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Atlanta Braves name Gonzalez as new manager

ATLANTA (Reuters) - The Atlanta Braves unveiled Fredi Gonzalez as their new manager on Wednesday to replace Bobby Cox, the revered skipper who won five pennants and a World Series during an illustrious 25-year tenure.

Gonzalez's appointment had been expected but still marks a landmark for the franchise after one of the most successful and longest eras under one manager in Major League Baseball.

"We feel he is the guy who fits our ballclub and can lead us going forward," general manager Frank Wren said at a news conference at Turner Field.

"The ballclub has a chance to contend on an annual basis and we wanted to make sure we had someone of Fredi's caliber."

Gonzalez, 46, worked as the Atlanta team's third base coach during the 2003-2006 seasons. He became favorite for the job in June when the Florida Marlins fired him after a three-plus years managing the club.

"Fredi's got all the respect of the ballclub and from the players and managers around the league," Cox said.

"We were always talking about Fredi. Fredi's a great pick to lead this organization going forward. He knows the game of baseball inside and out."

Cox managed his last game on Monday when the Braves were eliminated from the National League Division Series by the San Francisco Giants.

Cox led the Braves from 1978-1981, then managed the Toronto Blue Jays from 1982-1985. He rejoined the Braves as general manager that year and in 1990 resumed as team manager.

(Reporting by Matthew Bigg, Editing by Steve Ginsburg)