Hot off the presses from the Atlanta Braves PR staff, the question about whether or not Bobby cox would be back next year has been answered... and next year will be the last year:
The Atlanta Braves announced today that they have agreed to terms with manager Bobby Cox on a one-year contract extension through the 2010 season and that the team's entire coaching staff will be brought back next year.
In addition, Cox has announced that he will retire from managing at the conclusion of the 2010 campaign, thus bringing to an end one of the greatest managerial careers in the history of the game. As part of Cox's contract extension, he has been given a five-year consulting agreement, from 2011 to 2015, where he will advise and consult in all areas of Baseball Operations, including the Major League Club, spring training, minor league operations and scouting. In addition, Cox will work with the office of the President on special business projects.
A good move I say. The Braves needed to address this issue and I think this handles it in the best way possible. Perhaps this contract was already signed or nearly signed, and the events of the last couple of days -- the rumored rift between Cox and Wren -- that story needed to be shot down, and they used that moment to finalize and announce this extension.
Bobby Cox will go down as one of the great managers of all time, and we'll have all of next season to wish him farewell as a manager. It sounds like he leaves on his own terms as well, with no one pushing him out. That's the right call for the Braves. There's no reason to force out a legend like that, especially when he's still liked and respected by his players and peers.