The Atlanta Braves season is over, which means it is time to once and for all hire a manager.
Former manager Fredi Gonzalez was fired in May after the Braves started the season 9-28, the worst start in franchise history. The Braves promoted Brian Snitker, the franchise's Triple-A Gwinnett manager, to be the interim manager for the remainder of the season.
The Braves built some momentum late in the year under Snitker. The team finished by winning 12 of their final 15 games and were 37-35 after the All-Star break.
The Braves interviewed Snitker and three other internal candidates for the position, according to the AP. Snitker's experience managing for the Braves coupled with his relative success has left many to believe he is the front runner for the job.
There are also players in the clubhouse rooting for him.
"If it was up to be, I'd pencil him in right now," Jace Peterson said to 11Alive Sunday.
"Every since Snit's been here, I think guys have personally bought in to what he's trying to do. He's just one of the managers that gets the best out of his players, knows how to handle his players," Peterson said. "He never gets rattled in the dugout, never gets rattled in the clubhouse. He's the same every day. That's what you want in a manager."
Mallex Smith and Dansby Swanson both said they "love" Snitker.
"Just how he goes about his business, lets us play, lets us have fun and just puts us in the best possible position to win," Swanson said.
The other three internal candidates the Braves interviewed are bench coach Terry Pendleton, first base coach Eddie Perez and third base coach Bo Porter.
Pendleton played for the Braves from 1991-94 and 1996. He was the NL batting champion and NL MVP in 1991. He began coaching with the Braves in 2002. He has repeatedly been a candidate for open manager positions, including the Braves' open position in 2010 after Bobby Cox retired.
Perez played baseball professionally for 20 seasons. His first season was with the Braves' World Series team in 1995. Perez was Hall of Famer Greg Maddux's personal catcher. He became a coach for Atlanta in 2007.
Porter is in his second season with the Braves. He previously managed the Houston Astros in 2013-14.
MLB.com's Mark Bowman Tweeted that the Braves are interviewing two additional outside candidates: Bud Black and Ron Washington. 11Alive's news partner USA TODAY Sports confirmed the Braves' plans to interview Black.
Snit says he understands why the Braves will continue to evaluate external options.— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) October 3, 2016
Black is a former manager of the San Diego Padres. He currently works in the front office of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. He managed the Padres for eight seasons, but only two of them were winning seasons. The Padres never went to the playoffs under his direction. Black won the National League Manager of the Year Award in 2010.
Washington is a third base coach for the Oakland Athletics. He was the manager of the Texas Rangers from 2007 to 2014. The Rangers went to the World Series in 2010 and 2011. In 2011, the Rangers were twice one strike away from winning the Fall Classic in Game 6, but gave up a walk-off homerun in extra innings and lost Game 7. He unexpectedly resigned in 2014 because of personal issues with his family. Washington is known to be an expressive coach who lets his players know exactly what he is thinking.