Jeff Schultz blog 

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

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]

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]

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]

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 make move for Santana, credit to Wren

  • 8:03 am Wednesday, March 12th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Ervin Santana spent his first eight seasons with the Los Angeles Angels. (AP photo)

Now there’s something we’re not accustomed to: The Braves did not take a wait-and-see approach.

With pitcher Kris Medlen possibly headed for major elbow surgery again and two other members of the starting rotation ailing, the Braves made a move: They’re signing free agent Ervin Santana.

Photos: 10 things to know about Ervin Santana

Credit to Braves general manager Frank Wren, who more often than not is not proactive in situations like this. In the past, Wren often hasn’t responded quickly to injuries or other problems, instead letting things play out for a while before making a decision on his [More]