Braves players react to Wren firing

The Braves clubhouse was opened to reporters 30 minutes later than usual Monday, to give team officials time to meet with the players and talk about the firing of general manager Frank Wren and the team’s intention of getting back to doing things the “Braves way”.

“It was kind of a surprise,” first baseman Freddie Freeman said of the Wren firing. “You don’t get wrapped up in everything that is going on with the front office. As players, we obviously stay inside the clubhouse and go out and keep our minds on the field. I try to stay out of everything I can. I can’t really comment on things I don’t really know too much about. I’m going to leave it at that.”

Right fielder Jason Heyward was asked if he thought changes needed to be made and whether the Braves had underachieved down the stretch.

“Underachieve? Yeah we did,” he said. “We didn’t make the playoffs. This organization always sets out to make the playoffs. The first goal is to attempt to play for a World Series in October. Underachieve? Not making the playoffs, I would say so.”

How would the team handle the front-office upheaval, on top of being eliminated from playoff contention Sunday?

“We still have seven games left and can impact the playoff picture,” Freeman said. “You just have to let the things play out. You’ve got wonderful guys who are going to be making decisions in John Hart, John Schuerholz and Bobby Cox. You’ve just got to put that aside and let them handle it and be a player and go out there and worry about in between the lines.”

Freeman was asked about his relationship with Wren, in light of the fact that some (non-players) in the organization have said their relationships with the GM soured.

“I can’t really comment,” Freeman said. “I don’t interact with Frank that much. He would come into the clubhouse and say hello. That’s about it. He’s the general manager. We are the players. We have to worry about what happens on the field. I’ve never had anything wrong with Frank. That is for other people to talk about. That’s not my area because I don’t know anything about all that.”

Heyward was told about team president Schuerholz’s comments to the media regarding getting back to doing thing the Braves way, and asked what that meant to him (Heyward).

“What does the Braves way mean to me? It means 14 division titles in a row,” Heyward said. “It means an organization that doesn’t take winning for granted. They expect to play into October. They expect to have a meaningful season. You don’t ever want to dwell on the negatives but they have a high standard in winning baseball games and playing into the postseason. That’s a great tradition to have. As far as whether I feel the changes needed to be made or not, I just play right field. That’s my job. I come here to play every day, play hard, help my teammates, have fun and compete.”