Offseason Hunting: The Florida Marlins 10 Managerial Options
The Florida Marlins are going to be on the lookout for the next manager, who will inherit one of the best position players in the game (Hanley Ramirez) and one of the best pitchers in the game (Josh Johnson).
Let's not forget that the new manager will also be entering a new home stadium in 2012, with a new name (Miami Marlins), and new uniforms and color schemes.
The new manager would also not have to worry about low payroll, since the front office has promised many fans that it would be in the middle of the pack once they move into the new stadium and haul in more revenue in their own venue.
Considering they are moving into their new stadium and haven't made the playoffs since their World Series victory in 2003, the Marlins want to hire a manager who can assure them of that without a doubt. That means an extensive search.
Here are the 10 options the Marlins will consider when the offseason arrives...
Candidate No. 1: Edwin Rodríguez (E-Rod)
Rodríguez will definitely be one of the options the Marlins will consider, but again the Marlins want a manager who can take them to the promised land and have people care about the Fish once they enter a new stadium.
If Edwin Rodriguez finishes the season with the Marlins in contention in the month of September, then he may get a long look. As of now he doesn't appear at the top of the list. There is a possibility Edwin Rodríguez could be a bench coach.
Edwin Rodríguez is the first Puerto-Rican born manager in MLB history. He was the Marlins minor league manager for the Class A Greensboro Grasshoppers and prior to being called up to manage, the manager for the Class AAA New Orleans Zephyrs.
Candidate No. 2: Bo Porter
Bo Porter did interview for the Marlins job when Fredi Gonzalez was fired but wasn't offered a deal. Porter would be returning to the Marlins if he were offered the job.
In all honesty he isn't going to be a manager the Marlins will look at long and hard, essentially because they want a manager who has had experience. Despite all that Porter is still a candidate.
Porter served as the hitting coach for the Marlins minor league Class A Greensboro Grasshoppers in 2005 and manager of the Class A-Advanced Jamestown Jammers in 2006.
In addition, he served as Florida Marlins' third base coach, outfield, and base-running instructor from 2007 to 2009.
He is currently the Arizona Diamondbacks bench coach.
Candidate No. 3: Ted Simmons (Simba)
According to some reports, Simmons is going to be in the mix for the Marlins managerial opening in the offseason.
Simmons has an impressive resume, which includes a playing career as a catcher and general manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1992, but retired due to a heart attack.
He would certainly be in the mold of what the Marlins are looking for in a manager. The fact that he is a former catcher helps, with current managers (Mike Scioscia, Joe Girardi, Joe Torre) all former catchers.
Simmons was an eight-time All-Star catcher, along with winning the Silver Slugger. He amassed a higher career batting average than Hall of Fame catchers Carlton Fisk and Johnny Bench. In addition, he caught two no-hitters (Bob Gibson & Bob Forsch).
Beyond the playing field, Simmons served two seasons (1992-93) as general manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates, but stepped down for health reasons.
He also was Director of Player Development for both the Cardinals and San Diego Padres, and a scout at the Major League level for the Cleveland Indians. He was named the bench coach for the Milwaukee Brewers starting with the 2008 season.
Currently, he is the bench coach for the San Diego Padres.
Candidate No. 4: Ozzie Guillen
Ozzie Guillen is only a candidate if he is on the outs in Chicago. He did have a run-in with general manager Kenny Williams which almost got him fired when the White Sox weren't as hot.
Now, the White Sox are contending atop the AL Central. If they miss the playoffs and consider letting Ozzie go, then he would find himself with the Marlins. His "words of wisdom" from time to time to the media might give the Marlins the attention they need both from Fish Nation and the sports world.
Ozzie has been the White Sox manager since 2004 and has won the World Series (2005) with them. He was the Marlins third base coach when they won in 2003, so he definitely has had a winning past.
Candidate No. 5: John Farrell
John Farrell is another guy the Marlins might look at. He is a former pitcher and would like to be in an organization that values pitching.
During his tenure in the Red Sox organization, Boston hurlers have logged a 4.08 ERA (1,958 ER/4,321.2 IP), second in the AL during that span.
Farrell is a former pitcher (36-46, 4.56 ERA over nine years) and was former Director Of Player Development for the Cleveland Indians (2001-2006).
Currently, he is the Boston Red Sox pitching coach.
Candidate No. 6: Tony Pena
Pena won the World Series with the Yankees last year and is a former manager (Royals), giving them their last winning record in 2003.
He is also a former catcher, ranking fifth all time among Major League catchers with 1,950 games behind the plate. He would bring plenty of experience and help the Marlins get back into the postseason.
Was selected as the 2003 American League "Manager of the Year" by the Baseball Writers' Association of America when he managed the Royals.
While he served as first base coach from 2006-08 and catching instructor over the entire span, Yankees catchers have caught a Major League-best 167 potential base stealers, ranking fourth in the AL with a 26.4 percent caught stealing rate.
Currently, Pena is the bench coach for the New York Yankees.
Candidate No. 7: Bryan Price
Price has a connection to Larry Beinfest during his days in the Mariner organization. He has been the coach for pitchers such as Brandon Webb, Felix Hernandez, and Dan Haren. He would enter an organization that values pitching but be new to the managing landscape.
Bryan Price spent the previous 10 seasons as pitching coach for the Mariners (2000-2005) and Diamondbacks (2006-2009).
Currently, he is the Cincinnati Reds pitching coach.
Candidate No. 8: Jeff Cox
Cox has a Marlins connection, so he would have an edge at the job as well. He was bullpen and bench coach when the Marlins won the World Series in 2003, in addition to being a third base coach from 2004-2005.
Currently, he is the White Sox bench coach and has been since 2008. Cox has 37 years of experience as a player, coach, or manager.
In addition, he spent the 2006-07 seasons as third base coach and infield instructor for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Candidate No. 9: Buck Showalter
Showalter is and has been in talks to be the Baltimore Orioles manager but until then he can also be a candidate for the Florida Marlins position.
He has managerial experience (Yankees, Diamondbacks, Rangers). On one end, after leaving the D-Backs and Yankees, both won the World Series the year after he left—not sure if that's a bad thing or a good thing.
882-833 as manager throughout his career for a winning percentage of .514.
He is currently a baseball analyst for ESPN.
Candidate No. 10: Bobby Valentine
Bobby Valentine was in talks to be the Marlins manager midseason, but talks broke down for whatever reason.
Valentine did criticize the Marlins for their process in hiring a manager, mainly because they didn't inform him he was no longer considered for the job. In the end no one was and they kept E-Rod.
I don't think the Valentine bridge is burned as of yet, Valentine wants to be a manager again, likes the Marlins as an organization, and they could talk again, peacefully in the offseason with no rush.
One thing is for sure, he will manage next season; if not in Miami, elsewhere.
Valentine is a former player and manager (1,117-1,072; .510) with teams like the Texas Rangers and New York Mets.
He led the Mets to a World Series in 2000 versus the Yankees, and won the Japan Series as manager of the Chiba Lotte Marines in 2005.