Associated Press

The Braves front office is still in turmoil


In Atlanta, general manager John Coppolella has resigned in disgrace and old hands — and old friends — John Hart and John Schuerholz are running things at the moment. But if you think that’s providing any stability for the organization, think again. Jon Heyman says that’s not the case at all:

Former best friends John Schuerholz and John Hart, who run the Atlanta Braves now, are said to be at odds over things related to the team and currently having a tough time getting along, so there could be more upheaval in the organization.

People with ties to the team say they believe Schuerholz would love to bring in Dayton Moore, and have Moore, a longtime Braves executive before he went to Kansas City, groom Schuerholz’s son Jonathan, who runs the farm system for the Braves.

First off, can we talk about Jonathan Schuerholz? I know very little about him, but boy, how lucky is it for the Braves that the guy who happens to be John Schuerholz’s son is best guy to run the Braves in the future? It’s very similar to how, apparently, Jonathan Schuerholz was the best player available for the Braves when his father selected him in the eighth round of the 2002 draft. His ascendance must be a function of cosmic forces, beyond the Braves’ control, willing the most qualified guy for various jobs to the forefront, over and over again!

That aside, why on earth would Dayton Moore want this job? While, yes, the Braves system is quite talented and while Moore has ties to the Braves, he has won two pennants and a World Series with the Royals. Also: the GM job would be a lateral move at best and, practically speaking, a demotion given that the Braves keep Schuerholz, Hart and advisors like Bobby Cox around, all who seemed to have influence or veto power over Coppolella. In Kansas City Moore answers to the owner. The only way he’d probably take the Braves job would if he were to be named President of Baseball Operations with no one between him and team CEO Terry McGuirk, which would mean shoving out the two men bickering at the top right now. And the boy wonder who Moore wold supposedly groom to be his own replacement.

The only winner in all of this mess in Atlanta seems to be Brian Snitker, the manager who would’ve probably been fired if it wasn’t for the Copolella scandal but who keeps his job because, hey, you gotta stop the upheaval at some point. Good for him, but it’s saying something about an organization when that’s your basis of job security.

Mike Fiers may not be ready for start of regular season due to back issue

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Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports that Tigers starter Mike Fiers is dealing with a back issue and may not be ready for the start of the season. Manager Ron Gardenhire characterized the injury as a “stiff back” and added, “Maybe a little bit of a bulging disk or something like that.”

Fiers, 32, signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Tigers in December. He has had a forgettable spring, yielding 12 runs on 10 hits and eight walks with seven strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings.

Fiers had a rotation spot locked up along with Michael Fulmer, Jordan Zimmermann, and Francisco Liriano. Matt Boyd and Daniel Norris were battling it out for the No. 5 spot. If Fiers opens the regular season on the 10-day disabled list, both could have spots in the rotation.