All we are saying is give Snitker a chance

Manager Brian Snitker and Eddie Perez (right) share a contemplative moment in the Braves dugout. (Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com)

Manager Brian Snitker and Eddie Perez (right) share a contemplative moment in the Braves dugout. (Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com)

When you move into a new house, the overwhelming temptation is to fill it with new things. Who wants to slide that old couch into the bright, fresh rumpus room, especially when you know what your drunk friends have done to the furniture?

That will be the case for the Braves, no doubt, when they slide across Cobb County line into their new digs in 2017. There will be the powerful urge to use the move to literally and figuratively start over, to put as much distance as possible between the future at SunTrust Park and the last few seasons at Turner Field.

So, making the case for the soon-to-be 61-year-old Brian Snitker to remain on as manager is hardly in keeping with the new motif.

But it is really very simple. Snitker has done nothing to lose the job that was thrust upon him in mid-May. And can you name someone else the team might import from the outside who would have a better feel for the Braves system and more experience in the care and feeding of the young players so critical to the great re-build than this franchise lifer?

For four months, Snitker has worked under the title of “interim manager,” a title that I’ve refused to use. Interim implies temp worker, someone filling in for a week or two until the search firm comes up with the hotshot replacement. In place for the bulk of a season, Snitker deserves better than that clumsy modifier.

Tactically is he good enough? I can’t claim to know for sure, because this season has been so much more about setting a foundation for future seasons than about the tactics of the moment.

All I know is what I see in the standings. The Braves were 9-28 (.243 winning percentage) when they fired Gonzalez. They are 51-63 (.447) since. September had been a horror show the last couple seasons – the team a combined 17-35 in the closing month in 2014 and ’15. As of Wednesday morning, it is 10-8 this month, and a far more entertaining watch now than at the beginning. For that – even if the reasons lie more with the lineup than the leader – Snitker has earned strong consideration for the corner dugout seat in the new stadium.

He has shown a solid personality for the position, never appearing overwhelmed by managing at this level. He is not a quipster, not someone who will make with the snappy sound bites that might temporarily amuse the fan base. Just a quality baseball guy who has maintained a good work environment. Not a trait to casually dismiss.

Snitker got called up from Triple-A and performed admirably. And like any player in the same situation, he warrants a longer look, over the fullness of 2017.

Reader Comments 0

33 comments
hmmmmmm
hmmmmmm

He's earned the job for next season.  Give him and year and see what happens.  Just please don't hire Bud Black.

BossDog
BossDog

The players appear to be solidly behind Snitker - to the man.  Big games like yesterday against Detroit didn't include anything substantial from either Kemp or Enciarte (two players I admire greatly).  Yet others who Snitker has given confidence to - like Garcia, Rowe, Peterson, Smith, Blair and, of course, Dansby Swanson all excelled at what they were expected to do.  I believe Coppella will rue the day if he doesn't give Snitker a full year in the Braves' new house to prove himself.  There is no question he deserves that chance, and I believe Coppella will lose a lot of respect that he has recently built up if he doesn't give the fine man such a chance.

BravesFan21
BravesFan21

He's earned a shot to get an interview, but we would be foolish to not interview outside candidates.  Snit has proved he can motivate his players to play in meaningless ballgames, but hasn't proved he can manage a bullpen. 


Two things have really helped Snit: 

1) The trade for Kemp -- this added depth and protection to the middle of our lineup

2) Ender coming off the DL


I'm excited about the Braves moving forward. But, I'll leave it to Coppy and our front office to determine who's the best candidate moving forward.  They've done a fantastic job of building up our farm system and bringing our talent level from worst to first.  I believe they can do the same with our coaches. 

TideDawg
TideDawg

I shudder to say this but I'm afraid the Braves made their choice for manager shortly after Snitker took over. I don't know who it will be but it's going to be sad if Snitker doesn't get the job. The entire staff has done a great job changing the attitude of the players. Two coaches on the staff are worthy of managerial jobs other than Snitker, but Snitker should be the man for the Braves.

Coach Howard
Coach Howard

Want some evidence?  The players!! They are playing hard and loose with confidence.  Come back wins when all they had to do is go through the motions and let this season go.  And does Snit handle post game analysis well, great baseball explanations for the most second guessed job on this planet.  Don't forget he's got a good staff, and a reminder - a change in managers for the sake of change has wider impact on many levels.  The coaching staff is a positive, got other areas more critical to focus on.  


sbatl
sbatl

You can see quotes from guys like Ender and Freeman, talking about how much confidence Snitker has given them and helped turn this season around. I think it would be foolish to ignore the work Snitker has put in building and growing those relationships, not to mention his familiarity with the AAA squad. This team was dead in the water and they have really come on in the second half. Keep this momentum moving forward!

TOJacket
TOJacket

Guy took over the Buttermaker Braves and made them relevant again.

