Let me say this right off the bat to avoid the hate e-mails and comments: I loved Bobby Cox as the Braves' manager. I was the choked up after Game 4 of the 2010 NLDS not because the team had lost, but because No. 6 had managed his final game.
Bobby was the ultimate player-first guy. He led the club to an unparalleled run of regular season success, winning 14 NL East titles in a row. Whether it was the spikes he'd lace up every game or the never-ending "Come on, kid!" cheers from the dugout, Bobby was great.
But now it sounds like Bobby is going to have a serious role determining the future of the Braves. And if one report is true, it sounds like he's the reason Frank Wren was let go and Fredi Gonzalez is still around, which no one understands.
I'm hearing what some other folks have speculated with #braves: Wren wanted Fredi Gonzalez out, and Bobby Cox pushed to keep him.— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) September 22, 2014
The whole "Braves Way" thing that was preached this morning by John Schuerholz is so tired it's not even fun to mock anymore. It's not 1995 anymore. It's 2014, the game has changed, and the Braves aren't in a similar situation now to the one they were in 20 years ago. Bobby loves Fredi, and that's a bad thing moving forward.
Doing things The Braves Way has led to three playoff wins over the last nine years and zero appearances in the National League Championship Series since 2001. Think about all the talent that's been in Atlanta over the last 13 years.
No manager in history has done less with more than Bobby in terms of winning the World Series – the ultimate goal for every team in professional baseball. Do we really want a(n extremely) poor man's Bobby Cox calling the shots from the dugout? Is this really the model we're trying to supposedly get back to?
The two guys who ran the show in the 1990s are the ones determining the future of the Braves, along with John Hart. As far as I'm concerned, that doesn't bode well for anyone. Let's hope it works out for the best.