June 13, 2012 at 5:40 pm by Ben Duronio under Atlanta Braves
Over the past two years, many have voiced their opinions on how they dislike Fredi’s in-game management, including yours truly. His reliance on small sample sizes, odd bullpen decisions, and frustrating handling of Jason Heyward have certainly been frustrating, but I am having a hard time understanding why today, of all days, on every Braves blog people are calling for his name.
I understand the Braves lost yesterday, but there was nothing Fredi did out of the ordinary that Bobby Cox wouldn’t have done last night. Bobby would have let Minor pitch in the eighth and likely would have taken him out after a base runner came up with Curtis Granderson, the player with the most home runs against left-handed pitching last year, coming up to the plate.
Bobby would have brought in Venters too. And he would have stuck with him to face A-Rod, even though many of us wouldn’t. Maybe there are managers who would have brought in Kimbrel, as they should have, but I do not think most would make that decision. The inherent problem in all of this is that managers, for the most part, manage the game in a very similar fashion. They have these unwritten rules of how to manage and how the game has been played for years, and most of them stick to those rules.
Cristhian Martinez has been underused, certainly mostly to the fault of Gonzalez. He was the pitcher that should have been used last night instead of Gearrin, but I’m not sure that it was a fireable offense, though in my opinion it was an against the odds decision.
Bobby had his issues with the bullpen too, and I am in no way defending Gonzalez as a good — or even as an average — manager. I just want to understand why today is the day that everyone thinks it’s time to fire him as opposed to all the other days when questionable decisions are made. He has made many worse decisions than he did last night. So what’s the deal?