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The ever-cheerful Bobby Cox.

old men

Say Good-bye to an Old Nemesis

A little piece of recent Mets history will end at the end of next season, when Bobby Cox, the doddering wizened manager of the Atlanta Braves, finally retires from his post. One could argue that, with the possible exception of Bobby Bonilla, no single person has caused the Mets more pain.

Cox has been the manager of the Braves since midway through the 1990 season, and after cleaning house that year, he promptly led the team to a staggering fourteen consecutive division titles. The first three of those spared the Mets, since they were being knocked around in the NL East while the Braves dominated the NL West, but when the divisions reformed after the 1994 strike — the worst year of all time; never forget! — the Braves commenced Mets domination. It wouldn't be until 2006 that the Mets would make the playoffs any other way than the wild card. Cox was the primary reason for this. He also drafted Chipper Jones — sorry, Larrrrrr-yyyyyy — who so thoroughly enjoyed smacking the Mets around that he named his son Shea. We look forward to little Citi Field Rollins patrolling shortstop for the 2025 Phillies.

Cox has some Yankees history too. His brief majors playing career was with the Yankees in 1968-69, and he was the first-base coach on the Yankees team that won the 1977 World Series. He had an initial stint managing the Braves from 1978-81 before being replaced by Joe Torre. And, of course, he lost a couple of World Series to the Yanks, too, in 1996 and 1999.

But mostly he'll be remembered around these parts for beating the Mets' brains in, a domestic dispute with his wife, being thrown out of more games than any other manager in baseball history ... and beating the Mets' brains in. We think we mentioned that one.

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Photo: Getty Images