His rendezvous with history is coming. One of these days. With no warning, no "SportsCenter" countdown meter, no commissioners in attendance. It may not be a real romantic record that Bobby Cox is about to break. We won't be interrupting any regularly scheduled programming to show it. That's for sure.
And there's a 100 percent probability that the exalted longtime current record holder, John McGraw, will not be rearranging his not-so-busy schedule to stop by.
But history is history. So the great Bobby Cox finds himself one wave of some umpire's thumb away from a record that may stand forever:
Most times ejected from a major league baseball game.
Bobby Cox has been ejected from five games already this season. At the moment, his ejection collection stands at 130. According to research by the Society for American Baseball Research, McGraw still sits atop this exotic list as he has for the last 74 years, with 131 (14 of them as a player).
No other active manager (or player) is within even 50. (Tony La Russa is next, with 73.) So this may indeed be another one of those Records That May Never Be Broken. Please keep that in mind so you commemorate it properly.
We don't know exactly what the scene will look like when the Braves manager's pursuit of the boot pulls him even with, and then propels him past, McGraw. But we know what it won't look like.
This fellow won't be shot-putting any bases into the outfield. He won't crawl on the infield grass and toss any fake grenades. He won't kick dirt on anybody's shin. He won't be firing any POWERade coolers into the upper deck.
Bobby Cox is funny like that. In this age of the made-for-YouTube tirade, the soon-to-be all-time master of ejection perfection doesn't work that way.
"I've seen him throw his lineup card in the air," said Cox's general manager, John Schuerholz. "I remember he tossed his hat to the ground once. But that barely gets him on the measuring stick, compared to some other guys' histrionics."
Yeah, he's no histrionicist, that Bobby Cox. He's not exactly the P.T. Barnum of the Heave-Ho Show. So if you're looking for ejection style points in your managerial heroes, you've got the wrong man.
"We may have to subtract some [style] points for that," Nationals president (and former Braves president) Stan Kasten said with a laugh. "I think all the 'American Idol' judges scoring at home and texting in their votes would be quite disappointed. I think Simon Cowell would grade Bobby's efforts very poorly."
Ah, but don't take that the wrong way. That's actually a good thing. It's a good thing because it proves that all those ejections have never been about him. They've been about the guys who play for him and the team whose uniform he wears.
"He's so passionate about the game," Schuerholz said. "And he's even more passionate about protecting his players and sticking up for them, and getting the right shake, getting the right call and having things done right."
Yep, it's all about truth, justice and America's Team's way. And that's fine. You'd just think a guy who'd been asked to leave this many baseball games would have left more legendary ejection tales in his wake.
Nope. We asked around, asked men who had witnessed dozens of these ejectoramas to spin their favorite heave-the-manager yarns. They were all pretty much stumped.
"He doesn't do it with a lot of fanfare," said Brewers manager Ned Yost, who spent 12 years as one of Cox's coaches in Atlanta.