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Braves' Gonzalez believes Porter will be a success

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- One of the men Astros manager Bo Porter considers his biggest influence is Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez, who managed Porter at Triple-A Richmond in 2002. Porter was later his third-base coach, when Gonzalez managed the Florida Marlins.

Gonzalez, who got a chance to visit with Porter prior to their meeting on Saturday at Osceola County Stadium, has no doubts Porter will be a successful manager.

"Bo's a smart, energetic person, and a good baseball man," Gonzalez said. "He's got a young team that he can grow with and continue on and hopefully win some championships. He's going to do fine. I'm proud of him. I wish him all the success in this opportunity he's gotten."

Gonzalez, in his third year managing the Braves, has kept in communication with Porter since the Astros hired him last year. Now that the Braves and Astros are in different leagues, Gonzalez joked he'd offer as much advice to him as he could.

"We've talked many times, and I told him he's more than welcome to call me for anything at any time," Gonzalez said. "I'm not anybody special -- I'm not Tony La Russa or Bobby Cox. But I told him whenever he wants to talk about anything, please don't hesitate to call me."