The Hot Button: Do the Braves need a new manager?

He’s the best manager I’ve ever seen. He’s the best manager I’ll ever see. That said …

I’m not sure Bobby Cox is the best manager for what the Braves have become.

They’ve gone from being great over 15 seasons to being not very good the past 3 1/2. There’s still a aura of assurance around Turner Field, a feeling that, “Oh, we’re the Braves and we’ll figure out something,” but the Braves haven’t figured out much since Brian McCann and Jeff Francoeur were rookies. No, the manager hasn’t stopped managing, but this sort of team needs more managing than Cox likes to do.

He’s a player’s guy, now and forever. He loves his players and treats them like men. The Braves of the ’90s were indeed men, even those who arrived as rookies. They were serious about the game and serious about winning for this manager. I’m not sure what some of these Braves take seriously.

Who can reach Yunel Escobar? Who can instruct Jeff Francoeur in the art of plate management? Who can break the news that Kelly Johnson has 10 days more to prove he belongs in the bigs? Maybe another manager. It’s not this manager’s style.

And his style, we should never forget, worked in a way no other manager’s — not John McGraw’s, not Walter Alston’s, not Sparky Anderson’s — ever has. Fifteen times running Cox brought a team north from spring training and over 15 full seasons he finished first every time. (This counts his 1985 Toronto Blue Jays but not the 1990 Braves, whom he inherited in June, or the 1994 Braves, who were shut down in August by the strike.) He’s a great manager by every measure, maybe the greatest ever.

Do the Braves need a new manager?

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But not every great manager is great with every team, and the neo-Braves don’t respond to avuncular urgings. Maybe they’re not good enough to respond to anything, but as the Braves get younger it seems more likely they’ll see Cox not as a cinch Hall of Famer but as the guy who doesn’t rip them in print or make them work very hard. They’ll see him as a player’s manager, but they’ll neglect to play for him.

It has gotten too easy to be an Atlanta Brave. With few exceptions, these Braves enjoy the reflection of success without having achieved the success itself. They might respond even less favorably to a manager less gentle, but it’s not as if they’re responding to this one.

Via iPhone — yes, he has an iPhone — from Cincinnati, Cox was asked Thursday morning if he felt he was reaching his players. “What do you mean?” he said.

Do they listen to his message, or are they just not good enough for a message to matter? “No, they listen,” Cox said.

But nothing’s working. When you hold the Reds to four hits and get beat on a three-run homer by the Cincinnati pitcher, something’s not right.

OK, you’re asking: Would I fire Bobby Cox? Absolutely not. He’s one of three reasons — John Schuerholz and starting pitching are the other two — the Braves became the Braves. If he wants to keep trying to restore this team to eminence, I’d afford him that chance. He has earned the benefit of every doubt.

But phrase the question differently — if I were hiring someone to manage these Braves, would I hire Cox? — and my answer might be different. And I say that for his sake. I respect the man too much to see him lose with players who have little sense of what it once meant to be a Brave.

I like Bobby Cox. I don’t like what the Braves have become.

For further reading: The Braves aren’t in the market for a manager and mightn’t be anytime soon. But if they were, here are two men I’d consider.

386 comments Add your comment

tr

June 18th, 2009
10:55 am

I just don’t see or feel any real sense of urgency, especially against lesser opponents, like the team is just supposed to win. “We’ll get ‘em next time,” sounds great only if they do it!

cursive

June 18th, 2009
10:57 am

Nice way to put it. The game has changed, but not as much as the players have changed. This is a whole new generation of entitled, snotty little kids making it to the majors. They need discipline and coaching more than they do a friend. Bobby is amazing and will always be my favorite manager, but if the Braves want to be relevant then I hope that he decides to step away sooner than later.

LSU

June 18th, 2009
10:57 am

a⋅vun⋅cu⋅lar  /əˈvʌŋkyələr/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [uh-vuhng-kyuh-ler]
–adjective of, pertaining to, or characteristic of an uncle:

Maddux, Smoltz & Glavine in their prime for 10 seasons, and all Cox has got is 1 World Series championship???….I’d say he’s a tad bit overrated as a manager.

