Braves Exercise 2014 Option For Manager Fredi Gonzalez

Thursday, December 6, 2012
Fredi Gonzalez
Fredi Gonzalez
- photo by Tim Evearitt

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Braves announced on Wednesday at the Winter Meetings that they have exercised Gonzalez's contract option for the 2014 season. This provides the 48-year-old manager a vote of confidence and a chance to prepare for this upcoming season with a little more certainty about his future.

Gonzalez's tenure as the Braves' manager began in disappointing fashion as Atlanta blew the 9 1/2-game Wild Card lead it carried into September of the 2011 season.

But Gonzalez showed his leadership skills and silenced some of his critics this year as the Braves distanced themselves from this disastrous finish and completed a 94-win season, the club's highest win total since 2004. The team's journey into the postseason proved short as it lost a one-game Wild Card playoff against the Cardinals.

As Gonzalez looks toward the 2014 season, he is tasked with the responsibility of guiding Atlanta through the early stages of the post-Chipper Jones era.

With Jones retired and both David Ross and Eric Hinske playing elsewhere, the Braves will gain some new leaders next year. Tim Hudson has capably filled this role over the past few years and Dan Uggla is certainly capable of assuming more of a leadership role as he prepares for his third season in Atlanta.

And there is also certainly a chance that some of the leadership will be assumed by Martin Prado, who has spent the past few years establishing himself as one of the most respected members of Atlanta's clubhouse.

While the Braves are still exploring the possibility of acquiring a leadoff hitter, Gonzalez admits that he has spent the past week debating how to position his lineup with the recently signed outfielder B.J. Upton, who has the potential to provide both speed and power.

Instead of targeting Upton, Uggla, Jason Heyward, Freddie Freeman and Brian McCann for specific spots in his lineup, Gonzalez said he is looking forward to putting together a lineup that includes this kind of power potential.

As Gonzalez looks at a potentially deep lineup and what appears to be a solid pitching staff, he is optimistic that the Braves can build upon this past season's success and return to the postseason.

--- Source: MLB.com


Lee Competes In Tennessee Rust Buster Track Meet

The Lee University Track & Field teams finished their weekend with a trip to the University of Tennessee Rust Buster at Tom Black Track. The two squads combined to reach two new provisional marks and improve upon another. Adrian Martin met the provisional standard in the 200-meter dash with a fifth-place time of 24.24. The time to beat was 24.53. She also placed sixth (12.00) ... (click for more)

UTC Softball Falls To Mercer Bears 9-2

 The Chattanooga Mocs softball team couldn't tame the Mercer bats in a rubber match of a three-game series during  the opening weekend of Southern Conference play, falling to the Bears 9-2 on Sunday. With the loss, the Mocs fall to 10-22 overall and 1-2 in the SoCon. Mercer improves to 16-20, 2-1 in conference action. The Bears started the scoring in the bottom ... (click for more)

1 Person Killed In 3-Car Accident In Dalton On Saturday

There was a fatal three-vehicle crash on the South Bypass in Dalton just south of Sawgrass Drive  on Saturday  at approximately  4:30 pm . The crash happened when the driver of a black Ford Mustang traveling southbound on the bypass for some reason left its lane of travel and crossed over the center line and hit a 2004 Chevy Silverado truck head on. ... (click for more)

Car Crashes Into Motel 6 In Dalton; Driver, 17, Admits To Texting While Driving

The Dalton Police Department and Dalton Fire Department responded Saturday morning to a crash at the Motel 6 at Highway 41 and Tibbs Road. The driver of the 2005 Pontiac Grand Prix involved left the roadway and crashed into the Motel 6 building causing severe damage to one of the rooms. There were no major injuries. Investigators believe texting while driving was a contributing ... (click for more)

Slaxxon Regret - And Response

Back in the seventies my three oldest brothers had a buddy named Steve Slack. “Slack” was a star soccer player at Baylor and he grew up on Lookout Mountain, which is where I grew up. He and Jimmy, Henry and Bill went to the University of Virginia where they were roommates in an old, beat up house that was painted pink. Naturally, the place became known as the “Pink Palace” but lest ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘Ballooniac’ Fined $25K

The Calgary Stampede is one of the biggest events in Canada and every year it draws well over 1.5 million people to one of the most beautiful places in the world. It started in 1912 as a big rodeo event and today it lasts 10 straight days. A highlight is the chuck-wagon races, where $4 million of advertisements are sold on the wagon’s canvas covers and there are pancake breakfasts ... (click for more)