Braves refute reports that John Hart declined GM position

Photo Credit: David Tulis/AP
Photo Credit: David Tulis/AP

In September, coincidentally the day after the New York Mets dashed the Atlanta Braves last hopes of making the postseason, the Braves fired general manager Frank Wren and executive vice president/assistant general manager Bruce Manno.

It was then they named one of the team’s top advisors, John Hart, as their interim GM and a committee was set up to choose the next general manger of the Braves. The three person committee is comprised of HOF manager Bobby Cox, Team president John Schuerholz and Hart.

Shortly after the comittee was announced, it was also announced by the Braves that Hart had been offered the general manager position long-term. At the time Hart maintained that he still needed to consider if he would be willing to take the role on full-time and not just for the interim period that was the remainder of the 2014 regular season.

It was first reported Wednesday by Yahoo! Sports Jeff Passan that Hart, 66, had declined the Braves offer citing that he was not interested in taking on the rigors and resposibilities that come with being a full-time GM. Passan also reported that Atlanta had now set their sites on the Kansas City Royals assitant general manger, Dayton Moore as well as the Braves’ current assistant GM, John Coppolella.

Passan also suggested that former Colorado Rockies’ GM Dan O’Dowd could be another possible candidate being looked at by the commitee, however that seems unlikely being that he turned down a contract extention offer from Colorado and resigned.

However ESPN reported that  Schuerholz wrote an email to the Atlanta-Journal Consitution Wednesday afternoon stating,

 “At best the article was not acreportedcurate with either the facts or the assumptions.”

Whether or not this means that Hart has officially declined the GM position is somewhat unclear but it had been Hart’s sentiment from the beginning that he was not really looking to jump back in to being a full-time GM. The Atlanta-Journal Constitution also quoted Hart back in September as saying,

“I’m more comfortable being a part of this transition team, going out there and really combing what I think is a chance to be a really good group of potential candidates.”

The statement strongly indicates that Hart was more comfortable in an advisory role than returning to the grind of full-time GM duties.

While it seems to be more likely that Schuerholz statement referred to the potential candidates being speculated about by Passan, there has not been confirmation of Hart’s decline of the position by the Braves organization.

Hart previously served as general manager of the Cleveland Indians and the Texas Rangers.

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