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McKeon Likely To Get Offer


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McKeon to get offer

Team president David Samson says to expect the 72-year-old to be invited to keep managing Florida.



Jack McKeon is expected to be offered a contract to continue managing the Marlins next season, team president David Samson said Tuesday.


''That would be a very good bet,'' Samson said. ``I would be very surprised if he were not invited back. I personally, on behalf of the organization, cannot be more pleased.''


McKeon was non-committal about his future when asked Tuesday but previously indicated a desire to continue managing for four or five more years.


Samson said he could not speak with certainty about McKeon's returning because he has not discussed the issue with McKeon, owner Jeffrey Loria and general manager Admin Beinfest.


''We will talk to Jack after the season to make sure it's something he wants to do,'' Samson said.


Informed of Samson's comments before Tuesday's game against the Philadelphia Phillies, McKeon indicated he was flattered but would not say if he would return.


''I think that's very nice, but I'm going to stick with the same line I've been using all along: I came aboard to do the job for the balance of the year, and when the season is over, we'll talk about it,'' McKeon said. ``I don't want any distractions whatsoever right now. I don't want any distractions -- that's my answer.''


But McKeon, who will turn 73 in November, said earlier this summer he wants to pass Casey Stengel to rank second among the oldest managers.


Stengel managed until July 24, 1965, six days shy of his 75th birthday. He broke his hip that evening and never managed again, retiring several months later. Connie Mack managed until age 83.


''The way I feel right now, I probably could get four or five more years out of it,'' McKeon said two months ago. ``I've only got two more years to catch Casey. Would I like to go that long? You bet.''


Samson's comments Tuesday marked the first time any top Marlins official has indicated an interest in having McKeon return after getting him May 11 for the remainder of this season. Loria had declined to discuss the issue previously.


''The managerial change was the No. 3 move of the entire year,'' Samson said. ``No. 1 was last offseason, when Jeffrey committed to lose $20 million-plus personally. No. 2 was Admin's ability to hire quality people around him and put this team together [and the team performing]. . . . Admin's the general manager of the year, and Jack is the manager of the year if we're in the playoffs.''


After Tuesday's loss at Philadelphia, the Marlins were 67-45 since McKeon replaced Jeff Torborg.


Players have credited him for his professional, no-nonsense approach, even though he interacts less with them on a personal level than Torborg did. McKeon has downplayed his role, crediting the players instead.


McKeon's record with the Marlins is better than the team's 111-game mark under Jim Leyland in 1997. Those Marlins opened 66-46 and went on to win the World Series.


The closest McKeon has gotten to the playoffs was as Cincinnati's manager, when the Reds lost in a one-game playoff to the New York Mets to decide the 1999 wild card.

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Sampson is an idiot. Tell me again why you would go to the press and tell them you are going to offer a contract when you haven't talked to the owner, GM or the manager himself?


Just wanted to point out that the FO is still succeptable to massive loss of brain function for short periods of time.


Good news on re-signing Jack, though.

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