Jeff Schultz blog 

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

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]

On Braves, McGuirk and repairing baseball

  • 9:19 pm Thursday, August 21st, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Three members of the Braves' hierarchy (from left): Terry McGuirk, John Schuerholz, Frank Wren. (AJC photo)

Should Pete Rose be allowed back into baseball, and therefore become eligible for the Hall of Fame? (Yes.)

Does baseball, which is losing a generation of fans and is suffering from long games in the regular season and late starts in its signature event, the World Series, need to make significant changes to improve the product? (Yes.)

Should the 162-game season be preserved? (No.)

Those are some of the issues (and my answers) I’ve addressed in a MyAJC column that you can read here. Commissioner Bud Selig is retiring and Rob Manfred will replace him, so this is a prime opportunity for [More]

Braves find a groove — but so do Nationals

  • 9:21 am Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Braves have won five straight but remain six games behind Washington. (AP photo)

Six days ago, on the eve of the Braves’ “Zombie Night” promotion at Turner Field, I wrote a column on the Braves’ seeming march into the regular season afterlife and the reasons manager Fredi Gonzalez needed to bench the struggling B.J Upton. At that point, they had lost 12 of 15 games and 17 of 26 since the All-Star break.

A follow-up blog and cartoon posed the question to you, “Is the fat lady singing” on their season?” Most readers believed yes. I certainly believed yes. When it comes to the division race, I still think yes. But it [More]

With Braves six back, is ‘fat lady’ singing?

  • 8:39 am Friday, August 15th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
BravesfatLadyJeff

So is it over?

The Braves lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers 6-4 Thursday. If you missed the almost-too-perfect inglorious ending, here’s a free link to my column on the game.

In brief, Justin Upton had to leave the game with a strained hamstring. His lesser brother B.J., who had been benched from the starting lineup because he’s hitting .209, was sent in as a pinch runner. He stayed in the game, and, of course, wound up being the key at-bat in the ninth inning. With runners on second and third base, B.J., batting in Justin’s spot, struck out.

The strikeout numbers [More]