Two days after Atlanta Braves manager Bobby Cox announced he was retiring after next season, some people still don’t believe him.
“I always thought they’d have to bury him in his Braves uniform,” third baseman Chipper Jones said Friday before the start of a series against Washington.
Nationals president Stan Kasten, formerly president of the Braves, also had his doubts.
“I don’t buy it for a minute,” Kasten said. “Everyone I talked to … none of us buy it.”
Cox insists he’s comfortable with the decision, which includes managing Atlanta in 2010 and then a five-year consulting agreement.
“I like what I’m going to be doing,” he said.
He has a simple answer for those who think he won’t retire.
“Believe it,” Cox said. “That’s it. I made a commitment to do that, and I’m happy with it. I’m almost 70 years old.”
Cox said he has no second thoughts after his Wednesday announcement in New York.
Cuban prospect ready
The bidding can begin for Cuban pitcher Aroldis Chapman.
The 21-year-old pitcher has been declared a free agent by Major League Baseball, allowing teams to start pursuing the hard-throwing lefty.
Chapman defected in July during a tournament in the Netherlands and established provisional residency in Andorra, allowing him to bypass the amateur draft.
Chapman played for Cuba in this year’s World Baseball Classic. With a 100 mph fastball, he is considered by scouts to be among the top pitching prospects in the world.
Clearing the bases
Texas slugger Josh Hamilton was back in the lineup after missing 19 games because of a pinched nerve in his back. … San Francisco shortstop Edgar Renteria will have surgery on his right elbow to remove bone chips and spurs. Manager Bruce Bochy said he would like to see Renteria take care of the problem and start on a rehab program before the season ends. … Newly elected Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, a noted baseball fan, threw out the ceremonial first pitch before the Dodgers-Pirates game in Pittsburgh. … Texas reliever Eddie Guardado said he is probably going to retire after this season, his 17th in the major leagues.
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