From David O'Brien just minutes ago:
Fredi Gonzalez will be named Braves manager on Thursday. Person who knows just confirmed.
I guess that settles it. I like the choice. He's a Braves kind of guy, pretty much every player already likes the guy, he'll fit right in and retain that Coxian style in the Braves clubhouse.
So much for the managerial "search." Best thing if this is the guy the Braves want, why keep everyone guessing.
Bowman confirms the confirmation from David O'Brien that multiple sources have also told him Fredi Gonzalez will be the next Braves manager.
Peter over at Capitol Avenue Club has a post up about this hiring being a mistake for the Braves. This is going to be the sentiment that a lot of folks will have. Not the majority, but a good number of fans. That will be the case until Fredi wins something with Atlanta.
Taking over for a Hall of Fame manager that is loved by just about every player in baseball is going to be one of the toughest jobs in the Majors next year. Every decision will be scrutinized with the "Bobby wouldn't have done that" label. The same thing could be said for Roger McDowell when he took over for Leo Mazzone -- it was an almost impossible task to live up to the expectations at the time.
The Braves are a different kind of club than most clubs out there who blame on-field performance on managers while not giving them the players who can perform at the Major League level. The Braves make their best effort to put a winning team on the field every year, and it usually works out. If it doesn't, they're not going to be riding the manager or blaming a coach (isn't Terry Pendlelton still the hitting coach).
The truth is that no one could take over for Bobby and have all the fans be happy. It's a rare thing in sports that managers leave with such applause from everyone, so this situation is one that comes around very rarely. So there really is no "man for the job" other than the man who just left.
Until everyone realizes that we can't rehire Bobby Cox, the less upset some will be about this decision. The best we could do is someone who worked and studied under Bobby ... and, someone who is essentially Bobby's choice.