Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez named finalist for NL Manager of the Year


Oct 4, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez (33) makes a pitching changes against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the seventh inning of game two of the National League divisional series playoff baseball game at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

For all of the negativity surrounding Atlanta Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez and his playoff woes, the whole of Major League Baseball has recognized him for a quality effort during the 2013 season.

Gonzalez’s selection as a finalist for the National League Manager of the Year award isn’t really a surprise, as he guided the team to a 96-66 record (and the team’s first division title since 2005) despite a bevy of injuries and the collapse of both BJ Upton and Dan Uggla. There is no denying (at least in my mind) that there still tactical issues with Gonzalez, but he has also visibly improved from where he began with the Braves, and it would be easy for outsiders who don’t follow each and every decision to recognize his work.

Fredi is joined by Dodgers manager Don Mattingly (who was nearly fired mid-season, mind you) and Pirates manager Clint Hurdle as finalists, and it doesn’t seem like Gonzalez is anywhere near the favorite to win the honor. However, I won’t argue against him being deserving, simply on account of a quick look around the National League for more qualified candidates.

Can you find any?