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The Cox Countdown

WHEN BOBBY COX broke John McGraw's career ejection record of 131 in the fifth inning of Atlanta's 5--4 win over the Giants on Aug. 14, most fans at Turner Field didn't even realize they had witnessed history. The Braves' skipper was in the dugout when he was quietly tossed by home plate umpire Ted Barrett for arguing a called third strike on Chipper Jones, depriving the crowd of the chance to see Cox go into the books with one of his patented meltdowns. (Imagine Barry Bonds being informed earlier this year that, due to a clerical error, he already had 756.) "If he was going to get it, I'm glad that it came on behalf of me," said Jones. "Bobby had kind of been biting his tongue lately. He was embarrassed by the record. But it was inevitable. He's too passionate about the game."

Cox had been sitting on 131 for 7 1/2 weeks. But it didn't take him long to get to 133—and he gave fans their money's worth. The night after he set the record, he protested a balk call against Tim Hudson. After much gesticulation, Cox barked something at ump Angel Hernandez (above), who tossed him, putting a little more space between Cox and Tony La Russa, the active manager with the second-most (75) ejections.