First person Cox tribute: Umpire Dan Iassogna

Major League umpire Dan Iassogna on retiring Braves manager Bobby Cox:

“He’s one of the best managers I’ve ever worked with because you know where he stands at all times on the field. You will never be surprised by one of his reactions, ever. The most difficult managers to work with are the guys that pat you on the back, and they’ve got the knife in the other hand. Bobby is not like that. He will protect his players at all times. What a lot of people don’t realize, he gets thrown out of a lot of games, but his players don’t. If you’re having a discussion, a situation with one of his players, he will come out and take the bullet for the guy 100 percent of the time. Bobby doesn’t even let you make the decision. If he feels like his guy is about to get thrown out, he’s going to get thrown out and pull that whole situation onto him and take it off his player.”

Umpire Dan Iassogna

Umpire Dan Iassogna

“But on the field if he asks you a question, you know exactly what he wants to know. He’s very specific about what he does; that’s why he’s one of the greatest managers of all time. I’ve thrown him out one time. It was a balk call in Montreal. I was going up and down, kind of like a Triple-A player going between Triple-A and the big leagues. John Burkett was pitching. He started and stopped and threw to first and picked off the guy and I called a balk. He yelled from the dugout ‘Go back to Double-A.’ Well, it was ‘Go back to (expletive) Double-A.’ So I ran him. And he came out; we had a little bit of an argument. And then he left. It was the only time I ever ran him, knock on wood. That was in 2001. I had about maybe 200 games in the big leagues. I didn’t get hired on staff (full-time) until 2004. He was very typical Bobby. The hat comes off, goes back on, hat comes off, goes back on. He screamed a little bit, and I yelled at him. But as a young umpire, there are certain managers you don’t feel like you’ve made it to the big leagues until you’ve actually had a situation with him. Throwing Bobby Cox out of a game you know you are absolutely in the big leagues.”

“The nice thing was, the next day was a brand new day with him. After the game, in the tunnel, he’s the friendliest guy you’ve ever met in your life. He’s like your grandfather. He really is. He can’t be any nicer. I think he respects the profession.”

Previous tributes: Joe Torre  

36 comments Add your comment

me

September 22nd, 2010
5:13 pm

SimpleDawg

September 22nd, 2010
5:13 pm

Bobby is a real Prince. He will be sorely missed.

mountain_jim

September 22nd, 2010
5:19 pm

Nice Carroll!

Mike S

September 22nd, 2010
5:28 pm

That is awesome. Great stuff, Carroll!

Roger

September 22nd, 2010
5:39 pm

It will take me a long time to get used to not seeing Bobby Cox in the dugout. He, along with all those familiar faces through the years which are no longer there (Maddux, Smoltz,Glavine, Javy Lopez, Fred Mcgriff, Andres Galaraga, Justice, Leo Mazone) and so many, many others. Let’s not forget Skip Caray and all the games he called. Seems like these guys become part of your family when you watch them every night for 6+ months. I also wish they would put Don Sutton back on TV with Joe Simpson for part of the TV games. Give us a little variety. Go Braves!!! Great story Carroll.

Bruce

September 22nd, 2010
5:41 pm

ArkyTech

September 22nd, 2010
5:46 pm

“What a lot of people don’t realize, he gets thrown out of a lot of games, but his players don’t.”

Stellar observation. I never hear that pointed out.

Puma

September 22nd, 2010
5:48 pm

That was cool, interesting to hear that perspective.

Joshua

September 22nd, 2010
6:01 pm

bobby always protects his players. That’s why everyone always wants to come play for him in Atlanta. Congrats bobby to an amazing career. On and off the field! GO BRAVES!!!!!

lanier

September 22nd, 2010
6:10 pm

The real ones that are gonna miss Bobby are the players.

Did any of you guys try the deli for breakfast?

shadetree

September 22nd, 2010
6:26 pm

Cox is retiring?

Since when?

Michael C

September 22nd, 2010
6:30 pm

I wonder if Angel Hernandez contributed a story for one of these to come later? Might be interesting. I’ve never been much for wearing jerseys with players’ numbers, but I might could stand a #6.

Michael C

September 22nd, 2010
6:31 pm

P.S. Carroll, you’re wonderful. I always enjoy reading your stuff.

Keith

September 22nd, 2010
6:45 pm

Re: shadetree

Please turn your sarcasm off. :)

Surely, you are kidding. Since before this season, I believe….we knew he was retiring….

