Braves Hold Players-Only Meeting to Discuss What to Get Bobby Cox for His Birthday

Despite one of the highest payrolls in baseball, the Atlanta Braves are currently in last place in the National League East, two games below .500. And today some of the team's veteran players called a players-only meeting.
"You'll have these from time-to-time during a 162-game season," said Braves third baseman Chipper Jones. "Every season has its low points. But this meeting was because Bobby Cox's birthday is on Friday and we need to decide what to get him. And, obviously, we can't talk about that with him around."
Jones and starting pitcher Derek Lowe suggested everyone on the 25-man roster chip in $2,500 to get Cox a vintage Cadillac convertible, but many of the younger players balked at that dollar figure.
"What? You want me to pay $2,500?" said reliever Jesse Chavez. "That's almost one of my paychecks. Not all of us make $15 million, you know."
Chavez said he was thinking everyone could contribute 10 or 15 bucks.
"We could get him a really nice coffee maker," said the reliever. "They have a sale at Sears."
But the veterans insisted a coffee maker, even a nice one that's programmable and has a bean grinder, is not enough for a manager with Cox's years of service.
"Fine. No coffee maker," said shortstop Yunel Escobar. "But I'm still not paying more than 20 bucks. Because I know you guys are going to hit me up later in the season for a retirement gift for him."
"That reminds me," said Jones. "Our next players-only meeting is June 1st to decide what to get Bobby for his retirement. We'll also be voting for a party planning committee at that meeting. Please mark your calendars."
Minutes later, with the meeting at a close and a decision on a gift reached — a $2,000 gift card to Sears — Chavez was told he could wake Cox from his nap in a chair at the center of the locker room.


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