Bradley’s Buzz: Is there tension between Cox and Wren?

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.

159 comments Add your comment

AUG24

September 22nd, 2009
8:37 pm

It is time for Cox to go. Wren has done a good job of rebuilding the pitching staff. The decisions on Glavine and Smoltz weren’t handled properly but they seem to be the best “business decisions.” Tommy Hanson took Glavine’s spot in the rotation, so no argument there. I love John Smoltz but Boston saw enough. Greg Maddux didn’t whine when the Braves didn’t offer him a contract.

Jurrjens4NLCY {Knoble.MLBlogs.com}

September 22nd, 2009
8:42 pm

Thanks for stirring the pot Bradley, you can crawl back under your hole now…

The Grinch

September 22nd, 2009
8:42 pm

Let’s hope the announcement will happen right after the post season that Cox kept us out of, and it will involve the hiring of a new manager not named Terry Pendleton. I DO hope Cox stays on in some capacity; he’s a fine fellow and I don’t want to see him unceremoniously sent packing. Just for god’s sake keep the lineup card and in game decision making out of his control. Maybe he could replace Chip Carey in the booth and we’d really be in business.

Jurrjens4NLCY {Knoble.MLBlogs.com}

September 22nd, 2009
8:43 pm

Lol. Just kidding, It just popped into my head, I’m sorry…

Black pot

September 22nd, 2009
8:44 pm

Keep stirring … .keep stirring

QuickQuestion_Maggie

September 22nd, 2009
8:45 pm

…and NOBODY from the esteemed Atlanta reporting corp noticed that…or bothered to report that? The manager is in his car ready to go to Adairsville, – and that’s not newsworthy? Hmmmmmmm…..

Gov Clinton Tyree

September 22nd, 2009
8:46 pm

Wow. Mark, how credible is Gordon Edes? Why haven’t we heard anything about this prior to now?

I think Wren is a far better talent evaluator than he is a PR or relationship person, but this is surprising. Quite frankly, I think Frank may have a better reason to be upset with Bobby than Bobby with Frank, since a team with this kind of pitching ought to be in the playoffs.

No, he wasn’t smooth in dealing with Glavine or Smoltz, but honestly, does anyone think maybe the players’ personalities had anything to do with the rift? Wren made the tough decisions.

Might be time to make one with Bobby. Doubt he will; doubt he could even if he wanted to. Still, this is surprising.

The Grinch

September 22nd, 2009
8:46 pm

Btw, Mark; I’m impressed with your intestinal fortitude lately. Atlanta was (and still is) the softest media town in the entire country, but you’ve been the first to come out and say what everyone else in the state has been screaming forever: Cox and Willie Martinez need to go. Willie, however, does NOT need ceremony, nor the offer to stay on in some capacity. Just a swift kick in the #$% onto a one way bus.

Mark Bradley

September 22nd, 2009
8:48 pm

I wouldn’t call someone an esteemed former colleague if I didn’t have high regard for that person. Gordon Edes is a real pro who has worked at the L.A. Times, the Boston Globe, the National — and the AJC.

AUG24

September 22nd, 2009
8:50 pm

Frank Wren has a little Thomas Dimitroff in him. They both remove “the emotion” when they make decisions. The one big mistake that Wren made was giving Chipper that 42 million extension. He won’t last two more years as an everyday player. Maybe, Chipper will take a salary cut to help sign his buddy “La Roche.” That will be interesting.

AUG24

September 22nd, 2009
8:51 pm

Mark, do you think the Braves will resign LaRoche?

Mark Bradley

September 22nd, 2009
8:54 pm

And Governor, I’d contend that the Smoltz and Glavine situations were different. Smoltz chose to sign with another team. The Braves seemed in a hurry to cut Glavine when I’m not sure they had to be. They met with him before a game and announced he’d been cut an hour later. Even if the decision was correct — and it was — they could have taken a bit more time and care.

Herschel Talker

September 22nd, 2009
8:55 pm

Let’s hope there’s some tension. Then maybe Wren will FIRE BOOBY!!!

buckhead benny

September 22nd, 2009
8:56 pm

This has been Bobby Cox’s worst year and it is time for him to go- He is incapable of managing without his emotions and has become too much of a players coach. He got away with it when 3 hall of fame pitchers had his back- he could get away with it- He can’t anymore- It is too much of a chess match dictatated on shrewd moves such as Frank Wren-

Everything Frank Wren has done in my opinion has been masterful- Cutting Smoltz and Glavine- Masterful- Replaced with Vasquez, Lowe, Kamacoochi, and Hanson- then Adam Laroche, Nate Mclouth, even trading Francouer for Church- This is a much better team because of him not Bobby-
We would only be one game out if Bobby would have let Hanson pitch the 9th and Hanson would be rookie of the year- That was an easy decision- hanson hadn’t even reached 100 pitches and was totally dominant-

