The Atlanta Braves found success by balancing old school and new school

Oct 4, 2022; Miami, Florida, USA; Atlanta Braves manager Brian Brian Snitker celebrates winning the
Oct 4, 2022; Miami, Florida, USA; Atlanta Braves manager Brian Brian Snitker celebrates winning the / Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports
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Brian Snitker and AA are strange bedfellows, but they make it work

On the other end of the spectrum, we have baseball and Braves lifer Brian Snitker. Snitker joined the Braves organization back in 1977 as a player and became a roving minor league instructor once his playing career ended in 1980. Since then, he managed a slew of minor league teams and had multiple stints as a big league coach before he became the team's interim manager during the 2016 season after Fredi Gonzalez got fired. The team removed the interim tag after the season and the rest has been history.

At first glance, having a front office that has embraced modern baseball as much as it has with a manager that seems as old school as it gets seem incongruous and, especially earlier on in Snit's managerial career, you would be right. Snit's lineups did (and sometimes still do) not certainly look modern or optimal and his in-game decisions have been questionable at times.

However, it is clear that both Anthopoulos trusts Snit and that Snit is improving each and every year he is at the helm. AA has been very deferential to Snitker's decisions without any public drama and has been glowing in his praise of Snit's work especially behind the scenes. Conversely, it is clear that Snit has worked hard to understand and use data more and more when it comes to his game management and learns from his mistakes. The result is that Snitker is unironically one of the better, more well-rounded managers in the league who continues to improve and whose players would run through a wall for him.

The results have filtered down to the coaching staff and roster from there

The results on the field speak for themselves. The Braves have been, without question, one of the better teams in all of baseball for several years now and it is thanks to this well-rounded approach. Winning the division every year since 2018 doesn't happen by accident

Amongst the old guard, we have Snit along with guys like coaches Ron Washington and Kevin Seitzer successfully getting the most out of their players on and off the field. The Braves have a collection of long-time scouts that are among the absolute best in the business that have continued to keep the talent pipeline to the big leagues flowing regardless of what expert prospect rankings say.

Augmenting that has been the new wave of data-driven minds. Mike Fast and Ben Sestanovich have been instrumental in revolutionizing the Braves' player development and baseball operations with a data-driven approach that also acknowledges the importance of treating players like humans instead of just numbers. The Braves' data team as a whole is one of the best in the league and they are constantly getting new types of data and figuring out ways to turn it into useful, actionable advice for players and coaches.

Combining all of that, the Braves as an organization is one that is on the same page with the same common goal: winning lots of baseball games. They don't get everything right, but the misses are vastly outweighed by the hits and that has been because of their embrace of an interdisciplinary approach that embraces the old and the new with mutual trust and respect between the two. It is easier said than done, but the Braves have figured it out.