The B.S. Report: Brian Snitker should be the man guiding the Braves for years to come
MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – The Braves are nine games under the .500 mark. They have gone 6-15 since reaching .500 just a few weeks ago.
For some reason, a large chunk of that below-even record has come at the hands of the Philadelphia Phillies, who have the worst record in baseball and who are 10 games worse than the Braves in the National League East. Philadelphia has beaten the Braves 10 times out of 12 games, so much of the Braves sub-.500 record is because of some fluke thing against the Fightin’ Phillies from Philadelphia.
This is the time of the season when managers sometimes get evaluated, especially managers who have contracts that might not be renewed. The Braves have an option on manager Brian Snitker’s contract for next season, but he has no guarantee to return. Despite the losing record, Snitker deserves to be back. In fact, Snitker deserves a long-term contract to manage the Braves.
It was just last week that Freddie Freeman, the best player on the team, went to management again and said he and his teammates love Snitker. Freeman’s endorsement meant a lot last October, when the Braves first gave Snitker the full-time job. But for Freeman to walk up to the front office and again give his manager a positive reference speaks volumes for what the players think of Snitker. They love the guy. They respect how he treats them as players. Snitker is what is called a player’s manager, and that may be a loosely-used term, but what it really means is that Snitker gets what players go through over the course of seven-plus months of playing baseball every day and knows what to expect. He understands what these guys deal with, on and off the field. He treats them as men first, and then ballplayers second. He has patience with them, and that’s especially important for the young players the Braves have brought up in this rebuilding process.
Take Mike Foltynewicz as the primary example. When Snitker took over, Foltynewicz was struggling to stay in the rotation. Snitker stuck with him, had patience with him and believed the kid had the stuff to one day turn the corner. Snitker wanted nothing to do with the notion that Foltynewicz belonged in the bullpen. He wanted Folty to stick in the rotation, and look what has happened. Foltynewicz is now Atlanta’s number one starter, and he should thank Snitker for his patience.
That’s what is needed for Atlanta’s rebuilding process, which is still going on. A manager must have the big picture in mind, especially the rest of this season, to know that the development of these young players is the priority. Sure, wins remain important. The Braves need to finish with a record near the .500 mark. But what’s most important is to get these kids playing time, and that’s why Snitker is the perfect man for this job. He’ll know when it’s time to go from a rebuilding team’s mindset to more of a winning team’s mindset. He’ll balance winning games and developing players. He’ll know how to handle the players – veterans and rookies.
Snitker has done the best job he could do with a challenging bullpen all season, and he’s tried to survive an ever-changing rotation. And if not for the Phillies, Atlanta’s record would be much better. So let’s hope the Braves soon do the right thing and give Brian Snitker a long-term contract. He’s the perfect man for this job – not only now, but for when this team gets good again.
It will happen, and the man everyone calls “Snit” needs to be the one leading the team. He’s had his audition for over a year now, and he’s proven no one else needs to be the manager of the Atlanta Braves.