This is where Bobby messed up and we would have clinched the division- 1.Playing Jordan Shafer almost every ball game for a half a season when it was clear he was a lost puppy in the majors- Why not just give away 4 outs every single game (any body that could at least work the count) = 3 extra wins
2. Kelly Johnson- for whatever reason it was apparent to everyone after a quarter of the season if not early that Kelley was too easy an out for opponents and you had better options backing him up with Martin Prado and Omar infante- This decision should have been made much sooner= 4 extra wins with a better bat at the beginning of the lineup that can take pitches and get on base-
3. Jeff Francouer- I understand trying to show confidence in Jeff so maybe he would get back on track- he should have platooned him at least with Matt Diaz- =3 extra wins

Since the above have been switched out this has been a much better lineup and I personally don’t believe Bobby Cox had anything to do with it- I believe Jeff Francouer, Kelly Johnson, and even Jordan Shafer would still be in your starting lineup if not for Frank Wren.

My point is this- its not a popularity contest and if Bobby had the balls and would have done it sooner the Braves would be sitting in the playoffs. their only 5 games out with the number 3 pitching staff in baseball it could have been done if he would have addressed arguably the 3 easiest outs in all of baseball at the time- francouer, kelley johnson, and jordan shafer along with your pitcher the opposing team had 4 easy outs every single game- You can only afford one easy out a game in addition to your pitcher MAX-

Bobby got away with it when you have Maddux, Smoltz, and Glavine giving up 1-2 runs every game- He won’t be able to it again-

Tim and Jim

September 22nd, 2009
8:56 pm

MR WREN please bring back Garrett Anderson for next year, he has done a good job for us this year.

AUG24

September 22nd, 2009
8:59 pm

I totally agree with Buckhead Benny. Well, said.

Gov Clinton Tyree

September 22nd, 2009
9:02 pm

Point taken on Glavine and Smoltz, Mark. Actually, I think the mistake with Glavine was signing him at all. With Smoltz, I hang that one on the player. He wasn’t worth more than $2.5m guaranteed and Wren made the offer he should have within the bounds of fiscal responsibility. But I still love him and am glad he figured it out with the Cards.

The Red Sox seem to be having some problems getting guys to perform up there. You’d think somebody up there would have figured out Smoltz was tipping his pitches. He was throwing 93 and his splitter was splitting and his slider was sliding…Lugo isn’t the turd he appeared to be…maybe they could have used a bat like LaRoche’s…

Any chance Jason Bay doesn’t resign with them?

it's time

September 22nd, 2009
9:02 pm

Bobby Cox has been a great manager over the years, but it is time for a new direction. With all the starting pitching they have this year, they have under achieved. And don’t get me going on Cox’s use of that great pinch hitter Greg (no hit) Norton…………

Realist

September 22nd, 2009
9:05 pm

In a fight between frank wren and bobby cox, I’ll root for more flooding.

JASon

September 22nd, 2009
9:08 pm

It is a D-I-S-G-R-A-C-E that this team is not in the playoffs, and Bobby is primarily the one to blame. Wren, on the other hand, did a brilliant job this season.

JTH

September 22nd, 2009
9:09 pm

“No, he wasn’t smooth in dealing with Glavine or Smoltz, but honestly, does anyone think maybe the players’ personalities had anything to do with the rift? Wren made the tough decisions.”

That’s right on the money. Glavine and Smoltz are the super competitive bulldog types in everything they do, and Wren is a cool, rational business first decision maker. Fire and Ice. It was bound to get ugly with hurt feelings all around. Especially Cox’s with his loyal to fault personality.

In the end though it will all work out. The Braves rotation for next year will once again be one of the best in baseball. I’d rather have Hanson and Jair than Smoltz and Glavine at this point in time.

If the Braves get a big bat or two and a better bench they can be serious contenders next season.

Gov Clinton Tyree

September 22nd, 2009
9:11 pm

JTH, if the Braves get One Big Bat, they can take it to the house.

This is a damn good team, just ran out of time. Couldn’t outrun that first half.

RC35

September 22nd, 2009
9:13 pm

When we look at the Braves, we’re sort of like the old story of the blind men feeling the elephant–we all start at different places. Someone mentioned Greg Maddux “not whining”. Remember that Greg got arbitration–and $14 million for his last year as a Brave, as I recall. Then, he signed a lucrative contract elsewhere and continued to pitch until last year. Smoltz and Glavine were both treated with contempt unbecoming the Atlanta legends they had been. Smoltz was offered a subpar contract for someone of his status and it boggles the mind to think how much better off we could have been with him in the bullpen instead of Soriano. I know he had a rough stretch with the Sox, but most of the runs scored against him came after the 4th inning–something a one-or two-inning reliever wouldn’t face. Glavine did everything he was asked to do, going through rehab and the whole bit, then was dropped unceremoniously like a .150 pinch-hitter. No–they KEPT the .150 pinch-hitter–I keep forgetting!

