Braves’ Hart is open to mentoring GM role

Braves interim GM John Hart acknowledged he’s open to mentoring a young general manager. (AP photo)

Braves interim GM John Hart acknowledged he's open to mentoring a young general manager. (AP photo)

Braves interim GM John Hart is open to working with young general manager. (AP)

Since the moment the Braves fired general manager Frank Wren, there has been speculation that the team would elevate senior adviser John Hart to the role, if not on a permanent basis then at least as a mentor to young rising assistant. Hart has mostly been evasive or issued non-denial denials with his comments, other than to say he wouldn’t pursue the GM’s position on a long-term basis.

That changed a little Thursday.

Hart, the team’s interim general manager, acknowledged that he and team president John Schuerholz have had conversations about him taking the job on a short-term basis if a young GM is hired and that he is open to that possibility. But he would not say if that’s the most likely scenario on the table for the Braves, adding, “I’m not in a position where I’m ready to handicap how this thing goes.

“We’re going to put together a list of candidates, and I’m looking forward to having those (interviews). A month from now, there will be a little more meat on the bone and then I’ll be able to have a better conversation in terms of where this thing goes.”

Hart called Schuerholz “my best friend in the game.” It’s clear he could have the general manager’s job if he wanted it. But he has enjoyed life free of responsibility and time commitments in the past year as a Braves’ adviser and an analyst for the MLB Network.

“The difference now is when you step off the (television) set, you can put the problems that you’ve been discussing aside,” he said. “That’s part of the fun of it. It also makes for a tougher decision.”

The most speculated scenario has had the Braves either pursuing Kansas City general manager Dayton Moore, who began his career in Atlanta, or promoting assistant GM John Coppolella or hiring another young personnel expert for the top role after working under Hart for a year or two.

“There has been some conversation that if we were to hire a younger guy, I could mentor him in whatever capacity or role that could work,” Hart said. “If we did something with a more senior guy, I could simply morph back into the relative perfect world that I had. That’s still to be determined.

“Obviously, John Coppolella is a bright guy — young and inexperienced, but bright. There are a number of young guys in the baseball universe I would entertain talking to. John fits into that category.”

Hart reiterated that has had “a number of opportunities to jump back” into baseball since his time in Cleveland (1989-2000) and Texas (2001-2013) but he has enjoyed his time with the Braves.

“It’s not often you have an opportunity to work side by side with someone you have a great deal of respect for,” he said, alluding to Schuerholz. “John has integrity and character and a love affair with the Atlanta Braves that he wears on his sleeve. I know the decisions of the past week has been painful for him. I feel a degree of obligation to John, and that’s not a painful obligation.

“We’ll see how things go. I don’t come over here seeking a job, and John knows that. This thing can still go a lot of different ways.”

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Reader Comments 0

28 comments
ballauthor
ballauthor

John Hart's dual role as MLB analyst and Braves interim GM is a huge conflict of interest. Pick one, John.

Braves324
Braves324

 Send bj upton and gattis to oakland for donaldson and shark? oakland would probably want a couple good prospects in addition to uptown and gattis and the braves would have to cover some of uptons contract but i would like to see a deal like this go down. it would allow us to send chris johnson off somewhere and get a bullpen piece? or maybe find that veteran leader we lacked this year/ another outfield piece. thoughts @jeffshultz?

BravesFanSince1961
BravesFanSince1961

Oakland does more with less.  Let's try their model instead of 'The Braves Way'.

John236
John236

Just what the Braves need a sabermetrics ninny and a manager that has trouble finding his way back to the dugout.

ButtermilkTuesdays007
ButtermilkTuesdays007

I don't see why they can't just hire Coppolella as the GM and have Hart mentor him from a "senior advisor" role. Oh, because hiring a young guy that is a supporter of sabremetrics would be a progressive and intelligent move on the Braves part. But we can't do that, can we? We gotta go with the good ole boy (a 66-year-old traditionalist in John Hart).

DavidinVirginia
DavidinVirginia

@ButtermilkTuesdays007 The idea with the Braves does seem to be to avoid doing anything remotely "progressive" or "intelligent" as far as running the team goes, yes.

RONMERIDIAN
RONMERIDIAN

It is obvious that Wren was calling the shots on major decisions the Fredi G was "supposed" to be making. Fredi was forced to play B.J. and Uggla when he was here. Fredi G may get a pass and manage 1 more season ala Cox. It will greatly depend on the next GM. I also think a majority of the current Braves roster will be traded. Gattis gone, B.J. Upton gone, J. Upton gone, Minor gone, Heyward possibly gone(depends on a contract), C.Johnson gone, Duomit, Laird, Pena, Santana, Beachy(FA's) gone. Of the current Braves to remain: Freeman, Simmons, Gosselin, La Stella, Bethancourt, Terdoslavich, Teheran,Woods, maybe Floyd, Harang,Medlen. I think will resign Bonafacio.

So next years roster:

1. New leadoff hitter( has to happen)

2. Gosselin. 3rd

3. Freeman 1st

4. New

5. New/maybe Heyward

6. New

7. Bethancourt C

8. Simmons. SS

Bench: New back up catcher, La Stella, Bonafacio, Cunningham, Peraza/Terdoslavich/Pastornicky???

Rotation: Teheran, Woods, Hale, Harang?, Floyd?, C.Martin/Schlosser/???

