BS Report: August 21st

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Braves manager Brian Snitker might win his second straight National League manager of the year award with what happened this past Sunday. Snitker’s star player, Ronald Acuna, failed to run hard on a fly ball that looked like it was going out of the park, but instead went high off the brick wall in right field. Acuna walked with his bat for six steps and then ran, but instead of being at second base and giving the Braves two runners in scoring position with none out, Acuna had a long single. Snitker pulled him from the game, just like he did last year when Ender Inciarte didn’t hustle and just like Bobby Cox, Snitker’s mentor, did 21 years ago when Andruw Jones didn’t run. Don’t give me any millennial talk that Snitker was the old man on his porch screaming for us to get off his lawn. This wasn’t about not letting someone have fun on the field. This was about professionalism. This was about hustling. This was about what Snitker said after the game. The name on the front is more important than the name on the back of the jersey – and that includes a superstar. Ronald Acuna is a superstar. He’s probably already the best player in the National League and the second-best player in the sport. But he’s got to run hard. He’s got to hustle. Most managers, like Snitker, simply have two rules – show up on time and play hard. That’s it. And with the players making that much money, that’s not too much to ask. Acuna is a great kid, and he simply made a mistake. He owned up to it, especially after Freddie Freeman blessed him out after it happened. And Acuna will be fine. He’ll be better for the incident and I guarantee you he will run hard from now on. These hitters in the sport do admire their long fly balls, and that’s ok, as long as the ball goes out of the park. If it hits off the brick wall and you’re just at first base, that’s a problem. Snitker then again showed why he’s such a good manager on Tuesday night when the Marlins hit Acuna with the first pitch of the game. There was Snitker, like he was last year when it happened, taking up for Acuna. Those are his kids. He was doing his job by taking up for his kids. This Braves team has been hit hard by injuries. Brian McCann is the latest player hurt, and that injury could be a crushing blow. But they are still on track to win their second straight division title, and with how this season has gone, we could see Snitker win his second straight manager of the year award. Sure, he’s a coach, but he manages that clubhouse better than any manager in baseball. He’s in charge, and he respects his players. But when he has to take care of business, Snitker does it. He proved that again Sunday.