Tag: Bobby Cox

2011 MLB Spring Training: Atlanta Braves’ Baseball Is Back

Spring is in the air, and so is baseball. I have long missed the sport for over four months, but now it is back. 

The Braves played the Mets, Chipper Jones started, and Bobby Cox was present. It was just like old times. Sure Bobby wasn’t managing or Chipper wasn’t playing third, but they still are part of the Braves.

The Braves have new young pitching, something else familiar to the Braves’ faithful. There always is a young star pitcher, or even pitchers, that the Braves bring up and this year is no different. They sign great young talent, then groom them in the minor leagues. It is a part of the Braves’ DNA to do this every year.

Yes, this is an article talking about Spring training, but it is important. Spring training is a good way for the Braves and other teams to find hot players who deserve to be on the 25 man roster and to prepare their players for the long haul of the regular season.

Spring training is a way for us fans to finally see or hear a game again. I love listening to the golden voices of Jim Powell and Don Sutton, and I was able to hear them on Saturday.

Even if the game means nothing in terms of winning or losing, I still loved hearing the commentators banter. It made me even more excited for the season to start. It made me feel like the regular season had already started.

I am happy that I can read box scores again for baseball. I enjoy seeing how different players perform statistically. I can somewhat quench this thirst by looking at the box scores of spring training games. 

Obviously nothing can make up for the lack of the MLB regular season, but spring training is a nice distraction. I can see my favorite players again and hear the crack of the bat. Life is almost back to normal for us Braves’ fanatics.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Atlanta Braves 2010 Season Recap and Ticket Price Preview

The 2010 season started off with a bang when Jason Heyward hit a home run in his first career at-bat.  The Braves definitely had their ups and downs throughout the season but in the end the Braves and their fans couldn’t be all that upset with the results other than the fact that it marked the end of the Bobby Cox era. 

Bobby Cox will go down in history as one of the greatest MLB coaches of all-time, Cox ended his career fourth on the all-time managerial win list with 2504 wins.  Fredi Gonzàlez has some big shoes to fill and will take over as the Braves manager in 2011.  

The end of the regular season was a little rough for the Braves as they were just 14-16 in their final 30 games which included a 1-5 record against their division rival the Philadelphia Phillies. 

The Atlanta Braves completed the 2010 season with a 91-71 record and took second place in the NL East finishing six games behind the Phillies.  Lucky enough, the Braves clinched a wild card berth and faced off against the San Francisco Giants in the NLDS. 

As we all know the Braves season came to an end against the Giants after losing three of four in the NLDS.  The Braves would have loved to send their long-time coach out with a World Series but it just was not meant to be.

Atlanta Braves tickets for regular season games at Turner Field averaged $36.57 per ticket on the secondary market which placed them toward the bottom of the league in terms of average ticket price. 

The most expensive ticket on average to a Braves regular season home game was $54.65 per ticket for the October 2 game against the Philadelphia Phillies while the least expensive ticket on average was $19.73 per ticket for the August 19 game against the Washington Nationals.  We expect that Braves home game ticket prices on the secondary market will remain toward the bottom of the league for the 2011 season.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

2010 NL Manager of the Year: B/R Columnists Pick San Diego Padres’ Bud Black

Next week, the Baseball Writers Association of America will begin to unveil its picks for Major League Baseball’s most important end-of-season awards: Rookies of the Year, Managers of the Year, Cy Youngs and Most Valuable Players.

But Bleacher Report’s featured columnists didn’t have the patience to wait for the BBWAA to announce their picks, so we responded with our own mock vote.

With this post, we have reached the end of Week 3 of our 16-part series on the MLB awards.

Yesterday, we looked at the best skippers in the American League, so naturally today is time for the results of our NL Manager of the Year vote.

The top five vote-getters are featured here with commentary from people who chose them. The full list of votes is at the end.

So read on, see how we did and be sure to let us know what we got wrong!

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NL Manager of the Year Prediction: Ranking the Candidates Based on 10 Keys

It is almost time for the baseball awards to be announced. Many fans overlook the value of a good manager. You can look to teams like the Mets and the Marlins that have had turmoil with their managers and see why it is important to have someone who can take control of what is going on. There have been a few managers that have stood out this year.

