Tag:Edwin Rodriguez
Posted on: June 17, 2011 6:41 pm

Marlins managerial change surely coming soon

From the start of this season, no manager was more disposable than Florida's Edwin Rodriguez.

Hired mid-stream last summer without any prior big-league experience to replace the fired Fredi Gonzalez, the Marlins thought enough of Rodriguez to remove the "interim" tag and make him their permanent manager for 2011 ... but they didn't think enough of him to give him more than a one-year contract.

Now, with the Marlins in their worst skid since 1998, club history tells us that Rodriguez is a dead man walking.

No owner in the game has run through more managers than Florida's Jeffrey Loria since the start of the 2003 season.

Perhaps it's because, the first time he whacked a manager (Jeff Torborg), Jack McKeon came in on a puff of cigar smoke and led the Marlins to their second World Series win in five seasons.

Maybe it's because the impatient and temperamental Loria simply is George Steinbrenner on training wheels.

Whatever, Torborg was gassed in May of '03. McKeon, riding his World Series triumph and gutsy pitch-Josh-Beckett-in-Game-6 decision, managed two more seasons and left of his own accord following '05. Joe Girardi managed in '06 but clashed with Loria and was fired after just one season. Gonzalez made it through three full seasons but was fired last June.

Now, coming up on the one-year anniversary of the Gonzalez bloodletting (June 23), it is Rodriguez who is moving toward the guillotine. His Marlins have lost seven in a row, 15 of their past 16 and 18 of 21.

They already sacrificed a coach, firing hitting instructor John Mallee on June 8.

How'd that work out? They're 1-8 since.

The Marlins have lost close (six of seven losses between June 1 and 9, amazingly, were one-run defeats) and they have lost in routs (the Phillies hammered them by a combined score of 17-2 over two games of a four-game Philadelphia sweep this week).

With ace Josh Johnson on the disabled list (again), Hanley Ramirez producing a career-worst season (.205, four homers, 17 RBIs) and third baseman of the future Matt Dominguez hitting just .190 this spring and then fracturing an elbow, a club that needed everything to go right to contend hasn't come close to either.

Most things have gone wrong -- they shipped Chris Coghlan (.230) back to the minors on Friday -- and they've dropped behind the Nationals into the NL East cellar.

With Loria, this usually means goodbye, manager.

And barring a sudden turnaround this weekend against in-state rival Tampa Bay, sometime before the start of Monday's brief, three-game homestand against the Angels is a pretty good guess as to when.

Only question is, where the Marlins will turn.

Loria could go back to old buddy Bobby Valentine, the hot rumor a year ago, and see if their two nations can come together this time around.

He also could wait until this winter and see what happens with Ozzie Guillen. The White Sox manager -- and former Marlins coach -- remains a highly popular figure in Loria circles. And being that Ozzie keeps a home in the Miami area, the Marlins wouldn't be the worst thing in the world for him if things go south on the South Side of Chicago. Guillen's contract runs through this summer, with an option for 2012.

When this season started, the Marlins thought they could win now, and they felt like they had to win now because they needed to build momentum and translate that into ticket sales when they move into their new park next year.

Those plans are now in shambles. And when that happens in South Florida, usually, whatever comes next involves Loria, and an itchy trigger finger.

Posted on: February 28, 2011 5:40 pm

Stuff my editors whacked from the column

JUPITER, Fla. -- You can always count on the Marlins to be breaking in a hot, young prospect, and this year is no different. On the other side of Mike Stanton and Logan Morrison, over there at third base, a slick-fielding kid named Matt Dominguez is on the launching pad.

He's just 21, but he's been primed for this moment for years. In high school in Los Angeles, he played in a title game in Dodger Stadium ... as a freshman (he was a high school teammate, by the way, of Kansas City phenom Mike Moustakas).

"His defense is there," manager Edwin Rodriguez says. "We know what he can do defensively.

