Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 12/5/12
Two seasons and two second-place finishes in the National League East were enough to convince the Atlanta Braves that they want manager Fredi Gonzalez around long-term. The Braves picked up Gonzalez's contract option for 2014, the team announced Wednesday at the winter meetings. "I think he did a terrific job of leading us to the playoffs in 2012," Braves general manager Frank Wren told reporters in Nashville. "We feel his leadership is very helpful for our ballclub going forward to stay competitive." Atlanta reached the National League wild-card game last season but lost in controversial fashion. The Braves thought they loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the eighth inning while trailing 6-3 when Andrelton Simmons' pop fly fell between St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Pete Kozma and left fielder Matt Holliday in medium left field. However, left field umpire Sam Holbrook ruled Simmons out on the infield fly rule, and Atlanta went on to lose by the same score. "Our goal is, like every year, to get to the postseason, and we did that this year," Gonzalez said, according to MLB.com. "That's our goal next year, to get to the postseason. Hopefully you catch on fire, you catch a couple breaks and you get a little deeper." Atlanta finished 94-68 in the 2012 regular season. They went 89-73 the previous season, Gonzalez's first year on the bench with the Braves, but they collapsed down the stretch and missed out on a playoff berth. Gonzalez managed the then-Florida Marlins from 2007 through the first half of 2010, compiling a 276-279 record.
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