Tomahawk Chops: Daily Atlanta Braves News Clippings For Friday, September 30th

He's feeling the pressure from all sides right now.

Your one-page daily morning overview of Atlanta Braves news:

Plenty of questions after Braves' epic collapse  |
"Our slump combined with the Cardinals playing really good baseball in September — you’ve got a shocking situation," said veteran third baseman Chipper Jones, who ranked it among the sourest of sour season endings he has experienced. "Having such a big lead and then sitting here after [game] No. 162 and not being in the playoffs is a tremendous disappointment."

Braves bringing back manager Fredi Gonzalez, entire coaching staff in 2012 | News
Wren confirmed Thursday afternoon that manager Fredi Gonzalez and the members of his staff will return for the 2012 season. But at the same time, Wren adamantly said there would be lots of time spent over the next few weeks evaluating how to prevent a repeat of the nightmare finish the club completed with Wednesday night's 13-inning loss to the Phillies.

Braves collapse, and the shine just came off Fredi Gonzalez | Jeff Schultz
The vibe was missing this season. That’s on Gonzalez. The team fell apart when it needed to come together, blowing an 8½-game lead in 23 days. That’s on Gonzalez. The Braves seemed tight and meek and borderline frightened, as if waiting, hoping, white-knuckle-praying for a playoff spot to just fall into their lap. They didn’t just take it, and didn’t play like they felt they deserved it. That’s certainly on Gonzalez. The shine just came off the perfect replacement.

Fire Fredi? No, but the Braves did some major mismanaging | Mark Bradley
Blame should attach itself to Fredi Gonzalez, but not the sort that has been tossed around. Jose Constanza would not have saved the season. (He’s a journeyman. Come on.) Starting Derek Lowe in Game No. 161 was a justifiable choice. (You’d start the rookie Julio Teheran instead? Come on.) This wasn’t so much about managing situations — every manager, even the learned La Russa, whiffs on a nightly basis — as in managing people.

Fredi Gonzalez reflects on usage of Craig Kimbrel, Jonny Venters | News
Still, as Gonzalez evaluates how his club carried 81 wins into September, he may continue to reach the conclusion that he may not have had that win total had he not been forced to utilize Venters and Kimbrel as frequently as he did during the early portion of the season. "If we don't use those guys I don't know if [we get] 89 wins, if we get to the situation we were in [Wednesday night]," Gonzalez said.

Chipper reiterates his intention to return in '12 | News
Braves third baseman Chipper Jones once again confirmed he will return for the 2012 season. He made this announcement after Wednesday night's season-ending 13-inning loss to the Phillies. "I committed to play next year," Jones said. "I won't commit past that. Let's put it that way. I'm looking forward to it."

Braves can learn from failure - The GM's Office by Jim Bowden Blog - ESPN
Wren will also start on his offseason plans to upgrade at shortstop, where Jose Reyes could factor as the Braves' one big-ticket signing. With Martin Prado slated for left field and Jones conceivably returning at third base, Reyes makes sense. With Bourn and Reyes at the top of the lineup, the Braves could have the makings of a deadly lineup in 2012. But of paramount importance is to first identify the adjustments Heyward needs to make. The Braves and the rest of baseball still believe he can be a star, but the league adjusted to him. The nagging injuries were one thing, but Heyward and the Braves must spend the offseason diagnosing and correcting holes and flaws so 2012 isn't spent correcting holes during games that count.

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