As the team continues playing out the string, here’s an interesting nugget from Bowman:
While a majority of the Braves’ players seem to get along with Gonzalez, some have questioned his lineup construction and strategic moves. Though this is likely the case in most Major League clubhouses, there is at least some reason to wonder if the clubhouse culture is different next year, when the Braves are under the direction of a new general manager.
I’m not convinced Fredi will be back. I’m also not convinced that a new GM will affect the culture as much as a new manager would. I suppose if a new GM changes the roster enough it would alter the vibe in the clubhouse. I don’t have a prescription for the Braves’ ills. Obviously we need to dump BK and ideally make other moves to add two or three hitters who make contact and get on base more than 29 percent of the time.
Off the field, I do have specific recommendations. Shake up the broadcasting and pre-game show crew. I love Lemmer as a Brave, but as a studio or in-game analyst….I’d prefer silence. I heard Lemmer tell a funny story a year or two back about his only inside-the-park homer: a minor league outfielder ran into a light post and was knocked cold, allowing Lemke to circle the bases. That’s about the only interesting thing he’s ever said on the radio. Boot Powell. The guy knows and loves the game, but as we’ve said numerous time, he’s a corporate yes man.
I hate to say this, but lose Glavine. I love Tommy G. He’s among my all-time favorite Braves. He’s franchise icon. But he’s dull in the booth.
Ben Ingram offers little. Ditto Kevin McAlpin, the guy from 680 the Fan, and Buck Belue. They’re probably all nice guys, but let’s hear something remotely interesting once a week or so.
Sutton’s done. He and Powell enable each other’s worst habits.
Give us more Smoltzie. Put Brian Jordan in the booth. If Chipper doesn’t want to be the hitting coach, ask him to do color on some games. I heard more insight from him in a 10-minute radio interview yesterday than I’ve heard from Lemke in the past three years. (Again, sorry Lemmer. I really do treasure what you did for our beloved Bravos.)
Moving on. Tonight’s lineup: Gosselin 6, Pena, 4, Freeman, Justin, J-Hey, Bethancourt, Johnson, BK (who is closing in on the top 100 all-time in strikeouts He’s 103rd, one behind Ron Santo and six behind Rafael Palmeiro), and Santana.