We’re only two years into Fredi Gonzalez‘s tenure, so we’re nowhere near the point where we can assess how he compares to Bobby Cox. I’m sure the Braves organization, as well as Braves fans, are hoping that Gonzalez will ultimately be better than Cox.
Just as good would be fine, too.
If Gonzalez can prove to be a better manager than Bobby Cox in the long-term, Braves fans are in for a great ride. Cox’s 14 division titles will most likely never be equaled. However, his one World Series title can certainly be equaled and exceeded.
Gonzalez most likely will not be better in the long-term, probably no Braves manager ever will. But maybe Gonzalez can be better in the short-term, and that is eminently possible.
Cox having just one World Series title is really the only pimple on his managerial butt. But it is a big one,and it contains voluminous puss.
What we do know so far, is that Fredi Gonzalez has a higher won/loss percentage as Braves’ manager, than Bobby Cox. Cox had a career .556 win percentage, Fredi Gonzalez’s win percentage as the Braves’ skipper, is .565. You can’t place a lot of stock in that statistic at this point, but nonetheless, it feels good on a cold February day when pondering the Braves’ future.
Granted, the first time around when Cox was manager, owner Ted Turner made Ted Kaczynski look sane. But during his second stint, Cox had three future Hall of Famers in his starting rotation, and one of the richest payrolls in baseball. He had both for many years, and quite frankly, it was an obnoxious show of baseball wealth.
When a general manager in sports has a lot of money to play with, he can make himself, and his manager, look very smart. Take away that money, and the IQ drops proportionately. Look at what happened to Schuerholz, and Cox, when Turner and his money left, and they were placed on a middle class budget.
Based on what he did the first two years as Braves manager, I’m very optimistic that Fredi Gonzalez can compare very favorably to Bobby Cox when his career in Atlanta is over. It would probably make few people happier than Bobby Cox himself.
Btw, here’s your factoid of the day: the Braves manager who has the all-time best win percentage at .648 is…Jim Hart. No joke, but the asterisk is that it was in 1889.
Another btw, wonder if the jailers where Kaczynski is incarcerated call his jail cell “The Ted”? Or has another inmate killed him already? Don’t know and too lazy to do an internet search.