Nice balancing act of a blog story Mark. <<<< insert mucho sarcasm

Adam Lawson

June 18th, 2009
10:58 am

Mark, I wonder where you got the idea for this article?

smith

June 18th, 2009
10:58 am

Mark, there is a fine line between urgency and loyalty that all managers have to walk. You never quite know when a guy might turn it on. That said, you can’t give players like Jeff Francoeur the benefit of the doubt. He’s proven what he is. Kelly Johnson and Garret Anderson are a little bit different because of a better track record. But let’s be honest here, maybe Cox needs to find himself in the GM role because he’s been saddled with some bad players. Francoeur, Kotchman, Anderson, Johnson—these are bad players right now and will be for the rest of their careers. Only Johnson has shown flashes.

Cox has proven he can develop talent, but he’s also proven a stubborn loyalty that isn’t working out now.
.

bruce

June 18th, 2009
10:59 am

Mark, Thanks for your insights… are you asking Bobby to retire?

Mrs. Chanandler Bong

June 18th, 2009
11:06 am

I still place the majority of the blame on the players. This is what Bobby was afforded; these are the players he’s trying to work with. I don’t really see it as his fault that they’re all stubborn brats. And, especially at this level, you shouldn’t need someone to hold your hand through every swing and every clutch play.

Herschel Talker

June 18th, 2009
11:07 am

MB – so what you’re saying is that Cox is like Joe Torre? Give us a rich owner (Ted Turner), a GM who will trade for whatever we need, and all we need is a guy who can manage the egos? I’ll go with that. I agree. In which case, Cox has clearly been around far too long. He should have been gone after 2003. Anyone who observes the least bit knows that he’s not a great tactician, and he’s surely not a great handler of pitching staffs and lineup. So, as you say, he brings little to the table at this point.

Jack G.

June 18th, 2009
11:10 am

I hit it on the head. I just knew you were going to praise Saint Bobby.

The bottom line which you ignore, is the game and players have passed him by. Bobby just dosent change with the times.

Like so many players, they dont want to recognise the slippery slope.
They are so caught up in their own little word they refuse to (or cannot) face it (or know) when it is time to go.

Face it folks—it is better to retire at the top of the heap, than it is to be forced out.

LSU

June 18th, 2009
11:11 am

Mrs. Chanandler Bong,

Bobby is not going to fired, and he definitely deserves blame for this teams performance….Not sure what the ownership has in mind for the future, but home games where not many fans show up could/should make a manager seriously think about retiring.

Sir Stealth

June 18th, 2009
11:11 am

The question and the poll are both blasphemy to me. Bobby Cox is the Braves. It is beyond my understanding how even 1 person who considers themselves a Braves fan could want another manager, and insanity to me to disrespect him. Why would Atlanta fans want to dump on the legacy of our own team? The players just haven’t been very good. You can’t pull a rabbit out of a hat every year, it’s not like the other teams aren’t trying too. Braves fans seem to dismiss Bobby due to some sense of entitlement and don’t realize that he is responsible for us feeling like we have an entitled franchise. The Atlanta Braves were the lowest of jokes in baseball before he got here.

Adam Lawson

June 18th, 2009
11:11 am

I think i gave you the idea haha

B-rockGT

June 18th, 2009
11:12 am

this is purely hypothetical…if the season gets out of hand, which may soon very well happen. they should have a competition to be the manager for a day. have people buy a raffle ticket or something and then pick a name out of the hat. that being said it would be ridiculous for every fan to be able to put their name in the hat. so you could have them take a test or something so that we dont get an incompetent fool out there name Bo-… wait sorry i wont complete that thought.

anyways, I am the biggest fan of the Braves. I hate to see this continue happening to the Braves and for Bobby, but I think its time for a change (no im not an Obama fan). I think i can manage this team better. I’m not saying Bobby isnt a great manager because he is. All I’m saying, like you Mark, he’s not right for this team.

