by Carolina Lady
It’s pretty safe to say that all of us are genuinely excited about the Braves’ potential for this year’s diamond campaign.
A kid’s Christmas morning anticipation is nothing compared to a baseball fan’s sparkly-eyed, hyperactive grinning as his/her team gets ready to launch a shiny new season.
Raisins and Ber have already addressed many of the reasons why in the previous couple of leads.
My thoughts were are a little more in the ‘intangibles’ category: what, if anything, will be the impact of Bobby’s final year as field manager?
I sense it in the columns I read and in the interviews given by those associated in any way with the team. It’s as if there is a new purposefulness in the players’ attitudes, a certain determination in the eye. Have you noticed it?
They seem to have a more definitive goal this year rather than the annual generic “We wanna go to the Series” one. A mission. And they know what they have to do to make it happen: win ball games.
I don’t think there’s a way to measure this ‘swan song’ influence except maybe by seeing a player dig down a little deeper, try a little harder, successfully make that stolen base, make that extra-base hit, move that runner over and bring him in. I’ll sure be looking for it!
I just hope they can maintain this focus through the full, grueling 162-game schedule. Somehow I think they will. If this lady’s yelling and jumping up-and-down in front of the TV/computer during game time will help, I will be in the BSOML by Oct 2010!
With all his good points and bad, I’ll really miss Bobby when he retires. I cannot even imagine who will be tasked with trying to fill those spikes in 2011. Really don’t even want to go there right now. But it will be an almost impossible position to hold with any success.
Today I listened again to some of the interviews done after Skip died. When Don Sutton was asked what Skip was like to him, he responded, “He’s like the grumpy old uncle that I couldn’t wait to see again.” In a strange sort of way, that made me think of Bobby. Everybody loves the man. And that’s special in my book.
Speaking of Skip, wouldn’t you just love to listen to his comments through this final Bobby Cox season? Undoubtedly he would bring a perspective that would ring true in every aspect and would be unique and memorable – as only Skip could do. Don’t know about you but I can’t watch a game without hearing his voice in my mind commenting with humor and his own brand of caustic wit.
Anyhow, those are just a few thoughts on a cold February evening on the Carolina coast.
What do you think? What and/or how much influence do you think the retirement of No.6 will have on the season?
Gil, we’re all looking forward to your reports from Florida! Take photos! Lots of ’em!