By DAN MATHEWS
680 THE FAN, ATLANTA – Atlanta general managers… Be Alex Anthopoulos.
This is in the same line of thinking, where Bruce Lee famously said “be water.” In regards to Anthopoulos, he’s calculated and emotionless. The first part is much easier to accomplish over the other one. Yes, fans would have been made if Marcell Ozuna had decided to move on elsewhere. But, it wouldn’t have been on Anthopoulos.
This weekend’s news told me that Anthopoulos is willing to go the distance with money and years for a player if the value matches with the move. In terms of Ozuna, it does. Also, I think Anthopoulos realized that the possible revolving door for middle of the order bats needs to end. You cannot win a World Series, with 3-4-5 hole hitters being cycled out on one year deals.
The emotionless part, is that I would have believed Anthopoulos’ possible explanation for not being able to keep Ozuna. That would have been a constraint by Liberty Media and not on him. That’s a matter of business and not impulse. As a fan, I want that out of my personnel executive.
The calculated part, is that Anthopoulos is consistent in how he conducts his business. He doesn’t deal in the world of rumors or opinions effecting his job performance. The fact that he told ‘Cellini and Dimino’ that he keeps his inner circle small, is another great thing to know about him. It will always be the news that you least expect. Prime example, is the Friday night announcement of Ozuna.
I feel like there have been moves made by a team like the Falcons, for the wrong reasons. Example, Steven Jackson and Osi Umenyiora in 2013. Donte Fowler this year wasn’t the greatest move either. But, there’s still time for that one to work out. It seems like moves like these are made with the thought that the fans would be on board and ‘we’re just a couple of players away.’
The Braves can make “the move” for a top-tier player now, with the belief that it is part of what they need to overtake the Los Angeles Dodgers and win the National League. That is the only thing I would remotely say Anthopoulos hasn’t delivered on just yet. Fans are kind of past the point of hearing about the prospects on the farm like outfielder Drew Waters. Is he really untouchable? Also, is Austin Riley your third baseman for the long haul? If either of those are answered with ‘no,’ then they’re on the table for trades. This team needs another bat in the middle of the order to beat the Dodgers. If Anthopoulos agrees, then he’ll make the move. He is far and away the executive I trust the most in this town at the moment.