Personally, I would do this:

1. Prado would be my everyday second baseman. KJ isnt cutting it.
2. Francoeur would be either be in a platoon with Matt Diaz or in the minors trying to get back on track. We all know he has the talent. He is just lost right now. Being out of the spot light for a while and being able to focus on basics and hitting will only help him. In the meantime Brandon Jones and Matt Diaz would provide a decent enough platoon.
3. I would keep the lineup consistant. I dont care about a lefty facing a lefty. I know the numbers are there but seriously a righty faces a righty all the time. I understand its the fact that a lefty match up doesnt occur as much but seriously these are all MAJOR LEAGUE HITTERS. They should just be able to HIT. Here is my lineup:
Yunel Escobar (better avg at the top)
Nate McLouth
Chipper Jones
Brian McCann
Garrett Anderson/Matt Diaz
Martin Prado
Casey Kotchman
Brandon Jones/Matt Diaz
4. I like what Bobby does in the closer situation. Soriano closes if there is a better match up in the eighth for Gonzalez, but Moyland has got to go. He just hasnt been the same since Tommy John surgery. Acosta has pitched well enough to earn the 7th inning slot.
5. Cut Greg Norton. He cant even do his one job. I would not let him come back from the DL. Carnizares will be that added bat off the bench.
6.Hope for a trade for another outfielder. It wont come soon because I have a feeling we will keep pursuing one of the Marlins.

Jeff

June 18th, 2009
11:12 am

Mark,

Is there any chance of the Braves moving a veteran player by the trade deadline to pick up some prospects? The Yankees seem to need some pitching (ie Lowe or Vazquez) and the Braves could probably get some pretty good prospects out of the deal. The Yanks are obviously tired of losing to Boston and could overpay for one of our pitchers. I would think that, given our situation and outlook for next year, nobody would be off limits. Even Chipper has to be clammoring for a shot at another postseason before his time is up.

truth-serum

June 18th, 2009
11:12 am

Finally an article from Bradley with some sense!! Long over due….the change topic and an article from Bradley with some sense!! You just go Mark. A braves managerial change is long over due!~!! and take Chipper (trade David Justice or trade me ) Jones with you!

Tommy Wildfire Rich

June 18th, 2009
11:15 am

Did Chipper deamnd Justice be traded? Never heard that one. Sir Stealth- I agree completely.

Murph

June 18th, 2009
11:16 am

Like Glavine, Bobby’s time has come and gone. Like Glavine, he was great in the day, when the Braves were dominant. And like Glavine, it’s time for Bobby to leave.

There’s a new day dawning in Atlanta. These Braves, with their professional demeanor and lack of anything resembling drive or fire or a want to win, are not worth the price of admission.

Bryan G.

June 18th, 2009
11:17 am

Mark…

Very politically written. You say Cox is a great manager but that maybe he isn’t reaching the current Braves (which, clearly he is not).

Maybe you could be the next press secretary/minister of spin for our Prez!

PMC

June 18th, 2009
11:17 am

He could shake up his in game decisions quite a bit and take some more risks but overall he runs a professional organization. There aren’t a lot of shennigans from his team and in general they play professionally and they act professionally. I’d really love to see him squeeze with a runner on 3rd and no outs or keep a starter in the game longer than 100 pitches or try and steal or hit and run or in general bunt more but the problem with the team isn’t management or coaching, it’s a large portion of guys they count on to produce flat out not producing. He can’t speed up Jeff Francouers bat or force Kelly Johnson to not be abjectly terrible and not even be able to fly out to score a run. Or get bullpen guys to throw strikes. He’s a solid manager and he’s probably an awesome boss who lets his guys play and has faith in them… this group of talent in the order… just isn’t major league caliber.

Everyone always wants to talk about how major league pitching is so good to explain why these guys can’t hit. Ok. Everyone else in the league can hit it….we can’t…so the problem is that we don’t have, speed or power or average or consistancy. The manager can’t really do anything about that other than to hope he’s got someone better on the bench… currently we don’t.

