Former Brave Jeff Francoeur on retiring Braves manager Bobby Cox:
“In ’06, when I got off to that awful start, I remember Bobby calling me into his office and telling me ‘You’re going to play right field for me every day for the rest of this year. Just go out there, relax and have fun.’ That was him instilling confidence in me. For me it meant so much because at the time, you don’t know, getting called in, if it’s going to be ‘Pick your stuff up,’ or ‘You need to get going.’ You don’t know what it is. For him to say that meant the world to me.
“And then of course, probably the greatest story was when I got tossed the first time in ‘06 out in San Diego right after the All-Star break. I’ll never forget it. I got tossed and Bobby got tossed and we come in and I’m like, ‘What do I do?’ He said, ‘Go have a couple cold beers and get in the cold tub or something and relax. And then you’ll probably have to write a $500 check. Or you can do what I do, write a $10,000 one and tell them when it runs out, let me know.’ I’ve never laughed so hard, sitting there in the sixth inning.
“It’s always special to play against Bobby. There’s probably nobody that hurt for me more when I struggled than he did. He wanted me to do so well. For that, I’ll be forever grateful. He gave me so many opportunities to play, kept going with me. I remember last year late in the year when I did so well (in New York), he came up to me and was so happy for me.”