The Braves lost their first series against the Phillies at Citizen Bank Park this season, ending in a 3.5 game deficit in the NL East race for first. At this time last year, the Braves had a 4.0 game lead in the NL East over the New York Mets. The Phillies won the NL East last year, and went on to lose to the Giants in the playoffs.
At the All-Star break last year, the Braves were 52-36. This year at the break, the Braves are 54-38. They are two games better this year than last, when they had a 4 game lead, and are 3.5 games back this year. This is a testament to how good the Phillies are this season, and the Braves for that matter.
For any other team, having a new manager for the first time in 21 years, would be a rebuilding year, but for the Braves, it's just another day at the office. Much has been made by baseball analysts and Braves fans alike about how Fredi Gonzales is managing the team, especially the bullpen. As a journalist, and a fan, i believe Fredi Gonzales is managing the team extremely well. I think the only thing he can improve on is picking better situations for different bullpen pitchers and picking a true lead-off man. Fans are calling for Gonzales' head because of the way he is managing Jonny Venters and the use of Scott Proctor in high-stress situations.
If the Braves intend on winning the NL East, or at least making the playoffs, Frank Wren, the Braves GM, needs to get rid of Scott Proctor. You can't blame Gonzales for putting a major league pitcher in the game, if he's the only option. Granted, Fredi Gonzales could make some better decisions throughout the game, but if he were a bad manager, the Braves wouldn't even be close to first place in the NL East.
What do you guys think?
How has Fredi Gonzales managed the Braves?
Can the Braves, or Phillies for that matter, hold up their level of play?
Who will win the NL East?
I want to thank all of you guys for reading my posts. Keep reading!
So, as a thank you, I'd like to show you this video of the Braves 1995 Title Run from Baseball: A Film By Ken Burns:
Thanks again guys. Hopefully the Braves can repeat this success in 2011!
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