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The Atlanta Braves fired manager Fredi Gonzalez on Tuesday, one day after his team fell to the historically low mark of 9-28 on the young season.
According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Gonzalez learned he had been sacked when the itinerary for a one-way commercial plane ticket unexpectedly arrived in his inbox on Monday night, just hours after his team’s 8-5 loss in Pittsburgh.
At that point, the Braves were only one game through a four-game road-trip. They weren’t flying home until Thursday. The one-way ticket could only mean one thing.
An hour or so after the Braves’ 8-5 series-opening loss to the Pirates, a person familiar with the situation said Gonzalez received an email notifying him of his scheduled flight to Atlanta on Tuesday afternoon.
The Braves had 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.
In these modern times, getting fired is no longer as simple as walking into your boss’ office and being told to have a seat. Athletes learn all the time through Twitter that they have been traded. But Gonzalez’s fate – an ominous plane ticket – was arguably crueler.
“I don’t think there’s a perfect time to do it,” Gonzalez said. “I think you do it when they feel like the time is right, so they did it.”