Tag:Edwin Rodriguez
Posted on: December 21, 2011 2:56 pm
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Former manager questions Marlins' moves

Edwin Rodriguez

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Even before the Marlins signed Jose Reyes, the questions about Hanley Ramirez's willingness to move to third base were raised. And since Miami signed Reyes, those questions have remained unanswered.

There's been speculation, of course, but there's only been cryptic Twitter responses from Ramirez himself.

At this month's winter meetings in Dallas, Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen did his best to put aside the rumblings that Ramirez would refuse to move from shortstop and create a problem -- "I only care about what Hanley says on Feb. 20, when we start spring training," Guillen said earlier this month. "I mean, from now on, people can say whatever."

One of the people saying "whatever" is former Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez, who spoke to MLB Network Radio on Wednesday about Ramirez and third base.

"I think it's going to be [a] very interesting situation to say the least," Rodriguez told Jim Memolo and Todd Hollandsworth (via the Sun Sentinel). "Knowing Hanley, he's a very proud player. It's going to be very hard for him to move out of shortstop. He's a big league shortstop. He's an All-Star shortstop. In my opinion I think they are going to have a tough time trying to convince him to move to third base. Even if he does that, move to third base, beginning of the season, I think it's going to be very interesting to watch how everything develops, how Reyes takes the front pages and how the people start talking about the All-Star shortstop Jose Reyes. It will be very interesting to see how Hanley will handle all that."

Rodriguez, also said he thought it was a mistake to sign Reyes instead of using that money to increase the offer to Albert Pujols.

That said, Rodriguez, who will manage in the Indians' minor-league system next year, said he believed the Marlins were approaching Ramirez's move the right way and if Ramirez buys in, it would be a successful move.

Ramirez backed Rodriguez before the Marlins replaced him with Jack McKeon.

Ramirez will be 28 on Friday, which is the same age Alex Rodriguez was when he traded from Texas to the Yankees. As good as Ramirez is, he's not as good as Rodriguez or as good defensively as Reyes. At some point, you'd hope he'd just set aside his pride and play the position that gives his team the best chance to win. With Reyes on board, that's third base.

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Posted on: June 20, 2011 7:05 pm
Edited on: June 20, 2011 7:53 pm
 

Marlins' owner Loria is worse than Steinbrenner

Loria

By Evan Brunell


Florida is on its fifth skipper in two years, fired its hitting coach in an unpopular move based on a string of one-run losses and traded one of its best hitters in the offseason when he dared to turn down a contract offer. That's just the latest in the saga that's unfolded under Jeffrey Loria's ownership, one that's drawn him comparisons to George Steinbrenner in New York.

But Loria is much worse than Steinbrenner.

Let's start with the similarities between Steinbrenner and Loria. The art dealer who came to the Marlins after negotiating a sweetheart deal to walk away from the Montreal Expos and let them relocate has unreasonable expectations for his teams, believing the Marlins should be playoff contenders. Last season, they were a true-talent team of a .500 club and finished 80-82. But that didn't save manager Fredi Gonzalez's job. He was fired with a 34-36 record.

Before Gonzalez, the Fish cut bait with manager Joe Girardi after he drew Loria's ire for not being a lackey, for standing up to Loria when the owner was berating umpires in his front-row seat next to the Marlins' dugout. In his only season with the Marlins, Girardi won Manager of the Year in 2005 after guiding the club to a 78-84 record. Steinbrenner, of course, had his own quick trigger with coaches and managers, overrating his team at times and overreacting to the downs that comprise an entire season.

But Loria also put Edwin Rodriguez in a tough position when elevating him to manager and never letting up. Before Rodriguez's resignation Sunday, there were rumblings that the first Puerto Rican to manage in the majors would be replaced by ownership over the objections of the baseball operations department. Rodriguez had guided the team to a 30-20 record on May 29, but a 2-19 record sealed Rodriguez's fate. He decided to take matters into his own hands and walk away as opposed to being fired. Rodriguez was already in an untenable position, being slotted as a lame duck after replacing Gonzalez amid rumors that the Marlins were trying to trade for White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen.

After Florida overturned every stone and failed to entice Bobby Valentine out of retirement, they signed Rodriguez to a one-year deal, clearly meant to bridge the gap until Florida found someone better. It would be to no surprise if the Marlins finagled Guillen's arrival in South Florida once the year is over. (And how exactly are Guillen and Loria supposed to get along?) Rodriguez never really got a chance to succeed, and when you pair that with an owner who will overlook a hot 30-20 start and focus on 2-19, the future is clear. Yes, a 2-19 start will threaten many a manager's job, but Rodriguez was in an unenviable position and charged with taking a young, cheap team to October.

