WASHINGTON (AP) — Even after Atlanta Braves manager Bobby Cox announced he was retiring after next season, some people still don’t believe him.
“I always thought they’d have to bury him in his Braves uniform,” third baseman Chipper Jones said Friday before the start of a series against Washington.
Nationals president Stan Kasten, formerly president of the Braves, also had his doubts.
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“I don’t buy it for a minute,” Kasten said. “Everyone I talked to … none of us buy it.”
Cox insists he’s comfortable with the decision, which includes managing Atlanta in 2010 and then a five-year consulting agreement.
“I like what I’m going to be doing,” he said.
He has a simple answer for those who think he won’t retire.
“Believe it,” Cox said. “That’s it. I made a commitment to do that, and I’m happy with it. I’m almost 70 years old.”
Cox said he has no second thoughts after his Wednesday announcement in New York.
“No. None. Done deal,” Cox said.
Braves general manager Frank Wren said he thinks Cox will follow through with the plans
“It was his idea to announce simultaneously the extension as well as his retirement,” Wren said. “He knew if he went year-to-year it would be very difficult for him to walk away. It’s done. It’s final in his mind.”
Jones has known no other manager in his 16-year major league career, and the idea of the Braves without Cox is unsettling.
“It would be weird,” Jones said. “I’m used to the clubhouse being run the same way. I’m used to spring training run the same way. I’m used to a ballgame being run the same way.”
Wren has said he won’t think about a successor until next season.
“I can think of a couple of good candidates, which I will keep to myself,” Jones said. “Maybe I’ll come back and be a player-manager. They couldn’t pay me enough money.”