Royals general manager and former Braves scouting and minor league executive Dayton Moore on retiring Braves manager Bobby Cox:
“When you were trying to sign players through the draft or internationally, everybody knew who Bobby Cox is and we’d you’d say, ‘If you’re going play for Bobby Cox, you’re going to run balls out.’ “If you’re going to play for Bobby Cox, you’re going to get runners over.’ ‘If you’re going to pitch for Bobby Cox, you’re going to have to throw strikes.’ ‘If you’re going to play for Bobby Cox, you’re going to have to worry about being a good teammate first.’ It was all centered around being a good teammate and being professional and managing failure. That’s how you had to do it.
“Everybody knows the story and it’s true, (coach) Jim Beauchamp and I – it was during the draft – Kelly Johnson was really struggling up here, and I walked in the clubhouse and saw Kelly and Kelly looked like he was about ready to jump. And I said, ‘How are you doing?’ He said ‘I’m not doing good. I’m just trying to get better.’ I went in with Jim Beauchamp to Bobby’s office and I said, ‘Bobby do we need to send Kelly Johnson down?’ And Bobby’s like ‘No, he’s going to be fine. I’ve got him hitting in the No. 3 hole tonight. He’s got a great swing.’ The confidence Bobby Cox had in players gave you a comfort level in recommending players to come to the major leagues because you knew right away Bobby was going to believe in them. And when a guy like Bobby Cox believes in you, it gives you a lot of confidence as a person and as a player.
“Bobby wanted guys that were baseball players. He wants guys that respect the game and the people in it. Because of that, it kept it simple: how to evaluate players and how to motivate players. I remember Bobby when I was a young scout, doing scouting and stuff with the Braves, Bobby spoke in our meeting and he said ‘Guys we’ve got to scout the players with tools, but if we want to win championships, you better not forget about the Mark Lemkes and the Jeff Blausers of the world.’ Not that those guys don’t have tools, they do, they’re major league players, but winning make-up, and the guys that are going to add to the chemistry of a baseball team over the course of 162 games.”