Tag:Bobby Cox
Posted on: October 12, 2010 5:49 pm
Edited on: October 12, 2010 9:32 pm

Report: Gonzalez to be next Braves skipper

Fredi Gonzalez See below for an update on the situation that has Gonzalez poised to become skipper of the Braves after speculation earlier today Gonzalez could be named prior to the World Series.

If anyone's plugged into the Braves, it's David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution . O'Brien believes Fredi Gonzalez will be hired as the new manager of the Braves either just before or after the World Series.

In perhaps the worst-kept secret since the day Fredi Gonzalez was fired, this marriage was inevitable. Gonzalez was a longtime coach for the Braves before taking on the Marlins' managerial job. He received strong reviews from in the industry but seemed to be constantly fighting an uphill battle with management. Atlanta has refused to speak publicly about Gonzalez and the job, preferring to wait until after Bobby Cox's final game to begin finding a new manager.

That may not make sense, given how deep the Pirates, Blue Jays, Cubs and Mariners are in in their own managerial searches. But Atlanta can afford to wait: Gonzalez wants to replace Cox, and the Braves want that as well, as has constantly been reported. Fredi interviewed for the Cubs job, but no real traction has occurred on that front.

Commissioner Bud Selig prefers a moratorium on other events of baseball during postseason play, which is why O'Brien believes the announcement could happen just before or after the World Series, but not during. Given that the commissioner would likely prefer to keep the focus on the World Series following the Championship Series, the Braves will likely wait until after to tab Gonzalez.

Cox retired after 29 seasons in the dugout Monday night when the Braves were eliminated in Game 4 of the NLDS against the Giants.

UPDATE : Forget waiting for just before the World Series. The Braves are expected to announce Gonzalez' hiring as manager, reports FOX News 5 . O'Brien confirms that the official announcement will come Thursday, a day before the NLCS is slated to start.

-- Evan Brunell

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Category: MLB
Posted on: October 8, 2010 10:59 pm
Edited on: October 9, 2010 2:28 am

Another thumb for Cox

Bobby Cox
If the skipper has one more in him, Bobby Cox can finish with a full season's worth of ejections: 162.

The Braves' manager got tossed during the second inning of Friday night's Game 2 of NLDS against the Giants, his third postseason ejection (also during the 1992 and 1996 World Series). He also has 158 regular-season ejections, by far the most in baseball history. John McGraw is next with 129.

Cox got the thumb Friday when he argued that Alex Gonzalez should have been safe at first after Giants shortstop Juan Uribe made a terrific play on a ground ball. Cox argue that first baseman Aubrey Huff's foot came off the bag, which didn't look to be the case on replays.

But Cox was probably not even really arguing that play -- he was arguing because of a blown call the night before, when umpire Paul Emmel blew a key call at second. The first-base umpire Friday? Emmel. Cox let him have it, throwing his hat and letting loose a string of (apparent) expletives while leaving the field.

Ejections are a big part of the Cox legend. Good to see him get in one more before the end of his storied career.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: October 3, 2010 7:09 pm

Wagner happy not be the goat

Billy Wagner Bobby Cox wasn't the only Brave thinking he might be seeing his last game on Sunday -- closer Billy Wagner came into the game with two outs in the eighth, giving up back-to-back RBI hits as the Phillies closed their lead to within a run, 8-7.

However, he struck out the side in the ninth and the Braves got the victory -- and extended the careers of Cox and Wagner.

"Don't think that didn't run through my head out there," Wagner told reporters, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution 's Carroll Rogers . "You screw this up and go home and always be a goat. I was happy to go out there and compete and make some pitches and have another day to go out there and sweat."

Wagner threw 21 pitches in the eighth before striking out Raul Ibanez to end it. Cox said he had no thoughts about replacing Wagner for the ninth.

"You would have been getting a new manager," Cox said. "I would have been dead if I told him he wasn't going back out there."

Wagner, 39, picked up his 37th save of the season and 422nd of his career.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Category: MLB
Posted on: October 3, 2010 12:58 pm
Edited on: October 3, 2010 1:01 pm

Braves' Conrad moved to 2nd for finale

Brooks Conrad If Brooks Conrad makes a costly error for the Braves today, it'll be at his "natural" position -- second base.

Conrad had costly errors in each of the first two games of the Braves' season-ending series against Philadelphia, and with the team's postseason hopes on the line, Conrad will be playing second base and Omar Infante will be at third.

"I don't think he's slept in two days, probably," Braves manager Bobby Cox said before Sunday's game (via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution .)

Conrad said after Friday's game that he felt like he let the team and Cox down after his throwing error. He had another Saturday in the Phillies' four-run seventh.

According to the AJC's Carroll Rogers, Conrad's eyes were puffy on Sunday due to lack of sleep.

"I really hadn't gotten any sleep, up thinking about it and worrying about it," Conrad said. "It's just part of the game. It's crazy."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Category: MLB
Posted on: September 28, 2010 8:58 pm

Braves lose Prado for the season

Martin Prado The Braves got bad news back from the MRI on Martin Prado -- it revealed he suffered a torn external oblique muscle in addition to a hip pointer. Prado's season is over.

The team announced the results during Tuesday's game. Prado will need two months of complete rest with "zero activity."

Prado suffered the injury Monday night, diving for a ball to rob Dan Uggla of a hit and then aggravated it when he tried to miss a piece of Mike Stanton's broken bat. After a swing in the fifth inning, Prado went down and had to be helped off the field.

Prado had also battled a broken right pinky finger and sore groin this season.

Brooks Conrad started at third base for Prado, whohad moved there in the absence of Chipper Jones, out for the season with a torn ACL. Prado had been the everyday second baseman, but when Jones went down, utility man Omar Infante became the starter at second, moving Prado to third.

