Kasten, Cox had great years together in Atlanta

Braves manager Bobby Cox, one of the best skippers in baseball history, announced Wednesday, he will retire after the 2010 season and then do consulting work for the organization.

Two days later, Nationals president Stan Kasten had a lot of good things to say about Cox, and why not? The two worked together for more than 15 years in Atlanta.

“What do you say about a Hall of Famer? He is a fantastic human being and fantastic leader of men,” Kasten said. “He has a great understanding of the game of baseball, and how to lead people than anybody I have ever been around. It’s a pleasure to know him and was a pleasure to work with him.”

Cox was the general manager when the Braves named Kasten the president in 1987. The one deal Cox made for the future that year was trading right-hander Doyle Alexander  to the Tigers for a prospect named John Smoltz. Two-hundred tens wins, 154 saves and a Cy Young award later, Smoltz made the deal one sided in favor of the Braves.

“At our state where we were, we made the big leap and spent that much [money] on a player that wanted to play for us, but down the stretch, we felt we might be able to get something good for him. I didn’t know we would get a Hall of Famer and a Cy Young award winner for Doyle Alexander,” Kasten said. “That was a good deal that Bobby made — signing Doyle and trading for John.

Three years later, Cox began his second stint as manager of the Braves and guided them to 15 straight division titles, five pennants and one World Series title.           

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Meanwhile, Cecil Cooper has been unceremoniously fired as General Manager of the Houston Astros, after a long and distinguished career of service in Major League Baseball. He began his career in 1968 with the Boston Red Sox, and was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers in 1977, including an appearance in the 1982 World Series, which was closely contested but with the Cardinals walking away with the contest. He was appointed bench coach for the Astros in 2005, and appointed interim and then General Manager in 2007. The team’s record dipped below .500 after making the playoffs for several years in a row. It’s too bad for Cecil Cooper and the Astros, and let’s hope he doesn’t need to find a money lender or follow (http://personalmoneystore.com/Payday-Lenders/money-Lenders/money-Lender) in the meantime.

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