JOE TORRE, Tony La Russa and Bobby Cox spent decades trying to beat each other, no holds barred. On this day, however, they were a mutual admiration society. And why not? They were going to the Hall of Fame together.

With a combined eight World Series titles and more than 7,500 wins, the managerial trio made it to Cooperstown in results announced yesterday. Each was unanimously selected when the 16 voters on the expansion era committee met a day earlier.

"They're not the easiest guys to manage against, that's for sure. But it was fun. It was always a battle," Cox said yesterday at the winter meetings in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. "And I consider them enemies on the field but friends off the field."

All three exceeded the magic benchmark of 2,000 wins - only Connie Mack and John McGraw have won more.

Torre managed the Mets (1977-81), Braves (1982-84), Cardinals (1990-95), Yankees (1996-2007) and Dodgers (2008-10).

La Russa managed the White Sox (1979-86), Athletics (1986-95) and Cardinals (1996-2011).

Cox managed the Braves (1978-81), then the Blue Jays (1982-85) and the Braves again (1990-2010).

Induction ceremonies will be held July 27 in Cooperstown, N.Y. The results of player balloting for the Class of 2014 will be announced Jan. 8.

Noteworthy

* Former Phillies ace Curt Schilling is replacing Orel Hershiser on ESPN's "Sunday Night Baseball" broadcast crew next season. In the 25th season of "Sunday Night Baseball," Schilling will join former Philadelphia teammate John Kruk, play-by-play man Dan Schulman and reporter Buster Olney.

* A person familiar with the negotiations told the Associated Press that first baseman-outfielder Garrett Jones has agreed to terms on a 2-year contract with the Miami Marlins. Jones, a lefthanded hitter, batted .233 with 15 homers and 51 RBI with Pittsburgh last season.

* Nelson Mandela will be honored by the New York Yankees with a plaque in Monument Park. The team said the plaque will be dedicated during Jackie Robinson Day ceremonies before a game against the Chicago Cubs next April 15. The former South African president, who died last week, gave an address at old Yankee Stadium on June 21, 1990, 4 months after the end of a 27-year imprisonment. He put on a Yankees cap and jacket and told the crowd: "You know who I am. I am a Yankee."

* Righthander Felipe Paulino and the Chicago White Sox agreed to a $1.75 million, 1-year contract. Paulino, 30, became a free agent Nov. 20 when he refused an outright assignment to the minors from Kansas City.