In the midst of what is turning out to be an incredibly scandalous day for the Atlanta Braves as an organization, it has to be noted that John Coppolella isn’t the only front office executive who is on the way out. Special assistant Gordon Blakelely is also on his way out of the door, and he’ll also likely face punishment for his role in the scandal.
#Braves special asst Blakeley also resigning, sources tell The Athletic. MLB investigating team for circumvention of int’l signing rules.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) October 2, 2017
So, who exactly is Gordon Blakeley? Before he joined the Braves front office, he was a long-time member of the New York Yankees front office. He actually had a very solid reputation stemming from his work with the Yankees, as Baseball America pointed out in this article:
Blakely has been with the Yankees for more than two decades and assumed the role of farm director in 1998. Three years later he became vice president of pro scouting, with a focus on the international market, and he is credited with helping the Yankees sign Robinson Cano, Orlando Hernandez, Jose Contreras and Hideki Irabu.
Baseball America also noted that Blakeley was a hot commodity when it came to possible GM candidates, though that ship may have sailed on now due to the fact that this was being talked about back in 2003 and now it’s 14 years later and he’s got a rule-breaking scandal to deal with.
Either way, it’s also interesting to note that his arrival actually pre-dated John Coppolella’s promotion to the GM role by almost exactly a year — though you could also speculate that it was probably a package deal since Coppolella was the de facto GM for a year while John Hart was overseeing things in the early stages of his role as President of Baseball Operations.
If they didn’t have a major connection before, they do now thanks to this scandal. Gordon Blakeley may not have been the most visible member of the Atlanta Braves front office, but you can bet that we’ll all remember his name for the foreseeable future.