UGA Fan

June 18th, 2009
11:19 am

Sad to say this, but I agree with LSU. I think Cox is overrated. One World Series victory during those 14 or 15 straight division championships is well, mediocre at best. Think about this, twice during that time, a Wild Card team from the Braves division went on to win the World Series. How does that make you the greatest manager ever? I could have filled out the lineup cards, gotten tossed from just as many games and still at least won the division during that run. Bobby is too much a players manager. His time has come and gone. We need to say thank you and move on.

Speaking of moving on, I hope that Pendleton is not the manager in waiting. What does it say when members of the team you’re coaching go to someone else for advice in your field of specialty? To me it says that they have no confidence in you whatsoever. No, the Braves need to get rid of Cox, Pendleton, and McDowell. I don’t know who to hire for manager, or the hitting coach, but I sure would love to see them give Maddux a shot at being the pitching coach.

One more thing Mark, I don’t know if I would say that the Braves were really great. Really good, yes, but really great, no. A really great team would have more then one ring to show for all those division championships.

Texas_Dawg

June 18th, 2009
11:19 am

I Agree with LSU. Overrated and deserving of the lions ahre of the blame for the Braves failures in the post season.

PMC

June 18th, 2009
11:20 am

Yelling excitable managers in baseball don’t tend to win much. They are annoying and they grind on you in the long season. Charlie Manuel and Joe Torre and or Bobby Cox are a lot better to have around a team for the long haul than Larry Bowa or Ozzie Guillen.

Chuck

June 18th, 2009
11:21 am

Everyone knows Bobby likes to go out and compete between the lines, and probably would until the Good Lord calls him home…

But what about the rest of the day at the ballpark…a bunch of tepid instruction from TP, who knows what we get from R Mac, and Bobby sits in his office and holds fort…shows off pics of the grandkids, talks fishing or golf or farming, and then makes the lineup card, gives a little rah rah (or not) and then they hit the field…

I think his energy and enthusiasm for the parts of the job that aren’t the actual game have waned…and understandably so…the team owners aren’t as committed as they once were either…otherwise they’d spend the necessary money to make the team better, and not give us a choice between pitching or hitting in the off-season.

Also notice that the only time he ever rips a player is when they are on their way out, ala Boyer or Kyle Davies…

WOW!

June 18th, 2009
11:24 am

So this is coming from the fans that didnt want to see Glavine go? But you rather Drop Bobby? What do we owe Glavine he left for money to go to the Mutts atleast Bobby has earned his keep

Floyd

June 18th, 2009
11:26 am

Great column, Mark.

What is it going to take to get Kelly Johnson out of the Braves line-up? For all the talk of Francouer being an anchor – and he certainly has his faults, don’t get me wrong – it’s Johnson who kills a Braves rally at every given turn. He can’t even manage to make productive outs. His defense is mediocre, at best. I’ve never seen a more obvious hole in a team’s line-up go unaddressed for this long. What’s it going to take and what are the options? I’m a fan of the man, but it grows more difficult for me to defend Cox when I continue to see KJ in the line-up on a daily basis.

Chopper

June 18th, 2009
11:27 am

Mark,

I’m starting to think it doesn’t matter who Bobby Cox is or what he has done. Based on what we’ve seen the Braves handle their legends like trash. (ie. Tom Glavine, your boy John Smoltz). Would it surprise anyone if the Braves up and fired Cox in the middle of the season? Why should it surprise anyone? That’s apparently how they do business these days. Classy!

DMac

June 18th, 2009
11:27 am

It’s time for him to go. Actually, it’s long past time. First of all, baseball is a game that’s all about production. Talk all you want about how many division championships he produced, just getting into the post-season isn’t enough. Show me the hardware, the trophies and the rings. In that, the most critical area of production for a major league manager, Cox has not produced. The bottom line will always be, that he only produced one World Series championship team.

Added to his personal lack of critical production, is his absolutely insane penchant for playing players that are not producing. Perhaps the two could be related. Could it be that his many irrational decisions to keep players in the lineup that are not producing, is Bobby’s subconscious way of trying to justify his own lack of critical production. Maybe his “loyalty,” is actually nothing more than his personal insecurity coming to the surface.