The candidates include Padres manager Bud Black, Reds manager Dusty Baker, Giants manager Bruce Bochy and Braves manager Bobby Cox who will likely get some votes based on his lifetime achievements.

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Sparky Anderson: Will He Go Down as Greatest Manager of Modern Era?

Sparky Anderson has been placed in hospice care with complications stemming from dementia, his family announced in a statement Wednesday.

The 76-year-old Anderson won three World Series titles and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2000.

His sparkling managerial record speaks for itself. 

In the end, he will undoubtedly be remembered as one of baseball’s all-time greats.

Let’s take a look at where Sparky Anderson ranks among the best managers in Major League Baseball since 1960.

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Bobby Cox, Joe Torre and The Top 100 Major League Managers Of All Time

The 2010 season will go down in baseball history for what will be perhaps the biggest loss of managerial talent the game has ever suffered in a single year.

We now know that Tony La Russa will be back with the Cardinals next year, but that only means the damage is being contained; Major League Baseball will nevertheless begin next season without managerial icons Bobby Cox, Joe Torre, or Lou Piniella.

With Charlie Manuel not getting any younger, and Jim Leyland and Cito Gaston looking just plain tired at the end of last season, who knows where the carnage will end?

To commemorate the retirement of three legendary forces inside the clubhouse, we take a look at the Top 100 Major League Managers of All Time.

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Atlanta Braves: 5 Moves to Get to the 2011 NLCS

Granted, the Bobby Cox era has officially been closed with the Braves—but that doesn’t mean baseball has ended in Atlanta.

And the same Braves that made a splash once again in 2010 have a shot of reaching even higher expectations in 2011.

So, what moves do Atlanta need to consider when building upon this past MLB season’s success and looking towards Spring Training and beyond?

Let’s take a quick glance at five moves the Braves can make to get to the 2011 National League Championship Series, and possibly even a return trip to that coveted World Series.

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Fredi Gonzalez Will Replace Bobby Cox as Atlanta Braves Manager

The Atlanta Braves will name a new manager to their franchise for the first time since Bobby Cox joined the Braves for the second time in 1990.

“Multiple baseball sources have confirmed that the Braves will introduce Fredi Gonzalez as their new manager Thursday,” reports MLB.com Atlanta Braves beat writer Mark Bowman.

Gonzalez has been the favorite to replace the legendary manager ever since the Florida Marlins fired him in late June. He worked on Cox’s coaching staff from 2003-2006 and has always been very close to the Braves organization.

One day after Atlanta was eliminated from the postseason by San Francisco on Monday night, an official Braves press release referred to Cox as “former Braves manager,” three words that the Braves and their fans have never heard to describe the manager that brought them such great success for over 20 years.

“Fredi Gonzalez is always first in my mind that pops up, just because this organization has been run the same for so long,” pitcher Derek Lowe said of Gonzalez. 

“I think Fredi would be a great choice,” outfielder Matt Diaz said. “I was only here one year with him, but watching him in Florida and the way his players responded to him in Florida … No offense to Hanley [Ramirez], but with the way Hanley handled that ball and the way Fredi handled that situation, Fredi earned a lot of respect from me, too.”

The Atlanta Braves have always been a close-knit organization, and it came as very little or no surprise that Gonzalez was selected to replace Cox so soon.

Now that the ominous cloud of “Who will fill the cleats of Bobby Cox?” has dissipated, the Braves can immediately focus on returning to the playoffs in the 2011 season and go about business just like they would any other season.

With all of the compliments and promotions of Gonzalez by Bobby Cox and his players, Braves fans can feel comfortable that Gonzalez will fit in nicely in the Braves dugout.

On Thursday afternoon, the Bobby Cox era will officially come to an end, and the Fredi Gonzalez era will begin in Atlanta.

It will be bizarre to look into the Braves dugout and not see that crazy old man who Braves country has been in love with for two decades, but as they say, all good things must come to an end.

But in this case, the good has only begun.

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Bobby Cox: Where Does He Rank Among Top 10 Managers All Time?

Bobby Cox walked off the field for the final time Monday night after his Braves fell to the Giants in Game 4 of the NLDS.

