The Braves are content to let Fredi Gonzalez be a lame duck

17 Comments

Ken Rosenthal reports that Fredi Gonzalez is entering the final season of his contract with the Braves. He had signed an extension last year, but it was unknown how long it was for. Now we know: one year.

Lame duck managers used to the norm. Many teams went year-to-year with managers, including successful ones like the Dodgers, who famously had Walter Alston on a couple decades worth of one-year deals. These days, however, it is considered unusual for a manager to work with no promise of the following year. At least it is for managers who aren’t on the hot seat.

Not that Gonzalez is on the hot seat. He is a favorite of Bobby Cox and John Schuerholz and, to date, has never been held responsible to the team underperforming. But Rosenthal says that the club is going to wait and see how Gonzalez fits in with the John Hart-led Braves, who are rebuilding.

I moan and complain about Gonzalez a lot because he’s aggravating to fans who watch the team day-in, day-out. At the same time I will be the first to admit that talent — healthy talent — and not the manager, is the most important factor to a winning ballclub. My guess is that Gonzalez, who has always been a good company man, won’t stand in the way of whatever experiments Hart undertakes with the Braves over the next couple of years and that, as a result, will get an extension at some point.

Nationals’ Strasburg ejected for arguing from the stands

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
3 Comments

NEW YORK — A pitcher getting ejected for arguing balls and strikes – on his day off? And, from the stands?

Nationals star Stephen Strasburg earned one of baseball’s most unique ejections – probably ever – in the third inning of Washington’s game against the New York Mets on Thursday.

Strasburg was sitting in Section 121 at Citi Field in this socially distant season because he’s scheduled to start Friday against Baltimore Orioles. He was apparently unhappy with the strike zone of plate umpire Carlos Torres after Austin Voth‘s 2-2 pitch to Pete Alonso on the outside corner was ruled a ball.

Moments later, Torres ejected last year’s World Series MVP, though it took a few seconds to realize who had been tossed.

Someone was heard yelling: “You’re (expletive) brutal” shortly before television cameras captured Strasburg doffing his cap as he walked up the staircase on his way out of the park.

“Sorry, folks – sorry, FCC,” Mets broadcaster Gary Cohen said on SNY.

The usually stoic Strasburg appeared to be grinning underneath his blue mask as he made his exit.