"We want good at-bats. We want quality at-bats. We're not looking at stats or numbers. We're looking for him to have the ability to keep the same concentration level regardless of who's pitching."

Florida's first-round pick -- 12th overall -- in 2007, Dominguez has never played above the Double-A level. And his bat remains a question -- thus, Rodriguez's looking for maturity at the plate, and not numbers. In 111 games at Double-A Jacksonville last summer, Dominguez batted .244 with 12 homers and 57 RBIs. He compiled a .324 on-base percentage.

With the glove, Dominguez reminds many of Mike Lowell with his soft, quick hands.

If Dominguez can win the third base job this spring, the Marlins figure to line up with Omar Infante, acquired from Atlanta in the Dan Uggla trade, at second.

If Dominguez proves that he is not ready this spring, Infante could flip over to third with Emilio Bonifacio, Ruben Gotay, Donnie Murphy or Joe Thurston playing second. The latter three are here as non-roster invitees. Gotta have insurance.

If none of that works out, then Infante could stay at second and veteran Wes Helms could play third.

"We're going to be very patient with Matty," Rodriguez says.

"I hope he does win the job," Morrison says. "He's a great kid. He's got the mentality. Now he has to show his stuff."

Sunblock Day? The run of 80-something degrees continues. Hoo-ha!

Likes: Big congratulations to pal Don Middlebrook, tropical rock troubadour in Michigan, for being named a top 10 finalist in Fox Sports Detroit's "April in the D" music video contest (the celebrity panel was led by none other than Kid Rock). But now you've gotta join me in voting for him -- early and often -- by the March 6 deadline. You can vote right here, and you can watch Middlebrook's original song and video here. This isn't Middlebrook's first at-bat in the baseball song department, by the way. He wrote a classic a few years back about the Ted Williams head in the cooler fiasco called Frozen in Arizona. Among his memorable non-baseball tunes: I Stole Jimmy Buffett's TV Guide.

Worst ... Oscars ... ever. Banal and brutal. James Franco and Anne Hathaway were awful. The script they followed was dreadful (the call-outs to their mothers was embarrassing). Hathaway's musical number -- the failed "duet" -- in a tuxedo was sophomoric. She wore six different gowns, which was distracting and ostentatious. I was fine with The King's Speech winning Best Picture. But getting to that point was painful. ABC announced in mid-show they had extended the contract with the Academy Award. If telecasts in future years are like Sunday night's, there's only one reaction to that: Poor bastards.

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"I rounded first never thought of the worst
"As I studied the shortstop's position
"Crack went my leg, like the shell of an egg
"Someone call a decent physician
"I'm no Pete Rose, I can't pretend
"Though my mind is quite flexible, these brittle bones don't bend"

-- Jimmy Buffett, Growing Older But Not Up


Posted on: June 29, 2010 7:21 pm
Edited on: June 29, 2010 7:30 pm

Bo knows Jeffrey Loria

One more glimpse into the dysfunctionality of the Marlins:

They've interviewed two men so far to replace fired manager Fredi Gonzalez, interim skipper Edwin Rodriguez and Arizona third-base coach Bo Porter.

Porter was Florida's third-base coach last year. He fled the organization last winter because Gonzalez and his coaching staff were operating under the assumption that owner Jeffrey Loria probably would fire them by this year's All-Star break, according to major-league sources.

Porter spent the past five seasons in the Marlins' organization, and he was their third-base coach from 2007-2009.

Yet he took a lateral job in Arizona, telling people when he left Florida that he would never work for Loria again.

It looks like he still won't: Loria told the Marlins before Tuesday night's game with the Mets that Rodriguez will finish out the season as manager.

Porter's interview? Either the latest proof positive of the lengths to which some men will go to have a chance to manage in the majors, or he simply participated in what some in the industry think was a courtesy interview that allows the Marlins to comply with Commissioner Bud Selig's edict that clubs interview minority candidates for every opening.

The Marlins were reprimanded for not complying with that when they fired Jeff Torborg in 2003 and hired Jack McKeon.

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