Atlanta Braves manager, Fredi Gonzalez, sent out a message to a couple players this week. Gonzalez was miffed that utility infielder Tyler Pastornicky, and outfielder Jordan Schafer, were not at spring camp early.
Both Pastornicky, and Schafer, live in Florida, so Gonzalez couldn’t understand why they hadn’t arrived in camp by Wednesday, even though Thursday was the report day. Arriving early to camp has become the way of pro sports, nowadays. Being there on time is considered late.
Gonzalez had some thoughts he shared with the media about Pastornicky not being in camp early.
“I think Pastornicky is going to hold out again this year,” Gonzalez said. “I want to see what his excuse is.”
Gonzalez became even more sarcastic when he talked about Schafer.
“Schafer is probably having a tough time with his travel,” Gonzalez said on braves.com. “He’s another one I’m going to grab. He only lives two exits up the road and I haven’t seen him yet. But maybe he has a five-year deal with [general manager] Frank [Wren] that guarantees he will play center. Frank hasn’t told me that Schafer has signed for five years and is guaranteed to get one of the three outfield spots.”
Gonzalez has not made it a practice to call players out in the media so this is a change from his usual ways. Could the leadership vacuum created by not having Chipper, Prado and Ross in the locker room, be the reason that Fredi is stepping up, and being more assertive with his players?
Or is Fredi trying a different tact this season, and seeing if he can get more out of his team with the whip, rather than pats on the back? Could this be what the team needs?
What do you think?