Snitker was good but Bud Black may be Braves’ choice for manager

Former San Diego manager Bud Black is considered by some as the leading candidate to become Braves manager. (AP photo)

Former San Diego manager Bud Black is considered by some as the leading candidate to become Braves manager. (AP photo)

I’ve weighed in on the Braves and the three biggest issues facing the team going into the offseason, the most important being the need for starting pitching (which wasn’t supposed to happen).

Here’s a link to that column.

But the hot topic right now is whether the team will keep interim manager Brian Snitker in the job, hire another internal candidate or bring in somebody new from outside the organization. So I figured I would give readers a chance to vote for one of six potential candidates, as well as share some of my thoughts on each:

• Bud Black: Many locked onto Black’s candidacy as soon as he was fired in San Diego in June of 2015 after 8½ seasons. Black played part of his career with Cleveland and developed a relationship with John Hart, who was in charge of the Indians at the time and now is the Braves’ president of baseball operations (and general manager John Coppolella’s boss). He has won two World Series, one as a pitcher with Kansas City (1985) and one as the pitching coach for the Los Angeles Angels (2002). The Braves would try to sell Black as a smart pitching guy and therefore the perfect hire for an organization with young pitchers. But as a manager, Black had only two winning seasons with no postseason appearances in nine years with the Padres (he was fired in the ninth). His career  record: 649-713 (.477 ). Obviously won-loss records have a lot to do with talent and chemistry but can the Braves sell that? For what it’s worth, ESPN’s Jim Bowden lists Black as the “front runner” for the job. I’m inclined to agree.

• Brian Snitker: He went 59-65 as an interim manager, including 12-2 in the last 14 games. Is that good enough to sell the Braves that they should keep this as an inside hire? Not sure. Snitker was great, given the situation he stepped into but I believe Hart and Coppolella have been leaning toward bringing in somebody from the outside. Snitker made the decision more difficult but I’m not sure the late-season results have changed their mind.

• Terry Pendleton: He was always my pick from the coaching staff. Pendleton ranks as one of the greatest leaders and most respected players the Braves have ever had and would manage with the same fire that enabled the Braves to go from worst-to-first in 1991, when he was the National League’s MVP. But Snitker’s success may have eliminated any chance of the Braves giving the job to another internal candidate because it would be difficult to justify publicly.

• Eddie Perez: Many view Perez as a potential manager somewhere. He’s a smart baseball man and knows pitchers. But I doubt he gets the job for the same reason Pendleton doesn’t. The Braves haven’t said anything about retaining Pendleton or Perez if a manager from the outside is hired, and it’s conceivable neither would want to stay. Snitker is in a little different situation and at worst could return to being a minor league manager or kept as a coach.

• Ron Washington: It’s a little surprising the Braves are interviewing him. That’s not taking anything away from Washington as a manager — he had four 90-plus win seasons and went to two World Series in Texas — but he comes with a lot of personal baggage and he’s 64 years old. This might be nothing more than a courtesy interview.

• Mark DeRosa: There have been no recent rumors of DeRosa’s candidacy but the former player and current MLB Network analyst is held in high regard by the organization and was listed as a potential candidate shortly after Fredi Gonzalez’s firing by multiple media outlets, including MLB.com’s Mark Bowman. But this would be a pretty outside-the-box hire by an organization that doesn’t generally make such moves and the Braves’ brass seemed to make it clear Monday that they would not hire a “first-time manager.” Given DeRosa has never even coached, I think he qualifies as a first-timer.

Some recent ramblings

Reader Comments 0

65 comments
Bryank43
Bryank43

Is this the Braves doing their due diligence or is it another example of smoke and mirrors as John Shuerholtz and Bobby Cox anoint another member of their "family" to a lofty and well-paid position? 


Bud Black has no proven track record of consistent success. He only has the fact that he's buddies with Shuerholtz, a man who has managed to retire twice without going home. 


Fredi Gonzalez was the result of just this type of non-familial nepotism that has destroyed the Braves system over the past decade. I should say they are not all non-familial as Shuerholtz's own son has a lofty position within the organization as well. 


There is no other team in baseball which has six Assistants to the General Manager. There is no other team in baseball that employs as many "consultants" as the Braves. 


Bureaucracy and nepotism are two major symptoms of a poorly run corporation. The Braves brag about how they hire within the family, both figuratively and literally, and they also have the front office stacked neck deep in bureaucrats. That's what Special Assistants to the General Manger are. They are baseball bureaucrats. 


It angers me to see that the Braves plan to continue this trend by giving Bud Black, a mediocre leader whose only credential to be front runner for this managerial job is being close to John Shuerholtz, a legitimate shot at leading the Braves in 2017. 


