For the second time in about as many weeks there has been news out of Atlanta that another prominent member to the Atlanta Braves family is having thoughts of retirement. This time it is a definite farewell tour for one of the games best, most successful and long lasting managers in baseball.
Bobby Cox, 68, announced that he had signed a 1 year contract extension that will take him through next season at which point he will step down and take on a 5 year position of consultant to the team. What that means isn’t clear other then he will still be part of the organization. After 50 years in baseball and still a passion for the game and what he does. He has said that the only way he would be able to leave and stick with it was to announce it publicly - to give himself a deadline of sorts. "I’ll believe it when I see it," Braves slugger Chipper Jones said. Cox is the only manager that he has known as a pro, and both were at the heart of the Braves historic run during the 90’s and early 2000’s.
A cigar-smoking baseball lifer, Bobby managed the Braves from 1978-81. At that time he left to head up north to manage the Toronto Blue Jays from 1982-85, the first time that expansion team began to become a serious contending team. In 1986 he returned to become GM of the Braves, when in June 1990 He fired the coach and appointed himself. He led the Braves to five NL pennants and a record 14 straight division titles from 1991-2005. He is a true great without a doubt Hall of Fame caliber. One of his greatest records is being the all-time record holder for ejections with 159.
It is great that Bobby will be going out on his own terms and not be the guy who hangs in too long and is just there because he is who he is and can not be moved out. It also gives the Braves a full season to find a suitable replacement.
It will be hard to see the Braves without Bobby in the dugout and even more so if Chipper isn’t there either. I knew this day may come eventually but it will still be strange.