Thursday, September 24, 2009

Braves Manager Bobby Cox agrees to contract extension

The Atlanta Braves announced yesterday that they have agreed to terms with manager Bobby Cox on a one-year contract extension through the 2010 season and that the team's entire coaching staff will be brought back next year.

In addition, Cox has announced that he will retire from managing at the conclusion of the 2010 campaign, thus bringing to an end one of the greatest managerial careers in the history of the game. As part of Cox's contract extension, he has been given a five-year consulting agreement, from 2011 to 2015, where he will advise and consult in all areas of Baseball Operations, including the Major League Club, spring training, minor league operations and scouting. In addition, Cox will work with the office of the President on special business projects.

The winningest manager in Braves franchise history, Cox is in his 28th season as a big-league skipper and his 24th year at the Braves' helm (1978-81, 1990-present). He owns 2,408 career wins, placing him fourth on the all-time victory list and second among active managers. Cox has recorded 2,053 wins with the Braves and another 355 in four seasons (1982-85) with the Toronto Blue Jays. He and Hall of Fame manager Joe McCarthy are the only two managers in history to post six 100-win campaigns.

"Bobby and I have been talking about this for some time," Braves Executive Vice President and General Manager Frank Wren said. "We are very excited that Bobby, who is one of the best and most respected managers in the history of baseball, will again be managing our club in 2010. Personally, it has been a true honor and a pleasure to work with such a great manager and leader. Bobby is one of the true icons of our game."

"I share with all of our great Braves fans the excitement over the good news of Bobby's signing a 2010 contract extension," said Braves President John Schuerholz. "It has been my good fortune to share a personal relationship and professional partnership with Bobby since 1991. Together we have shared in the most remarkable, sustained period of Braves baseball excellence while winning 14 consecutive Division titles, five National League Championships and, of course, the World Championship in 1995. It has been an honor and pleasure to work side by side with Bobby Cox. We are thrilled with his return as manager in 2010 and with his continued association with us for many years to follow."

The 68-year-old Cox has guided Atlanta to Major League Baseball's best overall record since 1991 (1,747-1,252). Since then, the Braves have earned a 14 division championships, five National League pennants and a World Series title. Cox has guided his clubs to 66 postseason wins - second all-time to the Dodgers' Joe Torre (77).

"I am very excited and honored to be making plans for next year," said Cox. "While I have decided that 2010 will be my last season in the dugout, I want to make it clear that we will all be working as hard as ever to win another World Championship for the city of Atlanta and our great Braves fans. I really can't express how proud I am of our team, and how thankful I am that Frank and John have given me the opportunity to retire with the organization that I've been with for almost 30 seasons."

Cox has earned four Manager of the Year awards from the Baseball Writers Association of America and an unprecedented eight Manager of the Year honors from the Sporting News. No other skipper has won the Sporting News award more than three times since the magazine started its balloting in 1936.

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