Fredi Gonzalez was fired Wednesday by the Florida Marlins. Gonzalez was deemed expandable by the front office in a season that saw a public spat with Marlins' superstar short stop Hanley Ramirez, and a disappointing 34-36 record through 70 games. With the Marlins sitting in fourth place, seven and a half games out of first, the talk turns to who will become the next Marlins coach.
All signs point to ex-Mets manager and current ESPN analyst Bobby Valentine as the favorite to replace Gonzalez. ESPN's Tim Kurkjian confirmed that Valentine pulled his name out of the running to become the next Baltimore Orioles manager, creating speculation that he could be interested in the Marlins opening.
Bobby V has admitted that he wants to return to coaching. Earlier in the year when the Mets were playing poorly, and many thought their manager Jerry Manuel's days were numbered, many thought that Valentine may return to the Mets dugout. He may be returning to the NL East, but now as the coach of the Marlins.
There are many things that say that Valentine may grab the Marlins job. Aside from Valentine having a good relationship with Florida's owner Jeffrey Loria, there are several other appealing aspects of the Marlins managerial job.
The Marlins are a young team, filled with many players with tremendous upside. Ramirez, Jorge Cantu, Gaby Sanchez, Mike Stanton, Josh Johnson and Anibal Sanchez are the present and future of this team, whose average age is only 27.3 years old. Additionally, there is a new stadium being built in Miami. Undoubtedly, this will widen the fan base, at least temporarily, as thousands will come out to check out the teams new state-of-the-art home.
Are these reasons enough for Bobby V to return to the dugout, as coach of the Marlins? Or will he want to hold off on accepting an offer, remaining an ESPN analyst until a more appealing job in a larger market becomes available? Only time will tell, but it sure will be interesting to see how this development progresses.