Braves exercise manager's option for 2005

Updated: April 5, 2004, 4:46 PM ET
Associated Press

ATLANTA -- Bobby Cox's 2005 option was exercised Monday by the Atlanta Braves, putting him under contract for his 20th season as manager of the franchise.

Cox managed the team from 1978-81, then returned in 1990. He has 1,906 wins, ninth on the career list and second among active managers behind Tony La Russa of the St. Louis Cardinals.

He has led the Braves to 12 straight division titles, five NL championships and the 1995 World Series title, becoming the winningest manager in franchise history.

"It's awfully comforting to know that as you bring new guys into this roster, you put them in the hands of, I think, the best manager in baseball," Atlanta general manager John Schuerholz said.

The Braves open their season Tuesday night against the New York Mets.

"He's the only manager I've ever known," left fielder Chipper Jones said. "He deserves it. He deserves whatever this organization gives him."

Cox has 63 postseason wins, second to Joe Torre's 66.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press