Saturday, July 21, 2018
Sports

On pace for 39 wins, Braves fire manager

ATLANTA — No matter the modest expectations, Braves management didn't expect a rebuilding year to produce the worst record in the majors.

So with the team bottoming out, the Braves on Tuesday fired manager Fredi Gonzalez.

"It was wearing on him, how we were playing and what was going on," director of baseball operations John Hart said. "We just thought this was the right thing to do."

Atlanta went into Tuesday with baseball's worst record at 9-28 (on pace for 39 wins) and already was 13½ games out of first place in the NL East, so it sent Gonzalez packing in his sixth season.

Brian Snitker, who has been manager of the Braves' Triple-A Gwinnett team, will move up as interim manager. Snitker was Atlanta's third-base coach from 2006-13, also following Gonzalez in that role when Gonzalez was named manager of the Marlins.

Snitker also had two stints with Atlanta as the bullpen coach in 1985 and from 1988-90.

The Braves also fired bench coach Carlos Tosca. Gwinnett pitching coach Marty Reed joined the club as bullpen coach. Terry Pendleton will move from first-base coach to bench coach, and Eddie Perez will move from bullpen coach to first-base coach.

Gonzalez, 52, replaced Hall of Fame manager Bobby Cox, who retired after the 2010 season. Gonzalez was the only Latino manager in the majors, and he is the first Braves manager to be fired since Russ Nixon in 1990.

The Braves won the NL East in 2013 but fell to 79-83 the next season.

BRAWL SUSPENSIONS: Rangers 2B Rougned Odor was suspended for eight games and Blue Jays RF Jose Bautista for one for their part in Sunday's brawl in Texas. Toronto RHP Jesse Chavez and manager John Gibbons were suspended for three games each by Major League Baseball and Texas SS Elvis Andrus and Blue Jays first-base coach Tim Leiper for one. Odor and Bautista appealed, and Bautista was in the lineup Tuesday night against the Rays.

CUBS: RH reliever Joe Nathan, a six-time All-Star recovering from Tommy John surgery, agreed to a one-year contract.

METS: 3B David Wright was scratched with a flareup of his spine issue, and 1B Lucas Duda was out of the lineup because of a sore back.

PIRATES: C Francisco Cervelli, 30, agreed to a $31 million, three-year contract that runs from 2017-19.

RANGERS: RHP Yu Darvish, who is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, pitched five innings for Double-A Frisco and is on track to make his season debut May 27.

TIGERS: Manager Brad Ausmus received a one-game suspension and an undisclosed fine for his actions in Monday's game.

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