Keith

September 22nd, 2010
6:45 pm

Re:

Carroll, great story!!!!! Lovin’ it. ;)

1eyedJack

September 22nd, 2010
7:15 pm

If Ted Turner hadn’t lost interest and sold out do you think Bobby would have more than 1 World Series trophy?

Bob Horner

September 22nd, 2010
7:31 pm

nice blog Carroll…really good stuff…I mean it….

USMC DAWG

September 22nd, 2010
7:36 pm

Iassogna is a class act. He’s one of the few who realizes he’s not above the game. Joe West, Balkin’ Bob Davidson, an others actually seem to think people pay to come see them call a game. There needs to be more like him and Marvin Hudson.

Mark

September 22nd, 2010
8:32 pm

Great article. I will miss watching Cox just like I missed watching Alston in LA and Sparky in Cin. It is nice to see Cox is appreciated by the umpires as well. His reactions are rarely personal.

lee

September 22nd, 2010
8:56 pm

no 1eyedjack turner has nothing to do with just one world series. it has to do with Bobby Cox’s inability to manage an affective pitching staff and make player take responsibility for the way they play the game–thats the reason this team has no more world series wins than they do-Cox should have been gone after the break this year and maybe the team might have had a chance getting to the playoffs this season–he is not leaving quick enough in my opinion!!!

Drifter

September 22nd, 2010
9:53 pm

Yeah, it’s terrible to end a career with only one World Championship ring. I’ve lived in Atlanta 50 years and Bobby Cox has given this city the only one in any sport in that period. God Bless him.

david

September 22nd, 2010
11:39 pm

go screw off lee –jack wagon

david

September 22nd, 2010
11:43 pm

do you think if Lonnie Smith hadnt held up at 2nd when TP hit that shot in the 9th we wouldnt have won that series? If Wholers hadnt thrown his 3rd best pitch to Leyritz in 96 we would have won back to back WS–dont blame that on Cox–the players need to execute. JACK WAGONS!!!!

david

September 22nd, 2010
11:48 pm

a couple breaks here and there and the BRAVES would have won 4-5 WS in the 90’s–not the Crankees– baseball is a game of breaks –good or bad– and u have 2 deal with it.

david

September 22nd, 2010
11:48 pm

anybody out there?

wjones

September 23rd, 2010
9:37 am

“lee

September 22nd, 2010
8:56 pm
no 1eyedjack turner has nothing to do with just one world series. it has to do with Bobby Cox’s inability to manage an affective pitching staff and make player take responsibility for the way they play the game–thats the reason this team has no more world series wins than they do-Cox should have been gone after the break this year and maybe the team might have had a chance getting to the playoffs this season–he is not leaving quick enough in my opinion!!!”

So in YOUR opinion, it is perfectly acceptable to fire a man who

1. Has already announced his retirement at the end of the season, after one of the most acclaimed careers in sports history

2. Had his team in first place, and was one of the hottest teams in MLB at the time.

I am glad I don’t work for you.

SP

September 23rd, 2010
10:24 am

Thanks Carroll. Really enjoyed this perspective and hope we see some more of these “first person” profiles in the next couple weeks.

Braves Fan Lost in Ohio

September 23rd, 2010
10:44 am

dap01

September 23rd, 2010
1:03 pm

Good article.

We Love Bobby Cox

September 23rd, 2010
5:15 pm

All you idiots who are talking bad about Bobby Cox are complete dumb azzs,#6 is one of the greatest managers in the history of baseball.Bobby Cox will be a first ballot Hall of Famer and should very well be.Baseball is a game of inches and breaks,if the Braves had any luck at all they could have won a couple more World Series titles.

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The Snark

September 24th, 2010
3:44 pm

I had dinner with four MLB umpires a few years ago. I asked them what they thought of Bobby Cox. Three of them immediately volunteered that he was a great guy and they had the greatest respect for them. The fourth groaned and said, “Ahhhhh, he’s an a*****e.”

We gonna miss Bobby.

Tater the FORMER Bobby Hater

September 29th, 2010
10:43 am

I have been one of the most militant of Bobby’s critics over the years and I have always been quick to point out when his stubborn loyalty to his players cost the team wins. (I still shudder when I remember how he let Charlie Liebrant to pitch to Kirby Puckett.)

Lately, however I have come to the conclusion that maybe Bobby has been right all along. After all aren’t loyalty, kindness and patience toward a fellow human being more important than a few numbers in the win column? So I would like to apologize to you Mr. Cox for all of my judgemental remarks. Thank you for caring for your players. Good bye and good luck in your retirement.

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