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DeFranks: Redmond good enough for Marlins (Nov. 2)

Matthew DeFranks | Friday, November 2, 2012

Enough with the big splashes, bigger headlines and biggest disasters. Enough with the small attendance, smaller batting average and smallest patience.

With a hush-hush hire of former catcher Mike Redmond as their manager, the Marlins said enough is enough.

They said goodbye to a failed attempt to make baseball as big as the NBA in a front-runner town. They waved the circus that was Ozzie Guillen goodbye and replaced him with the inexperienced clubhouse favorite Redmond.

Whether Redmond will turn out to be a good manager is one thing. He spent the last two seasons managing Toronto’s Class A minor league teams and his interview with the Marlins was his first Major League coaching opportunity.

But he is a catcher – and that counts for something. With the addition of Redmond, 13 of the 28 current MLB managers are former catchers, including Cardinals manager Mike Matheny. Matheny took St. Louis to the league championship series in just his first season at the helm.

Former catcher and current Yankees manager Joe Girardi has found success filling out his lineup card, with a World Series championship to speak for him. Plus he has won a Manager of the Year award with … the Marlins.

Yes, the Marlins.

When Girardi managed the Marlins, he led a squad with the lowest payroll in baseball ($14 million) into wild card contention, compiling a 78-84. But still, the Manager of the Year could not keep his job. Why? Mr. Art Collector Jeffrey Loria.

During a game in 2006, Loria – who sat behind the plate by the Marlins dugout at home games – was heckling an umpire. Girardi had to tell Loria to calm down and barely kept his job after the game. At the end of the season, Girardi was gone and three years later, he lifted the World Series trophy with the Yankees.

If you thought Girardi was the only former Marlins manager to have success elsewhere, think again. After three-and-a-half seasons with Florida, Loria let go of Fredi Gonzalez. Gonzalez immediately landed a job the next season with the Atlanta Braves, replacing legendary coach Bobby Cox.

He has guided the Braves to second place finishes in each of the last two years, including a playoff berth this past season.

Yet still, neither Gonzalez or Girardi was good enough for Loria.

We all thought it was a match made in heaven with Ozzie Guillen last year. Guillen was an outspoken, outrageous, Hispanic manager with a ring. He fit with the Marlins. He fit with Miami – until you support Fidel Castro, of course.

A dream season with shiny new players and a shiny new stadium was supposed to end with a shiny new ring.

But instead, the Marlins could not snap out of their neither nightmare hitting woes nor their nightmare managerial situation.

So now Loria has decided on Redmond.

Unknowns abound with this hire. How long will he be around? Who will he get to manage before they get traded away? Will he be good in the majors?

But for now, all of that is fine. They have someone who knows the organization and won the franchise’s last title. He is second in franchise history in games played by a catcher.

He may not be right but he’s good enough for a franchise that should be trying to steer clear of the national headlines.

They know now the waters can be rocky.

Contact Matthew DeFranks at mdefrank@nd.edu

The views expressed in this Sports Authority are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.