Skip to content

Olney: Jack McKeon to manage the Marlins

Jun 20, 2011, 8:45 AM EDT

Jack McKeon

It was only rumored yesterday, but last night Buster Olney reported that, yep, 80-year-old Jack McKeon is going to take over the Marlins as interim manager.

It’s fun to put McKeon’s age and experience into perspective with little factoids such as “McKeon’s first game as a Major League manager happened over three months before I was born” and “Jack McKeon’s first game as a manager at any level occurred when my now-62-year-old mother was six-years-old,” but that gimmick will get old pretty fast. So too will the plain old old jokes. Yes, McKeon is old. There’s not much he can do about that.

As an interim hire, though, I like it. Partially because I was always a fan of McKeon’s when he managed the Padres, Reds and Marlins on his first go-around (I don’t remember his earlier jobs). He let his players play, didn’t seem to be under the delusion that managing a baseball game was as sensitive as nuclear disarmament talks and, thanks to his experience and front office stints, seemed to recognize talent and put it in the best position to thrive rather than simply impose his will.  It’s the kind of manager I’d want to hire if I ran a team.

But maybe more importantly, this gives the Marlins some flexibility. They got boxed in when Rodriguez did well as the interim manager following Fredi Gonzalez’s firing last year and, despite looking elsewhere, felt obligated to give Rodriguez a shot at the job.  The Cubs did the same thing with Mike Quade.  It’s the classic in-season interim manager trap that, while it sometimes works out well, often leads to compromise hires.

But McKeon? To put it delicately, he’s not the long term solution in the dugout, so it will allow the Marlins’ brass several months to figure out exactly who they want leading the team when they move into the new ballpark next spring.

  1. kopy - Jun 20, 2011 at 8:53 AM

    Is it okay to make a joke about how this hire is a cheap ploy to appeal to Florida’s key demographic in an effort to boost attendance?

    • halladaysbicepts - Jun 20, 2011 at 9:31 AM

      Florida’s key demographic? Lebron James fans?

      • Roto - Jun 20, 2011 at 9:39 AM

        Yeah, somehow, if Jack does poorly…you might as well start blaming LeBron for that as well…

    • Old Gator - Jun 20, 2011 at 10:50 AM

      I fail to see how this will appeal to Cubans.

    • kcroyal - Jun 20, 2011 at 11:04 AM

      Look for more than double the amount of alligatiors in the stands in the coming weeks.

  2. halladaysbicepts - Jun 20, 2011 at 8:54 AM

    I think it’s a big mistake to put an 80 year old man on the field in the sweltering heat of southern Florida. Health-wise, this makes no sense whatsoever. All it takes is McKeon to have an argument with an umpire and something bad happens. What the hell is Loria and company thinking? There isn’t anyone younger and just as qualified as McKeon to manage this club? They are not going to compete this year regardless of who’s at the helm.

    Just another PR stunt.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Jun 20, 2011 at 9:01 AM

      I didn’t think of that angle, but you are right. He could very well keel over on the field arguing with Joe West or Laz Diaz. Those two would probably view it as a badge of honor to give a manager a heart attack. I would go the extreme other route if I were the Marlins. The past 3 weeks have left their season in shambles and essentially over. Whether McKeon is the manager or not, people are not going to show up to the ballpark. Why not hire the youngest, most energetic manager they could find? Instead they visit the geriatric ward at Miami General to grab a manager.

    • jwbiii - Jun 20, 2011 at 9:29 AM

      Cheap and easy solution, I think. He’s already on the payroll, has managing experience, and has worked in the front office for years so he must get along with Loria and Samson.

    • Old Gator - Jun 20, 2011 at 10:56 AM

      hb: see my comments in the previous McKeon thread. I agree – this isn’t New York or Minneapolis. The heat and humidity down here are a murderous combination for a spry 61-year-old like yours truly, even in the evenings. I don’t do outdoor carpentry or yard work after 11 AM, if that, and I’m as avid a horticulturist as they come. Scrooge McLoria is an idiot for putting him in this position, and McKeon addled for acceding to it.

      Then again, at least he didn’t pry Ozzie away….

  3. dan1111 - Jun 20, 2011 at 9:03 AM

    Back in my day, managers were tough. We didn’t stop managing just because of some silly little thing like extreme old age…played the right way…cared more about the name on the front of the jersey…etc.

  4. drmonkeyarmy - Jun 20, 2011 at 9:03 AM

    I didn’t think of that angle but you are correct. He might keel over arguing with Laz Diaz or Joe West. Those two would probably view it as a badge of honor to give a manager a heart attack. The Marlins should go the exact opposite route. If I were them, I would hire the youngest, most energetic person to manage the club. Instead they visit the geriatric ward at Miami General to find their next manager.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Jun 20, 2011 at 9:05 AM

      Sorry for the duplicate post. I’m not sure what happened. Hey moderator, delete the comment immediately above.

    • bigharold - Jun 20, 2011 at 11:31 AM

      Have you seen Joe West? He’s as likely to keel over in an argument than Jack.

      Jack McKeon is an adult how has had that very same job with that very same team before. I’d be willing to leave it up to him as to whether or not he thinks he can handle it.

      • Utley's Hair - Jun 20, 2011 at 11:45 AM

        As somebody said on another thread—I think it was Gator, but I’m not sure—the very fact that he accepted the job is evidence enough that he isn’t fit for it.

  5. dan1111 - Jun 20, 2011 at 9:04 AM

    Eight years ago, he was the oldest manager to win a World Series. But he would have to manage for another eight years to catch up with Connie Mack as oldest manager every.

  6. Jonny 5 - Jun 20, 2011 at 9:27 AM

    Hanley is not going to like this guy.

    • halladaysbicepts - Jun 20, 2011 at 9:29 AM

      Someone is going to have to change McKeon’s Depends diapers. Hanley will not like him because they will designate him with this task because, after all, he’s a baby.

  7. hcf95688 - Jun 20, 2011 at 10:02 AM

    What? Connie Mack wasn’t available?

  8. addictedzone - Jun 20, 2011 at 11:32 AM

    With Juan Pierre no longer in Miami, Jack will always be the first person at the ballpark again. Gotta love a guy that loves baseball the way he does.

    • halladaysbicepts - Jun 20, 2011 at 11:42 AM

      I have always loved how Juan Pierre plays the game of baseball. Hits for contact, hustles, can run like a deer, and plays a great defensive outfield. He also was a Phillies killer.

      I always wanted the Phillies to aquire him.

      • spudchukar - Jun 20, 2011 at 12:23 PM

        Yeah and a cannon for an arm, and who can forget those tape-measured bombs.

      • halladaysbicepts - Jun 20, 2011 at 12:39 PM


        Pierre and tape-measured bombs? For certain, you jest…

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. H. Ramirez (2428)
  2. G. Stanton (2383)
  3. G. Springer (2368)
  4. C. Correa (2326)
  5. J. Baez (2316)