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:

University Of Mobile Defeats Dalton State Soccer

The (RV) University of Mobile Rams came to Dalton and knocked off the young (19) Dalton State Roadrunners, 1-0.  The fans were still filing into Lakeshore Park Thursday night when the University of Mobile’s Pierre Mangold kicked the only goal of the game with only 48 seconds played. “We were not ready to play the match,” said Dalton State Coach Kerem Daser. "It’s ... (click for more)

PHOTOS: Silverdale Defeats Grace For District 5-1A Crown

Chattanooga Putting World Class Guitar Collection On Display At The Choo Choo

A world class guitar collection is set to go on display permanently at the Chattanooga Choo Choo. "Songbirds," which is built around the collection of Lookout Mountain businessman Thorpe McKenzie, was introduced to the public on Thursday night. Invited guests at the Choo Choo heard Nashville guitar star Doyle Dykes perform in the Choo Choo's new Revelry Room. He played some ... (click for more)

Father Killed By Train Just After Pushing Daughter To Safety In East Brainerd

A 31-year-old man was killed just after he pushed his 10-year-old daughter to safety in an encounter with a train on a trestle in East Brainerd on Thursday afternoon. Police said two pedestrians were walking on the train tracks on a trestle at Audubon Acres when a train came around a bend and struck one of them. Justin McCary was struck by the train as he pushed ... (click for more)

Regulations As A Whole On Signal Mountain

A few years ago I was flying over Chattanooga on my way to Atlanta.  The sun had just come up and I enjoyed picking out Signal Mountain’s location, on Walden’s Ridge, in the morning light.  What was amazing was that I could not tell that a town existed under the tree canopy.  I hope that the same can be said 10, 20, or even 50 years from now.  During last ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: We Must Learn To Tell

On July 4th of this year, FBI agents – acting on a tip -- arrested Alexander Ciccolo, a 23-year-old with known mental problems, as he carried a duffel bag full of automatic-attack weapons. Moments before, he had bought the illegal firearms from an undercover informant outside of Boston. As agents later scoured his apartment, they found bomb-making equipment including a pressure ... (click for more)