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Reports: Fredi Gonzalez to Replace Bobby Cox

           Absolutely no surprise here. Reports out of Atlanta are saying that deposed Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez will replace Braves icon Bobby Cox. The official announcement is expected to occur on Thursday.

           Gonzalez was dumped as Marlins manager in June after 3 1/2 seasons. But it was pretty much a given that would take over in Atlanta once the retiring Cox stepped aside.Fredi Heck, Gonzalez even turned down an interview request from the Cubs.

           As David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution wrote:

           Depending on whom you talked to Tuesday morning at Turner Field, a day after the Braves were eliminated from the postseason, the big question was a.) When will the next manager be fired?, or b.) When is Fredi's news conference?

           No other names ever surfaced as serious candidates for the job. As of Monday, the Braves had not discussed the managerial job with hitting coach Terry Pendleton, once considered a strong candidate to replace Cox.

           While the Marlins have seldom crossed paths with Joe Girardi since he landed with the Yankees, the same won't be true of Gonzalez when he starts running the show in Atlanta. They'll see each other 18 times each season, starting with the first hookup on April 12. Fredi and the Braves will make their first visit to South Florida on June 7.

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