The Atlanta Braves may have broken new ground for awkwardness with the way in which manager Fredi Gonzalez reportedly found out he was fired.   

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution‘s David O’Brien, Gonzalez became aware he was likely on the way out Monday after the team booked him on a flight back to Atlanta even though the Braves’ current road series against the Pittsburgh Pirates doesn’t end until Thursday:

The Braves had already made the decision to fire him and booked his commercial flight home Tuesday, but didn’t plan to tell him he’d been fired until Tuesday morning, after president of baseball operations John Hart flew to Pittsburgh to join general manager John Coppolella.

Later Monday night after getting the email, Gonzalez eventually had confirmed by Braves top officials what he already was certain about by then: He was fired.’s Travis Haney was disappointed with the way the Braves handled Gonzalez’s dismissal:

The Wall Street Journal‘s Jared Diamond might have found the explanation for the situation:

Gonzalez doesn’t deserve all of the blame for Atlanta’s MLB-worst 9-28 start. The front office has traded away almost all of the team’s best players in an effort to build for the future.

Still, Gonzalez dug his own grave to a certain extent. Questions over his tactical nous go back to at least 2012, when FanGraphs’ Jason Roberts criticized his handling of the bullpen and starting lineup. Gonzalez also failed to get the best out of the Braves teams that were positioned to be title contenders from 2011 to 2013.

Atlanta isn’t in the wrong if it wants to hire a manager who is more of a long-term option to help develop the team in the coming years. Essentially letting Gonzalez know he was fired by moving his flight schedule around doesn’t reflect well on the powers that be in the Braves’ front office, though.

The team announced Tuesday that Brian Snitker, who was managing the Triple-A Gwinnett Braves, will replace Gonzalez on an interim basis.

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