Yeah, no big surprise there.
You'd like to expect differently, but how can you when the organization is owned by Jeffrey Loria? I mean, we're talking about the guy who helped drive the Expos into the ground, purposely misled south Florida taxpayers in his quest for a new ballpark and shows more interest in his stupid art projects than anything his baseball team might do on the field. His next classy baseball move will be his first.
So, yeah, it comes as no shock that the Marlins confirmed that they'll be the first team this season not to recognize Cox's impending retirement before he leaves town. No fish on a plaque. No simple "good luck, Bobby" scoreboard message. Not even an unfortunately misspelled cake like the one Cox received on Capitol Hill.
The Marlins didn't give a reason for their cold shoulder, but the smart money is on Loria getting even for Cox's critical comments in the wake of Loria's short-sighted firing of Fredi Gonzalez earlier this year. Cox didn't hold back while defending his protege, but it was an unexpected and undeserved firing. With the situation now in the past, Loria could put the episode behind them and order some simple recognition for Cox's Hall of Fame career.
As David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution notes, every team the Braves have visited this season has come up with an honor of some sort:
"The Cox farewell tour has included video tributes in most cities and a long list of gifts ranging from a jumbo-sized humidor (White Sox), a Stetson cowboy hat and boots (Astros), a fly-fishing rod and three nights at Colorado dude ranch (Rockies), and an original seat No. 6 (Cox's number) from Wrigley Field (Cubs), along with a "6″ from the hand-operated Wrigley scoreboard.
"Even the Minnesota Twins, who rarely play the Braves, had a pregame ceremony at home plate, where Cox was presented with a check for his charitable foundation and got a standing ovation from Twins fans (he's received standing ovations in every city)."
Look, I'm not asking Loria to personally drive in a Rolls from the outfield before handing the keys over to Cox. His smug face doesn't even need to be anywhere near the field.
But he's far from the only one in baseball to get on Cox's bad side over the years. He really can't let bygones be bygones for one day and approve a designated time for Florida's real baseball fans to stand and give Cox the appreciation he deserves? That's all sorts of weak.
- Jeffrey Loria