Bobby Cox and Joe Torre are names that are often used in the same sentence. Each coached the Atlanta Braves. Each has over 2,000 career wins. And each is now in the Hall of Fame. However, it does Torre and injustice to equate his career to that of Cox’s.
Joe Torre is one of the greatest manager’s that baseball has ever known. With 2,326 wins and 4 World Series Championships, Torre puts himself in a different level than Cox. Although Bobby touts 2,504 career wins, his teams are notorious for underachieving come playoff time. Cox’s Atlanta teams won the National League East 14 straight times, but only won one World Series. Torre, on the other hand, brought his New York Yankees teams to the postseason each of his 12 seasons in the Bronx, winning the World Series 4 times.
Torre was simply a better manager than Cox was, just look at the outcome of the 1996 World Series. The Braves were a fantastic regular season team under Cox. However, Atlanta struggled year after year in the postseason due to Cox’s unwillingness to adapt to the conditions of October. It is a different time of the year than the regular season. There is a much smaller margin for error in the postseason, something that Cox clearly found difficult to make his players understand.
Joe Torre didn’t have this problem. The Yankees under Torre understood that winning the World Series was the ultimate goal. Regular season accolades were nice, but rings were most important.
Bobby Cox may have more career wins than Joe Torre, but that clearly doesn’t mean a thing. Cox’s career was mediocre to say the least. He wouldn’t have lasted half of the time he did in Atlanta if George Steinbrenner had been his boss. The Braves had it right in 1982 when they replaced Cox with Torre.