Part 1 of an excellent interview with our new manager. Here is an excerpt:
Q. Would you say you’re more toward the Bobby Cox end of that spectrum, as far as not criticizing players in print, that kind of thing?
A. Yeah. For me to come out and rip a guy, it would be absolutely out of character.
Q. Is that from your personality, or something you learned from Bobby, or sort of a combination of those two factors?
A. I think it’s a combination. And you know, from paying attention. My first year [as third-base coach with the Braves] in ’03, [Greg] Maddux starts the home opener and gives up about 12 runs in three innings. I’m not managing or anything, so I’m reading the paper the next morning. I’ll never forget it. I’m at Einstein’s Bagels reading the paper, and Bobby’s quote was, "He didn’t pitch that bad." And I’m going, God almighty, Bobby’s gone off the deep end. "He didn’t pitch that bad?" He backed up every base for two innings.
Sure enough, four or five days later I think Maddux gets ripped again, goes four or five innings, gives up a seven spot, loses again, and Bobby’s quote was like, "Well, we make a pitch here, maybe catch a ground ball there, he’s out of the inning and you know…." And so his third start, Maddux goes eight innings, one-hit shutout. A Maddux gem. And Bobby goes, "Yeah, he did OK."
So I asked Greg. I say, tell me, you’ve been with Skipper seven or eight years. And he goes, ‘Fredi, I know when I wake up after my start, whether I threw a one-hitter or I gave up a lot of runs, I know exactly what the quotes are going to be." And I said, well what do you think about that? And he said, "As a player, I think that’s great."
And I thought, OK, remember that.