And the new Braves head coach is…

Brian Snitker!

In case you haven’t heard (or couldn’t have guessed from the picture at the top of this story), this week the Atlanta Braves took the interim title off of interim head coach for Brian Snitker. The team was reported to also be looking at former San Diego Padres coach Bud Black and former Texas Rangers Coach Ron Washington. It seems the Braves made the right choice…partly because I do not know why they would think Bud Black would be good hire (career winning % of .477 over 9 seasons).

Yes, Snitker did not have a winning record this season (59-65), but considering the team he had to work with, and the record the Braves had before he took over (9-28), I think he did a pretty good job.

Snitker has been with the organization for 40 years in all sorts of capacities and has been a manager at the different minor league levels for 19 seasons, including the past two as the head man for the Braves AAA affiliate in Gwinnett County, a suburb north of Atlanta. His career winning percentage as a coach in the minors is only .499, but his record as a minor leagues coach isn’t why I like the hire.

There are actually two big reasons why I like the hire.

  1. The first reason is his familiarity with the players. He knows most of these players already through his time as their manager in AAA and throughout his tenure with the organization. It is no secret that the Braves MLB roster is loaded with young talent, and I think Snitker has proven that he can really connect with these players, and help them in many different ways.
  2. The second reason is that the players really enjoy playing for him, and he seems to really enjoy coaching them. Just check out some of these quotes that our own @kevinlpate obtained in some recent interviews:
  • Snitker: “I look at our team, and I feel really good about our club. That’s a good eight we’re running out there. So I think going in there, I don’t how we could have ended any better to try to get momentum going into next year. Guys are going to be looking forward going into spring training, and seeing what we can do having this team together from the get-go.”
  • Freddie Freeman: “You know, a lot of people going into spring training are going to look at our overall record and kind of write us off. But, what we did the last 2, 3 months [when Snitker took over] is pretty special.”
  • Matt Kemp: “I’m excited. Excited about next year; can’t wait…[Snitker’s] done an excellent job in the time I’ve been here. I’ve got nothing but positive things to say about him. He’s done a great job.”
  • Julio Teheran: “We really pulled everything together, and I am proud of the guys. All the hard work that we did. I know it was kind of hard at the beginning of the year, but we kept our minds on where we wanted to be, and I am glad that we finished strong. That’s the way we want to come next year.”

The players clearly seem to like what has happened with the team since Snitker took the job, so as far as I am concerned, he was the correct choice. Plus, it’s a one year deal, with a team option for 2018. So what’s the harm?

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