First person Cox tribute: Tom Glavine

Tom Glavine on retiring Braves manager Bobby Cox:

“It’s very simple what he expects out of you. Show up on time, play the game right, wear you’re uniform the right way. And if you can’t do that then you’re going to have problems with anybody…Because things were so simple and so easy to follow, it lent itself to there not being a lot of drama.

“Guys will tell you he’s mellowed a little bit. He’s not probably as much of a stickler for some of the things he used to. Back in the day, even with simple things like the uniform, you better not wear your sunglasses on the bill of your hat. You better not even wear sunglasses; you better have the flip-downs. You better not go out there and not have the right T-shirt on underneath, certain ways guys would act in clubhouse. There are things he’s mellowed on now. He chooses his battles now that he thinks he can win whereas before I think he fought virtually every battle.

Glavine and Cox, back in the day

Glavine and Cox, back in the day

“I’ve seen him after a game in Pittsburgh, there might have been a ball that was dropped because nobody called it and he came in after the game and everybody is getting undressed and getting ready to go eat and he comes out of his office and just tips the table over with all the food on it, like ‘All right, none of you guys are even trying.’ Stuff like that the used to do. He wasn’t one of those guys that did stuff on a whim and tried to get a reaction out of people. When he would do stuff like that, it went a long way and people took notice. You better pay attention to whatever is bugging him.

“You knew you didn’t want to piss him off. At the same time, you knew it took a lot to do that. But more than anything else, you didn’t want to feel like you let him down.

“I look back on our World Series and really the only one we blew was 96. The other ones, 91 against the Twins we could have easily won that. ‘92 same thing, we had a couple things that went wrong, chance to go to Toronto up 2-0 weren’t able to do it, lost a couple tough games in Toronto. ‘93 we were all emotionally worn out from the second half, catching the Giants. You can go through the litany of what ifs.

“I know it’s real easy for people on the outside to criticize Bobby, to blame Bobby that we didn’t win more World Series. What I always found curious, when we were winning division after division, and winning 100 games every year, you’d always hear the same comments from people on talk radio or in the newspaper, ‘Geez how hard is it for Bobby, look at the lineup he’s throwing out there every day. Then you throw in (Greg) Maddux and (John) Smoltz and Glavine and (Steve) Avery, how hard is it?’ When we get to the postseason and throw the same lineup out there and don’t win, somehow that was Bobby’s fault. They didn’t give him credit when we won during the season but somehow it was his fault when we didn’t win in the postseason. At the end of the day you want to judge what kind of manager Bobby is, you listen to people in the game talk about Bobby.”

Previous tributes:

Bobby Dews

Fredi Gonzalez

Royals GM Dayton Moore

Jeff Francoeur

Pete Van Wieren

Umpire Dan Iassogna

Joe Torre

19 comments Add your comment

JEB

September 28th, 2010
10:59 pm

We need to post Glavine’s comments on the DOB blog.
Perhaps they would all read it and SOME will just
shut it up with the “out with BC” rants (I know all will not!)

Darryl Blackberry

September 28th, 2010
11:08 pm

We won’t know till next year how spoiled we’ve been. I, personally, have never been a fan of any team that wasn’t managed by Bobby. I can’t imagine what it’s like to have a manager who’s not a dead-to-rights HOF’er who goes all out for his players. I can’t imagine what it’s like to have a manager who shows negative emotion in the clubhouse, never mind the dugout.

We’ve had it good for a long, long time in Atlanta, and we’ll know more about it in 2011, I suppose.

Brien O'David

September 28th, 2010
11:41 pm

He hit the nail on the head when he said “listen to people in the game talk about Bobby.” That’s always been my argument to people knocking him for the lack of titles. They know the caliber of organizations and how they are built.

MitchC

September 29th, 2010
6:27 am

A very nice tribute by Glavine. Bobby is one of the best managers in the history of baseball. Bobby, Torre, La Russa, and Lasorda, are the cream of the crop of modern day managers.

