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Berardino: McKeon might be fired


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http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/sfl-jac...0,4616177.story

Source: McKeon's job at risk

Mounting losses could result in manager change

 

 

 

By Mike Berardino

Staff writer

 

July 18, 2005

 

The Marlins' malaise has deepened to the point where not even manager Jack McKeon appears immune from change.

 

According to a National League official, the Marlins are giving serious consideration to firing the popular McKeon in an effort to shake up one of baseball's biggest disappointments.

 

"Everything at this point is being considered -- everything," the NL official said Sunday night.

 

The top candidate to replace McKeon, 74, would be Yankees bench coach Joe Girardi, the source said. Girardi, a favorite of Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria, could have been the Marlins' bench coach but turned down their offer last fall.

 

As of Sunday night, a Yankees source said the Marlins had not asked for permission to discuss a possible opening with Girardi, 40. The Yankees source also said the Marlins probably "would have to look elsewhere" for their next manager, although such matters are typically negotiable.

 

Other names being considered are former Marlins managers Jim Leyland and Jeff Torborg, Devil Rays manager Lou Piniella, former Red Sox manager Grady Little and Braves third-base coach Fredi Gonzalez.

 

Leyland, a part-time scout for the Cardinals, led the Marlins to their first World Series title in 1997. Torborg, a Fox television analyst, has earned the gratitude of Marlins management with his refusal to burn bridges since his May 2003 firing.

 

Piniella is under contract through 2006, but he and the Rays have been exploring exit strategies.

 

Loria was in Philadelphia this weekend, where he watched his team drop three of four games to the Phillies to start the second half. Loria and General Manager Admin Beinfest were expected to accompany the Marlins to Arizona, where they begin a three-game series tonight.

 

Rumblings of discord in the Marlins clubhouse have surfaced periodically this summer, and at least three team meetings have been called to address the complaints. Marlins officials, in conversations with other baseball people, have begun wondering aloud whether McKeon has lost the clubhouse.

 

"It's an open question whether Jack has lost the team," the NL official said. "I certainly don't think he has lost all of it, but he has lost some of it."

 

It was McKeon who replaced Torborg and led the Marlins to an improbable run to the World Series crown. The Marlins fell to third place at 83-79 last year, but with Loria authorizing a club-record $66 million payroll, they were the preseason favorites in many circles to win the NL East.

 

Since reaching a season-best 26-16 on May 24, the Marlins have gone 19-29 and fallen into a last-place tie with the Mets. Now mulling over trades to send away pitcher A.J. Burnett and third baseman Mike Lowell, the Marlins are seven games behind the first-place Nationals and 5? games behind the Braves in the wild-card race.

 

A report on ESPN mentioned Braves special assistant Jim Fregosi as a leading candidate, but Fregosi and Marlins star Carlos Delgado clashed when they were together in Toronto. That fact likely eliminates Fregosi from considerati

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Of the choices mentioned, I have to go with Leyland. I'm tired of seeing recycled losers like Fregosi and Torborg. Why the hell would they bring back Torborg? Is this a team trying to win or a team trying to give Torborg fresh arms to destroy? As for Girardi, I don't mind a completely new guy, but I am a little questionable of anyone favored by the ownership because managerial knowledge wins baseball games, not politics or the buddy system. We should know that from Torborg and our old buddy John Boles who needed to stay in the office instead of the dugout.

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If McKeon has to be replaced, either Leyland or Pinella would be at the top of my list. Torborg and Girardi I don't like. Fregosi wouldn't be that bad, I would put him ahead of Torborg any day.

861461[/snapback]

 

We agree. I would even search the through the T-Ball ranks before we bring back the serial arm killer.

 

I personally would prefer my choices in the following order:

 

1) Pinella---I think that he would be the perfect fit for what is going on right now. Let's see the players underperform or whine under him. Can we say "go enjoy some splinters on your a$$ until you get on my page" or "bye-bye."

 

2) Jim Leyland---Welcome back to the ability to score without even getting a hit.

 

3) Tony Pena or Davey Lopes---Has anyone from this organization looked at these 2? They would be very refreshing.

 

4) Whitey Herzog---If you like old guys, don't you think that he's the guy that best fits a "small ball" park?

 

5) Bob Brenly---Why hasn't he been considered? He has a WS ring as a manager and is full of energy.