Baseball is both a sport and a business, but from the fan side, emotion is an inescapable component of the big picture. Mr. Wren seems to keep himself aloof from any relationship with the fans and never seems to evince any sense of sympathy with our feelings for the team or individual players. No one could make everybody happy, but he could at least make a few public statements to fans acknowledging our existence, or respond to signed letters such as the one I wrote him in April. At the moment, I’d recommend him for the Marie Antoinette “Let Them Eat Cake” Award for being out of touch with his clientele.

I am glad that the Atlanta sports writers are suddenly willing to discuss the future of the manager and front office. It needs to be in the public square for commentary, and I appreciate the opportunity to weigh in.

NRBQ

September 22nd, 2009
9:13 pm

Bobby’s leaving?

This has been my hope since his catastrophic mismanagement of the ‘91 World Series.

Long-suffering? That’s me.

buckhead benny

September 22nd, 2009
9:13 pm

Another pt- Frank Wren should be GM of the year in my opinion he has took a horrible pitching staff and made some incredibly unpopular moves and they have equaled not only short term success for the Braves (3rd lowest era in the majors is not an easy accomplishment in one year) and retooled First base, Second Base, Left Field, Center Field, and Right Field.

His worst decision in my opinion has been signing Dereck Lowe and even that isn’t bad- and we didn’t give up any of our farm system to do it-

I know everyone loves Bobby and including me, but 4 years of not making the playoffs just because you don’t want to retire and hang out with your wife every day. Don’t hold us hostage to this bulls–t.

If anybody really thinks that when Bobby put in his lineup and at the top you had j shaffer- .200
kelley johnson- .205. j. francouer, .245- and your pitcher? how do you expect to win games with a lineup like that- Everyone knows that are starting pitchers should have more wins- Blame Bobby for playing his favorites every game and worried that Jeff Francouer would cried his eyes out if he was benched-

brent a.

September 22nd, 2009
9:15 pm

Not sure how Bradley is “stirring the pot”. Edes wrote the article in question, not Bradley.

Bradley, OTOH, went to Wren and asked him about the report and got a response.

Really vicious stuff, here, on the part of Bradley.

BeachBum

September 22nd, 2009
9:16 pm

Cox needs to hang it up and head to the golf course. He gets thrown out of every other game and his teams lack a bunch of things that managers should teach. Hire a younger manager who knows the current game. 1 title in 20 years is not going to cut it.

Herschel Talker

September 22nd, 2009
9:17 pm

MB – excellent points on Smoltz and Glavine. Nevertheless, in the end they were the right decisions (despite the manner in which the Glavine one was done, which could have obviously been better). This is more example of Cox’s loyalty to his players. It’s admirable in the cases of Glavine and Smoltz, gamers who were here a long time. But he carries his loyalty shenanigans too far with everyone else, and it has cost the team dearly. That is why Booby has to go.

Gov Clinton Tyree

September 22nd, 2009
9:19 pm

brent, what I don’t like is that we’ve got beat writers and I would think that if Bobby packed his car and was ready to leave until somebody (Chino? Eddie? Hub?) talked him out of it, SOMETHING should have come out before September. And in the AJC, not from a national guy. That’s a little harsh, but that’s how I see it.

TB

September 22nd, 2009
9:24 pm

Mark, you rattle off those newspaper names like they’re something to be proud of….

JTH

September 22nd, 2009
9:27 pm

Give MB a bigger spoon.

Bobby’s managing this year was bad, even for him and I’d agree that he’s the reason we didnt make the playoffs. The first half wait and see with certain guys. Then the just awful bullpen decisions, and Norton. Bam! Zoom!

kenneth

September 22nd, 2009
9:37 pm

Glavine was done and it was time for Smoltz to go. I bet Cox will be upset if Wren doesn’t re-sign Greg Norton too! If he packed up and left spring training they should have let him go. The organization isn’t going to fall apart if he leaves. All these so called professionals ( Glavine, Smoltz, now Cox, and sometimes even Chipper) who make millions of dollars and whine about everything that doesn’t go their way.

Anybody that plays Norton as much as Cox does and runs players off who have a pulse and don’t do things the Braves way, shouldn’t be complaining about personnel moves.

Reid Adair

September 22nd, 2009
9:45 pm

Does anyone honestly think it isn’t at least possible, if not likely, that this is true? Frank Wren put together a pitching staff that was great for 2009, but will not be in tact for 2010 (I think more than one of this year’s starters will be gone). I won’t even start with the “offense” options that Wren gave Cox.

