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Ready Fredi

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Something else everyone already knows:  Fredi Gonzalez was named the manager for the Marlins.

Gonzalez was born in Havana, Cuba, and raised in Miami. He graduated from Miami's Southridge High School in 982 and was selected by the Yankees in the 16th draft round that year. He caught in the Yankees system for six seasons (1982-87) reaching AA Albany in 1986 and 1987.He became the first manager in the Marlins' organization when they hired him to run their first minor-league team in Erie, Pa., in 1992. Beginning in 1999, he coached third base for 2-½ years under Marlins manager John Boles.

``It's a long way from Erie, man,'' a smiling Gonzalez said at a news conference. ``I hope I'm here for a lot of years.''

Gonzalez praised the Marlins' potential, particularly the rotation. He said he'll consider keeping several of Girardi's coaches.

Gonzalez, from my understanding, was signed to a three-year contract. A meeting with the coaches is scheduled for next week.

In Atlanta, he studied under one of the very best in baseball. He knows the Marlins organization and as an extra bonus, he does speak Spanish.

Welcome aboard Fredi!