Grading the General Managers: John Alevizos (March-Sept. 1976)

Eddie Robinson’s replacement didn’t even want the Braves in Atlanta. John Alevizos led a group from Toronto that tried to buy the local nine and move them to Canada. They outbid Ted but Bill Bartholomay felt the franchise owed Atlanta more than 10 years and accepted the smaller offer. According to former Braves marketing whiz Bob Hope, Alevizos was given the GM’s job as a consolation prize. His baseball experience was limited to the business size, and in his brief time on the job he demonstrated little feel for talent.

His made two major trades. Each were major bursts. The first: Darrell Evans and Marty Perez to the Giants for Willie Montanez, Craig Robinson and a couple of nobodies: Mike Eden and Jake Brown. Evans would hit 272 homers after leaving Atlanta. Montanez had a solid season-and-a-half but was traded as part of a four-team mega-deal in December ’77 that netted the Braves Tommy Boggs, Adrian Devine and Easy Eddie Miller.

And why reacquire Robinson, who hit .230 and committed 29 errors for the ’74 Braves. He collected 10 hits in his second tenure here.

In June, Alevizos traded Elias Sosa and Lee Lacy to the Dodgers for Mike Marshall, violating the baseball axiom against picking up screwballers who threw more than 200 innings in one season out of the ‘pen.

Marshall clashed with manager Dave Bristol from the beginning and within a year he was gone. This incident, during the club’s 17-game losing streak in 1977, probably sealed it:

During one loss, Marshall was pulled out of the game by Bristol. Marshall responded by bowling the baseball toward second base and then he threw a bat from out of the dugout onto the field. He did not show up the next day. “Dave just has different philosophies from mine,” Marshall said. “That’s fine, he’s the boss. … But I have things to do other than sit on the bench and watch baseball games.”

In the three seasons after he left Atlanta, Sosa posted ERA’s of 1.98, 2.64 and 1.96. Lee Lacy was never a star, but the lifetime .286 hitter remained a productive outfielder until 1986.

Marshall’s tenure was short-lived but he at least outlasted Alevizos, gone before the season ended.

Grade: F

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One comment

  1. The 29 errors are misleading. The Falcons also used “the launching pad” and the field was pretty awful at all times. Craig Robinson was a much better fielder than the errors indicate, but so was Marty Perez. The batting average and general hitting ability of Marty went up for several consecutive years, and Craig could not hit. Period. According to Marty, Craig was awarded the job from the beginning of 1974, having done nothing to earn it. Sadly, Hall of Famer Eddie Matthews was not getting it done as a manager with moves like that. By his own admission, Eddie’s drinking problem at the time wasn’t helping things. The Braves were 50-49 or so under Eddie, and were 38-25 under Clyde King. Marty got back into the every day line up at second base when Davey Johnson moved to first. I believe that Mike Lum’s injury may have prompted these moves.

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