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An Opening For a Closer

BRAVES DEMOTE KOLB

The Braves made a mistake in thinking one-year wonder Dan Kolb, whom they obtained from the Brewers in December, could close games for a contender. He strikes out too few batters: 5.7 per nine innings in his career.

Atlanta manager Bobby Cox yanked Kolb from the role last week and will search for a replacement among Adam Bernero, John Foster, Kevin Gryboski, Chris Reitsma and Jorge Sosa. Cox has taken his team to the playoffs with a stopgap closer before, employing Juan Berenguer, Alejandro Peña, Mike Stanton, Greg McMichael, Kerry Ligtenberg and John Rocker on past NL division champions. --Tom Verducci