Yesterday's speculation proved to have at least a shred of truth inside, but it turns out to be a bittersweet truth for Braves manager Bobby Cox. Fella is hanging up his angry pants after next season but will stay on for at least five years with the Atlanta organization as a consultant. He'll get the satisfaction of spewing his wisdom collected over dozens upon dozens of years in the game without having the pain of actually interacting with Nate McLouth. Win-win!
So, will next year be a Bobby Cox Retirement Tour around the majors or do the Braves have a fighting chance to send off their crusty old cap'n with a playoff push? If you believe in the young, strikeout-y pitching staff headed by the likes of Tommy Hanson and Jair Jurrjens, the answer is yes. If you have little faith in the creaky, powerless offense headed by a soon-to-be-retiring Chipper Jones, the answer is no. The key to the 2009 Atlanta Braves will be finding a corner outfielder who can hit which was the same exact key to the 2008 Braves, yet all they ended up with was Garret Anderson. It's Bobby's last year, Frank Wren. Get the man a hitter.
Cox will retire fourth on the all-time managerial wins list but will probably be overtaken by Joe Torre as long as Torre's prostate holds out. The top eight inactive managers on that list are all in the Hall of Fame and there's nothing to keep Cox from joining them. He only has that one World Series win but then again, Joe McCarthy, Sparky Anderson and Tommy Lasorda never had to deal with a pesky Divisional Series.
Baseball will miss Bobby Cox, but perhaps there is no other single person happier that Bobby will be staying with the Braves in that consulting position for the next five years is Pamela Cox.