The subtext of today’s press conference was still thick with blame for the previous administration. Right or wrong, like it or not, that’s the way it is, and that “party line” seems to be the tone throughout the organization.
Here is the text of an email from a Braves Account Executive for season ticket holders. This was forwarded from a longtime reader who has had season tickets in the dugout level since 2008, and recently canceled them, prompting this response from the team:
This season has been a disappointing one to say the very least. Day in and day out, I have watched waiting for the light to turn back on with this team. Needless to say, it did not click. I do not doubt the young talent on this team, but I think the executive decision made with the release of Bruce Manno and Frank Wren was the first of many drastic changes you will see around this ball club during the offseason. I feel that Hart (and Bobby Cox) have backed Fredi Gonzalez in spite of this season because he has proven himself time and again. (He is the winningest manager in the National League since joining the Braves in October 2010!) I hope we can make some moves that you approve of (and that I approve of as well!).
We’ll see what changes on the field actually occur, but right now everyone is talking in circles trying not to offend the players that they obviously know they want to get rid of. Hart did this in today’s presser–saying that there were big problems and big changes are needed, but that the players are alright.
Pretty much Wren and Manno are being given all the blame. My chief complaint is that this is an oversimplification of the problems the team faced… on the field, at least. And that’s where the distinction needs to be made.
We can only infer what the issues might be, but Ian Morris at TalkingChop.com said it best the other day:
Wren’s firing may have been less of an indictment of his ability to make baseball decisions, but rather of his possibly difficult nature. As outsiders who don’t have access to the workings of the front office on a daily basis, we can’t know for certain, but this is a strong indication that Wren’s personality and/or demeanor may not have been the most pleasant.
Of course, we may also be able to infer that John Schuerholz never wanted to stop being GM back in 2007, and that he and Wren have had a constant struggle about the direction of the team since then.