Meet John Hart, Braves’ New Senior Advisor

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The Atlanta Braves announced today that they have hired John Hart as a new senior advisor for baseball operations.  I first learned this from a tweet by the Atlanta Braves’ official Twitter account…


Obviously we don’t know what vision if any that Hart will bring to the Braves, or any changes he might be called upon to give advice about, but his wealth of knowledge and experience certainly make me optimistic.  Hart occasionally works as an analyst for the MLB Network as well, and will continue to do that as he has time.

Hart played baseball for Seminole Junior College, and as a catcher earned All-American honors before going on to play with the Montreal Expos for three seasons.  While Hart’s career as a player didn’t last that long, his career in baseball was just beginning.  After his playing days were over, Hart coached high school baseball in Orlando, Florida and then later joined the Baltimore Orioles organization in 1982 as a minor league manager where he coached for six years before moving up to be the Orioles 3rd base coach in 1988.

In 1989, Hart went on to join the Cleveland Indians as a special assignment scout, and then quickly moved up to the position of Director of Baseball Operations for the Indians, and then soon after became the General Manager and Executive Vice President for the Indians.  Under Hart’s leadership, the Indians did well, winning six of seven AL Central League division titles, and appearances in the 95 and 97 World Series.

In 2001 however, Hart left the Indians for a position as General Manager of the Texas Rangers.  While his stint as a GM for the Rangers didn’t last too long, the Rangers desire to retain his services as a Senior Advisor made him a valuable asset to the Rangers.

Braves executive John Schuerholz has been a long-time friend of John Hart, so it’s not surprising that Hart would join the Atlanta Braves now that his contract with the Rangers has expired.  As I noted earlier, Hart has a great deal of baseball experience.  He was an All American as a player, Appalachian League Manager of the Year in 1982, International League Manager of the year in 1986. and Sporting News Major League Executive of the Year in 1994 and 1995.

If you have read much of my writing, you know that I often take issue with some of the decisions made by Frank Wren and John Schuerholz.  My hope is that John Hart might bring a different perspective and viewpoint, and perhaps a fresh direction for the future of the Atlanta Braves.

I have often said a new perspective and fresh approach is sorely needed in Atlanta, where the team always seems to be a day late, and dollar short when contending for another series.  While we cannot expect a new senior advisor to change a baseball culture overnight, perhaps Hart will bring a spark of new vision that’s certainly, at least in this writer’s opinion, needed in Atlanta.  Either way, congratulations to John Hart on the hire, and best wishes.

[Biographical Information provided by Wikipedia]

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  • Sealift67

    He appears to have a great deal of practical experience in a variety
    of roles. Seems this can only help. An organization is only as good
    as its brain trust.

  • Matthew Jones

    Pure speculation here, but is John Hart the next team president? JS might be looking at retirement finally.

    • Chris Headrick

      Indeed, I actually meant to touch on that possibility, but decided to let the speculation build on it’s on, as our knowing audience always engages in. :)

  • fireboss

    I agree with Chris that a new set of eyes and way of thinking is helpful. I wonder if the accumulation of bad signings and marginal trades is causing concern with McGurick is taking the role of owner here. JS is 73 and said when he resigned as GM he wanted to take it easy but was talked into staying by McGurick. He’s been seen actively advising Wren in the last two seasons at the deadline; so much for taking a step back and not doing much other than ceremonial stuff. He had shoulder surgery this year and I can attest that isn’t an easy thing when you’re no longer young and spry. He likely wants to move on to that restful retirement and since his position was really created for him it wouldn’t need to be filled. On the other hand a similar thing happened in Cincinnati a few years back. After a few years of unsatisfactory results they brought in Walt Jockety in 2008 as a senior adviser. They assured everyone Walt Krinsky was still GM the owner said he just wanted Jockety as a new set of eyes with experience. In April of that year Krinsky was gone and Jockety was the Reds GM.
    The Reds had not been as successful as the Braves have been in the last few years but a lot of outside factors contributed to that success. Our collapse in 2011 and rapid exit in the post season the last two seasons after spending a lot of money on players who didn’t perform would cause an owner to react by reaching out for a guy like Hart.

    Hart was on the leading edge of wrapping up young players for the Indians and a head of most other teams at the time. That cycle is starting to repeat and he could be seen as a man with the experience to help the Braves make that transition too.

    The hot stove isn’t just for players ya know :)

    • Chris Headrick

      Indeed, the hot stove isn’t just for players. I don’t know what Hart may bring to the Braves, or whether if there is a changing of the guard, how that change could positively affect the current culture, if at all, but the possibilities are intriguing. Each year, I hope that the Braves will begin to embrace a different approach, call it more SABR thinking, a slight move away from a strictly traditional approach to managing games, pitchers, etc., you know all the small things. Fredi is in that “old” mold for lack of a better way of saying it, because of the front office. If that begins to change over time, it could mean a slow culture change. We shall see.

      • fireboss

        Your word of the day is Indeed…. :) Oddly you used it more than I today and for that you get a new thesaurus :D

        • Chris Headrick

          haha. Yeah, tomorrow, I’m going for an overuse of the phrase, “in retrospect” ;-)