• Exclusives

    Snitker no longer interim, Braves part with McDowell

    In less than a week the Atlanta Braves have signaled they are ready to move not only into their new stadium in the spring, but are also ready to move into a new, successful era. While Atlanta first parted ways with McDowell, the choosing of Snitker is the true first step to the beginning of the new era.

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    Snitker prior to the Fort Bragg game between the Braves and Marlins.

    Brian Snitker, interim manager since the firing of Fredi Gonzalez long before the all-star break, had a 59-65 record at the helm of the 2016 club including winning 20 of the last 30 games of the season. His managerial stint coincided with what became one of the best runs of any club in the second half of 2016 as well as markable success of two star sluggers, Freddie Freeman and new Brave Matt Kemp.

    Other potential managers that the Braves’ front office interviewed included two other long-time Atlanta coaches as well as former players, Terry Pendleton and Eddie Perez, former big league managers Bo Porter, Ron Washington and presumable runner-up Bud Black. The firing of McDowell last week was assumed by many to signal that the club would go with Bud Black over Snitker. Eddie Perez and Terry Pendleton will remain on the staff in their previous roles, bullpen coach and first base coach, respectively. Also named to the staff is new pitching coach Chuck Hernandez. Hernandez was the 2016 minor league pitching coordinator.

    Speaking to the press, GM John Coppolella said, “Brian earned this opportunity through his dedication to the Braves and to our players. We are excited for the energy and momentum he will bring into SunTrust Park next season.”

    Few in the baseball community have served in as many roles for as long as Brian Snitker. Snitker’s first stint with the Braves came in 1977 as a player. He has remained with the club since then serving as manager of the Durham Bulls, Greenville Braves, Myrtle Beach Pelicans, Mississippi Braves and Richmond Braves. He also previously served in the role of bullpen coach for the big league club.

    Tara Rowe is an independent historian and beat writer for BravesWire.com. Follow Tara on Twitter@framethepitch.