By Michael Tapia
Last night was an extremely emotional one in the city of Atlanta, as the San Francisco Giants eliminated the undermanned Atlanta Braves to win the NLDS three games to one. But where the emotions really poured out was at the fact that the Braves not seeing their long time skipper, Bobby Cox, standing on those dugout steps for another 162 game season.
After an illustrious 29-year career and 2,504 regular season managerial wins, Cox is calling it quits. Sitting at the podium after their 3-2 loss an emotional Cox said, “I’m proud of this team…They played their hearts out and I’ll miss them,” while holding back tears. One of his longtime players, Chipper Jones, said he had never seen the skipper so emotional. Rookie sensation Jason Heyward also expressed his gratitude for the one season he spent under the guidance of Cox.
While there are so many statistics that positively reflect the career of Bobby Cox, one negative statistic actually brings to light the manager’s most revered quality – his passion.
During his career, Cox was ejected 158 times. He was so passionate about the game of baseball and what he believed in, that he would not hesitate to intercede on behalf of his players until he was ejected from the game he loved. Thanks to his passion and devotion to the Braves organization and the city of Atlanta – he won the hearts of the fans to the extent - that despite yesterday’s discouraging loss, fans chanted “Bobby, Bobby, Bobby” as the Giants celebrated their game 4 victory on the field. Moments later, the Giants also joined the fans to pay tribute to Cox. The Giants Freddy Sanchez explained why his team saluted Cox.
“He’s a legend in this sport. He’s been a great mentor to so many people in the sport,” Sanchez said. “We had to show our respect. First things first. Then we could go celebrate.”
Despite their disappointment in being eliminated, all four series games were decided by one run including the series closer. Both pitchers performed well with Derek Lowe throwing a two hitter, while one his 3 runs being unearned.
On the Giants side, the oft-hyped Madison Bumgamer took the win after pitching six strong innings giving up two earned runs, six hits and striking out five. Bumgamer’s biggest threat was Brian McCann who had Atlana’s only two RBI’s; with a sacrifice fly in the third inning to score Omar Infante; and a home run in the bottom of the sixth. The Giants bats were quiet until the top of the sixth inning when Cody Ross homered to left field. One inning later, Juan Uribe hit into a fielder’s choice that allowed Aubrey Huff to score. Two batters after Uribe, it was Ross again with an RBI single that scored Buster Posey for the 3-2 final.
Next up for the Giants? The defending National League Champion Philadelphia Phillies in a best of seven scheduled to begin this Saturday. While the Yankees, Phillies and Giants have advanced, there are two teams left battling for the last spot in the final four as Texas battles the Rays tonight, in Game 5 with lefties David Price and Cliff Lee facing off at 8:07 PM EST.