TOJacket
TOJacket

Where are your weekend predictions?

patriotdog
patriotdog

'even if the reasons lie more with the lineup than the leader'. Could not DISAGREE with that statement more. Look at Freeman, Inciarte and Markakis now vs pre-Snit. Look at Peterson and Garcia now vs then. You think Snit had nothing to do with that? Either through his words or he approach, he has to get some credit. Kemp has been a big help in the lineup but the averages of the five I mentioned were way up prior to Kemp's arrival. Enciarte is no longer moving up and down the lineup, and shuffling from CF ato LF, same with the rest of the batting order and the lineup itself. Snit has stopped the ridiculous musical chairs of Gonzales and settled everyone into their role. This team, with virtually no starting pitching and very little bullpen is playing pretty darn good baseball. Keep Snit? That's the easiest question to answer since

"sign Maddox?"

brushback69
brushback69

Steve...."All we are saying is give Snitker a chance..."


sounds like a tune from Billy Jack.


Is he the One Tin Soldier?


We shall see...

Bogey
Bogey

Difficult, but Coppy and Hart must separate emotions from sound reason. Snit has done everything they could've asked for and much more. He has proven he can motivate young players for many years now.

But in a couple of years, and hopefully for many years thereafter, the Braves should be a top team. Does Snit possess the qualities those teams will need to win a WS? Probably not - if he did some GM somewhere would have seen that and hired him years ago.

Here's my solution: IF the right manager is out there, bring him on board this off-season with the understanding that Snit will be the bench coach. This will take advantage of Snit's best talents especially with the youngsters, but give the Braves a more dynamic and talented guy at the helm. Hurdle will be getting that new manager to agree to that as he likely has his own older baseball lifer in mind for bench coach.

jc312
jc312

@Bogey Disagree. In baseball, the "right" manager usually turns out to be a re-tread, somebody who interviews well and is a "solid" baseball guy, but conventional and ultimately dull and uninspiring. 

Snitker, as guys above have noted, has the team playing hard, playing loose and, from what I can tell, playing for each other. 


The chemistry is terrific, even when the starting pitching is disappointing and the bullpen erratic. 


The easiest thing for Hart/Coppolella to do would be to hire a new "name" guy, when they've got a guy right now who has the team playing beautifully AND fans like me watching in September for the first time in years. 


I'm thinking that'll sell in the new ballpark, too. In other words, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Stinger2
Stinger2

He has earned an opportunity to manage the Braves. Hopefully the decision makers will remember the 40 yrs. of loyal service he has given this organization along with the highly respectable job he

has done as the "interim manager".

Therut
Therut

I agree. Of course following in Fredi G. footsteps it would be hard not to look good.

CoxAndBalls
CoxAndBalls

I REALLY hope they stick with Snit.... He has such a quiet confidence in what he does.... And to a T the guys in that clubhouse love and respect playing for him. I REALLY hope they bring the man back and let him continue to lead these kids... He's been with them forever! Moving into the new stadium should start with his office. 


LEWWHEEL
LEWWHEEL

I don't mean this as a Fredi Gonzalez dig, but I'm not sure Adonis Garcia would have played 30 games this year had Snitker had not become manager.

davidputty
davidputty

Brian Snitker should be the NL Manager of the Year.  To take over a team that was 9-28 after 37 games and still not lose 100 games (that is if they win three more) is remarkable.

BTC
BTC

@davidputty I wouldn't go that far, but your heart is in the right place...

DawgNole
DawgNole

@davidputty

Now you've gone and jinxed 'em with that assumption that they'll win three more.

Drexel-Gal
Drexel-Gal

Liberty has claimed they are essentially a real estate company, with all other assets tied to the idea of increasing (or maintaining) the value of their real estate.  They have shown (as have others) that a profit can be made with a middle-of-the-pack, or worse, team.  As Connie Mack (Google him if you must) often said, in the days when the team was the owner's only asset and ticket sales were the only revenue, "Winners cost money".

CheesesteakBob
CheesesteakBob

I disagree. Still has losing record. The recent surge has been more about Freeman, Kemp, and others finally hitting. Snitker has not shown he knows how to handle a bullpen. Case in point last night when he left Ramerize in too long. Seems to manage from the back of the baseball card and not how a player may be currently playing. I would rather see TP or Eddie get the job. But no matter what, Roger McDowell needs to go before he totally destroys the young pitchers.

CheesesteakBob
CheesesteakBob

Do you even follow the team? Julio has gone from 14-8 to 14-13 to 11-8 to 6-10. That trend is not upward.

Seriously people, McDowell sux.

CoxAndBalls
CoxAndBalls

@CheesesteakBob So he has proved that he can't handle a bullpen by the one dumb example given, and your solution is to give the job to 2 guys, neither of which have proven they can handle ANYTHING the job requires? Seems legit...


And Roger McDowell is one of the most respected pitching coaches in all of baseball, and if we let him go, he would be unemployed for literally half a second... 


Go have a cheesesteak Bob. 


CheesesteakBob
CheesesteakBob

Name one pitcher who has come here and gotten better. The answer is you can't. But the list of pitchers who have been injured is huge. His only coaching advice is to throw as hard as you can. How many starting pitchers have we used this year? 16. We had a great teaching coach in the organization in Dave Wallace but Frank Wren ran him off.

Do you even watch the games or just get your info from sports talk radio?

patriotdog
patriotdog

You are spot on, Cheese. Mc has blown out more arms ( O'Flaherty, Venters, Medlin, Hansen, Beachy, Moylan, Gearrin.....just to name a few, than Leo did in fifteen years. Tehran has regressed, etc....

I'd keep Snit in a second, I'd let Mc go just as quickly.

nowhereman
nowhereman

I agree. He has earned the chance. Do I think it will happen ? No.