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Ready Fredi

Fredi Gonzalez took in his first Winter Meetings and spent most of his time hanging around some legends.

You already know about his extensive visits with Jack.  But he spent most of his time with his former boss, Bobby Cox.

Then there's his mentor, Braves manager Bobby Cox, whom Gonzalez calls "one of the three most influential men in my life," along with his father and former Marlins manager John Boles.

Even though they're rival National League East managers now, Cox and Gonzalez have hung out together every morning during the baseball winter meetings. Gonzalez has sought advice from Cox on everything from managing young pitchers to handling his first formal interview session with the national media Wednesday.


Cox said he has repeated one piece of advice to Gonzalez: "To be himself," Cox said. "Don't try to be me or Casey Stengel or Lou Piniella. You are who you are."

And apparently Fredi will keep asking for advice from the legendary manager all season long.

Gonzalez talks regularly with Cox, and he plans to keep doing so, despite the two now being division rivals.

Sounds like a good idea to me.

When I was driving home from work I caught about two minutes of a six minute interview with Gonzalez by Ronnie "Night Train" Lane on XM Radio.  I would have heard the whole interview if it wasn't for the stupid satellite.  Anyway, the final question Mr. Lane asked Fredi (and I am paraphrasing)

Lane: Can you beat Bobby Cox?

Gonzalez: No.  No one beats Bobby Cox.  All that you can hope for is that your players play a little better than his players and you win.  But nobody beats Bobby Cox.

I will say this for Fredi, he is one astute observer of the game.  If you don't believe what he said is true, go find an Astros fan and ask them about their final series of the season last year.