Fredi changes course, calls team meeting

Fredi changes course, calls team meeting

Fredi changes course, calls team meeting
ATLANTA -- Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said Monday afternoon that he had no intentions of calling together a team meeting, despite his club coming off a season-worst 2-6 road trip.

But after watching the Braves squander several chances in a loss to the Marlins later that night, Gonzalez decided it was indeed time to address his club.

"Not much needed to be said," third baseman Chipper Jones said. "I think everybody kind of knew what was going to come out, but it always helps. I think whenever you get into a group setting, it's almost like therapy."

Jones said that the overall message of the meeting was attention to detail. That's something Atlanta has struggled with of late, particularly in Monday's 5-4, 12-inning loss to Florida. A misplayed ball on a popup helped the Marlins bring home two runs runs, while the Braves' offense struggled by going 3-for-20 with runners in scoring position.

"I think the tone of it was we're in a good spot, but we're not playing the consistent nine-inning kind of baseball that we all expect to," Jones said. "It's a pitch here, it's an at-bat there, it's a play here, it's whatever. We need to get that mojo back."

The Braves are hoping this meeting -- which was led in part by Jones and catcher David Ross -- will have the same effect the last two have had. Gonzalez called a meeting on June 5 after a loss to the Mets and watched his club respond by winning the next six games. On Sept. 17 of last season, the club called a players-only meeting before going on to clinch the NL Wild Card spot on the final day of the regular season.

"Wins are the only thing that keep the meeting doctor away," Jones said. "The bottom line is we haven't been winning. I think it was the perfect time to do it. The guys are focused on coming out and winning tonight. I think one win will cure a lot of people's angst, so to speak."

Wins have been few and far between lately for Atlanta. The Braves entered Tuesday night in the midst of a season-high four-game losing streak and have lost nine of their past 12 games. Because of that, their lead in the Wild Card race has shrunken by four games since the start of September.

"One win hopefully creates some confidence and brings another win tomorrow," Jones said. "And then all of the sudden, we're talking about what our magic number is to clinch the Wild Card and how many days off at the end of the season we're going to be able to get before we start playing for real."