Originally written on Baseball Prospectus  |  Last updated 4/9/12

Today in unnecessary baseball quotes: 

Also Saturday, Atlanta Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez stood up for [Stan Van Gundy].

"I think the owner has to step up and sign Stan for a couple years more, unless [Dwight Howard] wants to take a pay cut and be the head coach," Gonzalez said before Saturday's game against the New York Mets.

Those two paragraphs are buried at the end of a 500-word news story concerning the basketball feud between Stan Van Gundy and his superstar big man Dwight Howard. Why is Gonzalez involved? It might be because Gonzalez and Van Gundy are close friends, and have been for a while. In fact, Van Gundy went to bat for Gonzalez after he benched Hanley Ramirez:

"Look I saw the play, he was perfectly justified in what he did and if he doesn't do something in that situation, the other 24 guys are looking around going what the hell's going on."

As for Gonzalez's feelings on the Howard-Van Gundy situation, he took it a step further when speaking with the Atlanta press:

“I know what I would have said if he’d have walked into my office if I was the owner: ‘Get your a** back on the court and play. We’ll let the guys coach; you play.”

So ends this edition of random baseball involvement in the dramas of other sports. Next time, the Orlando Sentinel will find out if Van Gundy approves of Gonzalez opting to bench Jason Heyward in favor of Jose Constanza last season. 

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