Braves say don't call error on Turner Field's infield yet
ATLANTA (AP) The Atlanta Braves say it's too early to judge the condition of the playing field at Turner Field, which holds a big early lead for having the most errors for any stadium in the majors.
Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts told SiriusXM's MLB Network Radio channel on Friday the infield surface in Atlanta is ''shoddy.'' He said he has heard that Braves players also are complaining.
''This is Major League Baseball,'' Roberts said. ''There are going to be some important games played in that ballpark this year and to have a shoddy surface dictate outcomes is unfortunate.''
Roberts noted that Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager lost his footing on the dirt when he was charged with an error on Wednesday.
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said Friday no complaints have come from his players.
Gonzalez said he met Friday with field director Ed Mangan, who explained the infield grass ''is in transition'' because of cool nights in Atlanta.
Entering Friday's games, there have been 22 errors at Turner Field, easily the most in the majors, according to STATS. Cincinnati's Great American Ball Park is second with 15.
The 22 errors are the most by any ballpark through eight games since there were 22 at Montreal's Olympic Stadium in 2000. They are the most through eight home games at the Braves' home ballpark since 1980, when there were 23 at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, according to STATS.
Gonzalez said Mangan, who has been in charge of the Braves' fields since 1990, was ''disappointed and hurt because he takes a lot of pride in our field.''
''He goes `I have to listen to it on the radio and in the newspaper,''' Gonzalez said before adding with a smile ''And I said `Welcome to my world. You know, I've got to do it every day.'''
Braves infielder and outfielder Kelly Johnson, in his third stint with the team, has good historical perspective on the field condition this season.
Asked to comment on the complaints about the playing surface, Johnson first said, ''I'm not going to go there'' before adding that the players have to take responsibility for their errors.
''I would say it's early and I think we've shown some sluggish signs on defense ourselves,'' Johnson said.
Johnson said it is not unusual to have to work out issues with a surface early in the season.
''Most grounds crews will try to help guys as much as they can if there's something that needs to be fixed, so hopefully that will be the case,'' Johnson said.