Terry Eastland reviews In the Time of Bobby Cox by sportswriter and Atlanta Braves fan Lang Whitaker. The book chronicles the Cox era in Atlanta, when the Braves won a record 14 consecutive divisional titles and Cox solidified himself as, among other things, the most ejected manager in major league history. (Oh yeah, he also has the fourth-highest number of overall wins by a manager.) Here's a snippet:

On the way to winning the World Series last fall, the San Francisco Giants beat the Atlanta Braves 3 games to 1 in a National League Division Series. Braves Manager Bobby Cox, 69, had earlier announced that he would retire at the end of the 2010 season. So the last game of that series was also Cox's last in a Hall of Fame career that saw his Braves win 14 consecutive division titles, four National League pennants (in nine attempts) and one World Series (in five tries). It is a measure of Cox's greatness that the Giants interrupted their on-field celebration of the series victory to look across the diamond and salute the losing manager.

As baseball now prepares for a new season, one major storyline for fans concerns just how well the Braves will fare under their new manager, Fredi Gonzalez, a former manager of the Florida Marlins. But Lang Whitaker is still thinking about yesterday—and the influence that Bobby Cox had on him.

No, Mr. Whitaker didn't play for the Braves. He is a sports journalist and a Braves fan—by his own admission, an "obsessive" fan. Mr. Whitaker does discuss certain aspects of Cox's managerial record, but his focus is on the life lessons that he says he "learned from Bobby and the Atlanta Braves."

Read the whole review in the Wall Street Journal.

Next Page