Bobby Knight praises Bobby Cox
Bobby Knight isn’t going to get a chance to see Jason Heyward play against the Cardinals this afternoon. But the college basketball coaching legend did take advantage of the opportunity to express how much he respects Braves manager Bobby Cox.
“I think he goes about things the way I would like to go about them,” Knight said before Thursday afternoon’s game at Roger Dean Stadium. He’s tough. He’s fair and I think he’s really smart. Are there any other superlatives you would like for me to use.”
While catching up with his close friend Tony La Russa this morning, Knight into the Braves dugout wearing his Cardinals jacket to spend about 10 minutes with Cox.
Count Knight among those who aren’t sure that Cox will actually be able to walk away from the game at the end of this season.
“If his team is really good, this isn’t going to be his last season,” Knight said while simply offering an opinion.
Check braves.com and MLB.com later to get more of Knight’s thoughts about the Braves manager.
Cox said that he is simply giving Heyward a chance to rest today. I’m thinking he just didn’t want to upstage Albert Pujols in his home park.
Seriously though, the most interesting change to today’s lineup is the fact that Melky Cabrera is hitting leadoff and Nate McLouth is in the sixth spot. While there wasn’t much reason to worry a week ago, the Braves now at least have to start exploring other options to utilize in the leadoff spot.
During the 28 at-bats he’s compiled entering today’s game, McLouth has recorded just one hit and struck out 10 times. Braves hitting coach Terry Pendleton is confident McLouth can fix some of his mechanical flaws before the start of the regular season.
Heyward spent this morning’s batting practice denting the Cardinals offices located beyond the right field wall. As the 20-year-old phenom continued to launch shot after shot, Braves president John Schuerholz was asked if his club is ever going to put up a net to protect the cars that are parked beyond the right field fence at Disney.
This plan was discussed three weeks ago when one of Heyward’s batting practice blasts destroyed assistant general manager Bruce Manno’s sunroof.
“That’s probably not going to happen this year,” Schuerholz said regarding the installation of the net. “We’re just all going to drive convertibles next year.”
As he watched Heyward this morning, Schuerholz said that during his long career in baseball he doesn’t remember ever seeing a prospect draw this kind of widespread praise from scouts, coaches, administrators and media members.
“In my 46 years in baseball, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a prospect draw this kind of attention in terms of the admiration, appreciation and projection,” Schuerholz said. “He’s done nothing to dissuade anybody from feeling that way at all.”
Today’s Braves lineups vs. Cardinals