Sports Outside the Beltway

Florida Marlins fire Manager Fredi Gonzalez

Coaches Jim Presley and Carlos Tosca were also given the boot. From the Miami Herald-

The Florida Marlins have fired manager Fredi Gonzalez and two coaches.Fredi Gonzalez

Edwin Rodriguez, manager at Triple A New Orleans, has been named interim manager.

“We believe we can do better and be better,” owner Jeffrey Loria said in a written statement. “Everybody knows how I feel about winning. That’s the reason we’re making this change.”

Loria said before the season he had high expectations for the Marlins, who improved to 34-36 with Tuesday night’s victory against the Orioles and are in fourth place in the National League East.

Also let go were hitting coach Jim Presley and bench coach Carlos Tosca.

“We still have a long season in front of us, and plenty of time to turn things around,” Loria said.

The Marlins have been burdened by a poor bullpen and slow starts by two of their top hitters, Hanley Ramirez and Chris Coghlan. Defensively, they continue to rank among the worst fielding teams in the majors.

Gonzalez took over as Marlins manager in 2007 when Joe Girardi was fired after one season. Gonzalez has a record of 276-279 with the Marlins and finished with winning records in 2008 and 2009. He won more games than any manager in Marlins history, including World Series winners Jack McKeon and Jim Leyland.

The Marlins has an owner that till only recently, avoided paying out big bucks for talent. Nevertheless Loria has expected miracles from his managers, and mediocrity or insubordination(Joe Girardi) won’t be tolerated.

I thought the firing of Girardi was dumb. As for mediocrity, what can be expected from a team on a limited budget that always has to pin its hopes on some untried prospect? World Series Rings IMHO can’t be expected under those circumstances.

Before today’s firing, Gonzalez was threatening the record for the longest tenure as Florida Marlin manager. The odd thing is, Gonzalez has managed the most games as Marlins manager. What Florida skipper had a longer tenure but managed a smaller amount of games? The answer is beneath the fold.

All that said, Gonzalez has never impressed me as an in game manager. Last week’s lineup snafu is just one of many blunders Gonzalez made during his tenure. The Marlins needed a skipper who can manage and Gonzalez I’m sorry to say, wasn’t the person for the job.

Rene Lachemanm, the Marlins first manager, led the team for 3.5 seasons before being fired in July 1996. If not for the strike shortened 1994 season, Lachemann would have managed slightly more Marlins games than Gonzalez.

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