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Gonzalez to Cubs: Thanks, but no thanks

Former Marlins skipper Freddi Gonzalez has turned down the Cubs' offer to interview him for their open managerial position, according to AOL Fanhouse.

That's good news for Ryne Sandberg -- and could also be good news for the Cardinals.

The main knock on Sandberg, the Wee Bears' most popular player of the last 25 years, is that he doesn't have any major league experience as a coach or manager. Gonzalez, who was well thought of in Florida prior to being fired for daring to take on star shortstop Henley Ramirez for not hustling, was a major threat to Sandberg.

Now it appears Gonzalez is a bigger threat to Braves heir apparent, Terry Pendleton. And the former Cardinals third baseman is tops on my short list of candidates to replace Tony La Russa if the St. Louis manager should decide to move on or retire when his contract expires at the end of the season.

Pendleton not only has the St. Louis ties, but he is very well rounded in the game. He was a great defensive player, so he'll stress defense. He was a batting champion and a hitting coach, so hopefully he would cut down on all the bad, giveaway at bats and strikeouts. He's been to the World Series, so he knows how to win. And he is well respected by modern players.

About the only downside I can see to the arrangement is that Pendleton's number 9 was retired in honor of Enos Slaughter. But, since he wore it for the Cardinals before, I think he ought to be grandfathered in.