fifth season in 2015, despite the Braves going 7-18 in September, missing the playoffs for the second time in four years and finishing with the franchise’s worst record since 2008 (79-83).

I was neither in the “Fire Fredi” nor “Don’t Fire Fredi” camp.  I merely believed the Braves should wait and leave that decision [More]

Are Braves waiting for Dayton Moore?

  • 10:50 am Thursday, October 2nd, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Dayton Moore's Royals begin play in the American League division series tonight.
(John Sleezer/Kansas City Star)

If the Kansas City Royals had lost their wild card elimination game to Oakland, we might have a little more clarity about the Braves’ general manager’s opening today. Why? The Braves are believed to have some interest in Royals GM Dayton Moore, who worked his way up through the Braves system, and would have made the, “Can we talk now?” phone call soon after Tuesday night’s game.

But now they’ll have to wait a little longer to gauge Moore’s interest. The Royals open play in the American League divisional series tonight against the Los Angeles Angels. (For the record, Moore has [More]

Braves’ Hart is open to mentoring GM role

  • 2:18 pm Thursday, September 25th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Braves interim GM John Hart acknowledged he's open to mentoring a young general manager. (AP photo)

Since the moment the Braves fired general manager Frank Wren, there has been speculation that the team would elevate senior adviser John Hart to the role, if not on a permanent basis then at least as a mentor to young rising assistant. Hart has mostly been evasive or issued non-denial denials with his comments, other than to say he wouldn’t pursue the GM’s position on a long-term basis.

That changed a little Thursday.

Hart, the team’s interim general manager, acknowledged that he and team president John Schuerholz have had conversations about him taking the job on a short-term basis if a young [More]

Should Braves avoid going ‘Braves Way’?

  • 8:52 am Wednesday, September 24th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Maybe Braves, with John Hart, Bobby Cox and John Schuerholz, need a fresh set of eyes in GM position. (Curtis Compton)

This isn’t meant as any disrespect to the candidates being circulated most in the rumor mill or to outright dismiss John Schuerholz’s belief that the Braves need to get back to the, “Braves Way” of doing things.

But would the Braves be better off perhaps doing something the, “Cardinals Way?” Or the “Dodgers Way”? Or the “1927 Yankees Way”?

Yahoo reported that the Braves have offered interim general manager and senior adviser John Hart the general manager’s job that came open with the dismissal of Frank Wren Monday. As David O’Brien reported, and anybody who attended Monday’s news conference can attest, [More]

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)

UPDATE: CLICK HERE FOR A LINK to the fully updated column with quotes on MyAJC.com

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 [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]

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]

Cantor’s magic tallis has cure to Braves’ problems

  • 11:00 am Friday, August 29th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Cantor Bruce Braves Tallit

This has been a Braves’ season in which not nearly enough has gone right, but there’s a cantor in New Jersey who apparently has the answer to all of their problems. At least one night a week.

“The Braves are 10-0 when I wear it,” cantor Bruce Rockman of Congregation B’nai Tikvah in North Brunswick, N.J., said. “But we’re taking a big risk by making this public.”

To the Old Testament miracles of locusts, boils and the parting of the Red Sea, we add: The Undefeated Tallis.

Rockman has a unique, Braves-inspired prayer shawl he wears in services on Friday nights, the beginning [More]