Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Braves lose and Bobby Cox walks off into the sunset....

Bobby Cox says goodbye/Courtesy-Jamie Squire/GettyImages
Admittedly, this was hard to watch. I grew up a Braves fan and have been one my whole life. Seeing the greatest manager the team will ever have end his career is tough. It's even tougher since I got to spend 10-years covering him.

Last night, the San Francisco Giants beat the Braves 3-2, winning their National League Division Series 3-1. It was also the last time that #6, the 4th winningest manager in the history of baseball would take the field.

Even though the Braves lost, this may have been Bobby Cox's best managing job. Somehow, someway, he took a beat up an injured team, a team that nobody thought before the season would be in the playoffs and won 91 games and made it. The NLDS lineup looked like a Spring Training split squad with holes, but they competed, they made every game close and still had a chance to win.

In the end, Bobby's loyalty to his guys may have gotten the best of him. Derrick Lowe probably stayed in one batter too long. The game before, he changed pitchers when he probably shouldn't have. But he was, until the end loyal to his players. He expected them to produce, to do their jobs.

At the end of the game, the fans who stuck around gave him a standing ovation. So did his players. And so did the Giants, who stopped their celebration, to acknowledge him. Classy.

Apparently after the game, his final speech to the team was very emotional. That's not a surprise. You could still hear a little of that in his post-game press conference. But it didn't get the best of him. It never would.

There are a segment of Atlanta fans who never understood the guy. They didn't appreciate what they had. They said he underachieved with "talented" teams. And no, they won't understand what they had. To know the guy, to see him interact with his players over the years is the only way that you could. And for those fans who think they'll be better without him.....Don't be so sure, you never realize how good you had it until you don't.

Here is a good wrap up of last nights events from our friends at WAGA/MyFoxAtlanta:

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