Fredi Gonzalez is no longer the manager of the Atlanta Braves. It wasn't a huge shock that he was fired, but I'm sure that nobody would've guessed that a series-opening loss on the road at Pittsburgh would be the straw that finally broke the camel's back for John Coppolella and the Braves' front office. However, that ended up being the case, and Fredi's time as manager is finished.
One of the most obvious questions on the mind (or at least my mind) is just what Bobby Cox thought about this whole thing. Cox was arguably the main reason why Gonzalez lasted as long as he did in the job, so you have to think that it probably took him some "convincing." According to Jon Morosi, he took the news gracefully.
bobby cox, braves legend/employee & great friend of fredi and longtime supporter, said to be taking firing "ok" fwiw— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) May 17, 2016
Speaking of Bobby Cox, could he have done a better job with this team as currently constructed? Probably not, though I doubt that any manager alive could've done a good job with this team, and that was the case that Elliot Johnson made once he got wind of the news.
Bobby Cox, Connie Mack, Tony LaRussa, pick your favorite manager and none of them would win with that roster either.— Elliot Johnson (@ElliotJohnson9) May 17, 2016
The man who Bobby Cox replaced was Russ Nixon. Remember him? Well, if you do then either you've got an extremely vivid memory of your childhood and/or you're way older than I am, because he was the last Braves manager to be fired -- way back in 1990.
The last time a #Braves manager was fired was 6/22/1990, or 9461 days ago.— Braves Stats (@BravesStats) May 17, 2016
Oh, and who fired Nixon? Take a wild guess:
Russ Nixon was the last Atlanta Braves manager to be fired. On June 22, 1990, Bobby Cox fired him.— Michael H. (@ChopAttack) May 17, 2016
Now that we've gotten past the Bobby Cox portion of things, it's time to take an extremely early look at potential replacements for Fredi Gonzalez. Jerry Crasnick had one name in mind and a little bit of an opinion on the new interim manager from everybody's favorite outlet for information: The anonymous source.
One name I'm hearing as a potential Fredi Gonzalez replacement: Mark DeRosa. He's a bright guy with great people... null— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) May 17, 2016
One MLB official says he's "shocked'' #Braves went with Brian Snitker over Terry Pendleton or Eddie Perez as Fred G. replacement.— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) May 17, 2016
Meanwhile, Ken Rosenthal brought up the names of Bud Black and Torey Lovullo as potential replacements.
Snitker is interim; has worked with many current #Braves. Team can explore outside options such as Black, Lovullo, etc., at end of season.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) May 17, 2016
However, as everybody focuses on the future of the Braves' managerial role, some are still taking time to reflect on the fact that someone lost their job today. Regardless of how you feel about whether it was the right move or not, that's something that should be kept in mind.
Fredi Gonzalez may not have been the most eloquent, but was certainly one of the more genuine people I've covered. Best of luck to him.— Grant McAuley (@grantmcauley) May 17, 2016
I will miss Fredi Gonzalez professionalism with the media after a few very tough trades and seasons. https://t.co/F3Yfz1WQjm— Paul Byrd (@PaulByrd36) May 17, 2016
However, you've got to admit that some might see this as a bit of a merciful move for Fredi Gonzalez -- he no longer has a captain's seat on this ship.
I'm sure that there's been even more reaction over on Twitter to Fredi's firing, but it's definitely got the baseball world buzzing right now. There's plenty of opinion and speculation to be had right now, and it'll keep on going as we sift our way through the wake of the Braves' decision to fire their manager.