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Terry Pendleton, a little younger and thinner.After the Marlins dismissed manager Joe Girardi at the end of last season, they offered his job to Braves hitting coach Terry Pendleton. When Pendleton passed, it was easy to guess why. Braves manager Bobby Cox is getting long in the tooth (whatever that means) and most everyone figured Pendleton had been promised Cox’s job. The safe bet was that Cox would step down at the end of the 2007 season and Pendleton would take over.

Then the Braves gave Cox an extension through 2008. Then they traded for stud 1B Mark Teixeira. Now there’s new life breathed into Turner Field. The Braves, after And one wouldn’t blame Cox if he decided to stick around another year. Or two. Or three.

Which leaves Pendleton…where exactly?

Of course, he could always continue waiting for Bobby to retire. But here’s a crazy idea about where Pendleton might end up — Kansas City.

Royals manager Buddy Bell announced just yesterday that he will step down at the end of the season, so KC GM Dayton Moore needs to find a new skipper. There are already names being bandied about. According to The Sports Network, bench coach Billy Doran is a top candidates, as well as former Royals players such as George Brett and Frank White. But what about Pendleton, who has a relationship with Moore dating back to the GM’s days as John Schuerholz’s protege?

The Royals have been a terrible team for a long while, but lately they’ve shown signs of improvement. Although the Royals remain at the bottom of the American League Central, they have notched wins in five of their last seven games heading into this weekend’s road series with the Yankees. And they’ve had a winning record in each of the last two months.

So there are less appealing organizations (see: Pirates, Nationals, Orioles). And if you’re Pendleton, you’ve got to be itching for the chance to manage. Sure, Atlanta might be your first choice, but the more you think about it, Kansas City sounds better and better.

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