The Marlins "are leaning toward" keeping current manager Edwin Rodriguez at least through 2011, tweets The Palm Beach Post's Joe Capozzi, passing on information from Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Rodriguez took over as Florida's interim manager on June 23 and led the team to an even 46-46 mark over the remainder of the 2010 season after Fredi Gonzalez was fired.
If the Fish did bring back Rodriguez, it would bring a sudden end to a managerial search that, in the words of the Miami Herald's Clark Spencer, has been "like watching a glacier melt." Bo Porter, Jim Fregosi and Bobby Valentine were a few of the names mentioned in connection with the Florida job, but the consensus was that the Marlins would still bring in a few more candidates for interviews after the World Series.
In a meeting with media on Tuesday, Marlins president David Samson told reporters (including MLB.com's Joe Frisaro) that team management was still having "internal conversations" about the direction of the manager search. Samson made these comments while taking media members on a tour of the club's new stadium, which is in itself might be the reason why Florida hasn't yet agreed on a manager for 2011 or made movement on long-term deals for Dan Uggla or Ricky Nolasco.
"Everything takes a little longer right now because our allocation of time," Samson said. "So when [owner Jeffrey Loria] and I speak, it's 85 percent construction and ballpark related."
"There are decisions on the ballpark that have to get done....Construction doesn't wait for anyone. It's deciding what needs to be done. So in a priority battle, when we talk about players or the ballpark, the ballpark wins every time."
It seems odd to think that a manager could be hired simply as a time-saver, but if Marlins officials are really devoting their focus to the stadium's completition this winter, it would be an easy solution to just retain a familiar and comfortable face in Rodriguez. If he or the team struggles next season, then Florida could always let him go and bring in a big-name manager to grace the opening of their new ballpark in 2012.