Year later, Snitker fondly recalls debut as Braves manager

Credit: Curtis Compton

Credit: Curtis Compton

Wednesday marked the one-year anniversary of Brian Snitker’s first game as interim manager, the day in Pittsburgh that he took over a 9-28 team after Fredi Gonzalez was fired as manager.

“Man, time flies,” said Snitker, who had the interim tag removed from his title when hired as full-time manager in October, after guiding the Braves to a 59-65 record the rest of the season, including 20-10 in the final 30 games.

Snitker received a few texts from friends Wednesday morning to remind and congratulate him.

“It’s hard to believe” it’s been a year, he said. “I took myself back to there, too. Oh, my God. I remember that night, not sleeping. I remember more the second morning, Bobby (Cox) called me and I said, what time is it, anyway? He said, ’11:30.’ I was like, oh my God. I’m glad you called, I might not have woke up. … I remember just finally getting back to the room and just crashing. Everything that just went along with the whole day.”

He also remembers clearly that first game at Pittsburgh. The Braves lost 12-9 after the Pirates scored seven runs in the first inning against rookie pitcher Aaron Blair, who lasted 1 1/3 innings and was charged with nine runs and nine hits. The Braves trailed 9-0 after two innings at PNC Park.

“We came back and damn near won the thing,” Snitker said, smiling a year later. “Sitting there that night I said, God, it feels like I’m in an American Legion dugout. Guys were hooting and hollering, jumping all over the place. It’s like, holy cow.”