A Finish Line for Bobby Cox

The rumors and bits of information had been floating around for a few days and weeks now. Really, it was no surprise that the subject was coming up. Aged 68, and in his 20th consecutive season as manager of the Braves, people have been wondering how much longer Bobby Cox would be around inside the Atlanta clubhouse.

Today, we got official word from the man himself. Cox will return next season as head coach and then retire after the 2010 season, remaining with the team as a consultant for at least the next five years.

Cox ascended to the Major League manager role at just 36, in 1978 when he first took over the Braves and was there until fired by owner Ted Turner after the 1981 season. Cox went on to manager the Toronto Blue Jays for four years and then in 1986 returned to Atlanta as the General Manager.

Four years after that, and Cox re-took over the job as Manager and solidified his legacy in the city. Cox’s first full season back at the helm saw the Braves go from worst to first as grab a playoff spot and ultimately a World Series berth, lost to the Twins in seven games. That would be year one of fourteen consecutive division titles, lasting until the 2006 season.

It’s going to be difficult to think of the Braves without Bobby Cox who next year will tie Tommy Lasorda in 4th place for most seasons managing a single team. It’s been a good run for you Bobby. Although those who place premiums of the randomness of winning in the postseason might say otherwise, I find it hard to sneeze at such consistence quality as your 1990s and early 2000s run displayed.

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Matthew Carruth is a software engineer who has been fascinated with baseball statistics since age five. When not dissecting baseball, he is watching hockey or playing soccer.

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