Cox and Wren have formed strong working relationship
Bobby Cox and Frank Wren aren’t unlike any other general manager-manager combos in professional sports. Just like the key decision makers in any corporation, they are bound to encounter internal conflicts.
During one of the early days of Spring Training this season, Cox seemingly reached his boiling point after exiting a meeting with Wren and his coaches.
Reacting to a tone that he felt was condescending toward his coaches, the long-time Braves manager contemplated immediate retirement.
After a few hours of contemplation, Cox opted to stick around.
Cox’s respect for Wren has led him to deny that this event occurred. But those of us that have been around the team throughout this season, can’t deny the fact that the working relationship shared by Cox and Wren was definitely strengthened in the days, weeks and months following this event.
No later than Monday, Cox will likely confirm that he’s returning to manage at least one more season. If he truly felt that he couldn’t continue to work with Wren, the 68-year-old skipper would have already provided more indication that he’s currently spending his final days on the bench.
Like Cox’s successor will have big shoes to fill, Wren didn’t exactly encounter an enviable situation when he assumed the role that John Schuerholz had mastered for so many years.
To simply refer to Schuerholz as a great baseball man would be an insult. His greatness was gained through the great leadership that he continues to provide the Braves organization as its president.
Still during the 17 years that Cox and Schuerholz shared a manager-GM relationship, they had their differences. But over time, they developed a working relationship that drew envy from the peers that shared their positions throughout the Majors.
Wren has done an excellent job ushering the Braves away from holding on to tightly to their successful past. While saying goodbye to the likes of John Smoltz and Tom Glavine, he’s ushered the club toward what he foresees as a bright future.
At the same time, Wren has also shown the willingness to make the adaptations necessary to build the strong working relationship that has given Cox even more reason to stick around a little longer to be part of this future.