The Braves are still split on Snitker; Shouldn’t that say something?

It’s a stumper, apparently. (Curtis Compton/AJC photo)

Eight days ago, the Atlanta Braves were leaning toward retaining Brian Snitker as their manager. Not giving him a new contact, mind you. Just exercising his option year. Eight days ago, the probability of Snitker returning was believed to be 55-45.

Today it’s closer than that. Today it might be 50-50, or 49-51. This has gone back and forth (and forth and back) for a while, and we have to ask: At what point does the inability to reach a decision become the decision itself?

The Braves have seen Snitker manage for 286 games. His record is 131-155, which isn’t terrible given that he was handed a rebuilding team. Last year’s team finished 20-10, which is why Snitker was brought back. This  team lost 11 of its final 16 games, which is part of the reason why he mightn’t be kept.

The intent today isn’t to re-litigate the case. My thoughts on Snitker can be found hereAll I want to say is this: If the Braves don’t believe he’s the guy for their future, he shouldn’t be the guy for Opening Day 2018.

By handing him a one-year contract with a team option last October, the Braves essentially made an interim manager a permanent interim manger. (If that makes any sense, which it doesn’t, which is the point.) If all they do is exercise that one-year option, he’ll be an even lamer duck next season, which benefits no one.

I understand that there’s a real division among the Braves’ higher-ups. Terry McGuirk told Mark Bowman of MLB.com that Snitker is the kind of guy who merits a monument, which is rather lavish praise for a manager who’s 24 games under .500. There’s nobody who doesn’t like Snitker, and his players keep lobbying for him, which is nice but also beside the point. Players don’t get to choose who manages them. That falls to those higher-ups.

If, after 286 games, those higher-ups are this divided, shouldn’t that tell them something? On a baseball field, a tie is supposed to go to the runner. In management, a tie shouldn’t go to the incumbent.

Reader Comments 0

20 comments
TideDawg
TideDawg

Somebody has to take the fall.....for what??. I don't know what the fall is, they have another worst to first with the minor league improvement with talent. Next is the big league team. Maybe Coppy made some mistakes not noted. He doesn't play the game and none of the executives do either. The talent on the field and how they perform is what matters, not how they got there. Right now the media has been thrown a new bone to chew on. This is all we're going to hear about all winter. This is the fall. Someone had to take the heat off the team. We're about to find out, over the long winter, how many ways you can say "Coppy resigned" or "Coppy was fired in reality"

alareno
alareno

When you have people like John Schuerholz, John Hart, Tony Larussa, etc. hanging around as Director of Baseball Operations or some similar title, the General Manager and Manager become fall-guys. The saying that baseball managers and football coaches are hired to be fired rings true.

Jpace
Jpace

Listening to our TV broadcast team interview John C. and John Hart is really poor TV. Nothing insightful or promising. The Braves have fallen in love with reliving the 1991 - 2005 successes when we had swinging door position players and great pitching. Liberty Media...please sell the team to a local owner who will care about the team. And it's time for a clean sweep of top management, including John S.

Jpace
Jpace

Mr. Bradley - Absolutely...the stall on Snitker tells us a lot. The Johns are looking to blame the 4th consecutive losing season on someone and they sure as heck aren't looking in the mirror. Too many seasons of throwing in the towel, too many losses, too many blown leads...over and over and over again. Insane that we have a team without an involved owner and top managers willing to tolerate non-stop losing...and I still think you and your colleagues are giving them a pass.


Teedubs
Teedubs

In the first minutes of Little League umpire training we were told the real rule was "If in doubt - Out!"  Of course taking a look at the starting pitching who want's the job? 

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gubives

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UnbiasedObserver
UnbiasedObserver

What NEEDS to happen is....


Fire the Chairman, President, GM, Director of Scouting.


Keep the Manager.

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

Bradley, short sighted as usual."If the Braves don't feel he is the guy for their future he shouldn't be the guy for opening day 2018." 

The Braves are still rebuilding ,the future success may not come until 2019 or even later. Why bring in another staff ,when your team is not close to being able to compete with Washington, (both Philly and the Mets dominated the Braves in 2017) the Cubs or the Dodgers. Snitker is as you say a lame duck, he has been one since he first replaced Fredo in 2016. Snit is a Braves company man(for  over 40 years) I am sure he is not worried whether a sports writer considers him to be a lame duck. Let Snitker continue to manage the rebuild in 2018 and hire a younger guy not attached to  the Cox /Schuerholz "braves way tree" to lead the Braves when they may be ready to contend for at least a wildcard spot.

ctbold
ctbold

Remember Coppo's claims - faithfully repeated by Mr. Bradley - that Aybar would outhit Simmons?   For the record, there is one shortstop whom Erick Aybar did outhit this season - Dansby Swanson. Both were 65 points lower that Simmons.

