Gonzalez resembles a championship manager, really

Fredi Gonzalez plots the next move that Braves fans are sure to hate. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

Fredi Gonzalez plots the next move that Braves fans are sure to hate. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

The daily game of Blame Fredi is afoot. Wednesday’s version: “Fredi Gonzalez and Adrian Gonzalez must be related, else why would he have put in Eric O’Flaherty to face the Dodgers slugger?” It’s all mindful of another recent managerial morass.

We’re speaking of a manager who, like Gonzalez, has deep Braves roots.

One whose career winning percentage from the dugout is several points below Gonzalez’s (.489-.511).

A manager who, again like Gonzalez, was unceremoniously fired from his previous job in midseason.

A manager labeled “A Dunce” in a 2014 Wall Street Journal piece – just before sweeping his counterpart (called a “chessmaster” in the same story) in a league championship series. Considered a tactical liability in any matchup by his own fans, a manager who routinely was vilified by both social and anti-social media.

“Is Yost Toast in KC?” mused a Fox Sports.com 2013 headline.

At best, he was a manager who received only tepid endorsements. As one anonymous baseball exec told the hometown paper a couple of years back: “I don’t know that he has won them many games. I don’t know that he’s actually cost them as many as people would like to put at his feet.”

The Yost is Ned Yost, the long-time coach under Bobby Cox, whose team last season brought a World Series title back to Kansas City after a 30-year hiatus. The Dunce got himself a two-year extension and suddenly he is a civic treasure.

How they loved it this spring when Yost chopped through a stack of bricks to fire up his squad. Look at this motivational master (just ignore the blood coming from his arm).

Not suggesting that the Braves and Gonzalez are guaranteed such dramatic redemption – in fact, any Braves return to the postseason likely will be overseen by someone else.

Sometimes, though, it’s just good to look around and realize that in the rush to put a face to every loss, the manager is too simple of a target. True, Gonzalez is no Miller Huggins. But these Braves sure aren’t the 1927 Yankees either.

Once Yost got the talent around him – the Royals rebuilding from within as the Braves are attempting to do currently – his managerial IQ easily doubled. Moves made with better parts just work more often, duh. Players make the manager, that truism is more true today than it has ever been.

By many measures, there is very little difference between Fredi Gonzalez and Ned Yost, other than the fact that one is more personable and the other has a ring.

Reader Comments 0

11 comments
Marcus Ridenour
Marcus Ridenour

Fredi has had 10 yrs to prove he is a Championship caliber manager. How long has Yost been managing? I don't think he should be fired bc of this year's team though. There were enough reasons to fire him before this year.

georgiatech65
georgiatech65

Well, history does repeat. True...the Braves management has  determined that no talent is a precursor to building a future contender. Really? Braves payroll is $68M, 3rd from the bottom. However, look at Freddie's Miami record. Most teams would not have hired him as the manager.  He was Bobby the Great's choice to replace him and certainly the Braves did not argue. Huum....

crackbaby
crackbaby

What a homer writeup.  I guess Mrs. Gonzalez will invite you and the wife to a dinner party, Steve.  Braves are easily the worst team in MLB and you want to be on-record that Fredi G is championship caliber.  Weak.  Very very weak.

DeeJay55
DeeJay55

Since I live in Atlanta I don't really care whether Ned Yost is a good manager or not. But I can guarantee you, he's never blown a 10.5 game lead for a playoff spot over the last 30 games of a season. I can guarantee that because there's only one manager in the National League that's ever done that. I'm pretty sure he never lost a lead in the eighth inning of a win-or-go-home playoff game while the best closer in baseball sat watching in the bullpen.  I seriously doubt he kept batting a player clean up who didn't hit his first home run until July 20 and ended the year with a grand total of three. And from 2011-2015, Ned Yost is 70-54 in the month of September. Fredi Gonzalez is 58-78. 

jcoenatl
jcoenatl

Has Yost traditionally always burnt out and ruined his bullpens? 

Does Yost have teams that always fade in September, primarily due to the depleted pens? Is Yost as bad of a lineup generator as Gonzalez? He is one of the worst managers in MLB - bar none.

TerryTaylor29
TerryTaylor29

@DOBrienAJC lol please. Fredi is too reliant on lefty/righty matchups, and has a bad track record of keepinga winning % late in the season

DOBrienAJC
DOBrienAJC

@TerryTaylor29 And everyone in your position who was a fan of the Brewers or Royals till postseason run would say similar things about Yost.

TerryTaylor29
TerryTaylor29

@DOBrienAJC I do say similar things. Yost is a bad manager with great players. Fredi is a bad manager with only a few good players