The End Of An Era

Pathetically, it has been over a month since I’ve written anything here (I’ve been busy, I swear!), but I thought it was worth coming out of retirement to briefly mention something about the retirement of long-time Braves manager Bobby Cox.

Cox announced before the season started that this would be his last, but his career officially came to an end last night when the Braves lost another excruciating one-run game to the Giants in the NLDS.

A lot of good articles have been written in tribute to Cox, so I won’t spend a lot of time doing that here, but I just wanted to note a couple of things.

First, Cox is one of the greatest managers of all time, and his run of 14 consecutive playoff appearances will likely never be equaled. He’s also one of only two managers with 6 100-win seasons, and that is impressive as well. Certainly he didn’t win as often in the postseason as I (or he, or anyone) would have liked, and near the end of his career he began to make a lot of pitching moves that I didn’t understand, but none of that takes away from a remarkable managerial career.

Secondly, people always emphasize how Cox was a “player’s manager”—he’s the kind of manager that players love to play for because he is upfront about his expectations and always supports his players. Many of his players have looked up to him as a father figure, and the fact that he inspires his players to give their best probably has a lot to do with the fact that the 2010 Braves, a team that had absolutely no business playing in the postseason, managed to come away with the NL Wildcard. You could probably even argue that of all his seasons at the helm of the Braves, 2010 was his best managerial performance.

Anyway, one way or another it’s the end of an era in Atlanta, and despite certain things that I disliked about him, I’ll miss seeing Bobby sitting in the dugout with his arms folded, muttering to himself and contemplating whether or not he should go out and get tossed from a game in order to back up one of his guys.

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