Glavine should be in the Hall in 2014. Hopefully, Bobby will join him soon after. Often, they dont put managers in, until after the managers pass away. Bobby should go in in his first year of eligibility, no question. After 2500 plus wins, fifteen division titles, hopefully sixteen playoff appearances, and at least one World Series, what else needs to be said about this guy. Many times, he won with what he had. This year, hopefully, it looks like he will get to the playoffs, with a team held together essentially by duct tape. Many other managers would have packed a season like this one in long ago. Not Bobby., He and his team will be there fighting until their very last out of the season, which will hopefully be deep into the playoffs.

vermont 39

September 29th, 2010
7:37 am

I agree with Mitch…our 2 biggest team guys…Chipper and Martin have had season ending injuries…those 2 are our best…no offense BMac and J-Hey…you guys are very, very close…BC has done miracles with this collection of veterans and kids. WAGS, Venters and Moylan have been incredible. Let’s get to the playoffs and do it right!!!!

Tami

September 29th, 2010
7:57 am

I’m really glad to see these comments about Bobby in writing, and from one of his former players. I have to even defend Bobby from folks I’m really close to as well. When it’s all said and done, the Braves have to know that they will NEVER get another manager like Bobby. I’m hopeful that next season will be a carry-over from this season. But, there will be subtle and not-so-subtle changes to get used to. In the end, we’ve enjoyed watching one of the greatest managers in MLB history finish out his career. I’m just so psyched that the boys “woke up” this week to make a run for the Wild Card so the season could be extended just a little more. The playoff picture — as it looks this morning — would have the Braves facing the Reds with the Reds having the home-field advantage. The Phillies would face the Giants, with the Phillies having home-field advantage. I fear that the Braves might be three-&-out with all the key injuries. But I definitely want them to prove me wrong!

As always, this was a great article/addition to Bobby’s tribute series! Thanks, DOB!

G. Moundine

September 29th, 2010
8:02 am

It’s funny how some people are superstitious, and I am one of them. During these last two games against the Florida Marlins, it has been noted that Bobby Cox walks to the other side of dugout for a reason. HE IS SUPERSTITIOUS. I also question if the entire Braves organization is superstitious by bringing Hinske to Atlanta. This guy has appeared in the last three World Series. I just retired from the Army after serving 22 years. It has been an honor to watch Bobby Cox and the Braves over the years. He is one that will discipline his team behind closed doors, but will fight for them outdoors, that’s why he holds the record for getting tossed out of games. You have to respect one that stands up for his players and the game of baseball. Bobby Cox, I salute you Sir and wish you the best!!

G. Moundine

September 29th, 2010
8:08 am

……..and by the way, Bobby is a Hall of Famer..first year of eligibility!!!!!

Duder

September 29th, 2010
8:56 am

This is a terrific series – again many thanks DOB and Carroll.

Glavine’s comments (and the others) should be mandatory reading for any Cox naysayer. The table turning story is a great example of what goes on inside the clubhouse and certainly contradicts the foolish notion some have that Cox is just an easy-going happy-go-lucky skipper.

El Duderino If You're Not Into The Whole Brevity Thing

September 29th, 2010
9:55 am

Glav nails it. I love the story about turning the table over, because that’s a side of Bobby folks outside the clubhouse don’t get to see. It’s not like he doesn’t kick some tail every now and then, but if you keep those outbursts rare, they actually get attention and motivate people. If you explode every day, you get tuned out. (See Guillen, Ozzie.)

Tater the FORMER Bobby Hater

September 29th, 2010
10:37 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.

David O'Brien

September 29th, 2010
10:57 am

Tami: Thanks, but Carroll did this particular as-told-to Cox tribute, with Glavine. She also did the excellent Fredi Gonzalez one a couple of days ago. We both did a bunch of them, going to keep posting one per day.

BB fan

September 29th, 2010
12:50 pm

Oh Tommy, you deserted us for the Mets, the got angry when you couldn’t peddle us you diminished skills later on. How many all star or post seasons appearances make with them?

The Stranger

September 29th, 2010
1:32 pm

I like your style, Il Duderino.

Glav did indeed nail it.

BB – Is this really the time or place for that? Let’s allow these tributes simply to acknowledge the unique and admirable career of a future hall of fame manager.

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