Announcement: Braves manager announce he will leave the team next season

Braves manager Brian Snitker smiles one day after being hit below the belt by a foul ball.
ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta manager Brian Snitker could laugh Thursday after getting hit below the belt by a foul liner off Ozzie Albies’ bat in the Braves’ 3-1 victory against the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday night.

The neatly shot foul ball took one hop and reached Snitker so swiftly in the fifth inning that he had no opportunity to defend himself. But even in that time, the 68-year-old manager grinned instead of showing any signs of sorrow.

And, to answer the obvious question, Snitker does not use a protective cup.


“Without protection? Yeah, I know,” Snitker responded, noting that he had received numerous text messages about the incident and how he grinned rather than bending over in pain.

“Well, it hit me right below the belt,” he told me. “… OK, a little high.”

Snitker claimed he wasn’t sore when he woke up Thursday, but he did feel “tensed up” and uncomfortable during the game. He was able to smile because the ball narrowly avoided hitting him in a more sensitive spot.

Snitker stated that he avoided TV on purpose Thursday morning “because I said I’m not going to watch this thing.” Snitker’s son, Troy, a member of the Houston Astros’ coaching staff, ensured that the replay reached his father.

“My son sent me a video of it,” Snitker said ahead of Thursday night’s game against the Giants.

Albies ended his at-bat with a fly ball to center field. When Snitker returned to the bench, the Braves second baseman approached him right away.

“He felt worse than me,” Snitker explained. “He’s such a good kid.”

Snitker was a long-time third base coach before taking over as manager of the Atlanta Braves in 2016 and led the team to six straight NL East titles and the 2021 World Series championship. The third base coaching box can also be dangerous, as Snitker stated that he broke his wrist and suffered other injuries after being hit by foul balls there.

Snitker says he had another cause to smile right after avoiding injury on Wednesday night.

Braves first baseman Matt Olson said Snitker would have been hit by the foul ball if he hadn’t been standing on the dugout steps.

“So I said, ‘Well, I’m a hell of a lot easier to replace than he is,'” Snitker recalled. “So I’m glad it hit me.”

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