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Tuesday March 16, 2010 9:11 pm

Retirement coming for Cox, Gaston

Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: Athletes, Front Office, MLB,

Bobby CoxThis season marks the final one for both Atlanta Braves manager Bobby Cox and Toronto Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston. These two coaches have a long history and friendship together, going back over 30 years when they played together in the Venezuelan and Texas Leagues. Both have very opposite coaching styles – Cox is known for his occasional angry outbursts, while Gaston can make an umpire self-reflect with a simple wordless stare. Now, the two share a common destination that each will arrive at in very opposite ways.

Gaston played under Cox for a brief period in 1978 before his retirement as a player. He became a hitting coach and was brought into the Blue Jays organization in 1982 that were coached at the time by none other than Bobby Cox. Over the next four seasons the Jays transitioned from struggling expansion team to American League powerhouse. In 1986, Cox went back to Atlanta. Gaston took over the reins in Toronto in 1989 when they won their second division title. Of course, both have enjoyed World Series victories, Gaston in 1992 (beating Cox’s Braves) and 1993. The Braves claimed top honors in 1995.

As their respective careers as managers come to a close in 2010, things will only get tougher for the two tried and tested friends. It’s going to be tough to watch the young players, knowing they won’t play a role in their futures. Knowing that road each trip may be their final one to the cities they visit will be difficult. Being the boss is a lonely job, but it may be even lonelier this season. A break will be well-earned for both coaches, as Cox turned 69 last May, while Gaston turns 66 on Wednesday. Travelling from city to city every three days is tough on anybody, but especially so for these experienced men.

There doesn’t seem to be many similarities between Cox and Gaston in their coaching styles nor how they got where they are today with their clubs, but the two are going out together after this year. Cox will spend some time travelling without the burden of 25 people to look after, while Gaston will take a mentorship role within the Jays organization. It’s been a long-time coming for these two, and when all is said and done, both will be looked at as two different forms of success in Major League Baseball.



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