Don't insult me, as a fan, by interviewing Ron Washington just to make this look like a national search. It's not. It's the Braves hiring another "family" member to run their organization further in the ground. 


I'm not a huge proponent of Snitker, though I wouldn't cry if he was the choice, but I am opposed to the incestuous nature of the Braves front office. Hiring a "friend" is what got us into trouble over the past half decade. They couldn't bring themselves to fire their "friend" until he started 9-28, and they still had wine with him in the hotel when they fired him.


I wanted to see a national search, even if it came back around to Snitker, but I don't want to see a disingenuous national search. You have a number of candidates on market, including Walt Weiss, Robin Ventura, Matt Williams. I'm not saying those guys are a good fit, but if you are serious about a national search, why not go to more than just two guys (only one not being a friend of the family) on the national market to interview. 


Now they can say, "we did a national search and Bud Black was the best candidate," when in fact, they did not do a national search. 


Snitker said "someone might come in and blow them away." That's exactly what Shureholtz and Cox don't want to happen. They don't want to be blown away by anyone who may get in the way of them hiring their friends. 


I love the Braves, and I have always loved Bobby Cox and John Shureholtz, but this type of ineffective leadership has to be pointed out. 


Under their friend Fredi G and John Shureholtz's son as assistant director to player development, we have seen the likes of Melvin Upton, Dan Uggla, Andrelton Simmons, Chris Johnson, Eric Aybar, Nick Markakis and many others regress in their development. Most were already established hitters who regressed under Gonzalez's coaching. 


Freddie Freeman began the year in a horrible slump, as did Inciarte and Adonis Garcia. It's a miracle. Fredi's gone and they all come to life. Now let's hire our friend Bud Black because he needs a job.

Biff_Pocoroba
Biff_Pocoroba

Black would be my last choice. Even after Washington. 

Mutley
Mutley

If it ain't broke don't fix it, be careful what you wish for, don't look a gift horse in the mouth. All old sayings that have been proven to be true over and over. For Braves fans, be afraid be very afraid.

Archangel
Archangel

@Mutley They've also been proven to not be true. People reference those sayings only when they are true, and ignore them when they're not, thus giving the illusion that they're always true.

HaiL_Trump!
HaiL_Trump!

Dont make the same misteak as B 4 when they hire a managar with a loosing record. 

We_Will_Get_Fooled_Again
We_Will_Get_Fooled_Again

Black would be a lackluster hire. For whatever reason, former pitchers historically don't have a good track record as managers. There are some exceptions, but Black isn't one of them. Nine seasons without a playoff appearance doesn't inspire confidence.


If we're looking to hire an experienced manager outside the organization, Ron Washington should be the guy. He took the Rangers to back-to-back World Series and players love him.

DawgDadII
DawgDadII

Regardless of who the manager is they need at least a couple of quality starting pitchers and more capable arms for the bullpen. If the John's jobs are on the line, which they should be, let them hire their man. If their grand plan does not put the Braves back in the playoffs with a pool of prospects in the pipeline, as promised, then can the whole bunch and move on.

SouthGeorgiaStrong
SouthGeorgiaStrong

The current staff seem to make playing baseball in Atlanta less tense and more fun. Not sure about McDowell. You just saw the players having more fun FG was gone. Perez, Terry and snitker as manager

Already_Older
Already_Older

If the Braves don't keep Snitker after what he has done with the Braves, they deserve what they get.  Bud Black is no Bruce Bochy.  Unless you are 100% certain you are getting the best in the business, you go with the known commodity.  Snitker deserves it.  What team performed better down the stretch than the Braves?

UncleLeo
UncleLeo

" A lot to do with talent and chemistry....."? Yeah, and don't leave out the part about leadership and solid decision making. Yeah, that's what the Braves need is a sub-.500 manager over 9 seasons.

Jericho30004
Jericho30004

David Ross will ultimately be the manager for the Braves

TOJacket
TOJacket

Uncle Leo......Hello!!!!!!!!

colt07
colt07

Let's get Hart's buddy Black and set the team back two years. Black has accomplished NOTHING as a manager. By the way, what has Hart accomplished? Maybe a division win, but NO championships.

Black will fit in perfectly with "The Braves Way". Losing.

With Black and .455 winning percentage, the new ball park will be half empty by the All Star break next year!

Archangel
Archangel

If Snit is so great why isn't he already an MLB manager somewhere? If Fredi wasn't fired, he'd still be in Gwinnett.

DantheMan58
DantheMan58

Tory Lovullo, 50, Red Sox bench coach, filled in during Farrell's absence as manager, winning organization


LOGS1973
LOGS1973

Bring back Freddie Gonzalez!!

TOJacket
TOJacket

Snit yea!!!!!!......keep Coach Brian!!!