Steinbrenner, however, never made excuses for his team losing. He cared about nothing more than winning, and his knee-jerk reactions stemmed from an overwhelming desire to win. That can't be said of Loria, who appears to look at his bank statement as the true barometer of winning.

Loria's image has never been favorable in this regard, but it took a massive hit last season when financial documents from several teams were leaked to the public. The Marlins made $37.8 million in 2008 while negotiating for a new park in which the team will only chip in $155 million for a complex expected to cost around $634 million, a report from Yahoo! Sports said. Taxpayers will have to make up the difference, and the park will end up costing $2.4 billion by 2049.

As part of these financial documents, Yahoo! Sports showed that Loria put millions into the pockets of himself and team president David Samson by listing Double Play Co. as a "managing general partner" -- the only baseball team to have a management fee among the six teams who saw financials leaked.

The CEO of Double Play?

Loria.

The president?

Samson.

Loria has taken untold millions that could have and should have been invested in the team and lined his own pockets while bald-face lying to Miami in order to get a new park and playing Ebenezer Scrooge as far as putting a quality team on the field. For years now, the Marlins have been able to stay rather relevant thanks to their superb job of acquiring young players who go on to make an impact.

Thanks to Larry Beinfest and Michael Hill in the baseball operations department (who have set the Marlins up for a long run of success once again), Loria has been able to justify his unrealistic expectations of Florida making the playoffs year in and year out and yet handicap the club with a small operating payroll, a practice that continues to this day.

The best slugger the Marlins have had in recent seasons has been second baseman Dan Uggla, who rejected a four-year, $48 million deal from the club. This was a significant concession by the Marlins, as they were offering to make Uggla the highest-paid player in franchise history, and yet it was a contract offer below what Uggla could get on the free-agent market. So they traded him to the division-rival Braves, whereupon he promptly signed a five-year, $62 million deal.

Last season, the Marlins had contract talks breaking down with ace Josh Johnson, and it would have surprised no one had Johnson been traded. The player's union swooped in, however, complaining about the Marlins' payroll and practices. That caused baseball to ask Florida to improve its payroll, so the Marlins did just enough to fend off the union by signing Johnson to a four-year, $39 million pact.

That type of miserly spending means the Marlins are usually a young ballclub -- one that lacks experience, leadership, knowledge of how to handle the grueling 162-game schedule, replete with all the distractions it has to offer, both on and off the field.

The latest distraction in Rodriguez's resigning is just another chapter in Loria's sordid career as a baseball owner. With a new ballpark on the way and an improving team, he's not going anywhere anytime soon, which leads to the question: How is Loria good for the game but Mark Cuban isn't?

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Posted on: June 19, 2011 11:01 pm
Edited on: June 20, 2011 11:17 am
 

Jack McKeon to be Marlins interim manager

By Matt Snyder

Earlier Sunday, CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler reported 80-year-old Jack McKeon might be named the Marlins interim manager, in the wake of Edwin Rodriguez's resignation Sunday morning. Knobler has now learned that McKeon will indeed take over, beginning Monday.

McKeon becomes the second-oldest manager in major-league history, as the legendary Connie Mack was the A's skipper in 1950 at age 87.

The Marlins have lost 10 consecutive games and are a dreadful 1-18 in June, but McKeon's turned teams around before. In fact, he took over the 2003 Marlins after a 16-22 start and went 75-49 the rest of the way, then going on to win the World Series.

McKeon first managed all the way back in 1973 and last managed in 2005. His career record is 1,011-940. He's a two-time NL Manager of the Year, though he's never won a division.

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Posted on: June 19, 2011 11:44 am
Edited on: June 19, 2011 2:21 pm
 

Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez resigns

By Matt Snyder

In the midst of a likely season-crippling string of losses, Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez has resigned. The Marlins accepted the resignation, effective immediately (Marlins Twitter feed). Bench coach Brandon Hyde will manage the Marlins Sunday, but the club will also begin a search for an interim manager. According to CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler, the Marlins will seriously consider Jack McKeon. "Trader Jack" is 80 years old and led the Marlins to the 2003 World Series championship after taking over in May for Jeff Torborg.

The resignation isn't all too surprising at this point, though it would have been a shocker about three weeks ago. Rodriguez had the Marlins in really good position in late May. In fact, he probably would have been a candidate for NL manager of the year had things continued on the same path. On May 26, the Marlins were only a game out of first place. They were playing .600 ball and appeared a legitimate threat for the postseason, especially if Hanley Ramirez started hitting and Josh Johnson came back healthy.

