This will come as no great surprise, but Brian Snitker would like to continue managing the Atlanta Braves. As we know, he'd never managed in the major until the the Braves pressed him into service as an interim replacement for Fredi Gonzalez. As we also know, the team hedged its bets in October, removing the "interim" from his job description while extending only a one-year contract. (With a team option for 2018.)
Asked Monday if he thinks about his future, Snitker said: “A little bit. I’ve tried just to get through the day, but there are times when you do. You think, ‘Do I really want to do this?’ But I’ve got my health, and I think I’m kind of getting hold of it. We’re getting there. I see young guys knocking on the door. I’d like to be around to experience that. It’s going to be fun. They compete. They get after it.
“I’m glad I’m doing it where I am in my life. I’m on the back end. I’m not looking to blaze a trail. That’s not something that’s paramount. I’m going to give it everything I have. What happens, happens.”
Snitker is 61. His team won 20 of its final 30 games last season, and that wave of good feeling is why he's still in place. The current Braves have been mildly but not roundly disappointing. On the one hand, they haven't spent a day above .500. On the other, they're in second place in the National League East -- albeit 9 1/2 games out of first place and 11 1/2 back of the second wild card -- and have the NL's seventh-best record.
They've done this with a rotation that has, in the main, disappointed, and they're doing it without Freddie Freeman. If you go by Pythagorean wins/losses, the Braves should be 31-38. They're 32-37.
Asked last week if he'd been satisfied with Snitker's job performance, general manager John Coppolella said: "Brian does a great job. He’s really good with players. There’s a lot of positive things Brian’s done. In an interview, you don’t want to point out negatives about anyone who works for you. I could point out negatives about my wife, and she’s perfect in my eyes. It’s the same thing. If you asked Snit, he could point out negatives about me. If you asked me about me, I think there’s negatives. There’s negatives associated with everybody, but also a lot of positives. I don’t want to get into that kind of stuff. We’re in the middle of a draft right now. I’m not thinking about it. Our players and staff are fighting every day. Let’s see how the year goes."
We'll have a bit more to say about this soon. Consider yourselves warned.