PITTSBURGH -- Terry Pendleton and Eddie Perez would both like the opportunity to become the Braves' next long-term manager. But neither objected to the club's decision to name Brian Snitker the interim manager after Fredi Gonzalez was dismissed on Tuesday."I was good with it as soon as I knew it
PITTSBURGH -- Terry Pendleton and Eddie Perez would both like the opportunity to become the Braves' next long-term manager. But neither objected to the club's decision to name Brian Snitker the interim manager after Fredi Gonzalez was dismissed on Tuesday.
"I was good with it as soon as I knew it was [Snitker]," Perez said. "Like Bobby [Cox], I kind of look at him like a father figure."
• Gonzalez dismissed as manager of Braves
Perez and Pendleton appreciate the fact that they will likely be among the top candidates later this year, when the Braves determine who will serve as their manager for the 2017 season and beyond. But for now, they are simply looking forward to the chance to handle new roles as members of Snitker's first big league coaching staff.
When Snitker learned on Monday that he would be named interim manager, he immediately requested Pendleton to be moved from first-base coach to bench coach, a role that was vacated on Monday, when Gonzalez's longtime right-hand man Carlos Tosca was also let go.
As Snitker served as Atlanta's third-base coach from 2007-13, he developed a strong bond with the former National League MVP. The 60-year-old suburban Atlanta resident and Pendleton would routinely carpool to Turner Field during the regular season.
"[Pendleton] brings instant credibility," Snitker said. "He has a tremendous knowledge of the game. We became great friends when we spent a lot of time riding back and forth together from the ballpark. I respect and think the world of him."
Though Pendleton hasn't been mentioned as a managerial candidate as frequently as he was nearly a decade ago, he still has aspirations to eventually gain this role. He has served as Atlanta's hitting coach or first-base coach dating back to 2002. Now he'll get a better sense of the managerial role as he will be enhancing his pregame responsibilities and remaining in constant contact with Snitker regarding in-game decisions.
"I have to be more involved in the game now," Pendleton said. "Snit is relying on me to assist him the best I can. ... It's been a plus for me to get the opportunity to do this."
Before learning Snitker would serve as the interim manager, Perez was looking forward to the possibility that he would get a chance to spend the remainder of this season essentially auditioning for the long-term managerial role. But the former catcher is content with the club's decision to alter his role from bullpen coach to first-base coach.
Perez spent the past two offseasons serving as a manager in the Venezuelan Winter League and ended up guiding his team to the championship game of the Caribbean Series. He believes this experience prepared him for the big league managerial role he hopes to eventually gain.
Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.