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Friday, October 15, 2010
Did Fredi Gonzalez deserve his anointing?

Mark Bradley is skeptical about Fredi Gonzalez:
The Marlins didn't exactly leap into contention after Gonzalez was fired. At the time they were 34-36; under new manager Edwin Rodriguez, they went 46-46. In Gonzalez's (nearly) three-and-a-half seasons managing the Marlins, they won (nearly) half their games. Which seems pretty good, considering the club's payroll throughout those years.

Which is neither here nor there. Maybe the Marlins would have played a little worse without him; maybe they would have played a little better. I just want to suggest that the Braves' familiarity with Gonzalez might be a plus rather than a minus.

No, I'm not a big fan of "legacy" picks. Teams get in trouble all the time by picking someone they're supposed to pick, because of his name or his history. Call it nepotism or cronyism or nostalgia, but it's rarely a good thing.

This isn't that, though. Fredi Gonzalez never played for the Braves. He played for the Yankees. Actually, he played for the Yankees in their farm system, never reaching Triple-A. A long time ago. Gonzalez did coach for the Braves. He was their third-base coach from 2003 through 2006, during which time management presumably became quite acquainted with him ... but certainly were not beholden to him.

Management presumably does believe that he's a good fit as manager ... and that's a bad thing how, exactly? The Braves' Way of Doing Things seems to have served the organization fairly well for quite some time. No, that Way doesn't seem to include a great deal of statistical analysis ... But Gonzalez has been known to keep an open mind, and I can personally report that he attended the SABR Convention in Atlanta this summer.

Nobody can know how Gonzalez will fare in Atlanta. But I don't see any good reason to quibble with his hiring.