Gonzalez wants players to be accountable after losses

SAN DIEGO – After Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons made an ill-advised decision to bunt late in Saturday's 12-inning loss to the Padres, the Braves shortstop wasn't at his locker to offer an explanation. For the second consecutive night, Simmons declined to be interviewed by reporters after a loss.

That didn’t sit well with manager Fredi Gonzalez, who has heard that a few too many times this season.

“He takes losses pretty hard,” Gonzalez said. “But that’s something he needs to get better at, to be accountable for whatever. We’re dealing with a young man who takes losses hard. But he needs to…. Hell, it’s easy to stand at your locker when you’re 4-for-4 and you just finished winning the game. It’s hard sometimes, but it’s a learning process.

“We forget sometimes how young these guys are. It’s a maturity thing. You’ve got to take the good with the bad. Everybody likes stuff to be written that’s good about them, but when you lose a tough game or someone needs to ask you a question about something, you need to be at your locker.”

That type of thing was rarely an issue in the past for Braves teams that had several veteran leaders who could be counted upon to speak after wins or losses or on the state of the team in general during good or bad times.

“We have three or four guys (who do),” Gonzalez said of the current team. “(Gerald) Laird. You see Chris (Johnson) stand at his locker. For the most part, I think everybody does that. But when (a media relations official) tells me a couple of guys don’t want to talk (after a game), that’s not right. That’s something that we need to – that I need to —address. And I will.”

Gonzalez said he would prefer a player at least tell reporters he’s upset and will wait until the next day to talk, rather than not being at his locker and sending word through a team official that he doesn’t want to comment after a game.