"Push comes to shove, [Troy] Glaus can play third  and [Eric] Hinske can actually play over there too a little bit," manager Bobby Cox told reporters (via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution ). "So we've got to watch pinch-running now with [Diory Hernandez]. We don't really have another guy."

Prado was hitting .307/.350/.459 with 15 homers and 66 RBI for the Braves this season.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: September 20, 2010 6:35 pm

Braves' Saito should be ready this weekend

Takashi Saito The Braves, who have been forced to put a rookie making his big-league debut on the mound in the season's biggest series tonight, did get some good news on Monday as MRIs showed Takashi Saito should be ready to pitch by this weekend.

"I was prepared for that to be the end," Braves manager Bobby Cox told reporters (via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution ) before Monday's game. "You know, he's 40 years old. He's pitch an awful lot here and [in] Japan.  … He's a special guy."

Saito left Friday's game in New York with shoulder pain. Saito has a 2.52 ERA in 55 appearances, limiting opponents to a .196 batting average. Since July 30, he's allowed just nine hits and no earned runs with one walk and 10 strikeouts in 16 appearances.

Saito will throw a side session before going into a game, Cox said.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Category: MLB
Posted on: September 7, 2010 4:49 pm

Looking at Manager of the Year candidates

One thing that always gets me about the Manager of the Year Award is that it's usually the "guy-whose-team-did better-than-we-thought" award.

Joe Girardi won his Manager of the Year Award when he was with the Marlins -- because they won 78 games with a young team. He won 103 games and the World Series last season, but didn't win the award. The last Manager of the Year winner to win the World Series was Ozzie Guillen in 2005 and the only other to achieve that feat this decade was the Angels' Mike Scioscia in 2002.

In his run with the Yankees, Joe Torre won the award once, and split it once. The split came in his first season, while the second was only when he won 114 games and it was hard to give it to anyone else.

In his role as the Red Sox manager, Terry Francona has never won the award, despite doing a great job year after year. The reason, he's expected to win every year with the team he has.

So, there's two things we can do here -- handicap the race or work in deep, dark corners to find out what the award should mean and by that criteria, who should win it. That sounds extremely difficult -- and there's no way to prove it.

Instead, I'll go with handicapping the actual race, because it'll be a better chance for me to sound smart when I'm right (if I'm wrong, well, sure I'm dumb, but I knew that already.)

American League

Ron Washington Ron Washington
Texas Rangers (75-62)

The Rangers skipper is the favorite. Not only has his team exceeded expectations (check), will likely make the playoffs (check), but he's also got a built-in story. Remember spring training when many were shocked that he didn't get canned following his admission he did cocaine? Now you do, but it's not the first thing anyone thinks about when they hear Washington's name anymore.

Terry Francona
Boston Red Sox (77-61)

Francona has never won the award, and this season the Red Sox will miss the playoffs for just the second time in Francona's tenure, but he's possibly done his best managing job ever (and this comes from a fan of his managing) juggling the Red Sox's roster. Here's how impressive the Red Sox have been -- Darnell McDonald will be appearing in his 102nd game tonight, the same number of games Kevin Youkilis has played in this year.

Joe Maddon
Tampa Bay Rays (83-54)

He's always in the conversation because he's really, really cool. And still everyone is shocked the Rays are good now. That's not to say he's done a bad job, but I think he'll get votes because of those two reasons, mainly.

National League

Bud Black Bud Black
San Diego Padres (77-59)

About 11 games ago, Black seemed to have this trophy in the bag. Nobody could quite figure out how the Padres were leading the National League West by 6 1/2 games. Apparently someone got the message that they weren't that good to the Padres, and the team promptly went on a 10-game losing streak. They now hold a one-game lead over the Giants. If the Padres don't make the playoffs, look for Black to fall out of the lead for this award. If they hold on to win, it's likely his.

Dusty Baker
Cincinnati Reds (79-58)

The Reds were a popular sleeper pick during spring training, but nobody actually believed they'd beat out the Cardinals. There's time for Cincinnati to completely collapse (see below), but it looks like the Reds will make their first playoff appearance since 1995 and with just three more wins, will notch the franchise's first winning season since 2000. It would also be fun to watch the internet explode when Baker wins his fourth Manager of the Year Award, tying Tony La Russa and Bobby Cox for the most ever (the award started in 1983 -- La Russa won the AL award that season).

Bobby Cox
Atlanta Braves (79-59)

One more for old times sake? Besides the sentimentality, the Braves have held off the Phillies (to this point).  Some will say Cox has been the beneficiary of great rosters, others will say his teams rarely got it done in the biggest games but in the end, his results in this day and age have been exceptional. This season is just another tribute to his consistency.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: September 5, 2010 1:28 pm

Marlins won't honor Braves' Cox

Bobby Cox Stay classy Jeffrey Loria.

Although every other team in the big leagues have honored retiring Braves manager Bobby Cox, the Marlins have no such plans, the Miami Herald 's Clark Spencer writes .

There's two theories:

 1. Loria is upset with Cox's comments after Fredi Gonzalez was fired: "I know that guy [Loria] is unpredictable, but after everything [Gonzalez] has done for that guy, are you [expletive] me? They have gone down to the end [of the playoff race] every year, playing their asses off. That guy doesn't appreciate anything. He's one of the guys that thinks you change [for the sake of change]. He's willing to fire the coaches, always. That's his history."

2. Loria went around the office and asked for donations for an on-field present for Cox (like the cowboy hat and boots the Astros gave) and then just pocketed the money. Sure, that's a little far-fetched, but it certainly wouldn't be out of character.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Category: MLB
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