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Marlins close to firing McKeon - other new stuff

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The Florida Marlins are considering firing manager Jack McKeon to shake up the team, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported Monday, citing unnamed National League officials.


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


The top candidate to replace McKeon, if the team fires him, is Yankees bench coach Joe Girardi, the newspaper reported. Girardi is a favorite of Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria, the newspaper reported, and turned down an offer last fall to serve as the Marlins' bench coach.


The Marlins have not asked the Yankees for permission to speak with Girardi, the Sun-Sentinel reported, citing an unnamed Yankees source.


Other names under consideration are former manager Jeff Torborg, Devil Rays manager Lou Piniella, former Red Sox manager Grady Little, Braves third-base coach Fredi Gonzalez and former Marlins manager Jim Leyland, the newspaper reported.


Braves special assistant Jim Fregosi, a former manager, also has been mentioned as a candidate, ESPN reported, but Fregosi's previous clashes with Marlins first baseman Carlos Delgado probably prevent that, the Sun-Sentinel reported.


Loria and Marlins general manager Admin Beinfest are expected to travel with the team to Arizona for the start of a three-game series, the newspaper reported, heightening speculation that the team will make a change.


Marlins officials fear McKeon has lost the team, the newspaper reported.


McKeon led the Marlins to the 2003 World Series and the team was favored to win the NL East this season but is struggling at 45-45.



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