Atlanta Manager Bobby Cox will be sticking around, at least for two more seasons.
The Braves announced today they have extended the contract of the longtime skipper through the 2007 season.
"We are extremely please to extend Bobby's contract through 2007," Braves' Executive Vice President and General Manager John Schuerholz said in a release. "We feel that Bobby is the best manager in the game and his leadership has helped the Braves to set a very high standard of excellence - not just in Major League Baseball, but in all professional sports."
2005 will be Cox's 25th as a big league manager, his 21st with the Braves. He started with Atlanta in 1978 and spent four seasons with the club. Then in 1982 he went to the Toronto Blue Jays as manager for three seasons before returning to Atlanta to become the Braves' General Manager prior to the 1986 season. Cox returned to the dugout midway through the 1990 season, and he's been there ever since.
Cox is the Braves' winningest manager with 1,737 wins. He is seventh on the all-time victory list with 2,092, second to Cardinals' skipper Tony LaRussa on the active list. He and Hall of Fame Manager Joe McCarthy are the only two managers in history to post six 100-win seasons.
The 64-year old Cox has won the Manager of the Year award four times, including the last two years. He's also won the Sporting News Manager of the Year award a record eight times. Cox has won 66 games in the postseason, second all-time to New York's Joe Torre, who replaced him as Atlanta's Manager before the 1982 season.
Schuerholz is also signed through 2007 as the Braves' General Manager, meaning the most successful duo in baseball will remain in place for at least two more seasons. Schuerholz said the relationship he and Cox have had over the past fifteen seasons has been a secret to their success together.
"He tells you what he thinks in a clear way, which is an important thing for the relationship between a general manager and a manager," Schuerholz said. "The fact for both of us have the benefit from seeing talented, young players matriculate to our major league team, and not only matriculate but contribute to our success, is an invigorating mix for us to be around. He handles that mix, and creates that mix, better than anyone I've ever seen."
Bill Shanks is the author of Scout's Honor: The Bravest Way To Build A Winning Team, a look inside the Braves‘ traditional front office philosophies. Email Bill at email@example.com.
Cox signs contract extension through 2007
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