Despite holding the record for most ejections by a Major League manager, few of Cox’s counterparts have exhibited more class on the diamond.

Cox retires with 2,504 wins, good for fourth all-time in MLB history.  Under his guidance, the Braves reeled off a string of postseason appearances that has never been matched in professional sports.

But exactly how much does his lack of success in the World Series hurt his standing among the greatest managers ever?

Here’s a look at where Bobby Cox ranks among the best managers in the history of Major League Baseball.

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Farewell, Bobby Cox: The Atlanta Braves Will Miss You

As the San Francisco Giants celebrated on the field after their series-winning 3-2 win in Game 4 of the NLDS, Atlanta Braves fans chanted “Bobby! Bobby! Bobby!”

Fans cheered and applauded right after the game, as a tribute to Bobby Cox was played on the video board. The Braves watched from the edge of the dugout as Cox came out and tipped his cap to the fansthe same one he had slammed to the dirt in frustration just this past Friday night.

The Giants momentarily stopped their celebration, faced the Braves’ dugout and tipped their caps to Cox.

“I saw them, and I gave them a thumbs-up, too…That was nice, a nice gesture by the Giants. I love (manager Bruce) Bochy. He’s one of the best guys in baseball. If we couldn’t win, I’m glad he did.”

The nail-biting loss will be the final one of Cox’ careerone that will send him into retirement from Major League Baseball.

Cox is retiring after 29 seasons as a major league manager, 25 with the Braves and 4 with the Toronto Blue Jays.

He led the Braves to a record 14 straight division championships, five NL championships and the 1995 World Series. This 2010 Braves team was his first wild-card team.

He managed 16 teams to the postseason, including leading the Blue Jays to their first AL East title in 1985. Cox finishes with 2,504 regular-season wins, fourth all-time behind Connie Mack, John McGraw and Tony La Russa.

He had 158 regular-season ejections, the most among managers. He’ll finish as a two-time World Series Champion (1977, 1995) and a four-time Manager of the Year (1985 in the AL, 1991, 2004, 2005 in the NL).

Cox has been named Manager of the Year four times (1985, 1991, 2004, and 2005) and is one of only four managers to have won the award in both the American and National League. He is also the only person to have won the award in consecutive years.

Cox has also been named Manager of the Year by The Sporting News eight times (1985, 1991, 1993, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005).

He won’t be away from the game entirely, thoughafter more than 50 years in baseball as a player, coach, manager and general manager, Cox will be a consultant’s role with the team. He says his role will be minor, and will include visits with the organization’s minor league players.

Cox, however, isn’t the only longtime manager to retire this year. He joins Joe Torre, Cito Gaston and Lou Piniella, all of whom are bidding farewell to the game they love.

As Cox entered the clubhouse after the game, Braves’ C Brian McCann immediately realized that this was the end of the road for arguably the greatest manager in baseball history.

“He came in for a minute and walked out. He let us know that he appreciated that we played hard every single day. We just wish we were still playing. We played as hard as we could…sad, definitely sad. I’m gonna miss him. He’s an amazing manager, an amazing person. We’re all going to miss him around here.”

Injured 3B Chipper Jones, who is the longest-tenured Brave and has been with Cox longer than any current MLB player, said he’s never seen Cox so emotional.

“It’s still hard to believe he’s not going to be the manager come spring training.”

When asked how Cox would spend his first day of retirement, he said,

“I don’t know, I’m going to try to come out here. I’m not sure yet.”

The Braves will turn their attention to finding Cox’ replacementone that will almost have to be overqualified based on Cox’s successes with the Braves. Meanwhile, Cox will be able to turn his attention to a pair of cruisesone bought by his wife, Pam, and one by his players.

Pam prepaid for a cruise for the couple next April. Cox says he’s looking forward to more time with his family, but those close to him wonder how he’ll cope with being away from the game on a daily basis, as he’s been involved in baseball his entire life, and many thought he’d never walk away from the game.

On his cruise, though, he’ll have plenty of time to think about what he’ll say for sis Cooperstown speech, when he’ll be a first-ballot inductee into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Emotional during the post-game press conference, Cox said,

“I’m proud of this team…I told them that a little while ago. They played their hearts out, and I’ll miss them.”

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