4/5 Bobby & Lou

This is the last season at the helm for Atlanta manager Bobby Cox. He and Lou Piniella, who is in the last year of his contract with the Cubs, talked at Turner Field on Sunday before the Cubs workout. Did they talk about retirement plans?

“He said he had a long Spring Training in Florida and was looking forward to the start of the season and that he likes his team, as do I,” Piniella said. “Nothing one way or another.”

Piniella is 66, and said he didn’t realize Cox was only a couple years older.

“He retired at an early age,” Piniella said. “He’s had a heck of a Major League career managing. He’s a good friend and has been a great manager and ambassador for baseball. We talked about quite a few things. Actually. he’s looking forward to this season as am I.”

One other person who knows Cox well is Greg Maddux, who won three of his Cy Young awards with the Braves.

“Bobby is a great manager and it was a privilege to play for him the 11 years I got to,” said Maddux, now an assistant to general manager Jim Hendry. “A great man, great manager and he’s a winner. He knows how to win. He’s great with people. He taught me so much about the game that when things come up, ‘Oh yeah, Bobby taught me that.’ ‘Oh, yeah, I saw Bobby do that.’ ‘Oh, this is how Bobby would do it.’ He’s one of the best.”

This spring was the first chance Maddux had to be around Piniella.

“Lou’s very good, very good with people,” Maddux said. “I haven’t been able to spend near the time around him that I did with Bobby. I’ve enjoyed being around him this spring and enjoyed watching how he does things. I’ve enjoyed watching him and the relationships that he has with his coaches and players. Spring Training is kind of a different thing. Things change once the season starts and I haven’t been around [Piniella] then. I like Lou and wish him great success.”

— Carrie Muskat

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