Ever since Fredi Gonzalez took over at the helm of the Atlanta Braves for Bobby Cox, people around the game have marveled at how similar their managing styles are. After all, Fredi is a disciple of Bobby's, and is supposed to subscribe to the same player-friendly managing style that Bobby did. But that's not quite how this year is starting out, here is what Fredi said about Tyler Pastornicky and Jordan Schafer:
"We're waiting for [Pastornicky] again this year," Gonzalez said sarcastically, in a good-natured tone that nonetheless sent a message. "Schafer probably has a tough time getting travel arrangements. He's another one I'm going to grab. He only lives two exits up the road here; I haven't seen him yet."
Then he joked: "I didn't know he signed a deal with (general manager) Frank (Wren) - he's got a five-year deal, guarantee to play one of the three outfield spots."
"The wheels on the bus go round and round"... bump, bump, and they just ran two folks over. I don't care how good-natured the beat writers thought it might have been, the fact that it was said, and said with such an underlying tone of displeasure, sure rubs me the wrong way.
If the Braves manager is now in the habit of calling out his players in the press, then fine, that will just be the new world we live in -- Fredi's World. But it is as if Fredi has unlearned all that he should have learned from Bobby Cox. One of Bobby's unwritten commandments was that you do not talk ill of your players to the press. Especially when it's because they didn't report to camp before they were supposed to.
If Fredi wanted everyone in camp, then he should have said get here on the 13th. I guess his logic is as frustratingly asinine as my high school band director who always used to say, "if you're on time, you're late." So remember future Braves players, the reporting date is actually "Pitchers and Catchers, and you know, anyone else and everyone else on the team, I'm not saying they should be here already, but why aren't they here?"