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Reds vs. Indians: May 18

Atlanta Braves fire manager Fredi Gonzalez

The Braves fired manager Fredi Gonzalez on Tuesday, after one of the worst half-seasons in the franchise’s 140-year history was followed by its worst-ever start to a season. They have a majors-worst 9-28 record.

Brian Snitker will move up from his Triple-A Gwinnett managerial position to serve as interim Braves manager, and an announcement is expected Tuesday afternoon.

Although it’s widely known that the Braves are in the midst of a rebuilding effort that gutted the major league team while fortifying the minor league system, Gonzalez had long been a lightning rod for criticism from fans and some media members, and he ultimately paid the price for the team’s dismal performance.

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Gonzalez, 52, was in his sixth season as Braves manager after replacing his mentor, Bobby Cox, when the legendary Braves manager retired after the 2010 season. He is the first Braves manager fired since Russ Nixon was dumped in June 1990 and replaced by Cox.

There was considerable criticism of Gonzalez during much of his time as Braves manager, despite the fact his teams won 89, 94 and 96 games in his first three seasons through 2013 and won the National League East in 2013, their first division title since 2005.

The Braves were 82 games over .500 (296-214) during his first three-plus seasons as manager through a 17-7 start in 2014. But they were 62-86 the rest of that season and, after a surprising 42-42 start in 2015, the Braves spiraled during an injury- and trade-plagued second half to finish at 67-95.

That record was the Braves’ worst since 1990, the year before their worst-to-first turnaround season.

Gonzalez served as third-base coach on Cox’s staff for four seasons through 2006, then got his first major league managerial job with the Marlins. The Sporting News National League Manager of the Year in 2008, Gonzalez had a 276-279 record in 3 1/2 seasons with the Marlins before he was fired by a notoriously fickle owner in June 2010.

While Gonzalez often was second-guessed during his first three seasons in Atlanta, it wasn’t until the disappointing 2014 season when speculation about his job status really began to heat up. But near the end of that season, the Braves fired general manager Frank Wren and kept Gonzalez.

For full story please go to myAJC.com or use this link.

AJC Braves beat writer David O’Brien is following this story. Check back for updates and developments.

Man hit by bat at Fenway thinks overhead nets should be extended

It was a beautiful day and he had great seats, but the game quickly came to the end for Kevin Sweeney. 

"I didn't notice the bat...it went over the netting, it must have backspinned or something..booom it was like a sledgehammer and hit me in the back," he said. 

He was only five rows off the field and it was only the third pitch of the game. He said he was dazed and it took him a second to realize he was the only person hurt. 

"I was shocked, I still didn't even know what had happened," said Sweeney. 

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He had 10 stitches and staples to his head at Beth Israel. The Red Sox went to the hospital and gave him a signed bat. They also offered him tickets to another game. 

"I missed a heck of a game," he said. He's been a fan since age 6. 

Sweeney said he wasn't looking at his phone at the time he was hit - he had actually turned it off because it was so sunny.

>>Fan hit by bat at Red Sox game

Sweeney thinks extending the overhead netting would help - he wouldn't have gotten hit if it was there. However, he considers himself lucky, considering the injuries Tonya Carpenter suffered last year when she was hit. 

"I was one of out of 36,000 people - but I got discharged from the hospital and it appears to be superficial," he said. 

Sweeney said that he is monitoring the injury, since he was hit in the head. 

Army softball player avoids tag by flying

An Army softball player has one way to avoid the tag at home at all costs. 

She doesn't slide under the opposing player, the usual move to reach home when it's being defended by the catcher. 

Instead, Kasey McCravey took to the air and leaped over the other player, MLB.com reported.

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The amazing hurdle happened during the Patriot League Tournament Saturday.

Watch the video:

Here's a different view:

This isn't the first time McCravey jumped over a catcher. 

McCravey was called safe and the Black Knights beat Lehigh in the semifinals 3-1. 

Army fell to Boston University in Sunday's finals 9-0.

Fan hit by bat at Red Sox game

A fan was hit by a broken bat that flew into the stands during Saturday's Boston Red Sox game.

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The Red Sox said the fan was taken to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center where he was treated and released.

The team extended protective netting at Fenway Park this season after a fan was hit by a bat last summer. The new netting goes from the home dugout  to the visitors' dugout.

The Red Sox said the fan was sitting just sitting a few rows behind the protective netting and the bat went over it. The netting itself is 9-foot-8, but with the wall around the field, it extends several feet higher into the air.

According to WFXT, the man was sitting behind third base in the third or fourth row.

The Red Sox were playing the Houston Astros.

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Reds vs. Pirates: May 11

Reds vs. Pirates: May 9

Reds vs. Brewers: May 8

Reds vs. Brewers: May 5

Reds vs. Giants: May 3

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