The Braves have decided to fire manager Fredi Gonzalez today after one of the worst starts in the team’s 140 year history. The Braves have started off at 9-28. The Braves will promote Brian Snitker from their AAA franchise to serve as interim manager. Bench coach Carlos Tosca was also fired and will be replaced by first-base coach Terry Pendleton. Eddie Perez will move from bullpen coach to first base coach, and AAA Pitching coach Marty Reed will take over for Perez.
Although it’s widely known that the Braves are in the midst of a rebuilding effort that gutted the major league team while fortifying the minor league system, Gonzalez had long been a lightning rod for criticism from fans and some media members, and he ultimately paid the price for the team’s dismal performance.
Gonzalez, 52, was in his sixth season as Braves manager after replacing his mentor, Bobby Cox, when the legendary Braves manager retired after the 2010 season. He is the first Braves manager fired since Russ Nixon was dumped in June 1990 and replaced by Cox.
There was considerable criticism of Gonzalez during much of his time as Braves manager, despite the fact his teams won 89, 94 and 96 games in his first three seasons through 2013 and won the National League East in 2013, their first division title since 2005.
The writing has been on the wall for Gonzalez for some time, as speculation has been swirling for weeks about Gonzalez’s pending termination. Management decided to give it more time, and it would seem that time is now up. I’m not entirely sure a change in management will help this Braves team however. It’s not exactly like he was directing the team to NOT hit home-runs.
With this move, MLB is now without any Hispanic managers. Expect to hear some discussion on this in the near future.