ATLANTA — The Braves didn't even wait 48 hours to introduce Bobby Cox's replacement.
No need. Fredi Gonzalez was manager-in-waiting almost as soon as Cox announced that 2010 would be his final season.
In what was nothing more than a formality, Gonzalez took over Wednesday as manager, succeeding the fourth-winningest skipper in baseball history.
Gonzalez said he's not worried about following in Cox's large footsteps. Atlanta's manager since 1990, he led the team to an unprecedented 14 straight division titles and the 1995 World Series championship. After missing the playoffs the past four years, Atlanta returned as a wild card this season.
Cox's managing career ended Monday night when the Braves lost to the Giants in Game 4 of the NL division series.
"Our goal is simple: We want to keep putting flags on that facade up there," Gonzalez said. "I don't think there's a person alive that's going to replace Bobby Cox. We just want to continue the winning tradition and go from there."
Gonzalez's return to the Atlanta, where he served as Cox's third-base coach from 2003-06, has been widely expected ever since he was fired in June by the Marlins.
"This is perfect for us on so many levels," said general manager Frank Wren, who didn't even bother interviewing another candidate.
NATIONALS: Outfielder Bryce Harper, the No. 1 overall pick in this year's amateur draft, will play for the Scottsdale Scorpions of the Arizona Fall League. Harper will be on the taxi squad and will play twice a week.
PADRES: Closer Heath Bell, who had 47 saves in 50 chances and a 1.93 ERA, was named delivery man of the year by Major League Baseball.
PIRATES: Former Pittsburgh minor-league manager Dale Sveum interviewed to succeed John Russell as manager.