Atlanta Braves Morning Chop: writers and Snitker both have Acuña’s back
It’s the morning after… and in a good sign, writers all over are leaping to the defense of Ronald Acuña.
Last night, I called for MLB to set a new precedent in punishment for Jose Urena due to his targeting of Atlanta Braves rookie phenom Ronald Acuña Jr. My concern is clearly for the Braves today, but tomorrow it is also for others.
Juan Soto has had early success at the plate for the Nationals – he could be a target of some other ne’er-do-well pitcher. Soon, we’ll have Vlad Guerrero Jr. scalding baseballs for the Blue Jays. He’s set to be the next red-hot star.
Players need to know in no uncertain terms that such actions are wrong and won’t be tolerated. This should always be the case, but especially when their young stars are involved. Attempts to injure – I’m walking up to the line in suggesting this might very well have been the case – must be dealt with unequivocally.
Others are joining this tune:
- Jeff Passan: “Jose Ureña was too much of a coward to challenge Ronald Acuña Jr. on Wednesday night, so instead he hit him with a 97-mph fastball.”
- Sports Illustrated: “MLB should set an example and severely punish Jose Ureña’s dirty pitch at Ronald Acuña Jr. (by
- Gabe Burns (AJC): “There is no place for this nonsense: The Braves were more passionate than they’ve ever been after tonight’s game.”
That’s good to see. The writers are lining up with a clear understanding of what this episode means in the big picture.
Hopefully MLB will figure this out as well.
Who’s Your Daddy?
We don’t see the behind-the-scenes work of major league managers. Honestly, about 80% of their job takes place outside of game situations. It is in this 80% that gains the respect of his players and gets them on board with his agenda – not the on-field actions.
However, last night brought the 20% into the public eye in a big way.
There are 2 tweets I’d like to share that help to illustrate my own thoughts about Brian Snitker‘s own performance last night – including his post-game interview.
There have been some questionable things done at times in terms of player use – especially bullpen use – at times this year. I will say that we aren’t privy to all of the internal machinations that are going on that lead to such decisions, so our hindsight takes are not always going to be favorable.
In general, Managerial calls are never going to be perfect… but I believe they are made with the best intentions. To that extent, I personally tend to give Snit a lot of leeway before I criticize his efforts.
Many on twitter don’t afford him that much leeway, but last night we saw a definite change of wind in how Braves’ Country see this manager.
There are several more illustrative tweets that I really can’t use in this family-safe arena, but here’s one that comes close to the next thought:
In those comments, Snitker seemed almost to well up with emotion as he told reporters in so many words ‘This is my kid and I’m going to protect him’. Others noticed this, too.
Here’s that interview, via Fox Sports:
It was in the old days that Kings in old England directly led their forces into battle – which, as an aside, is why so many would-be royal lines ended in 1066 at the Battle of Hastings, but I digress.
After a few moments last night in which everyone on both sides of the ball seemed a bit stunned at what they had just seen, Brian Snitker was first one out of the dugout to challenge Jose Urena. He led the charge. He took control.
Yeah – they did. And all this prior chatter about whether he’s up to the task of a playoff team, or … whatever… all of that stops now.
Brian Snitker needs his own long-term contract as Manager of the Atlanta Braves.
He just conducted the most definitive job interview you could ever want to see.