Jeff Schultz blog 

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

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]

Poll: Who’s most to blame for Braves’ fall?

  • 9:19 am Thursday, August 7th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Atlanta Braves v Seattle Mariners

The Braves are back home after an eight-game road trip. There will be no parade today.

They lost all eight games — swept in consecutive series in Los Angeles, San Diego and Seattle. It’s the first time something like that has happened since the 1949 Boston Braves went 0-8 on a trip. That’s so long ago that, as historian David O’Brien noted, Warren Spahn was in the starting rotation.

More miserable numbers: The Braves scored only 18 runs in the eight games (three of which went extra innings) for an average of 2.25 runs per game. They also are 6-13 since [More]

Dan Uggla rejects demotion, out of job again

  • 1:04 pm Monday, August 4th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Dan Uggla looked under control with San Francisco in this snapshot but he wasn't. (AP)

I understand this probably isn’t going to elicit much sympathy, given that Dan Uggla still has about another $18 million coming his way (and unless he has been using stacks of hundreds for kindling in the winter, he doesn’t need another $18 million).

But seriously: What happened to him?

It’s rare that the bottom falls out of a player’s career as dramatically as we’ve seen with the former Braves’ second baseman. Having been signed by San Francisco two weeks ago following his release in Atlanta, Uggla is out of a job again. The Giants designated him for assignment and there are [More]

Trade deadline day … and it’s quiet here (update: minor trade)

  • 9:01 am Thursday, July 31st, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Trying to picture David Price in a Braves' uniform? Don't waste your time. (AP)

UPDATE: As you probably know by now, the Braves made a minor trade, dealing catching prospect Victor Caratini to the Chicago Cubs for utilityman Emilio Bonifacio and left-handed reliever James Russell. It was exactly the kind of deal that general manager Frank Wren was expected to make, but I’m not sure it’s going to be enough to get the Braves to the postseason because of fundamental flaws on the roster and in the clubhouse. I wrote a full column on this topic over at MyAJC.com. Here’s a free link. Thanks, J

Good morning. The major league trade deadline is at [More]

Giants take a chance on Dan Uggla

  • 2:32 pm Monday, July 21st, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Dan Uggla has landed on his feet with a pretty good team. (AP photo)

(Updated: 2:50 p.m.) Dan Uggla may have face-planted in Atlanta, but he was just picked up by one of the best teams in baseball. Is this bad foreshadowing for the Braves?

San Francisco, which has won two of the last four World Series and is tied for first place in the National League West, have signed Uggla to a minor-league contract, according to multiple reports. The news was first reported by Fox Sports. Uggla, who was in the fourth season of a five-year, $62 million contract that he never lived up to, cleared waivers, paving the way for any team to [More]

Possible Braves’ moves: Bethancourt up, B.J. to bench?

  • 12:13 pm Monday, June 16th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
If Gerald Laird (left) and Christian Bethancourt are Braves' top catchers, Evan Gattis would move to outfield. (Curtis Compton)

For most of this season, the Braves have had problems with their offense.

For most of this season, the problems at least partly trace back to Dan Uggla and B.J. Upton.

But is it possible that two players who combine for $26.45 million in salary this season both will be on the bench soon? Uggla already has lost his starting second base job to rookie Tommy La Stella and Upton may soon lose his as well.

Mark Bowman of MLB.com has an interesting blog in which he lays out a scenario the Braves are considering for a roster shake-up, and I [More]

Braves are golden…or doomed (you decide)

  • 9:13 am Monday, June 9th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
After losing a weekend series to last-place Arizona, the Braves have dropped into a three-way tie for first place.

Good morning.

The Braves have lost three of their last four series (eight of 12 games) to drop into a three-way tie for first place in the National League East with Washington and Miami, neither of which have been very good, either.

This usually is when everybody picks a side in the world of sports’ debate extremes. It’s either: “The Braves are doomed because they stink, and I said so!” Or, “The Braves are golden because they’ve managed to hang in there with slumping players and … well, you just wait!”

I’ve never made it a secret that the Braves’ roster construction and [More]

Braves’ move shouldn’t mean Uggla’s out — yet (updated)

  • 2:01 pm Wednesday, May 28th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Dan Uggla's time as a Brave could be nearing an end.

The Braves have recalled second baseman Tommy La Stella from Triple-A Gwinnett, and I know what you’re thinking: Did they slip release papers and a plane ticket under Dan Uggla’s hotel room door in Boston.

No. Nor should they just yet.

The team has yet to announce what roster move will be made to open a spot for La Stella, who was hitting .293 with a .384 on-base percentage in Gwinnett. But there’s a good chance Uggla, who has lost his starting job, will not be released for now. Options include putting shortstop Andrelton Simmons on the disabled list (if that’s deemed [More]

Braves: 3 issues, my votes (starting with Uggla)

  • 11:58 pm Wednesday, May 7th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Is it time for Braves to give prospect Tommy La Stella (now in Gwinnett) or Ramiro Pena a shot at second base job? (Karl Moore)

Despite ending a seven-game losing streak Tuesday night, the Braves affirmed their 2-1 win over St. Louis actually didn’t change much in the big picture. They lost the  following to the Cardinals 7-1, dropping their third straight series (and falling to 1-5 on this homestand).

As I wrote in a column Tuesday night, the Braves’ biggest concern isn’t that they’re running out of time. It’s only May. The problem is that their major issues now are pretty much the same as they were a year ago: an unproductive offense (they rank 29th in runs scored), punctuated by a lack of [More]

Braves’ poll: Can Uggla, Upton rebound?

  • 7:21 pm Saturday, February 15th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Dan Uggla is confident he'll have a good season. Are you? Vote in poll.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — I had a lengthy and revealing conversation today with Dan Uggla, the Braves’ often-maligned second baseman. I hope you get a chance to read it online at MyAJC.com or in Sunday’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution (the thing made of paper).

A link to the full column can be found here on MyAJC (subscription).

I’m obviously not going to copy and paste all of Uggla’s comments but he was extremely open about his struggles and the accompanying criticism. A couple of excerpts:

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– On the 2013 season, when he hit a career low .179: “I was [More]