Former Braves manager Fred Gonzalez didn't have to prepare for the Pittsburgh Pirates Wednesday so he used some of his time to help pick up a prom dress for his future stepdaughter in Pennsylvania.
Gonzalez told the Associated Press that he then took two bottles of wine to the hotel room of Braves general manager John Coppolella. They ordered pizza and sat and discussed the Braves' tough season.
"We sat and talked it through," Gonzalez told the AP. "There was no animosity."
Gonzalez went 434-413 in five-plus seasons in Atlanta but the Braves went 34-81 in his last 115 games.
Gonzalez also said not being with the Braves during their next game was tough too. Atlanta fell behind the Pirates 9-0 quickly Tuesday, a score he learned from his phone app while he was at his Pennyslvania home.
He said he excused himself from his family and moved to another room and collected his thoughts.
"It's still my team. I feel like I should have been there," he said.
Gonzalez is engaged to a woman in the Philadelphia suburb of Malvern and plans to make the area his home.
Gonzalez had a lease on an Atlanta townhouse that expires June 30 and he had just given his 45-day notice that he would renew for another year.
"Two days later, I get whacked," he said. "I call (the realtor) and he says, 'I know what you're calling me for.' "
Other highlights from Gonzalez's interview with the AP:
-- He doesn't want to sit out next season and would like to coach ("it's not manage or bust"). He pretty much ruled out a TV gig and seemed intrigued by a front office job.
-- He admitted losing took a toll on him. "I started to feel myself get really short with people," he said. "That's not my style. I felt my temper would flare at certain things. I'd lash out. I think it would continue to get worse and worse and worse."
-- Gonzalez said a recent blowup with a member of Atlanta's executive team had gnawed at him. "I got into a thing that, after the fact, I knew I shouldn't have done that," he said. "The circumstances have been building up."
-- His thoughts on the current state of the Braves: "We're still a long ways away. I think the plan going into 2017 might come up a little short. I think some of our players may not have been as ready as we wanted them to be. Pitching, I think we'll be OK. Positionally, I think some of our young players are maybe a whole other year away from being in the big leagues."
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