Bullpen: Kimbrel, Shreve, S. Simmons, Walden, J. Jaime, Medlen(limit innings), Varvaro/Carpenter/New???

khd713
khd713

@RONMERIDIAN You really don't know what you are talking about, but I can tell that enjoy acting like you do. If Fredi hasn't been calling the shots, as you say, then explain why BJ has been in lineup for both games since Wren was sent packing? 

ButtermilkTuesdays007
ButtermilkTuesdays007

@RONMERIDIAN "It is obvious that Wren was calling the shots on major decisions the Fredi G was "supposed" to be making."

Riiight. So I guess Wren made sure that Fredi used BJ Upton and Andrelton Simmons in the one and two spots of the order for most of the year? Don't be an idiot.

Archangel
Archangel

@RONMERIDIAN The problem is giving BJ a 75 million dollar contract, that was all Wren not Fredi. Fredi is the one who insists on playing him not Wren.

RONMERIDIAN
RONMERIDIAN

And I'm sure Fredi did play him because Wren insisted he do so

RONMERIDIAN
RONMERIDIAN

Cmon guys. You're going to pay someone 75 million and not play him?? Wake up and smell reality. Just like Uggla and others,the "stars" are going to get a majority of the playing time. I'm not saying Fredi G is a good manager but do think he was told to placate B.J. and to play him. As I said he will be here 1 more season depending on the new GM because Cox wants him.

RONMERIDIAN
RONMERIDIAN

Fredi tried many lineups and most didn't work. I think they need a new manager but Fredi G will probably get 1 more season because of Cox.

RONMERIDIAN
RONMERIDIAN

I know just as much as you do. We can all guess.

slydawg
slydawg

No it was just common sense. Salary and multiple years on the major league level. Dude isn't eligible to go down to the minors and work on his swing. There is no sport where a young veteran with a high salary just sits on the bench. Uggla never thought he should have been been benched. As a manager, you give the vets as many chances as it takes. Wren had little to do with it. Some because of the contract but he never forced Fredi's hand.

58Supersports
58Supersports

Still 1 big problem>>>>Fire Fredi and clean house!

Braves1945
Braves1945

I think there are more players in the mix other than the 3 man search committee looking at not only the next Braves GM, but the future of Fredie as well. There is an old saying about when the going gets tough, the tough get going. Anybody who follows the Braves knows that Fredie got played at bad hand, but he was unable to make the most of it. We all watched bad lineup cards submitted day after day and misuse of the bullpen. We are not alone. Liberty Media has put everyone at all levels of management in the Braves organization on the hot seat. I believe that with this in mind, Fredie is out, no matter what happens in the few remaining games. Bobby, or anybody else, can't hide this pathetic record of failure when the going gets tough.

Wilbo
Wilbo

@Braves1945 Why would Cox hide "hide this pathetic record of failure when the going gets tough" when he has the worst record of choking when the going gets tough in sports history? 


Bobby Cox lost 9 of the last 10 postseason series he managed.


Bobby Cox lost the last 8 consecutive World Series games he managed.


If that doesn't say it all, nothing does. And if the Braves having a man with that record of utterly disgusting postseason failure doesn't say it all, nothing does.

Wilbo
Wilbo

Braves sukk. People who write about them sukk. Hiring from within to continue the tradition of failure sukks even more.

Birdhair
Birdhair

The indecision just shows the vulnerability of schuerholz right now. Why can't they stick by what they said in the conference and conduct a slow and comprehensive search? The rumors about schuerholz offering the job to hart is disappointing. Get it together. Take your time and make the best decision, schuerholz. If at the end of the day hart is still the best candidate then hire him. I don't think he is and he doesn't think he is or he would have taken it.

slydawg
slydawg

The hiring of his apprentice Wren, who failed in Baltimore, and Fredi G., who failed in Miami /Florida and who was hired with no due diligence given to another candidate, tells you all you need to know about "the Braves way." It's the Shuerholtz way or you will not work here. That's why Hart won't commit to taking the job. He was a self made man and would want full control of this ship.

Ersatz
Ersatz

Mentoring is hard work, but luckily the 14-story Applebees in barvesworld is open late. They close at 8pm, but cobb taxpayers' wallets never close when the barves need their stadiums and babyback ribs paid for.

ATLBrown
ATLBrown

@Ersatz You're just like Fredi - you keep running that stupid joke out there.

Ersatz
Ersatz

Fredi is halfway done with his Buffalo wings and first beer. You better hurry before they run out.

HistoryofMatt
HistoryofMatt

 Is there no lengths that Cox & Schuerholz won't go to protect Fredo, one of the worst managers in the game today, from being honestly scrutinized by an outside voice?


Because I guarantee this is what this is all about.


JS & BC have to know that any established or strong-willed GM candidate will have looked at the TWO September collapses the last four years under Fredo, and would want him gone so as to pick a manager who isn't a complete moron.


I know Wren's gone, and he should be, but did Wren bat BJ in the 1 or 2 hole over 100 games this year?


Face it, as long as Schueholz and Cox are the ones running the show behind the scenes, this team will continue to be satisfied with mediocrity (remember, only ONE World Series ring in 15 tries... shameful), which is the true hallmark of the Barves Way. I'm sorry... the Braves Way.