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Rated: E · Other · Sports · #1960069
One humble baseball lover's view!
I was reading this article the other day when I realized something…people just don’t get it. They think a manager is great because his team wins a title. This thinking defies the laws of nature! How else do you explain Barry Switzer winning a Super Bowl title? That Cowboys team was already put together and almost any manager could have led that team to the Promised Land…even an Atlanta Falcons coach.

Now back to the topic of the article. It was talking about baseball managers and the author did name some good ones. They did leave out one of my favorites though and that would be the great Pete Rose. Not only could he manage a team he could get out there and show them how it was done! Anyway, I digress. So I am reading this commentary when shivers run down my spine. The writer wants people to believe that the greatest manager is….dare I say it? A Yankee! And I don’t mean a person from the north. We are talking pinstripes, nutty owner, and some of the most opinionated fans alive.

My stomach turns over just typing the words on this page. But please don’t get me wrong. I am not discrediting the job the managers have done in the big apple. In fact I applaud them for not being like that other New York team. The problem is that the Yankee manager’s success is more smoke and mirrors. Yes the team has won more World Series Titles than any other in the history of the game. How could you not when you have the advantages the Yankees do.

You have an owner who would pay a goat millions of dollars if he thought it could hit a ball out of the park. If Steinbrenner donated the excessive payrolls he has paid in recent history to the government then the national debt would all but be eradicated. The proof that money is the driving factor behind the Yankees’ achievements is the Florida Marlins. They have been around for just a few years but already have two World Championships. That is because after they won the owners traded off the high priced talent and began to rebuild with younger cheaper players. Now the team hasn’t won in the past few years and is on the verge of moving out of town! Before I go any further I have to toss two pivotal words out there for you to consider…Designated Hitter.

By now you should be moving away from the dark side and realizing the pitfall that others have been trapped. Well it is time for me to set the record straight. The greatest manager in Baseball must be Bobby Cox. You have to understand that when I say this it is not just because I am a Braves fan. In fact Cox sends my blood pressure through the roof on a regular basis. His post season record leaves something to the imagination. In a short series he seems to hold back some of his best players until it is too little too late. But let’s just look at a few things that make Bobby the elite manager that he is.

1991 was the first full season that Cox skippered the Atlanta team. They were the worst team in 1990 and the best in 1991. From 1991 to 2005 Cox won over 1600 games as the Braves manager. That American League coach I mentioned earlier won 300 less during the same span. That’s almost two full seasons of baseball. During that span it is true that the Braves won just one championship. But they also went on an unprecedented run of 14 straight division titles. That record isn’t just a baseball record it stands against all sports combined!
Did Cox have $200 million dollar payrolls? No but he sure did know how to get the most out of his budget and players. Cox cultivated several players during that span who were not much better than minor league players. He took these individuals and made them believe that you just have to play as hard as the guy next to you. Guys like Francisco Cabrera, Tony Tarasco, Pedro Borbon, Roberto Kelly, Mike Devereaux, Dewayne Wise, Andy Marte, and Wilson Betemit were able to lift their abilities to a new level under Bobby’s tutelage. Look at John Rocker who could throw rockets while in Atlanta but once he went to another team…well we all know what happened to him. And who could forget Randall Simon? Simon was a solid player on the Braves who was reduced to attacking sausages during the game to get a hit. Tragic isn’t it?

Bobby Cox has this ability to squeeze the most talent out of a player in the least amount of time. He has an eye for the lemons as well as the future Hall of Fame players. You see what I have come to understand is that Bobby makes every player feel equal even if their skills aren’t. Cox is a player’s manager and he will fight for them to the very end. This was never more evident than during a recent two game span where Cox was ejected from both games. The first ejection gave him sole possession of first place on the all time list for managers. The very next night he was tossed again. This time it was defending one of his superstars who would later win the game in the bottom of the ninth inning with a double. Cox knows that no man will follow a general into battle unless the general is willing to stand side by side with him as the bullets start to fly. Cox can get the most out of his players and teams because he cares. He genuinely cares about the players and the game.

Now after reading this if you still don’t agree then the communist north of the Mason Dixon line must have you brainwashed pretty good. I’m not worried and you should not fret. All you need to do to escape is catch a game. Not just any game mind you but one featuring the Atlanta Braves and the greatest manager of all time Bobby Cox
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