Tuesday, October 24, 2006

October 24th, 1977

Bobby Cox Hired

This was, of course, Bobby's first go-around with the Braves, although it sure seems like he's been managing them since time eternal, it's really only been since mid-1990. (That's a pretty long time in its own right, the longest by far of any current manager.) For the Atlanta Braves managerial position, Cox is something like Grover Cleveland to the United States' Presidency, having served the role on two, non-consecutive occasions.

That comparison doesn't really work, however, and not just because someone like Billy Martin's third and fourth tries with the Yankees (1983 and 1985) work better but also because Cox was seemingly singularly inept during his first run as manager and nearly always excellent in his second run. His first run Cox went 266-323 (.451) with an average finish of fifth. In his second effort, Cox has won a hundred or more games six times, a World Series, five pennants and most famously fourteen full-season division titles in a row. Grover Cleveland was the same basically mediocre President both times he served; whereas in his first run as manager Cox was basically Warren Harding but somehow transformed himself into FDR before his second "term."

Ok, so that was not much baseball talk covered by a whole lot of American history stuff. But hopefully not so much as to mask my core point about Bobby Cox and the relative merits of his two 'terms' as manager of the Braves.

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