Today, the Atlanta Braves fired manager Fredi Gonzalez, and promoted AAA manager Brian Snitker to replace him on an interim basis.
Gonzalez took over the Braves from legendary manager Bobby Cox after the 2010 season, and oversaw a 434-413 record in his time. They also won but a single playoff game during that stretch, though that can hardly be laid at Gonzalez’s feet.
Indeed, very little of the Braves’ heroically awful start to the 2016 season falls on Gonzalez. In fact, I’d argue that by overseeing a team that has gone 9-28 so far, Gonzalez’s Braves are doing exactly what the front office wants. Let’s not mince words about what’s going on in Atlanta right now: they are selling today for a better tomorrow. Part and parcel of that approach is a whole lot of losses at the big league level, which isn’t really the worst thing in the world for a club like Atlanta (certainly it’s not worse than hovering around .500 for a number of years).
In any case, the Braves decided today was the day for whatever reason, and that, too, is just fine. Even as the losing was more by design than by anyone’s fault, Gonzalez was not going to survive the organizational rebuild, so the Braves might as well get a head start on considering candidates for their eventual return to competitiveness.
On that front, this will be something to watch, as Cubs bench coach Dave Martinez’s name always pops up, deservedly so, for these openings. We’ll see if he eventually becomes a serious candidate.