November 19, 2017

Braves Finally Move on From Trying to Relive Glory Days

The Braves turn their organization over to a new general manager, Alex Anthopoulos, and finally turn from their past.  During Anthopoulos’ introductory press conference Monday afternoon at SunTrust Park, the only two Braves employees who spoke were Anthopoulos and CEO and chairman Terry McGuirk.  No John Schuerholz.  Bobby Cox wasn’t on the main stage but was sitting with the rest of the crowd.  No John Hart, as McGuirk announced Hart had moved from the President of Baseball Operations to an advisory role.

Monday was the day the Braves moved on from “The Braves Way” and into the modern era.  It took something drastic to finally force the Braves from out from under the influence, either directly or indirectly, from John Schuerholz and the legacy of 1991-2005.

We shouldn’t blame Schuerholz for wanting to get back to what he termed “The Braves Way.”  The Braves’ success in 1991-2005 was special.  But, the game has changed.  An organization needs to do things differently if it wants to succeed in 2017 and beyond.  But those who were running things in the 1990’s and early 2000’s were never going to be objective about turning the page without someone stepping in or something drastic happening.

Something drastic happened.  The Braves committed unprecedented rule-breaking on the amateur player market and got caught.  I can’t help but wonder if the pressure of trying to live up to Schuerholz’s “Braves Way” ultimately led to John Coppolella’s downfall and forced the Braves to rethink the presence and influence of the old guard.

Here’s an excerpt from a rather prescient blog post from gondeee at Chop County, right after the Braves promoted John Coppolella to GM:

I’m not quite as ecstatic as some around baseball and the Braves are about Coppy’s ascendancy to the GM’s chair. I wonder if some of the same factors that caused Wren’s relationship with many in the organization to turn sour will similarly affect Coppolella. I don’t dislike the move, but I’m hesitant to praise the move or to believe that he will be any better at his job than his predecessor was.

It seems that both Frank Wren and John Coppolella were never allowed to completely take the reigns.  Schuerholz and The Braves Way cast a shadow over the organization, and may have led to frustration and desperation from Wren and Coppolella.

Now, because of Coppolella’s aggression in procuring amateur talent, the silver lining is the organization seems ready to truly and completely hand the reigns over to Alex Anthopoulos and move on from the past.  It seems there will be one cook in the kitchen and not those trying to throw in ingredients from what worked in the past.



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