Since May 28, however, things have come completely unraveled. The Marlins are 2-19 since then. They've presently lost nine in a row and are 1-17 in June. They've fallen from second place to last in the NL East and all the way to 12 1/2 games back. It's difficult for anyone to keep his managing job through a run like that, much less someone who has held the post for only about one season.

"It's been extremely frustrating for everyone," Florida president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest said. "I think everyone here knows what is going on -- the way we've played, the way we've performed. It's tough on everyone, especially him."

"He communicated with me early this morning that this was something he was thinking about, and when I got to the ballpark we accepted his resignation."

Rodriguez was in the manager's office Sunday morning and spoke with some of the players.

"It was surprising, I guess, but I think it's more shocking," Marlins infielder Wes Helms said. "Right now, nothing is going right for us. Right now, it's all negative with the Marlins, that's the way it is. It's tough to swallow, it really is. I do know he did everything he could. We didn't do our job as a team."

Rodriguez, 50, took over June 23 last season for Fredi Gonzalez. Rodriguez was promoted from Triple-A and became the first Puerto Rican-born manager in major league history. He ends his stint with the Marlins at 163 games and a record of 78-85.

Beinfast did not rule out additional changes with the ballclub.

"When you go the way we've been going, I think everything is on the table," Beinfest said. "I'm probably on he table as well, and rightfully so. It's been a very difficult period and I think when you go through these things you can't rule anything out."

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Posted on: June 16, 2011 8:58 pm
Edited on: June 16, 2011 9:08 pm
 

Marlins haven't 'pondered' a managerial move

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria isn't thinking about changing managers… yet.

Marlins president David Samson spoke to Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post about the team's struggles, but if I'm Rodriguez, the quotes aren't making me think about ditching the rental and buying real estate in South Florida.

The Marlins fired their hitting coach a week ago, so it's no surprise a reporter would be asking about Rodriguez's job status. Still, Samson didn't sound prepared to answer that particular question.

"It's not something that I have pondered with Jeffrey. I can't really say that… I can't really say, to be honest with you…" Samson said. "List, [general manager] Larry [Beinfest] and I are talking every day. Larry is talking with his baseball people to figure out what the best thing we can do, how we can get this turned around. Obviously, it got sour very quickly. I've never seen something turn as quickly, so we've got to figure out what, if anything, needs to be done."

The Marlins, with their loss on Thursday, have lost seven in a row and 15 of their last 16 (or 17 of their last 19, if you want to go back even a little further). Given the Marlins fired hitting coach John Mallee last week and Rodriguez only has a contract through the end of this year, it's understandable if he's feeling the heat. Add to those Loria's history of a quick trigger, it wouldn't be a shock of Rodriguez already has his office packed up ready to go at a moment's notice.

"I saw the firing of Mallee coming," Rodriguez told Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald. "I was more worried about Mallee than firing me. I think it would be a mistake [to fire me] because I don't think anything is going to change on the field. I'm grateful they gave me a chance to be here. What they do after this, whatever they want to do."

Last June Loria fired Fredi Gonzalez and named Rodriguez the interim manager. After flirting with several other managerial choices, most notably Bobby Valentine, Rodriguez was named the manager for the rest of the season and then given a contract for just the 2011 season. Many expect Loria to go after a big-name manager for 2012 when the Marlins move into their new stadium and perhaps make another run at Valentine.

Rodriguez at least has his best player behind him.

"I'm on his side," Hanley Ramirez told the Miami Herald. "Whatever he does, I'm good for it, because he's the best guy we've ever had here.

"Everything is bad right now. But he's there for you. I'll never complain about anything he does. He's a pretty good guy and a pretty good manager. He's smart."

Rodriguez is certainly smart enough to know his days as Marlins manager are numbered.

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Posted on: June 8, 2011 11:11 pm
Edited on: June 9, 2011 12:32 am
 

Marlins fire hitting coach Mallee

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Several Marlins players are unhappy the way the team fired hitting coach John Mallee following Wednesday's 10-inning loss to the Braves.

According to the Palm Beach Post, general manager Mike Hill told players in the clubhouse after the game, but not all players were at their lockers, so some heard from other teammates.

The team announced the move after the game and also announced it had hired ESPN analyst Eduardo Perez to replace Mallee. Perez is the son of Hall of Famer Tony Perez, a special assistant for the Marlins.

