Regardless of what anyone says, Fredi Gonzalez has done a phenomenal job managing the Braves in 2013. Our 2 highest paid players, Dan Uggla and BJ Upton have had beyond atrocious seasons, and yet here we are a week or so away from winning the NL East for the first time in 8 seasons. Fredi Gonzalez might be the most polarizing figure in the Braves clubhouse considering most fans call for his head every time he starts some dude named Elliot Johnson or puts BJ Upton back in the leadoff spot.
Look, there’s just no way a team should be this good when our top paid players have been this useless. What happened to the Angels? Yankees? Phillies? Success isn’t supposed to happen when guys you count on to carry a team don’t perform or horrifically break their ankles. While some analysts think we wont show up come playoff time, I think Fredi Gonzalez knows exactly what he’s doing and is priming us for a playoff run.
Fredi’s had balls of steel this year and proven that he isn’t afraid to say enough is enough when it comes to the utter uselessness of Dan Uggla and BJ Upton and it has paid huge dividends. Without all of this playing time, would Jordan Schafer had emerged as the OF he’s been this year? Would Elliot Johnson make Braves fan’s take back their “WHO’s!?”
My only gripe on Fredi this season was his benching of Braves favorite Evan Gattis just as he was bear pawing his way through the NL. But, Brian McCann deserved those starts and showed that he absolutely has some left in the tank. Looking back on it, I love the move that Fredi made. It has paved the way for a healthy, energized Gattis to lead us in the time of year that we usually fade from exhaustion.
Look at the bullpen. Fredi has done an unbelievable job managing a rag tag team of previous nobodies (aside from Kimbrel of course), and made them the top relief core in the league. When Venters and O’Flaherty went down we all panicked…except Fredi.
I doubt this blog will change the way you think of Fredi Gonzalez as our manager, but I urge you to judge him in a different light. Stop comparing him to Bobby Cox. He’s showed some serious balls this year with the 3384984 different lineups he’s used because of the hundreds of injuries and horrible slumps he’s had to deal with.
Get ready for an entertaining Choptober, Braves fans. I have faith in Fredi. Do you?