Fredi recognizes job uncertainty comes with territory
ATLANTA -- As the Braves have endured a horrific September, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez has repeatedly acknowledged that the struggles have given the club at least some reason to question whether he will maintain his position.
But unlike in 2011, when the Braves collapsed and lost a comfortable National League Wild Card lead, Gonzalez has continued to display his same poised demeanor since the first day of Spring Training. This could be a product of experience or just some of the influence the manager has gained from the many years Bobby Cox has served as his mentor.
"This is what we've signed up for," Gonzalez said. "Nobody held a gun to your head and said you have to coach in professional sports. For me, I just manage today's game, and tomorrow, I'll manage tomorrow's game. If those decisions are made, you live with them. You feel for your coaches a little bit more than you do for yourself because they hurt. They put in all the hard work and the time. We all know what we signed up for."
There still seems to be a sense that Gonzalez will be given a chance to remain in his role for at least one more season. But hitting coaches Greg Walker and Scott Fletcher could be among the coaching casualties of this disappointing season.
While a majority of the Braves' players seem to get along with Gonzalez, some have questioned his lineup construction and strategic moves. Though this is likely the case in most Major League clubhouses, there is at least some reason to wonder if the clubhouse culture is different next year, when the Braves are under the direction of a new general manager.
Braves president John Schuerholz indicated that he will hire a full-time GM before making a decision about Gonzalez's future. But Schuerholz also acknowledged that he will account for the fact that Gonzalez could benefit from the altered culture he is trying to create by shaking up his front-office staff.
Cox, who is seemingly prepared to take on a greater role with the club, gave Gonzalez a vote of confidence earlier this week.
"[Cox] appreciates the hard work that the coaches do and the manager does, all the fires you have to put out," Gonzalez said. "It was really nice to have his support. But he's been that way all the way back to the beginning. He's our No. 1 fan."