September 23, 2009 at 4:54 pm by Capitol Avenue Club under Atlanta Braves, Front Office, NL East News, Transaction Analysis, Transactions
As you all probably know by now, Bobby Cox will return to manage the team in 2010. After that, he’ll fill in an advisory role from 2011-2015. Basically, 2010 is Bobby’s last year managing the Braves. Per David O’Brien:
Just got upstairs after the interview with Frank and Bobby. As you’ve heard, Cox is coming back for one season to manage, then has a five-year contract to be an advisor. They said that with all the misinformation and speculation out there the past couple of days, they went ahead and announced now what they were going to announce after the road trip.
Both again denied that anything close to what reportedly happened in spring training actually happened. Bobby said sure, they’ve had disagreements like any GM and manager, but he laughed at the suggestion that he almost quit because of any of those disagreements.
I think this is a good thing for the organization. Both so it gives the organization another year to find a replacement and ensures Bobby will be around for 6 more years. Having Bobby around is not a bad thing.
There are, generally, only three types of different opinions on Bobby Cox. He’s a polarizing character. He’s been around a long time, and everyone who has been around a long time causes polarization. So, and correct me if I missed one but, there are only three types of opinions on Bobby Cox that I can think of.
1) The “I love him” opinion. This one usually belongs to an older fan or a fan that is more rooted in the traditions of the game. People who don’t really give a shit about statistical analysis at all. And not even pseudo-analysis (RBI, HR, AVG. They simply couldn’t care less about the numbers). Let me stop and say I don’t think this is a bad thing. I learn things from them every day. And if you think they’re bad for the game you probably fit in category two. But anyway, they don’t care that a bunt costs you runs in the long run. They’re intent is to win each game, not to maximize their efficiency. Not that they’re correct in their execution of this strategy, as maximizing efficiency generally leads to more wins, but that’s what they’re about. And I give them an “A” for effort. And even though they could be wrong, you still learn things from “”A” for effort” people in every facet of life. Baseball included.
2) The second type of opinion is the “I hate him” opinion. This one generally belongs to the younger fan. The 15-to-29-year-old fan that thinks they know a lot more about the game than they actually do. They criticize Bobby Cox for playing Francoeur then they criticize Bobby Cox for sitting Francoeur. They criticize Bobby for using Moylan then they criticize him for not using Moylan. They criticize Bobby for using Prado then they criticize him when he sits Prado. These are just a few examples of the copious amounts of complaining these people do. Not that I completely discourage the complaining. I don’t think the entire spectrum of one’s baseball discussion should revolve around Manager’s failings, though. The larger problem is that they fail to see the bigger picture. The fact that a manager makes a sub-optimal decision he has much less impact than you actually think. And people constantly rattle off things like, “Bobby cost us the win tonight”. Like I always say, if there was a manager that was worth 5 wins, teams would pay him $20 million. No such character exists.
3) The “I really don’t care” opinion. This one is shared by those most in-touch with the game today (not necessarily the past), the most statistically savvy that actually know what they’re talking about. The reason they don’t care is because they realize what goes on behind the scenes is much more important than his on-field decisions. The on-field decisions, while they have some negative impact, are far outweighed by his ability to manage the clubhouse and get the most out of his players. So, as long as he’s doing that, he’s doing his job. And Bobby Cox has certainly done his job. Realizing that managers don’t have very much impact, they’re rather indifferent on the issue. Should he actually be costing the teams wins, perhaps they may be more inclined to take an opinion on the issue.
The consensus among good baseball fans is that this is–at worst–a no impact move and at best a good move.