Mallee, 42, was in his 10th season with the organization and was named hitting coach last July when Edwin Rodriguez took over as manager for Fredi Gonzalez. The team fired Jim Presley the same day it fired Gonzalez.

"I don't think it's right. I don't think it's just," outfielder Logan Morrison told the Palm Beach Post. "He had me prepared more than anybody.

"It's definitely not his fault. We let him down. Everybody has their finger on the panic button. It's hard to relax and play baseball."

Florida went into Wednesday's game hitting .255/.327/.382 with an OPS of .708, slightly above the league average. The Marlins are 10th in the National League with 239 runs scored.

The Marlins have lost seven straight, hitting .175 (11 for 63) with runners ins coring position during the streak, including 1 for 8 on Wednesday. Marlins president Larry Beinfest pointed to that stat as the biggest problem with the team and said he hoped the change would help.

Perez played for six teams, ending his playing career in Seattle in 2006. In his career, he hit .247/.326/.431.

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Posted on: May 29, 2011 11:17 pm
Edited on: May 30, 2011 7:32 am
 

Ramirez says his back is 'bad'

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Hanley RamirezMarlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez said it's unlikely he'll play Monday in Arizona after leaving Sunday's game with lower back pain in the first inning of his team's loss to the Dodgers.

"Bad," Ramirez said of his back when asked by Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald.

Ramirez said his back has been hurting him, but got worse when he popped up in the first inning. He played in the field in the bottom of the first, but didn't return for the second.

"We'll find out [Monday]," manager Edwin Rodriguez said. "I have to find out what's the situation, what's the status with Hanley and then we'll go from there."

Rodriguez was referring to the team's roster makeup. the team is currently playing with a short bench because it's carrying 13 pitchers on the roster. The Marlins start a three-game series in Arizona before an off day on Thursday, followed by the start of an 11-game homestand on Friday.

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Posted on: March 28, 2011 11:25 am
Edited on: March 28, 2011 11:40 am
 

Managers on the hot seat for 2011

By Evan Brunell

Managing a team is a tall task. Not only do managers have bosses to answer to, but they are responsible for overseeing a coaching staff, promoting good relationships with athletes who will earn far more than a skipper can dream of, winning games and knowing at the first whiff of trouble, the ax will fall not on the player or the GM, but the manager.

Even coaching legends Bobby Cox, Joe Torre and Tony La Russa have multiple teams on their managerial resume, some stops which ended in being let go. Which managers are in similar danger this season?

GerenBob Geren, Athletics
Fifth season
Athletics record: 307-340
Contract: 2011 team option picked up after one-year extension

Geren is just sort of ... there. He doesn't make waves, which is good. He hasn't had any run-ins with players or made headlines, all good things. On the flip side, however, he gets next to no praise for his job done piloting the A's.

Sure, part of that has to do with his tepid success, as the team is 33 games under .500 with Geren at the helm, dropping from 93-69 in Ken Macha's final season of 2006 to 76-86 the next year. In 2010, Oakland split 162 games, marking the first time Geren did not have a losing record in Oakland. That's not the kind of stuff that gets you attention.

But there's another aspect to it, and that's the belief that Geren does what the front office wants. One would think this would be a good trait, as it's often smart to listen to your superiors. But when you're largely considered a placeholder with all the important decisions coming from above ... well, that's why there hasn't been much praise for Geren.

Geren is replaceable, even if he's functional. In a season with increased expectations after moves made that have some believing the A's could win the division, Geren will need to perform. If he doesn't, the front office will have to weigh whether the effect of letting Geren go could improve the team. There's a school of thought that sometimes replacing managers can be responsible for a bump in play. This is where Geren's perceived "yes-man" role could come back to hurt him as he wouldn't have other intangibles -- such as his skilled mastering of clubhouse dynamics or in-game management or player evaluation -- to fall back on to compel Oakland to retain him.

LeylandJim Leyland, Tigers
Sixth season
Tigers record: 424-387
Contract: Final year of two-year contract extension

Leyland burst on scene in 2006 after a six-year hiatus and took Detroit to the World Series before eventually falling to the Cardinals. He would win seven less games the following year, but repeated a second-place finish. 

However, Leyland's Tigers would drop all the way to fifth place in 2008 with a 74-88 mark before rebounding with 86 wins before last season's 81-81 finish. As Leyland has pronounced, it is time for him to show that he can put Detroit in the playoffs as his job is on the line.

