The Atlanta Braves were able to sneak in a rare playoff-less October victory, officially removing the “interim” tag from Brian Snitker and naming him the manager for the first year at SunTrust Park.
Braves players old and new rejoiced as the news came out — far too many to list here, although some did name Snitker as the greatest manager they have ever had. The most interesting comment, however, actually came from Danny Burawa, former Gwinnett farmhand and recent famed signee of the Long Island Ducks of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball.
You would be lying (or already incredibly successful … feel free to say hello) if you said that did not inspire you at least a little bit. This guy has been with the Braves organization for 40 years (!!), serving as a player, manager, coach, or instructor in some capacity since 1977, and he was also able to take a 9-28 Atlanta Braves team and help them finish at 68-93, albeit with a slightly improved roster (for those mathematically challenged out there, his managerial record sits at 59-65, also known as “almost .500”).
Oh, but you know better than to think Mr. Coppy stopped there. No, not only did he get/keep his guy in Snitty, he managed to hire his next choice, too. Somehow, someway, he hired Ron Washington, who thought he had the job in the bag following the interview, as his new third base coach — Washington’s identical position in Oakland. Even though Oakland outbid the Braves, it appears as though the proximity to his home was the deciding factor.
Now, this did raise some eyebrows, as the Braves technically had permission to interview Washington for the manager position — far different than permission to swoop in and steal him for the same position he manned in Oakland, just like they stole Dansby Swanson from the Arizona Diamondbacks (too soon?). Ultimately, however, it is Washington’s decision, and it is hard to fault a guy for wanting to be closer to home, but this may make other clubs hesitant to let Smooth Criminal Coppy to talk to their coaches/players/batboys/vendors/anybody.
Meanwhile, Washington has been consistently praised as a great coach to learn from, and the youngins of the Atlanta Braves will likely thrive from his influence.
Finally, the Braves announced the rest of their 2017 coaching staff, as seen above. Bo Porter was shifted to Special Assistant to the General Manager (Assistant to the Regional Manager? Anybody?), while Chuck Hernandez was promoted from Minor League Pitching Coordinator to Pitching Coach. The Hernandez promotion comes on the heels of moving on from long-time coach Roger McDowell, who had raised some concerns as to his ability to groom the young guns of tomorrow.