It seems that everyone and their dog is predicting that Jack McKeon will take over as manager of the Florida Marlins until a full-time replacement is named.
The Florida Marlins are expected to name 80-year old Jack McKeon their next manager, multiple league sources told ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney late Sunday night.
McKeon last managed in 2005, also with the Marlins. He retired after that season, following a three-year stint with the Marlins that included both a National League Manager of the Year award and a World Series title in 2003. McKeon won both after also taking over the Marlins during the season and eventually leading them past the Yankees for the franchise's second championship.
While there are some similarities between the 2003 team and the 2011 one, there a lot more differences between the two. In 2003 when Jack took over, the team was never above third place in the division. For the most part they were in fourth, saw some third and fifth a few short times. But it was mainly a team that wasn't hitting on all cylinders just going through a bunch of fits and starts.
That is not true of the 2011 team. At one time everything was clicking and the team was one of the darlings of the league and then they went into a death spiral. Now, the players have never quit playing hard, it is just nothing is going right.
Meaning, there is a completely different psyche on the 2011 team then there was in 2003. And part of it has to do with a long losing streak, a beloved hitting coach being fired and a manager just calling it quits. Not to mention some questionable personnel changes. Making this is a completely different reclamation project.
In 2003 it took a good bit over a month before things started turning around. But it eventually did. Now whether it will this time remains to be seen. It appears to be a deeper hole to climb out of and the time to do so is shorter seeing that in 2003 Jack took over on May 11.
But all of that said, you couldn't find a bigger shock to the system than McKeon. He is like a gruff, cigar smoking, take no crap, old school, granddad type of a guy who can't remember anyone's name and believe me this is something the players on the Marlins have never seen before. I really hope no one on the team expects him to get their first name right, he called Jeff Conine, Mr. Marlin, Steve, for three-years.
However, the Marlins have had only had six winning season in franchise history and Jack was the manager of three of them. The only three years he managed the Marlins. (The others with winning seasons: Fredi Gonzalez, two and Jim Leyland, one.)
If the Marlins name Jack as the interim manager we have officially entered into the twilight zone, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing and it might be good. But whatever the case, it will be interesting.
Has anyone checked up in the attic and looked for Jack's director's chair, because he might be needing it.