Being thrown into a managerial role in the middle of a rebuild in the middle of a season was the task that faced Brian Snitker in 2016. He’s made the most of the opportunity.
After decades in the Atlanta Braves organization, Snitker was finally given the chance to manage the Major League team.
It’s been up and down since then, but this year Snitker and the Braves finally put it together and surprisingly to many went 90-72 and won the NL East. Now the questions are these: will Snitker be back and frankly, does he want to come back?
221-227 is Snitker’s official record as a manager for the Braves. Not terrible… especially considering the state of the franchise when he became the manager and the turmoil that has followed in the Front Office.
Snitker has managed year to year and has never had a long term contract while being the manager. A recent report said that after last year, Snitker was ready to up and walk away and leave the game of baseball due to tense working relationships with the Braves upper management.
Things reportedly changed when John Coppolella and John Hart left their roles and the Braves named Alex Anthopolous the new GM in November.
Most veterans on the team, when asked about this, have said that Brian Snitker should without a doubt be the teams manager going forward. It’s very obvious that the players love to play for Snitker, and he would remain at the helm if they had any say so.
In the same report mentioned above, it was also mentioned that Anthopolous and Snitker had a very productive working relationship. It remains to be seen whether that relationship will keep Snitker around or if Anthopolous wants to get his own guy in to run this ship.
In the background, if the Braves do opt to continue with Snitker, there are a lot of ‘names’ that they will be walking away from: names like Girardi, Matheny, Scioscia, Showalter… others that are quite well respected. Staying with Snitker would definitely make a statement.
Word got out yesterday (subscription required) that Snitker would like – and expects – resolution on his status for the 2019 season by the end of this week. I expect the Braves to at least give the front runner for the 2018 NL Manager of the Year another year.
An issue I could see come up is will Snitker ask for multiple years? It’s a interesting concept to see unfold in the upcoming days. Hopefully, the Braves and Brian Snitker find common ground and all this is solved by the end of the week and we can continue on to other 2019 plans.
Oddly enough, managerial stability has been hard to find in the NL East. In fact, the longest currently serving manager in this division is… Snitker himself.
If nothing else, the task of luring free agents begins with surety about the coaching staff.