On Friday the Braves announced a one-year contract extension with an option for 2017 for manager Fredi Gonzalez and the entire coaching staff. Gonzalez is 401-337 since taking over for Hall of Fame manager Bobby Cox in 2011. This is a great move in my opinion for the club because he has bought into the retooling philosophy that the Braves is taken on since John Hart the front office this off-season.
A lot of fans are really hard on Gonzalez for some of the decisions he makes during the games, but in baseball when things don’t turn out the way it was supposed to he gets questioned for it, but when it works out he’s a genius that’s the nature of baseball and many times it’s unfair to say the least you must have thick skin to manage in the major leagues. This move shows that the front office and the team itself are on the same page and are excited for the future.
As a manager Fredi Gonzalez is similar to Bobby Cox in his relationship with the players and the fact that he will go to battle for them every day and take the heat for a bad decision. He also expects the game to be played the right way, remember when he was in Miami and Hanley Ramirez dogged after a ball and Freddie pulled him for lack of hustle that ultimately cost him his job with the Marlins. If that didn’t happen who knows he could still be with the team. This year when Chris Johnson did not hustle on the box and got thrown out at second on what should’ve been an easy double he was benched the next day and Gonzalez let him know that’s not how the Braves play baseball. This is definitely the Braves culture and Gonzalez has continued that and I love that about him.
He also has gotten the best out of his players putting them in the best situations to succeed I gave an example, this season Pedro Ciriaco has been our utility player off the bench and a great pinch hitter too, but he understands it’s important to give your bench players spot starts to give them three or four at-bats to keep their swing sharp and I think he’s done a fantastic job doing that with Ciriaco and giving Peterson and Simmons days off so they don’t wear down. You can bash the decisions they make on a day-to-day basis, but I hear is that awesome job with the cards he was dealt this season. The fact that he is willing to embrace the philosophy of this club is awesome stability for the players and management equally. The Braves have a bright future and I think Fredi is the right man to lead this young squad right now.