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Gonzalez hired by Braves

Reports out of Atlanta indicate that former Marlins skipper Fredi Gonzalez has been hired to replace Bobby Cox as the club's skipper.

Former Cardinals third baseman Terry Pendleton was long thought to be the heir apparent in the Atlanta dugout. But the Braves apparently couldn't pass up the chance to hire their former third base coach after he became the second promising manager in a row to be fired after a dispute with team owner Jeffrey Loria.

Joe Girardi was dismissed after telling Loria to pipe down in front of a Marlins "crowd" despite leading the extremely young Marlins to a surprising 78 wins in 2007. Gonzalez took over and led the Marlins to a .497 winning percentage before being fired in 2010.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Gonzalez has already agreed to the deal but it hasn't been announced because Major League Baseball doesn't want any distractions during the playoffs and World Series.

If St. Louis manager Tony La Russa retires, MLB will have lost more managerial experience in one off-season than at any other point in history. Three of the five winningest managers of all-time -- La Russa, Cox, another former Cardinals and Braves manager Joe Torre would have called it quits along with number 14 on the list, Lou Pineilla.

As mentioned many times before, I'd love to see Pendleton considered as the Cardinals manager if La Russa retires. If he doesn't, I wouldn't mind seeing the former MVP and batting champ brought to St. Louis as hitting coach to replace Mark McGwire.