I've posted a long Q&A that I did with Braves president of baseball operations John Hart on MyAJC.com. Near the end of it, I felt compelled to ask him about manager Fredi Gonzalez, given that his job status always seems to be a popular topic with readers.
I recently wrote about Gonzalez in a column you can find linked here, where he praised the openness and support of the front office: "In nine years of managing, this is the best situation I’ve worked in. It’s been a really good place to come to work. It’s been great. It’s been the ultimate.”
Here's part of the exchange I had with Hart on the subject of Gonzalez, which can be found in the Q&A:
UPDATE: I've recast this to include entire section of Q&A on Gonzalez
Q: How has Fredi Gonzalez dealt with the personnel changes?
A: When we got together over the winter I told him: “You’re going to be a part of what we do here, as far as acquiring players, making deals and understanding the dynamic.” We made moves that Fredi knew were going to hurt him but he never complained. He said, “Whatever’s good for the organization.” I know I haven’t given him all the weapons he needs. His handling of the bullpen – I look up and think, “Well, how could anybody (handle this group)?” He’s a winning man, he loves and cares about the Braves and he’s done a superior job. I was candid with Fredi: “I know you’re in your last year (of a contract). We’re making a run-through here and we’ll make the call when it’s appropriate.” But Fredi is always ready to help figure out the solution to a problem.
Q: Will that be a tough call at the end of the year?
A: I don’t think so.
Q: As in, he’ll be brought back?
A: I don’t want to go there. There’s timing. But Fredi’s been really good. He’s been good to work with and he’s done a good job with his staff. And this club may fall apart but I know if it happens it’s not going to be because Fredi forgot how to manage.
Draw your own conclusions.