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The Marlins are no better off without Edwin Rodriguez

Jun 19, 2011, 4:24 PM EDT

Edwin Rodriguez AP

Edwin Rodriguez’s surprising resignation Sunday brings an end to another pretty forgettable managerial tenure in Florida.  In 163 games after taking over for Fredi Gonzalez, he went 78-85, and he exits with the Marlins in last place in the NL East at 32-39 this year.

If Rodriguez hadn’t resigned, he may well have been fired soon.  It never appeared as though the Marlins had a lot of faith in him, even though they chose to stick with him after interviewing other candidates in the offseason.

Rodriguez, though, did a pretty good job with the Marlins on the field.  He was a clear upgrade from Gonzalez there, especially in the way that he ran his bullpen.  Gonzalez was all about putting guys in roles and leaving them there until being left with no other choice.  Rodriguez was much more proactive.  He rode his hot hands in the pen without wearing guys out.

The lineup was the same deal.  Gonzalez thought Jorge Cantu was an RBI guy, so he batted him cleanup and let him so often bring the offense to a screeching halt.  Rodriguez entered the season planning to use Mike Stanton as a cleanup man, but he showed flexibility when Gaby Sanchez turned in his strong spring.  He made lemonade out of lemons by giving Greg Dobbs a crack at the third-base job.

In the end, Rodriguez was undone by the hand he was dealt.  There was no anticipating Hanley Ramirez‘s horrible season.  Plus, Josh Johnson‘s injury had taken a toll this month.  A bigger problem that won’t get so much attention was that the Marlins had been without their sixth and seventh starters all year.  With Alex Sanabia and Sean West sidelined due to arm problems, they had no one to step in for Javier Vazquez and Chris Volstad, both of whom are sporting ERAs over 6.00.

So now Rodriguez is gone.  And spared from the stress of working for Jeff Loria.  It’s too bad that he probably won’t be so quick to have another opportunity fall into his lap like Gonzalez did with the Braves.  He was an upgrade in the manager’s seat for the Marlins.

  1. marlinfan - Jun 19, 2011 at 5:05 PM

    It’s amazing how Edwin could be a genius a month ago when the Marlins were 10 games over 500 and is such a dunce now. I agree that he was an upgrade over Gonzalez in many ways. I liked the way he managed the game and thought he made a lot of sound decisions. I understand that baseball owners feel the need to “shake it up” when a team is in a slump, but after dumping John Mallee…the hitting coach most of the team’s younger members grew up with in the minors…the last thing they need is another complete stranger running the club. The hitting hasn’t gotten any better after Mallee left and if the team starts winning games, it won’t be because management made Edwin fall on his sword. If Loria wanted to “shake it up,” maybe he would have been better off selling the club to someone else.

    • Old Gator - Jun 19, 2011 at 7:42 PM

      If you held a proprietary interest in a cash sea cow like the Feesh, would you sell it? If you didn’t give a flying crap about what the fans wanted all this time, would it suddenly matter to you that they wished you’d just go away now? No. Face it: Scrooge McLoria and the Chihuahua will be with us for a long time. Very few of anyone else will be, but those two bottom feeders will be sucking the green stuff off the walls of the tank every time you look over in the direction of that giant tinfoil par-boiler going up where the Orange Bowl used to be.

      It’s true, I think, that practicing laupuk on John Mallee was the single most demoralizing thing that Scrooge, Beinfest and the Chihuahua could have done to a team whose confidence was badly shaken, and then sending down Chris Coghlan literally in front of his entire family was the second. I doubt if there’s much good feeling in that clubhouse for the team’s groin trust these days.

  2. henryd3rd - Jun 19, 2011 at 6:08 PM

    Let’s see! Is the jury still out on how well Fredi will do and how well Girardi has done since leaving that joke of a franchise? Think there a connection with Girardi winning with the Yankees and with Fredi having the Braves in contention since leaving the Marlins? Talent wins games and the Marlins lack talent as well as a decent front office. That tandem of Loria and Sampson have yet to prove that they know anything about baseball. They are better known for conning the folks in South Florida into building them a wonderful stadium. Funny thing is if they don’t put a decent product on the field they will not be able to draw any better in their new digs then they presently do in Sunlife Stadium.

  3. Old Gator - Jun 19, 2011 at 7:45 PM

    Fat Fredi never had much talent and he was a lousy manager. The Braves are in contention because they have a terrific rotation and they have heart. Girardi was an altogether different story: Scrooge McLoria made it clear that there was room for only one asshole on that team, and he was it. That Girardi wasn’t an asshole himself was besides the point.

    Or something like that.

  4. Old Gator - Jun 19, 2011 at 8:03 PM

    Okay, as far as the hand Rodriguez was dealt, here are some observations: (a) I disagree that it was impossible to forecast a bad season for Hanley Ramirez. He had slumped forty points last season from his 2009 form, was in noticeable decline after the all-star break, has his overall production was slipping on a measurable curve. He was mediocre in spring training and his fielding, which had improved somewhat in 2010, was a shambles in the spring and early in the season (some may recall my friend JBerardi taking me to task for ragging Hanley early on but I don’t kick guys just for the fun of kicking them – when their names aren’t McLoria or Chihuahua, anyway). Although his collapse this season has been precipitous, it’s not an unnatural outcome of the pattern that had been establishing itself since last year when you take the long view. (b) I mentioned a couple of times during the spring and early in the season that I thought Chris Coghlan was a question mark. Folks tended to excuse his poor start by noting his serious knee injury last season but, if you look at the situation before the injury, he was batting a soft .268, his RISP numbers and his walks were way down from 2010 already. Aside from playing him out of position because for some inexplicable reason Scrooge and company decided to throw a huge amount of the team’s available capital at a one-season wonder from the designatedhitterball league, and going with bargain-basement Kindly Uncle Wes Helms instead of going out and finding a real third baseman, they made Coghlan leadoff hitter for what must have been old times’ sake instead of looking realistically at his number now. (c) The injury to Josh Johnson is badly overstated. He was only 3-1 when he went down, with lots of NDs because the supposedly reconstructed boolpen couldn’t hold his leads and the hitters weren’t giving him comfortable leads to work with. Having JJ back in the lineup might instil a bit more confidence on some hypothetical level but on paper, you’d just be looking at more NDs mixed in with a bunch of 2-1 and 3-2 losses instead of 6-1 and 9-2 losses. (d) That the Javy Vasquez “experiment” was a flop was already obvious by the end of April but here he still is.

    It’s not quite fair to keep harping on Scrooge McLoria as a cheapskate because he did throw $18 million at John Buck and $7 million at Javy. Typically, when he ponied up he did so stupidly. He isn’t going to be able to get rid of either one of them, though, unless he eats a lot of their salary – and that’s like asking a snake to eat vegetables.

  5. danberman4 - Jun 20, 2011 at 4:01 PM

    I am shocked that any MLB manager would qwuit like this. I think it shows he wasn’t cut out for the job.
    http://pinetarandbrickbats.blogspot.com/2011/06/no-mas-for-marlins.html

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