Guess you heard, Bobby Cox is retiring. As in, "Bobby Cox, who is retiring after this season, blah, blah and blah."
Wonder if he might not like to think that over again. That isn't like the Braves skipper to set himself up for the most annoying season in his managing career. What he didn't realize is that every time his name is mentioned, he'll have new title Bobby (Who Is Retiring) Cox. The Retiring Bobby Cox. Bobby Comma Retiring Cox, until the last leaf has fallen from the trees in October.
It had to be accidental. Surely he didn't set himself up for what he's going to get. He's not the kind who likes to see his name in lights. Every interview, every headline, every time he gets kicked out of a game again, it'll be the same.
Surely he must have realized what he was getting himself in to. Or, maybe he didn't. He doesn't pay a lot of attention to what they say in the papers or on the broadcast, but he must have had some idea of how it would be. What he could have done was play out the string, finish the season, clean out his office, then say, "Oh, by the way. That's it. I'm through. I'm retiring."
Close the door and walk out, "See yuh!"
Now he'll have to go through it from coast to coast.
He'll have to deal with 15 rocking chairs, a dozen fishing boats, six bird dogs, poses with every manager in every National League city, portraits with the surgeon who did both his knee replacements, and, of course, a farewell send-off from Bud Selig, Bill Bartholomay, Henry Aaron, Barack Obama, all the Southern governors, and a departure choral sung by a quarter of umpires who have tossed him.
Surely, he had to have thought of all this. He has one way out. He can say, "Hey, I changed my mind."
Or, "Can't you take a joke?" Or, "I was misquoted."
He's going to find out that retirement is for the birds. It's like a fowl ball. You swing and you miss.
You meant it when you said it, but it's more like testing the waters. Oh, they'll make you a consultant, then nobody will ever consult you.
Too late now. You've already said it and you can't take it back. That's when you'll really find out if you're married, right?
Furman Bisher is one of the deans of American sports writing. The longtime Atlanta sports journalist is a member of the Georgia and Atlanta Sports Halls of Fame and in addition to his newspaper writing has authored multiple books on major figures likes Hank Aaron and Arnold Palmer. He writes periodic columns for the Daily Post.