Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Marlins Fire Fredi Gonzalez

The Florida Marlins have fired manager Fredi Gonzalez and have replaced him with Edwin Rodriguez on an interim basis.

The Marlins also fired bench coach Carlos Tosca and hitting coach Jim Presley.

I am not shocked by this move. The Marlins do have a losing record but at 34-36 they are far from awful. They are 7½ games behind the Atlanta Braves in the NL East and are underachieving. Gonzalez had been at the helm of the Marlins since 2007 and despite winning records the last two seasons I think Jeffrey Loria was expecting more in 2010.

Now one could argue the Marlins have a low payroll. But the San Diego Padres and Texas Rangers have even smaller payrolls than the Marlins and they are currently atop the NL West and the AL West, respectively. So money doesn't guarantee a pennant winner.

Or perhaps Loria didn't like it when Gonzalez briefly benched star player Hanley Ramirez last month.

I don't know much about Rodriguez other than he was manager with the Marlins' AAA affiliate in New Orleans and that he had a brief MLB playing career with the New York Yankees and the San Diego Padres in the early to mid 1980s. Rodriguez has been with the Marlins organization since 2004 so the players are familiar with him.

The last time the Marlins changed managers in the middle of the season was in 2003. When Jack McKeon replaced Jeff Torborg all the Marlins did was win their second World Series title in franchise history.

But unless Rodriguez has the McKeon magic he is likely a stop gap measure because apparently Loria is hot and heavy for former Texas Rangers and New York Mets manager Bobby Valentine.

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