A Call for Action: Is Atlanta Braves GM Frank Wren the Problem?
Frank Wren is preaching patience…but is anyone listening?
So, in effect, he’s batting .000 as general manager.
That number looks comparable to the number of wins the Braves have mustered in the past eight days…a bunch of zeroes.
Maybe that’s why Wren has some sympathy for his punchless offense and underachieving team that now has the second-worst record in baseball—a far cry from the preseason playoff predictions many had for this club.
Wren offers this analogy to Jeff Schultz of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution : The Braves have only completed one-eighth of the season. He contends that if this were football, the Braves losing streak would be equivalent to the Falcons dropping two in a row.
Wren argues the Braves have the luxury of time.
Truth is, however, they don’t.
While every team suffers through slumps and hitting droughts over the course of the year, the difference is this Braves team as it is constructed has crippling issues that need to be addressed now by their general manager.
This is a call of action to Frank Wren.
But, instead, Wren has turned a deaf ear and a blind eye to the Braves’ woes.
As Schultz pointed out in his article, unlike Wren, his predecessor John Schuerholz earned his team, city, and entire fan base’s unwavering confidence and support.
Schuerholz never panicked, but he also knew when his team needed fixing.
Oh, and he also built winners.
While Wren has yet to lead Atlanta to the promised land, Schuerholz was the brilliant constructor of 14 consecutive division championship squads.
Those are the kind of results that elicit patience.
In contrast, Wren continues to ignore the glaring hole in the leadoff spot and the lack of production from first base and the outfield.
These are the same issues he chose to ignore in the offseason.
That being said, what warrants giving Wren the benefit of the doubt?
In the last eight games, the Braves have scored 13 runs, and have been shut out three times.
Wren contests he has the payroll flexibility to make a move, but isn’t looking to do so now. He claims general managers start assessing the construction of their team around the “quarter poll.”
He targets mid-May as the time that GMs begin to get a sense of where their club is, and June 1 as the time when decisions start getting made.
The Braves are 8-13 and mired in an eight-game losing streak that stands as the team’s longest since 2006.
If that doesn’t signal the need for immediate action, I don’t know what does.
For Wren’s sake, come June 1, let’s hope his patience was truly a virtue.
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Photo by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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