19 June 2011
Only a couple hours before the Marlins were set to play the final game against the Rays in Tampa, which they lost 2-1, news came that Marlins Manager, Edwin Rodriguez, had offered his resignation and Marlins president of baseball operations, Larry Beinfest, had accepted. His resignation comes as the Marlins are in one of the worst losing stretches in the teams history. Including today, which was managed by bench coach Brandon Hyde, the Marlins have lost 10 games in a row, 18 of 19, and 21 of 24. The Marlins have seen their record go from 29-19 to 32-40, the worst Marlins stretch of losses since losing 25 of 29 in 1998. Edwin took over the Marlins managerial job last year after the Marlins fired Fredi Gonzalez and went 46-46 over the remainder of the year, and he finishes his Marlins career with a 78-85 overall record.
In his exit interview Edwin, being the classy guy that he is, thanked the Marlins for his opportunity to manage, and saying that he wishes the players the organization the best on the rest of the season. Larry Beinfest, said that he was taken a little of guard by the sudden resignation, but would latter admit when asked had the team talked about firing Rodriguez, that everything was being discussed. While the Marlins would like to get a new permanent manager into position as soon as possible, with no one specific on the horizons it is believed that the Marlins may give the interim manager job to Jack McKeon, who took over mid season for the Marlins in 2003 before guiding them to a World Series title. McKeon, now 80 years old, has not managed since 2005 and is currently working as a special advisor to Marlins owner Jeffery Loria.
Unfortunately for Edwin his resignation maybe because of all of the losses the Marlins are racking up, but the Marlins poor on the field performance has more to do with the players individual performances than the job he was doing as a manager. Freddi Gonzalez's firing last year you can explain more by what many believed to be him making the wrong decisions down the stretch of games. Edwin on the other hand seemed to have good control over the bullpen and when to pitch hit players, his problem this year was just bad luck an players not playing up to par. Looking over this year, he has had to deal with his Cy Young contending pitcher, Josh Johnson, go to the 60-day DL, his superstar SS, Hanley Ramirez, have his worst series of his career and go to the DL, also DL trips by Logan Morrison and Clay Hensley. Plus the Marlins have had to send Chris Coghlan down to the minors because of poor performance, rotating role players at third base, a disaster of a free agent pick up in Javier Vazquez, and now Mike Stanton needs to see a specialist because of blurry vision in his right eye.
Dealing with all of that Edwin did everything that he could to make the Marlins as competitive as possible. He was not afraid to move players around in the lineup to try and get the most production that he could out of them and he did so with just about every Marlins player batting in a different spot than they did on opening day. Hanley Ramirez batted third, second, first and sixth in the order, Omar Infante was moved form second to eighth, Mike Stanton batted forth, fifth and sixth, and Greg Dobbs went from being a good pitch hitter to batting fifth in the lineup every day at one point. Looking back at all the moves that he had made, including the players he had called up, carrying an extra bullpen pitcher, it is hard to see where Edwin Rodriguez could have done something different that would have made any difference in the Marlins current record.
The Marlins current situation reminds me of Keanu Reeves charactor in The Replacement, Shane Falco, when he spoke in the locker room about quick sand. The Marlins have had one loss after another and now seemingly nothing that they do can pull them out of this tail spin. I have no doubts that it was only a matter of another loss or two that the Marlins would have fired Edwin Rodriguez anyways. Even if he was not the problem the Marlins were going to be forced into a situation were a move was going to have to be made no matter what. Edwin should get another shot at managing in the big leagues some where else, it is just to bad that he is going to leave the Marlins as the scapegoat for this disaster.
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