Manager tossed for arguing after losing a challenge on play at plate
By Pat James
ATLANTA -- Since becoming the Braves' interim manger, Brian Snitker had considered venting his frustration over a controversial call on a couple of occasions, only to keep his comments to himself.
But in Thursday's 4-3 win over the Mets at Turner Field, the 60-year-old skipper finally had enough. With his team trailing, 3-2, in the seventh, Snitker was ejected and departed Turner Field with a display similar to former Braves manager Bobby Cox.
Snitker's first ejection as a Major League manager awakened the crowd and his team, which ultimately secured the victory on a two-run home run by Adonis Garcia an inning later.
"It's just one of those things where it was the right time I thought," Snitker said. "Guys are laying it out there for me. It's a tough situation anymore with the replay. You're just kind of limited. Every now and then you feel like you may need to vent a little bit and get it off your chest."
On Thursday, Snitker's anger spawned from an umpire-review decision.
With runners on second and third and one out in the seventh, Ender Inciarte hit a fly ball to Mets left fielder Michael Conforto, who caught the ball and fired it to home plate to get Emilio Bonifacio for the final out of the inning.
Snitker issued a challenge, but the replay confirmed Travis d'Arnaud's tag beat Bonifacio to the plate and that the catcher wasn't in violation of the home-plate collision rule.
The Braves skipper then exchanged a couple of choice words with crew chief Mike Everitt before being ejected. Snitker followed Everitt toward third base while continuing to argue with him and eventually removed his cap and waved it in the air.
"Admiration is the first word that comes to mind," said Garcia through a translator. "You just always know Snit has your back and he's always pulling for your team.
"We all saw the same play out there, so for him to go out there and just defend us and get fired up like that, it definitely gave us a rush of energy, got us all pumped up and kind of rallied the whole team together."
The Braves have now won seven of their past eight games, including four straight against the Mets. During that span, they've scored 4.8 runs per game and complied a 2.37 ERA (20 earned runs in 76 innings).
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the team's recent success, though, has been how it has responded when facing adversity. Atlanta has rallied for six of those seven victories, confirming what Snitker has believed about his team all year.
"These guys -- I've said it ever since I've been here -- there's just no quit in them," Snitker said. "They just keep working, keep grinding, keep playing and picking each other up. It's nice when they're rewarded like that."
Pat James is a reporter for MLB.com based in Atlanta. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.