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Posts Tagged ‘south carolina

What’s eating Bobby Cox?

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Well, that headline’s just a little misleading because nothing’s eating Bobby Cox.

In fact, Bobby Cox is eating.

Or at least he was.

You see, my girlfriend works at Magnolias restaurant in downtown Charleston, S.C. It’s a popular place with tourists, and for some reason, celebrities seem to flock to it whenever they’re in town. Hello, Bill Murray!

Last night Katlyn asked me if I’d heard of someone named Bobby Cox: “He’s a manager of a baseball team or something. He’s coming in for lunch tomorrow.”

“YOU MEAN THE ALL-TIME LEADER IN MANAGER EJECTIONS AND ALSO THE MANAGER OF FOURTEEN CONSECUTIVE DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP TEAMS WITH THE ATLANTA BRAVES?”

Cox was in town because he was the guest speaker at the Charleston RiverDogs’ Hot Stove Banquet on Friday. I had wanted to go to the event, but unfortunately I’m not exactly shitting out twenties right now.

So as a consequence, I had trouble sleeping last night, thinking of the life-changing things that I would say to Bobby Cox when I inevitably stalked him during his low-key lunch: “Mr. Cox, thank you for everything,” “Mr. Cox, the game won’t be the same without you.” I’m not the kind of person who gets worked up about celebrities; I’ve actually seen Murray at a Halloween costume shop in West Ashley, and I ignored him. But Bobby Cox—this was a totally different story. He’s a baseball man, someone who’s spent the last 50 years toiling in the game I love. He’s a four-time Manager of the Year, he’s the fourth winningest manager in Major League Baseball history, and he was at the helm of the team that featured the best rotation in Major League Baseball history. Outside of some old-time players, Bobby Cox is one of the few on a short list of players/managers who I’d actually like to sit down with.

“His reservation is at 12:45.”

So around 12:00 p.m., I drove from Mount Pleasant to downtown Charleston. As soon as I hit East Bay Street, I saw Bobby Cox. Or I thought I did. I wanted to see Cox so badly that I turned every single old, wobbly man on the street into the Atlanta Braves’ manager. There was an old man wearing sweat pant jeans, and I was sure it was him. I couldn’t stop to confirm it from the car though, so I kept driving to Magnolias.

I was seated by 12:45, the time he was expected to appear.

He never came.

So I decided to have a few beers.

Next thing I know, a couple hours passed (I think it was now about 2:30 p.m.) and there was still no sign of Bobby.

Just as I was about to leave, in walks Bobby Cox, about two hours late for his reservation. He was wearing slacks, a blue shirt, and a black leather jacket. It turns out you can’t think you see a celebrity; when you see one, you know. It turns out he wasn’t wearing sweat pant jeans at all, and he looked exactly like you would expect Bobby Cox to look. He was with three other people, a man who looked like his brother and a pair of older women.

The bartender told me, “There you go, stalker!” and I just sat there, frozen.

I didn’t say anything to him. I didn’t try to get a picture with him. I didn’t try to get a picture of him.

My girlfriend doesn’t understand why I don’t take pictures, or why I’ll fight tooth and nail before I take one on our anniversary, while we’re in Disney World, or while I’m lifting a two-ton car.

Truth be told, I don’t need to prove that I was sitting next to Bobby Cox, that I met Bobby Cox, or that I didn’t meet Bobby Cox. The memory is ingrained in my brain for life, and I’ll never forget it. For an hour today, I sat ten feet from one of the most accomplished and respected figures in baseball history and didn’t say a word. For some people, that would be what’s called a “wasted opportunity.”

For me, it’s a damn good day.

Written by dylansharek

January 29, 2011 at 6:57 pm

College of Charleston sweeps Radford in season’s opening series.

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It’s hard to believe it was snowing here in Charleston, South Carolina, just a week ago.

Because today it feels like spring. I’m finally wearing shorts (beware the glow!) and the anoles have emerged from their winter hiding places and are torturing my dog by running just fast enough to stay out of her reach.

And that means one thing, folks: it’s officially baseball season.

Major League Baseball’s pitchers and catchers reported on Thursday and the NCAA baseball season began nationwide on Friday.

The College of Charleston Cougars (hereby ordained “C of C”) opened with a non-conference series against the Radford Highlanders at nearby Patriot’s Point Park in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.

In the Southern Conference coaches’ poll, the Cougars were chosen to finish fourth. The media, however, picked them to finish third. Baseball America, my favorite source for college baseball information, has ’em finishing second.

The consensus favorite to capture the SoCon league title is Elon, a team filled with dominant pitchers and an above-average group of hitters.

And while it will be hard to wrestle the title from Elon, C of C has all the trappings of an extremely competitive, even championship caliber, team. They’re arguably the best offensive team in the league, their defense is solid, and their pitchers have good upside.

Everything came together for the team during the opening weekend, as they swept Radford in dominating fashion to start the season 3-and-0. They won the first game 8-4, the second game 9-1, and the third 11-3.

The offense was explosive and the pitching was good. There were few scouts at the first game, at least three at the second (Texas, St. Louis, and San Diego) and one at the third (Atlanta).

That means it’s time for a rundown of the team’s top players thus far. For fun, I’ll throw one Radford player into the mix.

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