ATLANTA — Bobby Cox bit his lip, trying to stifle any tears that wanted to drip out. He was forced to change the subject to keep from becoming too emotional in his last news conference as the Atlanta manager.
“A grown man shouldn’t do this,” said Cox, 69, fighting his emotion.
One of the most successful managerial careers in baseball history ended Monday night when the San Francisco Giants beat the Braves, 3-2, and won their National League division series, three games to one.
The Braves, an offensively challenged club hamstrung by key injuries throughout the season, were held together by Cox’s steady hand but could not muster enough hits to prolong his career.
Still, he was cherished by fans at Turner Field who stood and cheered loudly when he tipped his cap after the final out. The Giants, who will open the National League Championship Series against the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday, stopped their celebration on the field and stood and clapped for Cox.
“I’ve been emotional when we’ve gotten beat in the World Series, and it feels the same,” Cox said. “It doesn’t feel like this is the last time I’m putting it on, but it certainly is, and I won’t put it on again, so. …”
Cox became choked up and had to start talking about starter Derek Lowe, who pitched a splendid game on three days’ rest.