Whatever his psychological profile, his lack of critical production, plus his stubborn refusal to pull the plug on players that don’t product, equals a manager who should be relieved of duty.

brian elliott

June 18th, 2009
11:29 am

I agree it is time to move on. The good ole Braves are long gone. How about considering Ron Darling as Manager. He is very keen and has a good sense for the game. It might be a long shot but worth consideration..

Dennis

June 18th, 2009
11:30 am

Ah man….tough one to talk about. I love Bobby Cox and all that he has meant to Atlanta and the Atlanta Braves. That said, maybe it is time to move on. I think the players of today are less apt to respond to Bobby than guys like Smoltz, Jones and Glavine (and no I don’t think the club screwed up by letting Smoltz and Glavine go). It is time to restructure the team. Look around at the clubs that have gone that way. Only the “mega clubs” with oodles of cash in hand can buy their way back to success. Young players are coming along in the minors and a trade or two now of some of the older players seems the right thing to do. The problem is that the people on this blog and othres in Atlanta would go into spasmodic fits when the young Braves under a new manager next year fall even deeper in the standings. Atlanta sports fans have always been fair weather fans. The Cubs have won nothing yet sell out Wrigly every game. The more the Braves lose, the less behinds will be in the seat.

I would like everyone here who wants Cox gone and a change in direction to remember what they say now in the next two or three years when the Braves fall way back in the standings. Probably the existence of the Nationals will be the only thing keeping them out of the basement when the change takes place.

Mac

June 18th, 2009
11:31 am

This team couldn’t score less if it had Dion James in center, Ken Oberkfell at third, Rafael Belliard at short and Ozzie “Solo Shot” Virgil behind the plate.

BoiseDawg

June 18th, 2009
11:31 am

Greatest manager you have ever seen? Just like the time you said the ‘95 Braves were better than the ‘27 Yankees. MB… why do you always overreach in your analysis of how great someone or some team is here locally? You come off as more of a dreamy eyed fan than a credible sports journalist. I am not saying Bobby Cox is a bad manager, but there are several current managers that could have had just as much success with the talent the Braves had in the 90s, especially with starting pitching. Cox isn’t even the greatest manager of his generation. I’d rank Lou Pinella and Joe Torre higher. At least Joe Torre is proving he can win somewhere else and in a different league. And this aura of assurance you speak of? That should have left Turner Field about 3 years ago; because even when this team was making the playoffs they couldn’t get out of the divisional series.

Jim

June 18th, 2009
11:32 am

What’s with all the hate on Anderson and Kotchman? They’re not the problems. Anderson is coming around and has hit in 7 in a row, producing runs, hustling to 1st base with his old legs, and if you didn’t know, is hitting around 350 against lefties. That’s proof enough that he should be playing every day and Diaz every day in right. But our manager doesn’t work that way. Anderson’s obp can get to his career average of around 320 with a 280 average and Braves fans would still hate on him. He’s been the scapegoat for what the perennial losers like Francoeur and Johnson are causing. They get worse every season. THEY should go. When Anderson is up with man on 3rd less than 2 outs, he’s money. I’ll take him over Diaz and Francoeur any day, no offense to Diaz. If there are 2 outs, then Diaz hands down. Anyway, until Johnson and Francoeur are rid of for good, this is the team that we will be left to suffer with watching. If Bobby wants to keep these guys in there, then he’s putting his neck through the rope just like those 2 losers do every season. We did them favors by overpaying and not dragging their dirt out through arbitration, and this is how they repay the organization? Cut ties with them. It’s been a LONG LONG LONG time coming. But unfortunately, as the same has gone the past 4 seasons, it will take rock bottom for changes to be made to the same ol’ useless young players that get worse every year.

NRBraindead

June 18th, 2009
11:33 am

Cox is the leader of this team, and maybe that’s the problem. With Lowe, Jurgens, Vasquez, Hanson, and a healthy Hudson our starting pitching is very good. The line up lacks speed and power. Getting back to leadership, Bobby seems to be the only one with a fire in his belly (he’s into every pitch of every game, will argue on behalf of the team, and will support his players at all times) – he is a Hall of Fame Manager for all the right reasons. But aside from Bobby no one on The Braves has demonstrated any leadership to speak of. This is not a horrible team; it’s not a great team either. If this team comes around it is capable of 85 – 90 wins (but everything has to fall in place due to the aforementioned lack of speed and power); in other words The Braves need to find a way to score about 5 runs a game. If this team does not come around, it is also capable of a 75 – 80 win season.

