Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez is not exactly beloved by Braves fans. When the Braves were struggling in May and June, this was very obvious.
I ask you: where are the Fredi haters now?
Just as quick as it takes Michael Bourn to run the bases, the Braves have been on a tear since the All-Star Break, winning 22/32 games. I have blogged this week that the Braves recent run of success should come to no surprise to anyone, as the schedule has gotten very easy in July and August, and will continue to be manageable the rest of the way out.
The Braves season plays out like this with series against the Dodgers, Nationals (2), Giants, Padres, Phillies (3), Rockies, Mets (2), Brewers, Marlins (3) and Pirates. That is not that bad.
When the team was playing poorly, Fredi got the hate. When the team is doing well, the team that Frank Wren put together is winning inspite of Fredi.
Conisder this for a moment. The only pitcher who is currently in the rotation that was there on Opening Day is Mike Minor. Venters has struggled. Uggla and McCann have struggled. Freeman has been up and down. Shortstop has been a quesion mark all season. Chipper has to have several days off at a time to stay healthy.
Yet, inspite of all this, the Braves have the 3rd best record in the NL and the 4th best record in all of baseball. With all the obstacles the Braves have had to overcome, if the Nationals weren’t doing so well, Fredi Gonzalez should be getting some love for Manager of the Year. This team is on pace to win something like 96 games this season. The last time the Braves won 90 games was 2005 (last year the NL East was won and the streak ended).
Now, I am not totally in love with Fredi Gonzalez. He makes some decisions when that make me scratch my head. But if fans are going to be critical when the team is playing .500 ball, then show praise when the Braves are playing nearly .700 ball in the 2nd half.
Like when talking about Coach Richt, I ask that you just, at a minimum, be fair.