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At 75, McKeon 'ready' to return


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MARLINS NOTEBOOK

At 75, McKeon 'ready' to return

 

BY MIKE PHILLIPS

[email protected]

 

Could Jack come back?

 

Why not, says Jack McKeon, the former Marlins manager who won it all at age 73. McKeon, now 75, doesn't rule out another run as a big-league manager.

 

''I was out nine years and came back, then I laid out seven and came back, and I laid out two and came back,'' said McKeon, who has bounced all around baseball during his career. ``And now I'm out only nine months. Who knows? I could be like Billy Martin, coming back and back and back.

 

``I'm not soliciting, but if somebody wanted me, yeah, I'd come back.''

 

McKeon, who lives in North Carolina and is a consultant for the Marlins, said he has enjoyed his time off but has a desire to manage again.

 

''Yeah, I miss it. There's no question I miss it,'' he said. ``Do you need it? No. Would you want to do it again, yeah.

 

``If someone wants me to manage again, then OK. I'm ready to go again. I'm off for nine months, and I'm getting bored.''

 

McKeon was in town visiting the Marlins this weekend.

 

''Coming back here is like a tonic,'' he said. ``It's like therapy. Every time I come back, the thing that makes it therapy is they love you. I've never been at a place where I was appreciated as much as South Florida. I love these people. They love me, and I love them. It's a love story. I had more fun here than any place.''

 

McKeon likes this year's young team and the way it has surprised the critics.

 

``I think they've done a great job. These kids are really coming along and playing with so much enthusiasm. Look what [Miguel] Cabrera and [Dontrelle] Willis did for us in 2003.

 

``What I see with these guys is they are getting an opportunity, and they see they have a chance and they're working hard and they're playing with a lot of energy. The biggest thing is to sustain that and don't take anything for granted.''

 

``There will be a big difference in them in two or three years, but now they know they can be sent out. When you get a few years in and you now you can't be sent out, it's a little different story.''

 

NO WORRIES

 

Girardi doesn't seem worried about losing anyone at the July 31 trading deadline.

 

``I like it [this time of year]. The one thing I do like is it's very exciting for baseball. It's a lot of speculation, a lot of hope in different cities of whom you are going to get. It's hope for the future.''

 

..................................................................

 

I don't think he should come back.

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