On September 13, Fan Rag MLB reporter Jon Heyman wrote an article titled “Braves continue to assess manager situation for 2018.”
In the article, Heyman had the following line:
Freddie Freeman, the Braves’ best player, stumped for Snitker a second straight year; Snitker remains extremely popular in the clubhouse and he also has friends in high places. Bill Shanks, a local writer there who’s so close to John Schuerholz he’s practically his ghost writer, echoed those sentiments, so presumably that’s Schuerholz’s position. However, the call will likely be made by Hart in conjunction with Coppolella.
The previous Sunday, I had written a column for The Telegraph calling for Brian Snitker’s return in 2018.
Considering what has happened the last few days concerning the Braves, I want to clear this up.
John Schuerholz has always been respectful of me as a reporter who has covered the Braves for a long time. I hope, in turn, I have showed him respect as well.
However, at no point has Schuerholz been a source for any story I have written or talked about any information on my radio show. I have not seen Schuerholz since spring training, when I congratulated him on going to the Hall of Fame. I was in Florida for two weeks, and that was the only time I saw him or talked with him.
The line in Heyman’s article was simply untrue, and it’s unfortunate he received bad information.
On Thursday, I reached out to Heyman to let him know this and to inform him I was writing this to explain the information he received was incorrect.
Why address this now? Well, it’s obvious some believe Heyman, and that’s unfortunate.
I have never relied on anyone inside the Braves’ organization to shape my opinions, and I have never been anyone’s ghost writer or mouthpiece. I speak to a lot of people in the Braves’ organization, but Schuerholz, again, has never been a source. We’ve talked about the team, and I have interviewed him several times, but that’s it.
Someone inside the organization, or previously in the organization, was obviously trying to damage my reputation and that of a Hall of Fame executive. I’m embarrassed someone would do that, and it’s a shame someone would provide Heyman with bad information.
Listen to “The Bill Shanks Show” from 3-7 p.m. weekdays on “Middle Georgia’s ESPN” – 93.1 FM in Macon and 99.5 FM in Warner Robins. Follow Bill at twitter.com/BillShanks and email him at email@example.com.