You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks


Welcome to

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on

Fired as Braves manager in May, Fredi returns as Marlins’ third-base coach

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – On Saturday at Champion Stadium, Fredi Gonzalez was back on the same field with the Braves for the first time since the team fired him in May after its majors-worst 9-28 start, and it didn’t seem as odd or uncomfortable as he thought it might.

This time he wore the rather unappealing black and orange jersey of the Florida Marlins, who now employ him as third-base coach. And within seconds of emerging from the visitor’s dugout, Gonzalez was exchanging hugs and handshakes, first with fans who called him over and then with uniformed Braves — players, coaches and manager Brian Snitker, who chatted with Gonzalez behind the cage during batting practice.

“It’s a little awkward, but you know what, we left it on such great terms with everybody,” said Gonzalez, 53, who was fired in the second month of his sixth season as Braves manager. “I’m so happy for Snit and wish him a lot of success. He’s a guy that’s been a long-time minor league manager and coach, coach in the big leagues, what, 40 years in the organization? So I’m really happy for him. We talk all the time.”

After living in Atlanta for 15 years and raising his children there, Gonzalez is now remarried — the wedding was Jan. 28 — and bought a house in Phoenixville, Pa., about 30 minutes from Philadelphia. He’s helping his new wife, Tricia, raise her 17-year-old daughter. During baseball season, he’s back in his hometown of Miami and will get to spend plenty of time with his parents, who’ve lived there since defecting from Cuba when Gonzalez was a child.

He’s back coaching for the Marlins team and owner (Jeffrey Loria) who hired him in first major league managerial position, then fired him 3 1/2 seasons later in June 2010.

“I’m enjoying being near mom and dad, and my brother and sister are down there,” Gonzalez said. “Get a chance to spend a little time with (his parents), they’re getting a little up there in age. So it’s fun, it really is.”

Gonzalez has a 710-692 record in 10 seasons as a major league manager — 434-413 with the Braves and 276-279 with the Marlins.

For the first time in more than a decade, he’s enjoying a spring training without the pressures and time demands of being the manager. Don Mattingly is Miami’s manager.

“The only guy (with the Marlins) that was there when I was there was (slugger Giancarlo) Stanton, and I only had him for three or four days before I got let go (by the Marlins in 2010),” Gonzalez said. “(Martin) Prado is there. But you know what, Donnie has made me feel really comfortable.”

Gonzalez said he’s relished the opportunity to coach again, to instruct players on a daily basis.

“I’ve got some responsibilities,” he said. “The most fun I’ve had, I’ve had fun coaching (again). It sounds kind of funny when you say that, but as manager you don’t coach. So I’ve had fun coaching, helping out with the catchers a little, do a little bit of the base running, a little bit of the pitchers bunting, that kind of stuff. That’s been really fun to do that, to get back into that swing of things.”

Snitker, 61, was promoted from Triple-A manager to serve as interim manager after Gonzalez was fired. The Braves responded so well and finished the season so impressively under Snitker — they were 50-47 in their last 97 games and won 20 of the final 30 — that he was hired on a full-time basis, getting the job over veteran managerial candidates Bud Black and Ron Washington.

“I’m glad that they did that, they did the right thing,” Snitker said. “I wish they had given him a five-year contract instead of (one year plus an option). But it really is good to see him be a big-league manager and be successful.”

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Atlanta Braves

Brandon Phillips leaves game with injury
Brandon Phillips leaves game with injury

NEW YORK – Hot-hitting Braves second baseman Brandon Phillips left Wednesday night’s game against the Mets with a left groin strain, but manager Brian Snitker said the injury wasn’t believed to be serious. Phillips was hurt while sliding at second base on a stole-base attempt in the Braves’ five-run first inning. He played the...
Freeman: Phillips in 2-hole good, Dansby will be fine
Freeman: Phillips in 2-hole good, Dansby will be fine

NEW YORK – Brandon Phillips was in the second spot in the Braves lineup ahead of slugger Freddie Freeman for the second consecutive game Wednesday, while rookie Dansby Swanson was in the eighth position for the third time in a row since being dropped from the 2-hole after his early season slump. As Freeman saw it, having hot-hitting veteran Phillips...
Dickey vs. Syndergaard matchup focuses attention on 2012 trade
Dickey vs. Syndergaard matchup focuses attention on 2012 trade

NEW YORK – R.A. Dickey was greeted warmly by Mets fans when the Braves played at Citi Field on opening day, and why wouldn’t he be? Dickey won the Cy Young Award after a 20-win season with the Mets in 2012, then was the centerpiece of a trade to the Blue Jays that brought a pitching prospect named Noah Syndergaard to the Mets along with...
LEADOFF: Are Braves as bad as the power rankings say?
LEADOFF: Are Braves as bad as the power rankings say?

Three sets of “power rankings” this week deem the Braves the worst team in the major leagues, at least for the moment. The latest weekly rankings by Sports Illustrated, USA Today and Fox Sports peg the Braves No. 30 out of the 30 MLB teams. Meanwhile, and Bleacher Report have the Braves No. 28 and No. 29...
Snitker on Braves’ 6-12 start: No need to blow it up
Snitker on Braves’ 6-12 start: No need to blow it up

NEW YORK – After being swept at Philadelphia and having an off day Monday in New York, the Braves had even more time to think about the disappointing 6-12 start to their season when their Tuesday night series opener against the Mets got rained out. But it wasn’t as if any of them was panicking or thinking about jumping off the Triborough...
More Stories