Atlanta Braves Top Franchise Managers: #4 – Brian Snitker
The Fun Wash-Rinse-Repeat Cycle
Anthopoulos and Snitker became the oddest but most successful pairing in the game. According to Ballard, the catalyst that created their bond was Snitker heading towards the mound to have some personal time with Jose Urena after the Marlin pitcher drilled Acuña in the elbow.
Players held him back, and I think Urena should send them thank-you notes for saving his . . . since that day, the odd couple seems to have a system. Snitker gets the team to the trade deadline in the title hunt, and Anthopoulos makes the trades that push their nose over the finish line ahead of the rest of the East.
Since Snitker took over, his Atlanta Braves have a 541-451 record, claimed five consecutive division titles, and hoisted the World Series Trophy in 2021. Chipper Jones told Ballard that Snitker’s success comes down to one word, honesty, which is what Snitker told Ballard, thought about when he took over in 2016.
"“The truth is all I’ve ever wanted to hear and haven’t. I’ve been shoved aside probably more than the player I’m talking to and I’ve never been told the truth, and I had to learn to deal with it. So I just tell them the truth.”"
It appears his approach works. Snitker’s 542 wins are fifth on the all-time list of franchise managers. When the Braves win their 19th game this year, he’ll move into fourth, and team-win 48 will move him into third place.
That’s a Wrap
Brian Snitker’s overnight success as manager of the Atlanta Braves began 45 years ago. His rise from a minor league catcher whose career highlight was a 4-12 streak with AAA Richmond in 1978 to manager of the Atlanta Braves was the opposite of meteoric – my Funk and Wagnalls says the word is sluggish, so we’ll go with that – and profitable.
He would have quit after his 2014 demotion to Gwinnett to quit, but couldn’t afford to. When Coppolella made him manager of the Atlanta Braves, he and his wife lived in the basement of their daughter’s home near Atlanta. Those problems are in the past, but what’s he see happening in his future?
In 2021, he told SI that he’d go maybe three more years before giving it up to travel –he can afford first class now – and spend time with his grandkids. I hope he tacks on another 300 wins before then.