David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution is reporting today that John Schuerholz is relinquishing his role as Braves general manager after 17 years to become team president. And former Orioles GM Frank Wren, a top assistant to Schuerholz for seven seasons, will take over.
Schuerholz was a GM for 26 years and had the longest tenure of anyone in the majors. The Royals and Braves each won the World Series while he was at the controls, though Atlanta should have won more with 14 straight division titles.
Wren, 49, was the Orioles' GM for one season, 1999, before Syd Thrift replaced him. He made a few solid trades -- most notably stealing Jeff Conine from the Royals for minor league pitcher Chris Fussell -- but might be remembered more for ordering the charter to leave without Cal Ripken, who was running late and contacted the team on his way to the airport.
Owner Peter Angelos felt that Wren disrespected certain members of the organization, including Thrift, and was furious with the way he handled the Ripken situation -- flaws that were noted in the press release announcing his firing.
Wren brought solid credentials from the Marlins, but he made a bad early impression here and never recovered from it. I always hoped he'd get another opportunity.
He was groomed as Schuerholz's replacement from the beginning, though it appeared for a brief time that he had slipped down the ladder. Now he's on the top step.
Good for him.
And good for the Braves.
But if I'm Chipper Jones, I'm getting an early start to the airport, just in case there's traffic.