Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Report: Marlins keep Edwin Rodriguez
MIAMI -- Edwin Rodriguez will get to start what he finished -- a season as manager of the Florida Marlins.
After considering other candidates, the Marlins decided to keep Rodriguez, a person familiar with the search said Tuesday. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the Marlins weren't planning an announcement until Wednesday.
Rodriguez became the first Puerto Rican manager in the major leagues when he took over as interim manager June 23 after Fredi Gonzalez was fired. Rodriguez, who has been in baseball 30 years, managed Florida's Triple-A team in New Orleans before getting his first big league job.
Rodriguez was popular with players and won praise for his handling of All-Star shortstop Hanley Ramirez, whose attitude became an issue after he was benched by Gonzalez for not hustling early last season.
Gonzalez was dismissed with Florida at 34-36 and in fourth place in the NL East. Rodriguez went 46-46, and the Marlins finished third.
Gonzalez was hired last month to replace the retiring Bobby Cox as manager of the Atlanta Braves. The Marlins' decision to keep Rodriguez was first reported by the South Florida Sun Sentinel on its website.
When the season ended, the Marlins said Rodriguez was among four or five managerial candidates for next season. There has been speculation that owner Jeffrey Loria might want a high-profile manager when the team moves into its new ballpark in 2012.
But president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest hinted last month that Rodriguez might be the right match for the team's perennially young roster.
"This job is a unique job," Beinfest said then. "It's a little bit of a manager who can grow with the team, get the most out of them, develop them and create a winning culture."
While the Marlins are young, they believe they're on the verge of playoff contention. On the final day of the regular season, Rodriguez said he had high expectations for next year.
"This organization is in very good shape," he said. "I can picture this organization being in a pennant race next year, and obviously for 2012, when we move into the new ballpark, hopefully we should be in the World Series."
Among the highlights for Rodriguez last season was managing the Marlins in his hometown of San Juan when they played a series there against the New York Mets.
Offseason priorities for the Marlins now switch to upgrading a shaky bullpen, and signing second baseman Dan Uggla and right-hander Ricky Nolasco to multiyear deals.