If you’ve followed me for a while, you’re well aware of how critical I have been of Brian Snitker, and I’m not alone. I thought he was completely out-managed by Dave Roberts (of all people) in the NLCS and was a significant reason why the Braves could not shut the door. He also made several questionable decisions against the Cardinals in the 2019 NLDS, and don’t get me started this season. Snitker’s been the poster child for piss-poor bullpen management.
That’s not to say Brian Snitker is a bad manager — he isn’t. The man is fantastic in the clubhouse; the players love him, and he gets the guys ready every night for 162 games. That’s a substantial part of the job, but can he be the guy that gets the Braves over the top?
I’m a firm believer that a monkey with a ball cap on could have gotten the Braves to the postseason the last four seasons. These teams have been that talented, and frankly, the rest of the NL East has been pretty miserable. The playoffs are when managers are needed most, where Brian Snitker has faltered time and time again. However, it’s also the place where he can reconstruct his image.
If I’m not going to give him much credit for the Braves winning the division four consecutive years, I’m also not going to bash the seemingly millions of egregious bullpen decisions he’s made this season. As far as this season is concerned, the slate is clean. Brian Snitker was and always will be judged for how his decisions affect the team in October. And he’s got an early decision to start thinking about as the NLDS approaches. Who should start Game 1?