ATLANTA- “A grown man shouldn’t do this,” an emotional Bobby Cox referred to the unavoidable tears that crept out of the 69-year-old managers eyes as he made his final post game press conference. By now you have heard or even watched the interview that followed the Braves season ending 3-2 loss to the Giants last night. As a 22-year-old man I almost cried as I saw number six exit the field for the last time as a Braves manager. Before I get too far, on behalf of myself, Braves country and the rest of the baseball world, thanks Bobby.
The 2010 Atlanta Braves team was the most exciting Braves team that I have watched in a long time. Unfortunately, I was a young tot when the Braves began their quest towards 14 straight Division championships and one World Series championship and I did not fully grasp the magnitude of those moments. I heard a multitude of Braves fans air their opinions on sports talk shows all day, much of which were extremely negative. Whether or not you believe Bobby Cox is the greatest manager of all time or a regular season coach that could not get it done in the post season now is not the time for these debates.
I wanted the Braves to win this post season and every other trip to the playoffs just as bad as the next guy. I cannot say that I would not want a chance to see Kimbrel finish the rest of game three or that I will wonder what would have happened with a different second basemen behind him. But, as disappointed as I am in the loss of this series, now is not the time to place blame on anyone.
Bobby Cox poured his life into Braves baseball 25 years and brought us many great moments. He performed one of his greatest managerial jobs ever this season as it seems that he got every last bit he could out of the diminished roster. But, Bobby pushed all the right buttons to get this team into the post season. And for that, I thank him.
Braves baseball is starting to feel like it did when I was a kid. The times that I was so young I can hardly remember. When Ankiel hit the ball into McCovey cove I leaped with joy and excitement. When Hinske helped the Braves take the lead in game three the stadium was as loud as I have ever heard it. Turner Field was as loud as it has ever been and the feeling of Braves baseball was back in the air. Electricity filled Braves country thanks to ole number six sitting in the corner of the dug out.
Bobby Cox may have not brought a championship to Atlanta in his final season, but he brought back what he started 20 years ago. Atlanta Braves baseball has the feeling that it has been missing for the past five seasons. With this momentum, Frank Wren and the new skipper (whom I believe is Fredi Gonzalez) will hopefully be able to get this team back to the top. And for that, I thank Bobby Cox.
Thanks for the years of memories Bobby. The next few days and weeks should be celebrating Bobby Cox. It saddens me that I wont see him “jog” to the mound anymore. I will not see him fire his hat to the ground when an umpire misses yet another obvious call. Monday’s loss ended a season and closed the book on an era that I will never forget. Thanks Bobby!