As the Atlanta Braves are mired in one of the franchises’ worst ever starts, the club fired Fredi Gonzalez its manager on Tuesday.
The Braves on Monday lost to Pittsburgh to see their record fall to 9-28, the worst in the majors. The club has not won two straight games over a 24-game stretch that saw them go 5-19, where they averaged a paltry 2.7 runs per games.
Over the stretch of 24 games, the Braves hit just 8 homers, with 2 of them coming in Monday’s loss. Four players in the majors have hit more home runs thus far during the season that Atlanta has as a team. Atlanta’s home run total now sits at 11.
Brian Snitker, who was managing Gwinnett the Triple-A farm team for Atlanta, is replacing Gonzalez as an interim manager for the Braves through the end of this season, said Braves officials.
Between 2006 and 2013, Snitker was the third base coach for the Braves. He also was the bullpen coach for the Braves on two occasions.
A source close to the team, who asked to remain anonymous, said that Gonzalez had learned of his likely firing about an hour after the game on Monday night.
He received a notice from an automated email that an airline sent him confirming his flight on Tuesday to Atlanta from Pittsburgh, even though Atlanta was scheduled to play Pittsburgh in an ongoing series through Thursday.
After he received that email, Gonzalez confirmed the firing with officials from the Braves the same night, said the source.
However, John Coppolella the general manager of the Braves and John Hart the baseball operations president planned to inform him on Tuesday morning.
Gonzalez told reporters that there was no perfect time to fire someone. He added that the club felt the time had been right and therefore fired him.
Gonzalez praised his team for playing hard the whole time over the first 37 games of the season. He criticized questions that were asked of his players by reporters about their manager as well.
Gonzalez said he would be fine. He added that he had been in touch with a number of people in baseball, but he plans on taking a few weeks or even a month off to enjoy the weather on his motorcycle prior to it getting very hot.
Gonzalez, who is 52, was the Miami Marlines manager between 2007 and 2010. In 2011, he was given the manager’s job at Atlanta after Bobby Cox the Hall of Fame manager retired.