In a rather surprising development, the Marlins have fired manager Fredi Gonzalez according to the Palm Beach Post.
Here is part of owner Jeffrey Loria’s statement regarding the firing:
It is never easy to make a change in managers. Fredi has been with our Club for four years. We have become close, and I am extremely fond of Fredi. I, along with all our fans, am grateful for Fredi’s contributions. At the same time, we can’t let personal feelings get in the way of taking steps that we believe are necessary to improve our ballclub.
Decisions on individual personnel cannot supercede our overall goal, which is to win. We believe we can do better and be better. We owe it to our fans to put this team in the best possible position to win. Everyone knows how I feel about winning. That’s the reason we’re making this change.
We still have a very long season in front of us, and plenty of time to turn things around. Everyone – our fans, our team, our organization, and myself – wants us to win. That continues to be, and will always be, the goal.
Along with Gonzalez, bench coach Carlos Tosca and hitting coach Jim Presley were both let go as well. Triple-A New Orleans skipper Edwin Rodriguez was named interim manager, while Brandon Hyde was named interim bench coach and John Mallee was named interim hitting coach.
I couldn’t even begin to speculate why Gonzalez was fired (the Marlins are only two games under .500, although are 7.5 games back in the NL East), but I can assure you that we don’t know the full story yet. He was named The Sporting News Manager of the Year in 2008 and with a win over the Cardinals earlier this year, he won more games than any other skipper in Marlins history. Something doesn’t add up here.
One club that could be interested in Gonzalez’s services is the Braves, with whom he spent a couple of years with before being named manager of the Marlins in 2006. Bobby Cox is retiring at the end of the season and Gonzalez might be the perfect fit.
Either way, Gonzalez will have suitors. He earned a lot of respect for the way he handled an incident with Hanley Ramirez earlier in the season and I’m sure he’ll be back on someone’s bench next season.
Photo from fOTOGLIF