Wednesday, May 24, 2006

I'm not a violent man, but ...

Nothing makes me want to sling a monitor across a room like reading online comments from imbeciles blasting Bobby Cox. I become especially enraged when they write things like one did on ajc.com the other day about how “astute baseball fans” realize Bobby’s a bad manager because of the Braves postseason losses.

Funny how astute baseball fans like Peter Gammons and countless other people inside the game unanimously rank Bobby among the best managers of all time. Here’s another salute to Bobby in an interesting piece over at SI.com exploring how few managers, Bobby being among them, make a substantial difference for their team.

In his 25th year as a big league skipper, Cox remains sharp. The Braves finished in last place in 1990, his first season in Atlanta; they've won the division title each year since, a staggering run of success. Cox is an outstanding talent evaluator: He helped build the Braves as a general manager before he took over in the dugout, and has won despite Atlanta's payroll decreasing noticeably in recent years.

One of the reasons both veterans and youngsters enjoying playing for him, says historian Bruce Markusen, is because "his strength as a manager is his ability to assign sensible roles that his players are capable of handling." It is rare to hear any of Cox's players say a bad word about him. "If you can't play for him," Fred McGriff once said, "you can't play for anyone."


-- CD

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