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Braves extend manager Brian Snitker for two years with option for 2021

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The Atlanta Braves just announced a new contract for their manager: Brian Snitker, who was initially named interim manager in 2016 and then was given a one-year deal plus a team option when he was made permanent manager in October of that year, is now signed for two more seasons with a team option for 2021.

In 2018 Snitker, 63, took a Braves team that was widely expected to be at least a year away from contention to a 90-72 record and an NL East title. Snitker has been in the Braves organization in some role or another for over 40 years and is well-respected within the current big league clubhouse. As such, his extension was a foregone conclusion even if many originally expected him to be a caretaker manager until the team got into serious contention.

UPDATE: While Snitker was extended, the Braves have fired pitching coach Chuck Hernandez.

Hernandez, a long-time big league and minor league pitching coach, was hired by the Braves in November 2015 as Minor League pitching coordinator and was named the pitching coach for the Braves following the conclusion of the 2016 season. His dismissal this year is likely a product of a Braves staff that issued the second-most walks in the majors this season and allowed 27 walks and 8 homers in four games against the Dodgers in the NLDS.

Video: Javier Báez jukes David Freese to avoid tag at first base

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Cubs shortstop Javier Báez pulled off one of the best jukes you’ll see, avoiding the tag from David Freese on a play at first base in the second inning of Tuesday night’s game against the Dodgers. Báez barely made contact with a Kenta Maeda pitch well outside the strike zone, tapping it towards Freese. Báez halted his momentum, juking Freese while he attempted to apply the tag, then dove into first base.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts attempted to argue that Báez went out of the baseline, but the umpires’ no-call stood and Báez had himself a single. He would end up stranded on base, unfortunately for him and the Cubs.