Mac

June 18th, 2009
11:33 am

Speaking of Glavine, has he retired, gone to Japan, Mexico City, what?

Mrs. Chanandler Bong

June 18th, 2009
11:33 am

LSU, go back to the swamp. Whether or not the Braves need a new manager, the reality is that he won’t be fired. He’ll have to step down. I cannot imagine how a firing of Bobby Cox would resonate with the players (even the dismal ones), especially Chipper and McCann. I think firing Bobby Cox would do more to set back this team than help.

mike

June 18th, 2009
11:34 am

So he’s a player’s manager? Then maybe he deserves less credit for his team of the 90’s. Give any manager that kinda talent and they’d have similar results. He had excellent pitching, and decent lineups. All he had to do was march them out there.

This team obviously needs a little more babysitting.

PMC

June 18th, 2009
11:34 am

Kelly Johnson and or Francouer would be seeing more bench time if Infante was healthy and Prado’s knee wasn’t acting up.

He doesn’t have a lot of guys to put in for them.

We could do a lot worse than Bobby Cox…even if we do get frustrated because of the consistancy sometimes.

PN

June 18th, 2009
11:37 am

I have too much respect for Bobby Cox for this article. Let national media ponder this verbal diarrhea. Without Bobby Cox, people would care about the Braves may be as much as they care about the Montreal Expos. Let’s be serious here, managing has little to do with it. When your GM gives you Jeff Francoeur, Kelly Johnson, Garret Anderson, Casey Kotchman, and the need for a backup 3B to start 65 games, what can you do? It’s a soft-hitting lineup, what do you want the man to do? Bring Lou Pinella up? Francoeur will still swing and miss, Garret Anderson will still be on the decline of his career, Casey Kotchman will still be a soft-hitting smooth-fielding 1B, and Kelly Johnson will continue to be hot for 4 games followed by a hitting coma for 2 weeks. The man is doing the best he can. He was given pitching this year, and he’s put their talents in positions for success, and it’s been fantastic so far. Bobby isn’t the problem. Personnel is, both upper and lower.

100 Man

June 18th, 2009
11:38 am

Mark, nice column.

In your opinion, do you think Cox will be back next year? If he resigns or is forced out, who do you think would be legitimate candidates for the job?

Brian Snitker?

smith

June 18th, 2009
11:38 am

A .320 OBP is terrbile.

Braves Fan in N.Y.

June 18th, 2009
11:39 am

I was watching the Reds-Braves game Tuesday night on the Cincy station. Bravos had first and second, no outs, McCann at the plate. Count got to 3-2 and play-by-play man says something like “Bobby Cox is the type of manager who, in the past, would start the runners. McCann doesn’t strike out much–makes sense.” Cox doesn’t start the runners and McCann grounds into a double play. Next batter–Anderson–hits a fly ball that would have scored the runner from third had the runners been started and there was no DP. It seems to me Cox is playing not to lose instead of playing to win. He isn’t aggressive and seems afraid to take a chance believing it will fail.” You’d think a manager in his position–won’t be fired and will leave when he wants to–would take more chances, especially with a team with little power and struggling to score runs.

Mike

June 18th, 2009
11:40 am

The biggest change I’ve seen in the Braves over the past few years is a lack of fundamentals. The Braves of the ’90s rarely beat themselves and if the other team screwed up, those Braves teams made them pay. Now, I see a team that can’t advance runners, run the bases like Little Leaguers, don’t know how to work a pitcher, can’t bunt and can’t even execute a run down play (you force the runner back towards his last base, not toward the next base!). This reflects on the manager and his coaching staff. I hear the players love spring training, especially all the golf and fishing they get in. Do they ever work seriously on the basics of the game? Baseball America had an article during spring training saying that Mike Sciosca was at the Angels’ minor league facility, teaching them how to properly execute a run down. I doubt that Bobby would think of doing that. Cox was perhaps the best regular season manager in history but he should have retired after leading a rookie laden team to the postseason in 2005. He needs to be bumped up to the front office to help make talent evaluations and a younger man (Ned Yost perhaps?) hired who will instill discipline and fundamentals. Until then, we’ll see this team bumble along. It’s a shame, because neither the Phillies or Mets are world beaters this year. If the Phillies hadn’t already played the Nats 12 times this year, they’d probably barely be over .500. Oh well, there’s always next year.

