Florida Marlins Managerial Saga: Bobby Valentine Resurfaces as Front Runner

James BondmanCorrespondent IOctober 11, 2010

TOKYO - MARCH 1:  Team Manager Bobby Valentine of the Chiba Lotte Marines blows a bubble during the 2006 World Baseball Classic Exhibition Game against Korea on March 1, 2006 at Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan. The exhibition games in Tokyo take place between February 28 and March 1 and the Asia Round will take place from March 3 to March 5.  (Photo by Koichi Kamoshida/Getty Images)
Koichi Kamoshida/Getty Images

Once again, the ever-popular name for the Florida Marlins managerial job has brought out the big fish that Jeffrey Loria desires: Bobby Valentine. The current ESPN analyst has once again emerged as the "leading candidate" to manage the Marlins, reports Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post, citing a person familiar with the process.

According to the report, “Valentine has been in touch with the Marlins over the last two weeks,” and, while it's no secret that Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria wants Valentine, team president David Samson and others in the front office are against it because, according to sources, "They’re reluctant to give Valentine the power he wants in personnel decisions.”

Three months ago, an internal struggle caused Loria to keep interim manager Edwin Rodriguez for the remainder of the season. Rodriguez went 46-46 as manager of the Marlins but has seemingly ended up as the Marlins' last resort on the managerial front.

The other candidates the Marlins are keeping their eye on are Atlanta Braves scout Jim Fregosi, Dodgers minor league manager Tim Wallach, Yankees bench coach Tony Pena, and former Diamondbacks and Marlins third base coach Bo Porter.

At this rate, if Valentine gets the job it'll be because of Jeffrey Loria and his desire to hire a big name over the not-so-popular alternatives. Valentine, 60, has a 1,117-1,072 record in 15 seasons managing the Texas Rangers and New York Mets (1996-2002). He managed in Japan from 2004-09, and won the Japan Series with Chiba Lotte Marines.

The Marlins are heading to a new stadium in 2012 and need a set manager in order to establish chemistry. The bottom line is the Marlins are making a gamble with their next manager because of the bright future that lies head with the new stadium and nucleus of young talent.