GT71
GT71

Hate to go all 'poetic' here - especially with all these 'rednecks' in the house - but this fits:

All, all of a piece throughout;
Thy chase had a beast in view;
Thy wars brought nothing about;
Thy lovers were all untrue.
'Tis well an old age is out,
And time to begin a new.


Funny how great thoughts last - unlike the scribbling of AJC columnists.  Thank you,  John Dryden.  It is time to begin anew. And an old age truly is out.  Not to mention that in the last 10 years all our wars have brought nothing about and all our love affairs proved untrue (Uggla, BJ, etc...).

Go with Snit. 


Berserker
Berserker

People really need to get a grip on themselves with this love for Snitker. They got hot for the last 2 weeks. Right before that, they were 2-10. Right before that they won 6 in a row, a week after losing 7 in a row. He had a losing record. More importantly, he managed exactly the same as Fredi Gonzalez, the worst manager they've had since they came to Atlanta. Including Ted.

Berserker
Berserker

The real problem with the Braves is not the manager. It's the front office. Until that is fixed, it doesn't matter who the manager is.

Berserker
Berserker

Why would the Braves want to hire Bud Black or Snitker? What is the goal here? Are they just trying to win 70 games every year? I can't understand how Bud Black had a job for 9 years with only 2 winning seasons, no playoffs, LOSING RECORD. Snitker basically managed the team exactly the way Fredi Gonzalez did.

If it were me, my first choice would have been Glenn Hubbard, then Terry Pendleton. If you want a manager who is good with pitchers, then go with Roger McDowell.

LOGS1973
LOGS1973

@Berserker I think YOU may be the right choice Berserker!

You are a baseball man and know all there is to know!! Go Berskie..

Already_Older
Already_Older

@Berserker When Fredi was fired, I would have hired Pendleton then.  But now, I would go with Snitker.

StillBill
StillBill

Whoever is hired, if other than Snitker, will have a challenge.  Short of a great season, we will all think Snitker would have done better.

BetterDog
BetterDog

I think Bud Black has already been signed.  The Johns are just trying to figure out how to report the news.  I believe it is already a done deal.  Brian Snitker thrown under the bus again.  Happens a lot to a loyal employee. 

BetterDog
BetterDog

Hey 58.  Most everyone commenting here are Rednecks.  We are all just plain Deplorables.  Slow your roll. 

58Supersports
58Supersports

"Snit" has done more than ever expected of him and deserves the job. It would be a disgrace if someone else gets the job after all he did for this team and organization. Plus all players love playing for him not like when FG was here.

Dis custed
Dis custed

Naw .. Count on me cancel my renew .. Liberty permitting

Mark Chambless
Mark Chambless

As a Braves fan that has watched at least 120 games a year since 1980 and listen to every pre game radio broadcast,I will say that I would be very disappointed if they hire Black,

brushback69
brushback69

well, no one has been hired yet, so lets just see how it plays out.  No one here has the inside track.  I'll support whomever they hire as he deserves a chance.  I'm for hiring Snit, the players are for hiring Snit, and the fans are for hiring Snit.

I still think he has the edge...

Stinger2
Stinger2

Snitker deserves the job based on his record as interim mgr. this year and the fact that he has given the Braves 40 years of his career.

Chuck_UGA
Chuck_UGA

The Braves history of public relations disasters appears to be continuing. Bud Black is a retread, a loser. He has won nothing and done nothing as a manager. The Braves will repeat the "get less out of more" strategy as in the 1990's with Bobby Cox's lack of post-season success.  That is assuming the Braves ever get to the post-season.  There are no guarantees, regardless of John Hart's efforts.  But hiring re-treads will do one thing well...keep the fans away and reduce sellouts.  I hope 680n the Fan continues to trash the Braves organization as they have this week with this hiring scenario.  Snitker should be hired!  I hope Braves PR is reading these comments, but I doubt it.  Let's move forward and waste the entire rebuilding effort on a retread.  Great.

LOGS1973
LOGS1973

@Chuck_UGA Snit? He is nothing but a short timer.. aka Kirby Smart.. Not ready for the big stage.


Big Wally
Big Wally

It should be Snitker, but it won't - Braves way.

slydawg
slydawg

Come on Shultzie, the Ron Washington interview is just to cover the minority guidelines. They have no intention of hiring him unless he somehow wows them.

Chuck_UGA
Chuck_UGA

@slydawg Ron Washington would be 1000X better than Bud Black.  Washington at least is a winner.

jerunamo
jerunamo

@slydawg I said the same thing on an earlier story and they were ready to jump all over me. Everyone knows it's going to be that loser Bud Black.

slydawg
slydawg

And let me add, the Braves made a mistake when they didn't hire Terry Francona nor Joe Madden when they were available.