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Florida Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez resigns
ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. (AP) - Through it all, Edwin Rodriguez kept his sense of humor. The Florida Marlins‘ manager talked about ghost stories and the team’s hotel. He joked about moving the calendar ahead to July in hopes of escaping an awful June.
As it turns out, that long losing streak hurt more than he showed.
Rodriguez, the first Puerto Rican-born manager in major league history, unexpectedly resigned Sunday after less than one year on the job.
Bench coach Brandon Hyde managed the last-place Marlins as they dropped their 10th straight game, 2-1 to the Tampa Bay Rays. But the club will begin a search for an interim manager and potential candidates include 80-year-old Jack McKeon, the special assistant to the owner who led Florida to a World Series title in 2003.
Rodriguez said it was difficult to leave, given the “positive way the organization is moving, a new ballpark next season and the young core of players.”
“I can’t say enough about the effort that this staff and these players have put into this season,” he said in a statement released by the team. “I could tell that they continued to give 100 percent effort each and every day on the field. I wish this organization and players nothing but success in their futures.”
Rodriguez became interim manager June 23 of last year after Fredi Gonzalez was fired. He was given the job permanently five days later.
“It’s been extremely frustrating for everyone,” Florida president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest said. “I think everyone here knows what is going on _ the way we’ve played, the way we’ve performed. It’s tough on everyone, especially him.
“He communicated with me early this morning that this was something he was thinking about, and when I got to the ballpark we accepted his resignation.”
“This was an extremely frustrated, proud man,” Beinfest said. “This kind of caught us a little off guard. I know there’s been a lot of speculation, everything, but this is not something I thought was going to happen today.”
The Marlins fell to 1-18 in June with Sunday’s loss to the Rays. Ace pitcher Josh Johnson is injured and star shortstop Hanley Ramirez, struggling through a miserable slump all season, also had been sidelined during a stunning skid that left the team 32-40 and last in the NL East.
Beinfest said the club would act quickly on an interim manager.
“So we can move ahead with the business of playing baseball and trying to win games,” he said. “When you have a change like this, with a popular person, I think it’s tough on a lot of people. You just need to go play baseball, and that’s first and foremost.”
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