Should Braves consider Gonzalez as Cox’s replacement?

Jeff Schultz of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes that the Braves should look to bring back Marlins’ manager Fredi Gonzalez when Bobby Cox steps down at the end of the season. Gonzalez was Atlanta’s third base coach for four years prior to his first season with the Marlins in 2007.

Back to Gonzalez. It shouldn’t take much convincing for him to come back to Atlanta. In his four seasons as Marlins manager, the team’s payroll has ranked 29th, 30th, 30th and 26th (this season). Yet, Florida is over .500 for the third straight season, is coming off a second-place finish and in 2008 he was voting The Sporting News Manager of the Year in the National League for an 84-74 finish despite the majors’ smallest payroll.

The Marlins have little fan support. They have a kooky owner, Jeffrey Loria, who actually balked at bringing Gonzalez back this season. Loria denied an ESPN report in October that he was exploring hiring Bobby Valentine to manage. But given that the report came from the nation’s best baseball reporter, Buster Olney, I know who I’m siding with.

The problem, as Schultz notes in his article, is that Gonzalez’s contract runs through 2011. That doesn’t mean he’s untouchable until then, but it does make things a little more difficult from the Braves’ perspective. Plus, the Marlins and the Braves play in the same division, so I wonder how that would work. (Although Bruce Bochy went from San Diego to San Francisco in the same type of scenario and the Giants and Padres play in the same division.)

That said, Brave fans have to at least like the thought of Gonzalez winding up in Hotlanta. Cox will go down as one of the most respected skippers in all of baseball and the Braves would be wise to hire someone with experience to fill his shoes. Gonzalez has done an admirable job in Florida and might be able to give Atlanta the shot in the arm that it needs.

Of course, it’s only May. Who knows what will happen over the course of the next four and a half months leading up to Cox’s retirement.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

Injuries cost Giants, Marlins their trade deadline players

The Giants and Marlins were hopeful that the acquisitions of second baseman Freddy Sanchez and first baseman Nick Johnson at the trade deadline would help propel them to a postseason berth. But due to injuries, those hopes are fading fast.

San Fran placed Sanchez on the 15-day disabled list with a right shoulder strain Tuesday, an injury that has kept him out of the Giants’ last six games. He’ll be eligible to return from the DL in eight days and should be ready to play by then, but there are no guarantees.

Also on Tuesday, Florida placed Johnson on the 15-day DL, retroactive to August 17, with a strained right hamstring. As with Sanchez, the Marlins hope Johnson can return sometime in early September and continue to give their lineup the boost that he was supplying before his injury.

The Giants and Marlins desperately need these players if they’re going to stay in the NL Wild Card hunt. Thanks to a heartbreaking series in Colorado in which they lost three of four games to the Wild Card-leading Rockies, San Fran is now four games back in the standings. The Marlins are currently 5.5 games back of the Rockies.

Before the injury, Sanchez supplied the Giants with a consistent, patient hitter at the top of their lineup. He gave San Fran’s offense a needed spark and since his absence, the team has gone back to their woeful offensive ways.

Johnson was highly productive too, hitting 12-for-39 before his injury. He provides more pop than Ross Gload and Gaby Sanchez, who will be his replacements while he’s on the DL.

Both of these clubs need these players back soon, or else the season will undoubtedly be lost over the course of the next month.

Related Posts