Homer

June 18th, 2009
11:40 am

FIRE BRADLEY!!

W

June 18th, 2009
11:41 am

You eliminate a Hall of Fame manager and replace him with who. Change isn’t
always better. See the current presidency. Maybe it’s just inferior players.

AtlantaBytes

June 18th, 2009
11:41 am

Who is this LSU person and are you just now coming on to the baseball scene? If not, have you been stuck in Geaux Tiger land with little access to the outside world? Having visited the Lou on multiple occasions I wouldn’t blame you for lacking information or simply focusing on the incredible football played down there.

However, if you really insist on calling Bobby Cox overrated you better come up with some better reasoning than that he only won 1 World Series. Baseball is not a game that judges the talent of the players and coaches in stretches of 3, 5 or even 7 games. They play 162 games and being over .500 usually gets you in the running for the playoffs.

Any team can beat any other team on any given day. The fact that the Braves (under Bobby) did this 14 years in a row means more about the way he teaches and manages the game than any championship statistics you may throw out there.

In a sport where parody still reigns and putting the pieces in place to win is so difficult, not to mention holding those pieces together, they managed to go to the playoffs 14 times in a row. More than any other team, in any major sport, ever.

Call him washed up, out of touch or whatever else you can summon up from around the rock you were under. But to call him overrated is an epic mistake.

Mark, in the eventuality the little tigger still believes his initial argument, I believe you should look into instituting a 5 blog suspension of comment privileges.

Thanks,
AB

Lazy Dawg

June 18th, 2009
11:42 am

Bobby is the man! But I sure would love to see some Roger McDowell antics on the bench,they need to act like kids not bank executives.Try having fun in the dugout you will be amazed at the turn around.

DMac

June 18th, 2009
11:42 am

Mark, I believe that you may be to close to the issue, to be objective.

PoliticalMan

June 18th, 2009
11:42 am

Mark, you bent over backwards on this one. In fact, Cox and gang have been making bad personnel decisions for several yrs now. This habit of getting or sticking with over the hill players is past annoying. Glavine and Anderson this yr. I recall when Jordan and Modesi were on the same team. They were both washed up and everybody knew it. Secondly, I have been watching the Braves make atrocious blunders for yrs now, especially on defense. Cox sitting Escobar was a rarity. Finally, the Braves got lucky with Smoltz, Maddux, Glaving during the 90s. They would make most anyone seem like a genius. As far as keeping Cox. That is another bad decision. The Braves need major revamping including some wisdom and fire from a new manager.

Hitchmonster

June 18th, 2009
11:43 am

I’m reading “weaver on Strategy” right now and find many smiliarities between Weaver and Cox as well as the success of their teams. Weaver’s Orioles won 6 division titles and 4 pennants but only 1 World Series. (Interestingly, I’ve never seen Weaver knocked like Cox for having won only a single World Series … and it was an easier road before the wild card.) Weaver’s teams relied on pitching, defense and power — very much like the good Braves teams did. Ejections were hallmarks of both managers, too. Weaver was known for his use of statistics, which is different than Bobby. Weaver is rightfully recognized as a great manager, as Cox is and should be, but it looks like there’s another big difference between Weaver and Cox — knowing when to retire.

Jim

June 18th, 2009
11:44 am

“A .320 OBP is terrbile.”

Bla bla bla. His career obp is 327 with an average of 297. Very very similar to his numbers last year. I’ll take that any day for a corner outfielder that hits well with RISP. It doesn’t exactly work though when the other corner is renovated to a team-killing moron