Tag:Bobby Cox
Posted on: September 4, 2010 8:53 pm

Braves' Jones ejected

Chipper Jones Sure enough, Chipper Jones learned from Bobby Cox in their many years tougher. On Saturday, Jones was tossed from the bench by umpire Doug Eddings.

Jones is currently on the disabled list after undergoing knee surgery, but he was on the bench Saturday in Florida. Jones has been with the team in uniform on the bench over the last week, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution 's David O'Brien writes .

O'Brien also notes that Eddings was the same umpire who ejected three Braves during a game at Florida in 2005, including Mike Hampton, who was then on the DL.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Category: MLB
Posted on: August 23, 2010 9:54 pm
Edited on: August 23, 2010 9:57 pm

Minor getting extra rest

Mike Minor It may be Bobby Cox's last year, but he doesn't want this to be Mike Minor's. The Braves won't start Minor for eight days of rest before his next start, next Tuesday against the Mets.

"He can pitch the rest of the year doing that, not build [too many innings]," Cox told reporters, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution 's David O'Brien . "He should be fine doing that."

Minor, 22, has thrown 138 1/3 innings this season -- his first full professional season. He threw 14 innings in the Class A South Atlantic League last season after the Braves selected him seventh overall in the 2009 draft, plus 16 in the Arizona Fall League. He threw 110 2/3 innings at Vanderbilt in 2009, 103 in 2008 and 90 1/3 in 2007.

Minor recorded 12 strikeouts in six innings on Sunday in just his third big league start.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Category: MLB
Posted on: August 21, 2010 6:23 pm
Edited on: August 21, 2010 6:24 pm

Wagner says he's done, period

Billy Wagner Billy Wagner wants everyone to give the retirement talk a rest. Yes, Wagner is having an incredible season. No, he hasn't changed his mind about retiring.

“Until I don’t show up next year, nobody’s going to believe me," Wagner told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution . "Brett Favre’s f----ed it up for everybody."

Maybe Favre's had something to do with people not believing Wagner will retire, but most of the disbelief stems from the dominant season Wagner is putting together. He has a 1.68 ERA in 53 2/3 innings, whiffing 77 and walking just 15. With 30 saves, he's been one of the best closers in the game. How can someone simply walk away when there's so much more that could be accomplished? If Wagner stuck around for another year, he could bring in millions more and crack the 450-save barrier.

He's not interested.

"Me and my family have made plans for retirement," he said. “I don’t need it anymore. I’m tired of the expectations, tired of the criticism, tired of people who never played trying to tell me how to play.

"And I enjoy my family, unlike [some others]. So I want to be there for them. I want to get to see them play ball, and be a dad."

Wagner has children in both travel basketball leagues and Little League baseball, plus a daughter who dances. He wants to be around and see his kids grow up. Can't blame him there.

But that's not the only reason Wagner's walking away from the game.

“I know I could pitch another year or two,” Wagner said. “But I’m at the point where all the ice packs that it takes to get me on the field every day is not worth it any more.”

Can you imagine being aching and in pain every day, having to stack your body with ice packs just to prepare for an inning in which he probably won't crack 20 pitches?

That hasn't stopped retiring manager Bobby Cox from checking into Wagner's plans.

“Bobby’s asked me a couple of times, ‘Are you sure?’ Wagner relayed. He then quipped, “I said, well if you don’t retire, I won’t retire.”

There you go, Bobby. At least if the Hall-of-Fame manager  changes his mind and comes back for another year, he knows who his closer will be.

-- Evan Brunell

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Category: MLB
Posted on: July 19, 2010 5:01 pm

Venters, Cox suspended for hitting Fielder

Jonny Venters Major League Baseball has suspended Braves left-hander Jonny Venters four games and manager Bobby Cox one, according to Carroll Rogers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Venters threw back-to-back pitches at Prince Fielder in Saturday's game against the Brewers. He was warned after the first one went over Fielder's head and was successful, hitting Fielder in the back, with the second.

Bob Watson wrote Cox was suspended for "the intentional actions of Venters after a warning had been issued to the pitcher following the first intentional pitch thrown at Fielder."

After the game, Venters (and Cox) denied the actions were intentional, even though it was the second consecutive game Fielder was plunked. In Friday's game he was hit following a Ryan Braun homer and Saturday's came in the next at-bat following his own homer.

Brewers manager Ken Macha said he complained to MLB about his players getting hit too often. Brewers have been hit 47 times, the most in the majors.

