Esteemed former colleague Gordon Edes writes on Yahoo! Sports that a rift may have developed between Bobby Cox and Frank Wren. From Edes’ report:
“Another situation that bears watching is in Atlanta, where manager Bobby Cox has been hedging about whether he will be back. According to a major league source, the relationship between Cox and GM Frank Wren deteriorated during the spring to the point that Cox packed his bag and climbed into his car to drive home from spring training until dissuaded from doing so by one of his coaches.
“Cox was unhappy at the way the John Smoltz issue had been handled, the source said, and because he had not been kept up to speed on other personnel decisions. The relationship appears to have been patched up, although the parting with Tom Glavine was another strained episode, and the expectation is that Cox will be back because he’s excited that the Braves have another core of young talent developing. Stay tuned.”
Reached by phone Tuesday night, Wren described the report as “inaccurate.” But it’s fair to say that the relationship between Cox and Wren hasn’t been as seamless — to use a John Schuerholz word — as the one between Cox and Wren’s predecessor as GM. Cox and Schuerholz talked almost daily, even in the offseason, and rarely disagreed on anything.
That said, Cox was complimentary of Wren’s rebuilding work over the winter. “He’s done everything, really,” Cox said then, and this, it should be noted, came after Smoltz signed with Boston. But it also must be noted that even Schuerholz was so distressed by the way the Braves cut ties with Glavine that he offered an apology on behalf of the organization.
Asked Tuesday if he wanted Cox to remain the Braves’ manager, Wren said: “Sure, absolutely.” And this: “We’ll sit down and talk, and we’ll have an announcement at the appropriate time.”
Update: Bobby Cox responds to the Yahoo! report.