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Talking Chop Roundtable: Was hiring Brian Snitker the right choice for the Atlanta Braves?

The Braves made a manager switch and it wasn’t the one that many were expecting.

Philadelphia Phillies v Atlanta Braves Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

When Brian Snitker was named as the interim replacement for Fredi Gonzalez, many thought that he was just a place holder until Bud Black was named as the full-time replacement. While the Braves did consider Black, they opted to stick with Snitker after the team’s strong finish to the 2016 season. Was this the correct choice?

Scott Coleman: I’m fine with it given the contract the Braves gave him. It’s not like they locked him up through 2022. If the team is dead in the water by July, a change can easily be made. If they’re still in the hunt come August, you hand Snitker a fat contract extension. He’s been with the organization for 40 years; he’s not going anywhere.

Demetrius Bell: Well, the players like him and have proven that they’ll literally go to bat for him so I can’t complain about the choice they made. He’s on a short-term deal so it’s not like the Braves have anchored themselves with Snitker here. If it works out and he’s successful, great! If not, they can just cut bait pretty easily and start off on another search for a new manager. But until then, I’ve got no major qualms with Snitker managing the Braves.

Ben Poplin: Absolutely! Brian Snitker is liked by everyone in the Braves organization and for good reason. He has paid his dues in the farm system helping to mold the youthful talent that will make up the future roster in Atlanta. The players enjoy playing for him. Not to mention a large percentage of them have already played for him in some capacity as they progressed through the system. That alone establishes a comfort level between manager and player. A relationship like that can only produce positive results down the road.

Ivan: The right choice for the Atlanta Braves organization that, in many regards, just wants to keep everything on-field even-keeled? Sure, he’s a generic old-time-y major league manager guy, who isn’t Fredi Gonzalez. The right choice for a 21st century ballclub that wants to leverage to the extreme every single advantage it can to win as many games as possible? Not so much. It’ll be fine either way, though. Maybe someone teach him to use a Monte Carlo simulation program or about Markov chains, though? [I’m kidding. Maybe.]

Brad Rowland: I’m not a fan of the decision. I think the contract, while advantageous for Atlanta, smacks of “well, we can pull the cord on this if it doesn’t work early on” and that speaks to a lack of confidence in the hire in my mind. Snitker isn’t a terribly impressive in-game manager, but it is clear that this org prioritizes clubhouse stuff at a high level and the players went to bat for him. In the end, managers are violently overrated, but at the same time, it would be nice to feel comfortable with the person making the decisions from a strategic perspective and I don’t have that comfort level with Snitker right now.

Kris Willis: Given the way the team finished the 2016 season, I think it was going to be hard for the Braves to turn to anyone else other than Snitker as the team’s manager. They signed him to a short deal, so moving on won’t be difficult if the situation doesn’t work out. Given that the team probably won’t be contending for anything this season, I don’t have a problem with giving Snitker a chance.

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