By now you’ve read that Marlins’ manager Eddie Rodriguez has cried No Mas and deserted the team. (The Marlins fired the batting coach about a dozen losses ago.) They’re almost 0 for June (1-17) and the month has 10 days to go.
The Marlins are not as bad as they’re playing now, and they aren’t as good as they were playing when they had the 2nd best record in the NL. They’re about a .500 team with some legitimate stars (Hanley Rodriguez, Mike Stanton, Josh Johnson) and some decent players, many very young and inexperienced which makes them energetic, exciting to watch, and vulnerable to mistakes. There’s no question that a shortage of mature, grizzled, and scarred veterans on the squad has fed the frustration of losing, and robbed them of a perspective with which to deal with this kind of adversity.
As for the ex-Manager, he is liked and respected by the players, but is himself a career minor leaguer who admitted he tried everything he could think of and nothing worked. He was gone at the end of the year anyway because the Marlins wanted a big-name high profile manager to go with their new stadium in 2012. They’re thinking Ozzie Guillen, a former Marlins coach and a Latin local.
This season is over, but nobody who understands baseball seriously expected it to go far anyway. Still, they need a manager, and the talk is all about……Jack McKeon. Now 80, Trader Jack took over the Marlins’ 2003 season in mid-year and piloted them from a sub-.500 record to a World Series. He’s already on the payroll in some honorary position, and told the media he could do it if they asked him, but he’d have to check with his wife.
As an octogenarian veteran and honored team celebrity, would they give him a special uniform? “Depends,” he said.
Whew. He’ll need ‘em.