The Braves and the city of Atlanta would like their championship feeling to last forever. Manager Bobby Cox knows better, though.
"I started thinking about Pittsburgh at 9:30 this morning," Cox said yesterday.
The Braves will ask the league to replace Otis Nixon, who was suspended for 60 days after testing positive to a drug test Sept. 16. If approved, Cox said the Braves would replace Nixon with either catcher Jerry Willard or shortstop Vinny Castilla.
* BLUE JAYS: Cito Gaston spent two hours in a Minneapolis hospital with food poisoning.
Gaston was released at 5:30 a.m., about seven hours before Toronto beat the Twins, 3-2, in 10 innings in the season finale.
* BREWERS: A five-game winning streak, capped by a weekend sweep of the Red Sox, didn't end the uncertainty for manager Tom Trebelhorn and general manager Harry Dalton.
"The word has been very consistently that at the end of the season we'll be evaluated," Trebelhorn said after yesterday's 6-3 victory over Boston. "I don't think we'll get any word tonight. The end of the season is tomorrow. I'll react when the decision is made."
* CUBS: Manager Jim Essian said he doesn't know whether he will be fired as manager and succeeded by general manager Jim Frey.
"All I know, I've been asked to meet with Jim Frey on Monday jTC morning," Essian said. "At this point, all I can do is wait for the final word, either that I'll be replaced, or that stories that I'll be replaced are pure speculation."
Frey, who has one year remaining on his contract as general manager, would be replaced as general manager by scouting director Dick Balderson, according to the reports. Balderson is the former GM of the Mariners.
* ROYALS: Outfielder Kirk Gibson won't be a full-time starter in 1992, manager Hal McRae said.
Instead, Gibson will platoon in left field and start only against right-handers. McRae told Gibson of the decision during an hourlong meeting Friday.