Kurt Suzuki will be back with the Braves in 2018, and he hopes he's joined by his manager.
After agreeing to a one-year extension on Saturday afternoon, the Braves catcher offered a strong endorsement of manager Brian Snitker. The team hasn’t decided Snitker’s fate.
“A lot goes to show for having a manager that you love playing for,” Suzuki said. “Snit is a guy that, and I can speak for a lot of guys on the team, where I say that he’s a guy you go out there and give 110 percent, you run through a wall for. That’s the type of manager you want to play for.”
Suzuki's opinion is shared by many throughout the locker room. First baseman Freddie Freeman praised Snitker last month, and amid several reports and rumors, the players have maintained the same tune.
“I think that had a lot to do with my personal success, was knowing whenever I’m out there, he’s got your back 110 percent,” Suzuki said. “He lets you do your thing. Just come out and be prepared and ready to go and be ready to play. And I think he gets a lot of respect that way.”
Suzuki made sure to clarify his comments weren’t lip service. Snitker is the man he hopes he signed on to play for, and Suzuki commended the job he’s done in preparing them to play.
“One hundred percent,” Suzuki said of wanting Snitker back. “I think he’s done a phenomenal job getting us ready for baseball games. I think, for me personally, just knowing you have a manager that has your back 100 percent, it says a lot. He’s a guy that I’d play for any day of the week, anytime, anywhere.”
Snitker has a club option for 2018. Managers typically don't work on a year-to-year basis, but that was the case here in 2017. Snitker met with Braves management Friday in what he called a positive meeting.
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Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC