Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Brian Snitker retained as manager for 2017

The Braves announced this morning that they will retain Brian Snitker as the manager of the team for the 2017 season. But not only that, they've hired Ron Washington to be the 3rd base coach for the team. You may remember Ron from his stint as the manager of the Rangers, but he had some personal issues that cost him his job, and the Braves saw fit to give him another opportunity.

The rest of the staff should remain relatively intact, with the exception of Bo Porter who will move from being the third base coach to the front office as a special assistant. Also because the Braves released Roger McDowell from his pitching coach contract, they decided to go with Chuck Hernandez as the pitching coach for the team. The Braves picked up Chuck in 2015 to oversee the minor league pitching operations, so it makes sense they've move him to pitching coach now that those prospects are coming up to the major league level.

Honestly, I love the move. I didn't want Bud Black as my last article indicated, mainly because I thought that Snitker proved he understood the psychology of this team. John Hart admitted openly in the announcement on 680 The Fan in Atlanta that he didn't expect to hire Brian when they gave him essentially a placeholder position in May. The goes to show you how the plans of mice and men work out in real time. Everything I've heard suggests that the players lobbied hard for Snitker, and the front office listened to their young team. And why not? You need a focused team heading into a new building for your big $$$ fans that decided to drop hundreds of thousands of dollars on seats up close.

This also goes to show you how the Braves front office really like to promote from within, and how they love to retain talent even when it gets displaced. Snitker has been in the organization for almost 40 years now, and guys like Eddie Perez, Bo Porter, Kevin Seitzer, get to keep their jobs even after the manager change. That's important because I honestly believe in continuity at the MLB level since the management staffs job is primarily to help keep the players mentally focused more than it is about mechanics (although those still matter, you can't ignore the fundamentals).

Snitker makes sense for this team because I think the players respect him, he's not going to be an expensive hire for the team, and his personality seems to be very calming. He doesn't get too high or low. He's seen this game forever and he's not going to let streaks get to him. He will protect his players and argue calls with umps so his guys don't have to. He knows the game inside and out, and he also seems flexible because this is his first managerial job at the MLB level. Also, he said that he wanted the job, he wasn't reluctant, and he is in my mind a quality human being with a good head on his shoulders.

Hopefully it continues to go well in 2017, and we see the first winning Braves teams we've seen in a long time.

GO BRAVES!

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