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

@ctbold Yeah , that Swanson kid is a bust. Get rid of him, doesn't Coppy need a couple more Class A pitching prospects? Maybe the Angels would take Newcomb and Sims and the Braves could get Simmons back, the Angels need pitching. And for your record the Angels missed the playoffs(just like the Braves)  with Simmons at short and some guy named after a fish (former AL MVP Mike Trout) in CF.

ctbold
ctbold

Never mind the manager. We're way overdue for another column reminding us of the genius-like qualities of the Boy Genius.  When can we expect that? Be sure to to offer the latest rationalization of how Andrelton Simmon's poor hitting justified trading the best fielding SS of this century.  Who could have foreseen that a young pitching staff would really benefit from a great SS? Not Coppo, obviously.

ctbold
ctbold

True, revolting season, but we're still leading MLB in Prospects and the real estate did well, so let's all pipe down.  Go Battery!  That new restaurant looks awesome!  Coppo says the young steaks are gonna be great; they just need to age a bit...

Bill72
Bill72

Fire Coppolella....keep Snitker.  I doubt Sparky Anderson could do any better with this motley crew of players.  

Techmate
Techmate

Managers are generally only good for a few wins each season. WIth the pitching the Braves have had the last 3 -4 years, a HOF manager would have not done much better. The Braves have a slew of young arms on their way. Some will shine but not all - that's the nature of the game.

Get the best pitching coaches you can, play more hit and run b/c this present team lacks the power and learn to play sound fundamentals. We won't win it next year but, like Kansas City a few years ago and Houston now, we are close.

Snit is a good players manager. Washington is a good teacher. I don't think there is a magic bullet with either one of them - just hard work and focus on smart baseball.

TideDawg
TideDawg

What should it say?? Washington wasn't hired to coach 3rd base. He was hired as a replacement for Snitker after Snit fell on his face trying to manage a bunch of kids. Problem was, Snit didn't oblige them with that scenario. Now the problem is, how do we get rid of Snit without riling the players and fan base. I get sick of hearing how great Bobby Cox was. He won 14 straight division titles with arguably the best pitching staff in 30 years and in a division where the competition was nowhere near what it is today in that division. Yeah, he won 14 titles but how many of those teams got through the playoffs and into the world series? With the players he had anyone could have managed to win that division. He constantly made stupid calls in the playoffs trying to be a genius when the basic baseball  call would have been the  right call. When it comes to being stupid....yeah, he was a genius at it.

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

@TideDawg Snitker is not the issue, the Braves are in a major rebuild and for some God awful reason the Front office decided to sign two Forty year old starting pitchers and trade for another veteran pitcher.Along with basically Jim Johnson ,Viz and a bunch of rookies and castoffs in the pen. The Braves offense actually improved by 83 runs this year over last, but the pitching was worse by 52 runs. 

Until the total collapse of the team in the second half 45-45 to 72 -90 (27-45).375 I was thinking it might be time to hire a new manager to take over a team ready to compete for a playoff spot. But since this team is still at least one likely two years away from competing for a playoff spot, just let Snitker continue on as the overseer of the rebuild. No need in bringing in someone new only to have the Braves continue to lose 90 games a year.

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

@TideDawg Agree with you about Cox and for that matter Schuerholz both seem to think winning 14 division Titles in a row and only one World Series title is better than say winning 7 division titles and two World Series titles. Too many playoff failures for Cox especially in 1993, 1996 ,1997, 1998, 1999,  2001 ,2002  when he had three future hall of fame pitchers on the same pitching staff.

Practicality
Practicality

It ain't the manager, it's the front office that needs firing. Worst trades of the decade in the past 3 years, just keep getting worse and worse.

darb1960
darb1960

Snitker has done an awesome job with the talent he's been given.  The players loved playing for a guy named Bobby Cox, too - last seen entering the Baseball HOF.  How many times did they rally to win or almost win games  for him this year?  I think your job should not be to call for people to be fired - especially without objective reasons.