It's kind of weird that we're talking about firing the manager at this point in the season, considering that the Braves have somewhat exceeded expectations so far and are coming off such a lovely sweep of the Marlins. With that being said, I'd imagine that for the majority of Braves Country, Fredi Gonzalez abdicating the position of Braves manager would be a dream scenario. While that particular event still has extremely long odds of happening during the season, it could definitely be a possibility down the road.
The reason why we're talking about this is because in the wake of the Marlins' firing of Mike Redmond, FOX Sports MLB writer Ken Rosenthal decided to speculate a bit on who could be next on the firing line. Lo and behold, the manager of our Atlanta Braves was on the list.
The reconstructed Braves, at 18-19, actually have exceeded expectations, and their weekend sweep of the Marlins in Miami helped trigger Redmond’s dismissal.
So, what’s the rub, especially when Gonzalez is thought to be a favorite of both team president John Schuerholz and special assistant Bobby Cox?
He isn’t necessarily a favorite of the new president of baseball operations, John Hart. The Braves had lost five of six games before sweeping the Marlins, prompting internal finger-pointing, according to major-league sources.
It will be difficult for the Braves to justify a change if the team hovers around .500; hardly anyone expected them to contend this season. But it also stands to reason that Hart eventually might want his own man. The team’s previous GM, Frank Wren, reportedly wanted to fire Gonzalez at the end of last season but ultimately took the fall himself.
Basically, this should come down to what John Hart wants. Fredi is reportedly in the final year of his contract, and there haven't been any rumblings of a contract extension coming. So naturally, that means that even if the Braves miraculously stay around .500 for the entire season instead of being a tire fire, Fredi's days as the Braves manager could be numbered.
Then again, there's always the possibility that this year's Braves team goes into a nosedive, and the organization could proceed from there. Rosenthal's sources reported that there was "internal finger-pointing" during the Braves' recent road trip swoon. If there's a worse tailspin in the future, that could be the moment where John Hart decides that it's time to move on and find the manager that he believes is right to take on the team.
Either way, despite the Braves' relatively nice start, there's still an air of uncertainty surrounding the managerial position. We probably won't have a certain answer about it soon, but there's definitely a possibility that the tumult that rocked the Braves roster in the Winter could finally make its way to the managerial position sometime in the future.