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they have to interview a minority candidate, last time they got a slap on the wrists for bringing in McKeon without anyone else being interview. I guess they could interview Perez or Dawson as a sham interview if they wanted to.

861472[/snapback]

 

Tony Pena and Davey Lopes are minorities. Because of their ancestral roots, they cover both Hispanic and African backgrounds in one shot each. I know because I'm also a dark-skinned Hispanic and we all cover both categories.

 

Your post does make me think of another name. How about Chris Chambliss? He's long overdue. He's been waiting since Willie Randolph and Ken Griffey, Sr. were still playing. He was even considered for the Marlins original managerial opening and then again after Rene Lacheman was fired.

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I know a lot of people haven't heard of him but I like FREDI GONZALEZ!

 

He used to be our single A manager for the Brevard County Manatees and he was very good. Also, his ability to communicate with Spanish speaking players (ala Ozzie Guillen), would help us a lot.

 

1) Jim Leyland and 2) Fredi Gonzalez ---- Those are my 2 favorites in order!

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I've been somewhat hesitant all season about firing McKeon. But I'm going to go on the record as saying if this firing does send the club into the post season (which I still don't think it will), I will admit to the world that I was wrong. And you all may bash me w/ metal bats in October (read my other posts).

 

Side note: In order for the Marlins to be taken seriously in the world of baseball they need stability in the front office and in the manager position. Can we please get a manager that will stick around for more than a couple of years? Like a La Russa or a Torre or a Cox?

 

This is the National League people. We need an aggresive manager that won't be afraid to call the hit and run and play some bean ball.

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I know a lot of people haven't heard of him but I like FREDI GONZALEZ!

 

He used to be our single A manager for the Brevard County Manatees and he was very good. Also, his ability to communicate with Spanish speaking players (ala Ozzie Guillen), would help us a lot.

 

1) Jim Leyland and 2) Fredi Gonzalez ---- Those are my 2 favorites in order!

861485[/snapback]

 

 

I agree, Leyland needs to be #1 and if he can't be obtained then get Gonzalez.. He won in '97 and in my opinion this team is better then the one in '97. Do the deal with the White Sox, bring in Leyland. Ladies and gentleman that NL East crown is still within reach but action needs to be taken now.

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Jim Leyland has said pubicly that he only wants to manage a team that is within an hour drive of his Pennsylvania home.

 

It wont be Leyland.

 

I like the idea of the next coach being a young guy but if it has to be an older guy, I say go after Grady Little. I mean the guy got fired for one poor decision and I think he is a fine coach that didnt get a fair shake and we all know he would take the upmost pleasure in gutting Pedro.

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Where the heck did they dig up Torborg from? Hell if your going to the way back machine why not pull out Lacheman too? Of the choices listed though I think Grady Little or Leyland would be the best fit at this time. Of course managers are hired to be fired so whoever may be the next manager might not have the job long.

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I know a lot of people haven't heard of him but I like FREDI GONZALEZ!

 

He used to be our single A manager for the Brevard County Manatees and he was very good. Also, his ability to communicate with Spanish speaking players (ala Ozzie Guillen), would help us a lot.

861485[/snapback]

Yup... Fredi was GREAT as the manager of the Sea Dogs in 1997 and brought a Northern Division title to Portland. He would be a very good choice. Carlos Tosca did the same in 1995 and 1996...

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Guest markotsay7

I've been somewhat hesitant all season about firing McKeon. But I'm going to go on the record as saying if this firing does send the club into the post season (which I still don't think it will), I will admit to the world that I was wrong. And you all may bash me w/ metal bats in October (read my other posts).

 

Side note: In order for the Marlins to be taken seriously in the world of baseball they need stability in the front office and in the manager position. Can we please get a manager that will stick around for more than a couple of years? Like a La Russa or a Torre or a Cox?

 

This is the National League people. We need an aggresive manager that won't be afraid to call the hit and run and play some bean ball.

861493[/snapback]

 

 

I agree regarding McKeon, I'm not ready to fire him but if it works, I'll eat my words.

 

As far as stability...look at the teams that LaRussa has had over the years and tell me why they don't make it to the World Series (and last year got swept)? Same with Cox. Not that they aren't great managers (they are) but we've produced 2 World Series titles in the same span that Cox and LaRussa have ZERO combined. And since our inception as a team, we've got two and combined they have one.

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