Braves visiting clubhouse manager John Holland, who’s worked for the organization for more than four decades, on retiring Braves manager Bobby Cox:
“Bobby treats everybody with respect. Everybody Bobby meets is a friend.
“Being around him so long, we’re good friends. We’ve done things outside of baseball; we’ve cut wood together. Yeah, he’s one of my good friends. Someone I look up to, always have.
“When he was managing [the Braves] the first time, he made everything fun. He still makes everything fun. He makes you want to improve yourself. He makes you want to do a good job, not just for him but to take pride in what you’re doing and go after what you want to do.
“When he was general manager, we had so much fun because when the team was on the road. He’d come down to the clubhouse or he’d call the clubhouse and say, ‘Come on upstairs, let’s sit and talk.’
“Since he’s been back as manager, the years we’ve had together, everything’s flown by. It’s just been such a pleasure to work with Bobby. To work for him, work with him, be his friend, whatever.
“Like I said before, he’s somebody you want to do anything in the world for, and you want to see all the success come to him. And you get mad if you hear somebody say something against him. I mean, it really … Sometimes you’ll hear people say, ‘Ah, he’s cheerleading,’ or whatever. And you’re thinking, if those people were playing for Bobby, they’d be right there with him.
“He’s behind his players, he’s behind his people, all the way. Anybody. Everybody. He’s behind them 100 percent. If something goes wrong he’ll call you in and talk to you inside. He doesn’t embarrass people. In fact, if he sees somebody being embarrassed, he takes issue with it. He doesn’t like to see that.
“That’s why [earlier this season], that thing with Fredi [Gonzalez, when Gonzalez was fired as Marlins manager]. Fredi’s one of his guys, so Bobby was ready to fight. That’s what is so special about him. And the players see that, and they see it from the other dugout, too.
“You can’t count the number of times I’ve been in here [with visiting team players] and they can hear Bobby on the television – ‘Come on, now,’ – cheering, rah-rah, from the dugout. And the people who know what he’s about, they say, ‘I’d like to hear more of that. I’d like to be in that dugout.’
“And I’ve heard people say they like the way the Braves teams play the game. They play hard, but they play fair. It’s none of those cheap tricks, showmanship one-upsmanship. The Braves don’t do that. That’s special, too. To be part of a group that is respected in that way. And that’s all Bobby. It’s all Bobby.
“Managers act differently. You see some managers try some psychological things to try to upset somebody. The Braves go out and play the game, and that’s it. If you get beat, you get beat. If you win, you win. But you do it fairly.”