Neither of the balls that hit Fielder looked as if they were being targeted anywhere near the plate. On Friday, Tommy Hanson's 92 mph fastball hit the Brewers' first baseman on the thigh. Saturday, Venters hit Fielder with a 94 mph fastball between the 2 and 8 on Fielder's back after Fielder was able to duck out of the way of the previous pitch. Macha certainly has a right to defend his players. Rickie Weeks has been hit 17 times, the tops in the majors, and Fielder is third with 14.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: July 14, 2010 12:35 pm
Edited on: July 14, 2010 1:49 pm

Braves send Escobar to Toronto for Gonzalez

Yunel Escobar The Braves' search for offense has taken a strange turn, with Atlanta trying to upgrade offensively at shortstop, acquiring Blue Jays shortstop Alex Gonzalez and two prospects for shortstop Yunel Escobar and lefty Jo-Jo Reyes .

Getting rid of Escobar may be an early retirement gift for Bobby Cox, who has long been frustrated by the talented but inconsistent Escobar, as well as his attitude and "hustle."

Still, Gonzalez, 33, had a career first-half in Toronto, hitting .259/.296/.497 with 17 home runs and 50 RBI. His 17 homers are already the second-best total of his career. He hit 18 in 2003 and 23 in 2004. As much as anything, the clock seems to be ticking on Gonzalez, who has already played 85 games this season. He hasn't played in more than 112 games since 2005.

Gonzalez at one time had the reputation as one of the top defensive shortstops in the country and has returned to an above-average status after dealing with lower leg injuries in the last few years. He's been healthy so far for the Blue Jays and also been helped by the artificial surface in Toronto.

Escobar may be the best defensive shortstop in baseball, but has been disappointing offensively this season, hitting .238/.334/.284 with no homers after hitting 14 last season.

Reyes is a throw-in, as are the prospects going to Toronto, Tim Collins and Tyler Pastronicky. The Blue Jays designated Ronald Uviedo to make room on the 40-man roster.

Overall, it seems an odd move. Sure, Cox may be tired of Escobar, but the Braves better have a backup ready at shortstop. It's also doubtful Gonzalez's power carries over to Turner Field. Escobar's reputation alone deserves more in return than Gonzalez. Look for Braves pitchers to notice a difference in the defense behind them soon.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: June 28, 2010 6:55 pm

Cox: Strasburg 'can only get worse'

Bobby Cox When Bobby Cox says something is the best or the worst or the biggest he's ever seen in baseball, it means something. Because not many people in the game have seen more than Cox.

The Atlanta manager, who skippered his first major-league team in 1978, said Monday that the Nationals' Stephen Strasburg is the most polished fledgling pitcher he has ever seen -- and that was without having actually seen the rookie pitch in person. The Braves were set to face Strasburg hours after Cox's comments to reporters.

Who was closest?

"[Roger] Clemens," Cox said. "When we saw him for the first time, he was reeeaaallly good. But I think this kid, just watching the games on TV, might be a little more polished at this stage. And Roger was as good as it could get.

"It's hard to imagine, but he is. Every game I've watched him pitch. He is. It's just a fact. Everybody's got to get their feet wet. But he's different."

Strasburg went into Monday's game with a 1.78 ERA and a record 41 strikeouts in his first four major league starts. Even so, Cox said he wasn't sure the youngster should make the NL All-Star team because he's played only a small portion of the season.

"To me, I'd love to see him on there. But for the other guys that have had 15 starts, it's probably not fair to knock one of them off that actually, you know, have the stats. But he'd be a good one. I want to see him pitch in the All-Star Game. But to have five starts, it's probably not fair to the other guys that are on the border of making [the team]."

As for the future, Cox said Strasburg "can only get worse."

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: June 17, 2010 6:33 pm
Edited on: June 17, 2010 7:00 pm

Jones says no announcement until after the season

Chipper Jones told reporters Thursday that he was waiting until the end of the season before making any announcement about what he called "the R-word."

It was reported earlier this week that Jones was leaning toward retirement, and he confirmed that on Thursday, but said nothing was imminent.

Jones said he didn't want to distract from the team's playoff hunt or Bobby Cox's final season as the Braves' manager.

UPDATE: "I'll speak at length with my support group at the end of the season," Jones said to reporters, before adding with a smirk: "I'm sure you guys will be the first to know, you'll probably know before I do."

UPDATE: MLB.com's Mark Bowman has more from the media session on his blog , including this quote: "Honestly I haven't made a decision either way. Let's face it. We all know sort of which way I'm leaning. But I think it's best that we put this all behind us.  Somehow the cork got taken out and I'm putting it back in right now. I don't want to hear any more talk about retirement until the end of the season." 

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
Posted on: June 9, 2010 10:06 pm

Braves' Medlen expects to make next start

Braves starter Kris Medlen should not miss his next scheduled start, Bobby Cox told repoters before Wednesday's game in Phoenix.

Medlen suffered a minor strain of his left rotator cuff sliding into home with the tying run in the sixth inning of Tuesday's Braves win.

Medlen has gone 2-0 with a 3.86 ERA in the place of Jair Jurrjens.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com