Tracy Ringolsby spoke with John Schuerholz about the Frank Wren firing. This is all kinds of special:
It wasn’t about wins or losses. The decision has been building for nearly three years, one Schuerholz had struggled with, because it’s not his style. Those who have known him since the early days of his professional baseball career — which dates back to him giving up a job as a junior high teacher in Baltimore to become an administrative assistant in the Orioles’ Minor League department at the age of 26 — have remarked about his cohesive management ways.
Building for three years? Then why did Shuerholz give Wren a contract extension last February? One possible answer is “well, he didn’t want a lame duck situation to develop.” My response to that is that if you’ve had more than two-plus years of misgivings about the guy at that point, maybe it’s OK to let him dangle for a bit.
My suspicion is that this article and most of what Schuerholz has said about the Wren firing is an exercise in spin. Of pretending that there’s a “Braves Way” and a “cohesive management style” so as to make this all seem like something that had to happen. That was inevitable and all part of a larger narrative in which Frank Wren led the Braves away from The True Path. When, in fact, it was really just a bunch of crappy things happening resulting in a disappointing season and resulting in some heads rolling.
There is no shame in that latter part. Schuerholz is a worthy Hall of Fame executive who doesn’t have to apologize to anyone for anything. Frank Wren screwed up some and the season went into the toilet. Yet, for whatever reason, there is this sense that the mess of the Braves 2014 season has to be treated as if it was something other than crap happening and, rather, part of a larger dramatic arc in which Schuerholz now can justly restore order or something.
Why this baseball team and its remaining executives are given such reverence and are being treated so differently than any other disappointing baseball team is a mystery to me.