The first time Braves general manager John Coppolella tried to connect with its fan base on another level came in January, when the team asked folks on Twitter to send in questions with the hashtag #AskCoppy.
This dangerous venture into the social media underworld led to several grenades, such as, “Do you have any clue what your (sic.) doing?” and “Why you hate us? Why?” and “Its cheaper to watch the G-Braves in their local stadium. Will you be raising prices there since it’s the same team quality?”
But I will give Coppolella credit for this. While the losses continue to mount during this rebuild — the Braves are 56-89, the second-worst record in the majors behind Minnesota (54-91) — he continues to put himself out there. He held another #AskCoppy session on Twitter on Tuesday. Among the questions were:
• “How does it feel to be GM of a team (that) can’t throw the ball back to the pitcher without hitting somebody in the (bleep)?”
• Do you feel like you should be fired if the Braves are not .500 or better in 2017?”
• “Are you a fan of yoga pants?”
• “Is Joe Flacco elite?”
Coppolella, however, did respond to some tough questions and a few of his answers were pretty revealing. I thought the most noteworthy of his responses was an acknowledgement that his young starting pitchers have not developed as quickly as he expected.
After Julio Teheran’s 3.01 earned run average, Braves starters with at least six starts are: Matt Wisler (23 starts, 5.00 ERA), Mike Foltynewicz (21, 4.41), Aaron Blair (12, 8.23; on the disabled list; pitching in Gwinnett), Williams Perez (11, 6.04), Joel De La Cruz (9, 5.02), Tyrell Jenkins (8, 6.20), John Gant (6, 4.40).
Here are some of Coppolella’s responses through the Braves’ Twitter account:
On his biggest mistake, the Hector Olivera trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers:
On his biggest disappointment this season — starting pitching, which is at the heart of this rebuild:
On front office gaffes like former manager Fredi Gonzalez receiving an email on his travel itinerary change before he was told he was fired.
On whether Matt Kemp is here to stay:
On saying publicly that Matt Kemp needed to get in better shape before next season:
On failed expectations this season:
In response to a jab/question on whether he and John Hart actually believe what they tell fans:
Another jab: Why should the front office be believed moving forward since it was wrong about this season?
So it may not help the Braves in the standings but at least their general manager is good on Twitter.
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