Leyland doesn't really deserve blame for the Tigers' slide back into mediocrity these last few years as Detroit has battled injuries to key players along with undeserving players making far too much money when the club had to convince free agents to come to town following 2003's 119-loss debacle. But after an offseason in which the club imported Victor Martinez, Joaquin Benoit and Brad Penny, among others, the expectation in town is to contend for the division title and certainly finish over .500.

If that doesn't happen, Leyland could easily take matters into his own hands and simply walk away. But if the Tigers are flailing early on, management would likely not hesitate to make a move despite Leyland's stature in the game. 

QuadeMike Quade, Cubs
First full season (second overall)
Cubs record: 24-13
Contract: First year of two-year contract plus 2013 team option

Quade had a rough start to his managerial career, even if his record stands at a sterling 24-13. Quade had the luck of replacing Lou Piniella after Sweet Lou's sudden departure from Chicago. Quade then battled his way from being an unknown to beating out franchise icon Ryne Sandberg for the permanent job, causing Sandberg to leave town in a huff.

Quade's reward? Attempting to bring a World Series to the North Side for the first time in over 100 years and already having to manage a clubhouse fight between Carlos Silva and Aramis Ramirez. Good luck!

So why is Quade on the hot seat, especially since he has two guaranteed years on his deal? Because if the Cubs don't perform, the money allocated to Quade will be little enough to not be of concern. If Chicago is careening toward 100 losses, the public backlash will be too great for GM Jim Hendry to ignore.

On Quade's side is a relative luxury of uncertainty surrounding the team. The Cubs could feasibly land anywhere between 75-85 wins, and both 90 wins and losses can't be discounted either. Quade would have to really bomb to get cut, but what's worth monitoring is how the front office stands up to what could be an irate fan base should Chicago dip under .500.

RigglemanJim Riggleman, Nationals
Second full season (third overall)
Nationals record: 102-135
Contract: Final year of two-year contract with 2012 team option

Riggleman is a manager who is just sort of there. The Nationals didn't harbor any illusions that Washington would contend, so Riggleman has essentially received a free pass on the Nationals' record since taking over.

It certainly helps that Riggleman is thought to be among baseball's lowest-paid skippers. However, given the Nationals' increased expectations of winning, starting in 2011, Riggleman could be considered a lame-duck candidate -- especially given GM Mike Rizzo just received a contract extension through 2015. Given Rizzo picked Riggleman both to be interim manager and to remain as permanent skipper, it speaks volumes that the long-time manager does not have more job security.

A strong showing will certainly force Washington's hand in picking up the team option or negotiating an extension, but given nothing has happened to this date, it's clear that management is waiting to evaluate Riggleman's performance on the field.

The Nationals are unlikely to reach .500 this season, even as they talk game about making improvements to the team. A .500 record is a more realistic goal for 2012, but given the pronouncements and optimism of the front office, Riggleman could end up taking the heat if the team plays slightly worse, if not to, talent level.

RodriguezEdwin Rodriguez, Marlins
First full season (second overall)
Marlins record: 46-46
Contract: First and final year of contract

The Marlins wanted Ozzie Guillen, that's no secret.

Edwin Rodriguez ended up being the consolation prize to finish out the season after Fredi Gonzalez's dismissal. But even his 46-46 showing wasn't enough to land him the inside track on being Florida's permanent manager.

Florida certainly tried to find a new manager, but no one -- at least, no one they wanted -- was biting. So Rodriguez became a consolation prize and agreed to a one-year deal with Florida, which positions him for a quick exit should the Marlins fail to start the year with anything less than a .500 record. Owner Jeffrey Loria has always had idiotic expectations (as Joe Girardi and Gonzalez can attest to as well), and the positioning of the Fish as a "sleeper team" will only pressure Rodriguez more to get off to a fast start.

A trigger-happy owner with unrealistic expectations for his team, which searched far and wide before settling on bringing back Rodriguez, who agreed to a one-year deal -- which certainly has to have a low salary attached to it -- is a recipe for landing on the hot seat. In fact, of all the managers listed, Rodriguez is the best bet to be handed his walking papers.

Potential replacements

It's rare for a team to make an outside hire in midseason to pilot a team. Most teams opt to go with interim managers, filling from the bench or third-base coach spots (like Quade) until they can better evaluate at the end of the year. There are exceptions, as Buck Showalter can testify to. To that end, it's tough to predict with any certainty who would fill managerial spots in season. However, Bobby Valentine has been a hot name and given his repeated linking to the Marlins vacancy would have to be the prohibitive favorite to take over Florida should Rodriguez be handed his walking papers.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com