0

Braves’ Gonzalez joins NL All-Star coaching staff

Atlanta Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez (33) asks for a review from umpire Seth Buckminster (67) against the Milwaukee Brewers in the seventh inning at Turner Field on May 22, 2014. (USA TODAY Sports: Brett Davis)

Atlanta Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez (33) asks for a review from umpire Seth Buckminster (67) against the Milwaukee Brewers in the seventh inning at Turner Field on May 22, 2014. (USA TODAY Sports: Brett Davis)

DENVER — Atlanta Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez will be a coach for the National League when the All-Star Game is played July 15 at Target Field in Minneapolis.

St. Louis manager Mike Matheny, who will manage the NL team, officially announced Wednesday that Gonzalez will one of two NL managers — Pittsburgh’s Clint Hurdle is the other — to serve as his All-Star coaches. However, Matheny actually called Gonzalez in spring training about coaching in the All-Star Game.

“To get asked, it took me about a whole five seconds to respond to Mike,” Gonzalez said before the Braves lost 8-2 to the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday. “It’s an honor for him to ask me that. I’m excited to go there and try to win because of home-field advantage (in the World Series). Never been to Minnesota. Second time I’ve been an All-Star coach, so I’m really looking forward to it.”

In 2007, when Gonzalez was a first-year manager with the Florida Marlins, Tony La Russa, then managing the Cardinals, asked Gonzalez to be one of his All-Star coaches. The All-Star Game was played in San Francisco that year.

“You never expect it,” Gonzalez said. “There’s so many other choices. I’ve never considered myself being one of those being asked. Both times, it comes (as) a surprise. You feel pretty good. You feel honored — I guess that’s the best way to describe it — to participate.

“I don’t think you could ever get ho-hum about it. If they keep asking me, I’ll keep going. I don’t think it’ll get old.”

Gonzalez took his son, Alex, to the 2007 All-Star Game. He said he will take his parents and Alex next month when he happily returns to the All-Star Game.

The Atlanta skipper quipped about being selected from a pool of National League managers, “Maybe 13 other guys said no, and they asked me and I said yes.”