Brian Snitker set to manage first MLB playoff game after four decades with Braves

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Braves manager Brian Snitker reflects on 40-year journey to 2018 NLDS

- All right, Snit. Here we are, first postseason managing. You've been with this team for over 40 years. How has that kind of led you to this moment as a manager?

- Well, I mean, it's just-- it's what I've done my whole life or the majority of my life. You know, somebody-- I've spent my entire career auditioning for this time right now, and it's an exciting time. And I told the players in spring training, my first meeting with them, that there's a lot of similarities to now and 27 years ago. And I remember that. I mean, I was very enthralled with all that and part of it. And so it's a really cool time right now.

INTERVIEWER: Well, we watched Bobby Cox lead the Braves to 14 division titles, and everybody knows y'all's relationship. What did he teach you or show you, you know, you being a part of his staff, that you think's gonna help you this week--

- Well--

INTERVIEWER: --for the postseason?

- Yeah. And I watched him in postseason games, and the patience, and how he kept everything just kind of even keel. And he tells me now just keep it simple and, you know, trust your gut and your instinct. And I watched him do it with, you know, such ease and grace.

I mean, nothing ever-- I'd sit in the dugout and react, and he'd ask me what's wrong, you know, through situations. And I was like, oh, nothing, you know. But-- 'cause he was always prepared for the next instance. I mean, he was always-- and that was the one thing about Bobby. He was always two or three innings ahead of everybody else, and that's hard to do in the course of a game when things get speeding up a little bit.

And that's why I'm fortunate to have a guy like Walt Weiss right there with me in the dugout. And, you know, Chuck Hernandez has been through all this and been to the World Series, and things like that. So I've got a great support staff.

And so-- and then-- but, you know, the patience that Bobby has is probably one of the greatest attributes that he had, and the fact that he knows this game's hard to play.

- No doubt.

BRIAN SNITKER: I think that's a great quality that he has.

INTERVIEWER: You know, not everyone may know, but you're a big family guy, and I'm lucky enough to know your family well. But, you know, what has this journey meant to your family? And obviously I know they're your biggest support group.

BRIAN SNITKER: Yeah. No, it's been great. I mean, I was so blessed that they all could be there when we clinched, 'cause, I mean, they've been through this whole ride with me.

I mean, Ronnie's been with me the entire way. You know, I drug the kids all over God's green acre here while they were growing up. And they, you know, they've lived this life for a long, long time. And now my Erin has the twin-- Luke and Jude, the twin grandkids, and they're a part of it now too.

- Lightning and Thunder?

BRIAN SNITKER: Thunder and Lightning, yeah. And John, my son in-law, played at Georgia Tech, so he gets the whole thing. But it's just been really special that they've been, 'cause they've been there for me. They've been my biggest supporters. Without them I couldn't be doing this, or I wouldn't be sitting right here. So I'm blessed and so grateful to them. And the love they've given me over the years allowed me to do this.

INTERVIEWER: You're gonna be managing your first game in the postseason. What's your--

BRIAN SNITKER: Yeah.

INTERVIEWER: --message to the guys?

BRIAN SNITKER: Again, it's just don't do anything different. What we've done to this point has been good enough, and we are who we are. I mean, we're not without some blemishes, and we're not, you know, this big super team or anything like that.

But we've got a lot of gamers. We've got a lot of guys that really like to play the game. They like to work. They enjoy the competition. And I told them it's like you guys have played with your hair on fire all year, and don't stop now. I mean, just keep doing what you've been doing, 'cause it's good enough.

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