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Monday, July 2, 2007

Card of the Week 7/2

Baseball milestones are being passed right and left lately. Sosa's 600th. Chipper's 2000th. Big Hurt's 500th. Hoffman's 500th. Smoltz's 200th. Biggio's 3000th. Howard's 100th. Barry's 750th.

Roger Clemens was working on his 350th win as I composed this post and probably has it if the bullpen didn't let him down.

Then there are a bunch of impending milestones: Griffey's 600th. A-Rod, Thome, Manny and Sheff's 500th. Griffey and Sheff's 2500th. Glavine's 300th. Not to mention THE Milestone.

Last week, while the Braves were in the process of being completely dismantled by the Detroit Tigers' pitching staff, another milestone was reached. Bobby Cox got booted from the game trying to protect his catcher Brian McCann from being tossed for arguing balls and strikes. The boot was unfortunately in vain as McCann got the thumb as well, but it was significant as his 131st career ejection tied Bobby with the great John McGraw for most in a career.

Bobby already claimed the record for most ejections for a manager, as 14 of Little Napoleon's ejections came as a scrappy third sacker for the Orioles, Cardinals and Giants. The temperaments of the two managers could not be any more different. McGraw was an intense competitor who who was not above a little verbal or even physical abuse as long as it resulted in a win. After he was run out of the American League a few years earlier for his ungentlemanly play, Muggsy even refused to play in the 1904 World Series just to stick it up AL president Ban Johnson's butt. Bobby is the exact opposite, never criticizing a player and maintaining a good rapport with the umps even as he gets tossed. Bobby is more of a cheerleader who just happens to have a habit of lobbing an F-bomb from the bench every so often.

This is a record that will also not be easily broken. Tony LaRussa, the next closest active manager, is a full 58 ejections behind. The current manager most closely associated with being ejected, Lou Piniella, only has 58 career ejections himself. This does make sense, as the sheer effort involved in many of Piniella's ejections would demand they be used sparingly. Bobby just chugs along and plays Michael Caine to Pineilla's Pacino, efficiently turning out performance after performance instead of chewing the scenery.

In honor of this achievement, Cardboard Junkie's Card of the Week is Bobby's Topps 205 Drum mini card, a design that the great McGraw was once on himself.

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