I am not surprised that Wren denied any issues with Cox when asked. Wren has lied to the public and the fans before; this is nothing new for him.

It won’t surprise me a bit if Cox calls it quits after 2009, and it will disappoint me that he has too much class to express his disdain for Wren when he does walk away.

Sonny Clusters

September 22nd, 2009
9:47 pm

If he’d crunk that car and drove off the Braves might be in the playoffs. We was never sure why somebody’d want to be GM and not be able to hire his own manager.

Poorbrave

September 22nd, 2009
9:47 pm

Bobbys excited that the Braves have a core of young Talent developing…………….may stay?
That’e one of the reasons Bobby needs to go home. There will always be young talent in system. Bobby don’t need to screw them up. For the love of the Lord please retire BC. Enough is enough.

Man why didn’t they let him leave in Spring training and we would have done better this year.

Frank let him leave or move him upstairs but let his a@@ be gone. I pray.

Kevrock/Smarty Jones

September 22nd, 2009
9:48 pm

At first I thought some of Wren’s moves were terrible BUT it turned out he knew more than all of us. His moves were excellent as the team had showed. Now for Bobby Cox it’s been over 10 years since we should have moved him upstairs. Seriously, Bozo the clown could have won with Maddux, Glavine, Smoltz and Avery (before he blew his arm out). The Braves are really just REGULAR SEASON Dynasty. Our division was a joke for 7 years. When you get used to losing in the playoffs it is time to get a brimstone manager to light some fires. Leyland would have won us 2 more World Series. Folks it’s just the facts. Now for the Gordon Edes. He is a EXCELLENT scribe for baseball. He is a legit source and one day might make the hall in the writer section.

Poorbrave

September 22nd, 2009
9:52 pm

Frank Wren should be GM of the Year!
Now hire your own manager and finish the job.

Colossas

September 22nd, 2009
9:52 pm

The Braves beat writers writing anything remotely negative! PULLEEESE!

willie

September 22nd, 2009
9:53 pm

I am very glad to hear that Cox was not happy with the way Smoltz and Glavine were treated. It’s not that the Braves should have brought them back, it is the way they handled both cases. Very cold. I didn’t like it at all, and glad to hear Cox didn’t either.

Sonny Clusters

September 22nd, 2009
9:55 pm

We did a little free lancing at the Globe and we can tell you it’s a pretty good rag. That said, even the Weekly Reader would report the manager getting in his car to go home. Frank Wren should not be saddled with a nose picking manager. Frank wears expensive suits and no one wants to get a booger on a nice suit. Let’s hope Bobby will heed the discontent from the new homeboy upstairs and move his act to the puppy farm.

Used to care

September 22nd, 2009
10:02 pm

That is a true story about spring training.

Used to care

September 22nd, 2009
10:03 pm

Unless it’s not.

CJ Dawg

September 22nd, 2009
10:05 pm

Cox could stick his finger in his ear and pull out more class than Wren has in his whole life. I stick with BC all the way.

Stoph

September 22nd, 2009
10:05 pm

Wren is an A-hole. He’s botched the dealings with future HOF Glavine and Smoltz. He’s too cocky for the likes of Atlanta and the Braves. If he screws up the deal with – yet another future HOF – Cox, I say we run his butt out of town and let him go join up with Dancing with the “not so famous” stars.

Dr. Phil

September 22nd, 2009
10:06 pm

Frank Wren has a little Mike Adams in him, however the trade for Roache was a good one.

Sonny Clusters

September 22nd, 2009
10:07 pm

We was noticing that Matt Diaz runs pretty hard to first base. Doesn’t anybody holler, “easy” to him? We was thinking when an infielder bobbles a ball the runner might be safe if he’s running all out. When we was playing ball Coach would always tell us to run through the base and watch the base coach. Reading this story about Bobby getting in his car to come home from spring training takes a little away from the lucky underpants story. We was waiting to hear some more about Brian McCann getting hurt. Did he see lightning bugs like Chipper?

NO MORE BOBBY

September 22nd, 2009
10:08 pm

Sounds like Wren is going to give Bobby one more year and nothing else. Can we go ahead and just offer the nothing else now?

Ocee

September 22nd, 2009
10:10 pm

Enter your comments here
Frank Wren may be a good baseball man, but I question his professionalism. Smoltz and Glavine didn’t deserve to be treated the way they were by Frank Wren. Mr. Wren sure didn’t show professionalism at the state baseball playoffs last year.

Capitol Avenue Cal

September 22nd, 2009
10:10 pm

I have to agree with CJ Dawg…until someone proves differently, Bobby’s the man.

njbraves

September 22nd, 2009
10:16 pm

Posts, claiming Bobby is the reason this team isn’t going to the playoffs, are laughable. I guess it has nothing to do with all the games the offense didn’t show up for. Some of the people on here are too dumb for their own good.