After the Miami Marlins formally fired Ozzie Guillen and his coaching staff (Joey Cora, Eduardo Perez, Randy St. Claire, Gary Thurman), they put themselves in the spotlight again for all the wrong reasons. When the Marlins begin Spring Training, they will have the sixth different manager since the start of 2010, an alarming number, which includes Fredi Gonzalez, Edwin Rodriguez, Brandon Hyde (one game), Jack McKeon, Ozzie Guillen, and the new manager.
Speaking of the new manager, who out there is going want this job?
After all, Marlins managers have a very short life expectancy under owner Jeffrey Loria who might be watching one too many episodes of The Apprentice lately. The Marlins for one reason or the other have had justifications for firing their managers over the years.
In 2003, Torborg wasn’t cutting it and his replacement Jack McKeon has earned a spot on Loria’s speed dial by winning the World Series. In 2006, Loria didn’t like Girardi having the same authority as he did, fired. In 2010, Loria was upset by mediocre start to the season and incident stemming from vuvuzela night, fired. In 2011, Edwin Rodriguez beat the Marlins to the gun by firing himself. And in 2012, an underwhelming 69 win campaign mixed in with controversial Fidel Castro comments did Ozzie Guillen in, he gets the pink slip.
So who are some names that could be on the Marlins list? Will any of them come up to the level of the late Connie Mack, who ex-Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez called as not good enough a choice for Loria?
Here are the names in no particular order:
Dave Martinez (Tampa Bay Rays Bench Coach; 2008-present)
The Rays have had tremendous success under the tutelage of Joe Maddon and he has Dave Martinez to thank for that as well. Martinez has learned the world of Joe Maddon who has guided the Rays to a winning culture over the last four years. Martinez, 48, is known for his superior communication skills and would fit in to a situation which requires him to get the most out of his players.
Brad Ausmus (San Diego Padres Special Assistant; 2010-present)
Ausmus, 43, a former Major League catcher for 18 years, Darmouth graduate, interviewed with the Red Sox recently for the managerial opening and was in line to get the job if Boston could not lure John Farrell. He recently managed for Israel in the World Baseball Classic and has drawn high praise, particularly from his former teammate Andy Pettitte. Among them, his defensive capabilities (three Gold Gloves) behind home plate which could aid in development of Rob Brantly. He would be the equivalent hire that the Cardinals pulled off with Mike Matheny last season.
Mike Redmond (Blue Jays Class A manager; 2011-present)
Redmond, 41, is no stranger to the Marlins organization having spent 12 years here, most notably during the 2003 championship season serving as the backup to Pudge Rodriguez. He has spent last two seasons managing the Class A level Dunedin Blue Jays. He seems like the typical Loria candidate because of his ties to the organization and his career resume and is a favorite for the job. If hired, he would be the youngest manager in the majors.
Bryan Price (Cincinnati Reds Pitching Coach; 2010-present)
Price, 50, would be an interesting hire as you don’t see many pitching coaches becoming managers, not by choice, but you just don’t really see it. Price has done an extraordinary job with the Reds under Dusty Baker, turning around the pitching staff and helping in their resurgence into the National League spotlight. Price might have some connections with GM Larry Beinfest from Seattle days.
Tim Wallach (Los Angeles Dodgers Third-Base Coach; 2011-present)
Wallach, 55, is a former Major League third baseman who has quite the resume with five All-Stars to his name. Wallach has been tied to the Marlins job before around the times of Fredi Gonzalez’s firing. In 2009, Wallach was named Pacific Coach League manager of the year for leading the Class AAA Albuquerque team to a franchise record 80 wins. Wallach recently interviewed for the Red Sox job.
Other names who are fan favorites such as Mike Lowell and Jeff Conine are said to not be interested in managing at the moment and are content with their current employments at MLB Network and Fox Sports Florida respectively. Bobby Valentine, who was fired from the Red Sox will not be considered by the Marlins if he wasn’t the first time, especially since David Samson, who seems to have as much authority as Jeffrey Loria nowadays, isn’t fond of him.
If I had a choice, Brad Ausmus would be the manager of the Marlins with Mike Redmond being a close second. But if you are going to compare careers, Ausmus has the edge with Redmond having the edge in familiarity having connections with the organization which ultimately could land him the job. Ausmus is highly regarded and would be a refreshing choice for manager and he would certainly be an influence among the Marlins players. But whoever the choice is the Marlins need to realize why they hired him, not place unreachable expectations upon him, and just let him work. It goes without saying this franchise needs to turn it around next season, but Loria’s trigger finger should be dipped in ice for once and worry about his immediate employees (front office) job rather than deflecting blame on the manager, which he has build a infamous reputation for.