MIAMI — Bobby Cox will manage a game in Miami for the last scheduled time Sunday, but the Marlins have no plans to recognize the retiring Braves skipper.
The Marlins gave no reason, but it could stem from Cox’s publicly criticism of Florida ownership after Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez was fired in June.
This would be the first time this season Cox has not received at least a scoreboard tribute in a town the Braves are playing in for the final time with him as manager.
The Cox farewell tour has included video tributes in most cities and a long list of gifts ranging from a jumbo-sized humidor (White Sox), a Stetson cowboy hat and boots (Astros), a fly-fishing rod and three nights at Colorado dude ranch (Rockies), and an original seat No. 6 (Cox’s number) from Wrigley Field (Cubs), along with a “6″ from the hand-operated Wrigley scoreboard.
Even the Minnesota Twins, who rarely play the Braves, had a pregame ceremony at home plate, where Cox was presented with a check for his charitable foundation and got a standing ovation from Twins fans (he’s received standing ovations in every city).
Gonzalez, a former Braves third-base coach, was fired as Florida manager on June 23, and Cox pulled no punches in his criticism of the move.
“I know that guy [owner Jeffrey Loria] is unpredictable, but I was still [surprised],” Cox said that day. “After everything he’s done for that guy, are you [kidding] me?”
Gonzalez had a 276-279 record in 3-1/2 seasons as Marlins manager. The team finished 87-75 in 2009 despite having the smallest player payroll in the major leagues.
“They’ve gone down to the end [competing for a playoff spot] every year, playing their asses off,” Cox said. “That guy [Loria] doesn’t appreciate anything.”
Gonzalez is presumed to be a leading candidate to replace Cox as Braves manager in 2011.