While he was still a player, Mike Redmond was constantly praised for being quiet in the clubhouse while leading by example on the field. Jim Leyland, among others, quickly noticed that Redmond would one day make a good manager, and suggested that once he stopped playing, he should immediately take a managing job.
Listening to those who believed that he would one day be a successful big league manager, Redmond managed Toronto's Single-A affiliate for the past two years. He led the Dunedin Blue Jays to a first-place finish in the Class-A Florida State League, though the team lost in the first round of the playoffs.
After Ozzie Guillen was dismissed two weeks ago, it was made clear that Guillen was not hired by David Samson, Larry Beinfest, Michael Hill, or any combination of the three. Owner Jeffery Loria personally hired Guillen, to the dismay of his baseball executives.
As President of Baseball Operations, Larry Beinfest has had an interesting tenure with the Marlins. It has been rumored that he has not spoken with several Marlins managers (including Guillen) as seasons concluded, and that he and assistant general manager Dan Jennings are not on a speaking basis.
In a statement that he released after firing Guillen, Beinfest said that the Marlins "needed to get back to the Marlins Way." Beinfest never clearly defined the "Marlins Way", though he made references to the 2003 championship team that was successful with a consistent lineup, pitching staff, and for the most part, defense.
Hiring Redmond, after dismissing a high profile, outgoing manager in Guillen was seen by many baseball executives as a "smart move". It could be considered conservative, however after a disappointing 2012 season, bringing Redmond back to Miami to manage the Marlins could be the first positive step in reestablishing the "Marlins Way".
-Though they might improve after consecutive last-place finishes in the National League East, the Marlins are not expected to improve much under Redmond. 2012 was a well-advertised season, however the lack of success led to criticism. Loria and company may not be bragging about putting a playoff caliber team in the months leading up to the start of the season. "I don't think we're there where we can talk about contending," Beinfest said. "It's not that we can't. I just don't want to be outward with it. We finished in last the last two years. I don't think it's realistic for me to come and say to you with credibility we're going to contend next year. We need to improve next year and if that means contending, then so be it.
-Since the offseason began, there were rumors suggesting that the Jeffery Loria was considering mixing his front office up. Loria changed his mind, however after hiring Mike Redmond, Larry Beinfest may be under the most pressure to assemble a winning team before Loria pulls the trigger.
-Leading up to the day that they hired Redmond, Miami interviewed several other candidates, including Larry Bowa and Detroit hitting coach Lloyd McClendon. Joining Redmond on his staff will be first base coach Perry Hill, who took the same job under Edwin Rodriguez.
-Miami signed third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff and pitcher Jordan Smith to minor league contracts with invites to big league camp. Kouzmanoff hit .255 for the Rockies while being injured several times throughout the season. Smith spent the 2012 season in Triple-A with the Reds, where he was 3-3 with a 4.76 ERA. "We'd like to find a really good guy that we know is the guy, but if we have to go that route, sure," President of Baseball Operations Larry Beinfest said of the third base hold. "Look, is there going to be competition in right field? No. [Mike Redmond and the coaching staff] want to have that fresh slate. They want to see competition. They want to make their own evaluations in conjunction with us."
-Introduced at a press conference on Friday at Marlins Park, Redmond is positive and enthusiastic about what the future will being. Redmond will wear No.11. "It's about winning," Redmond said. "It's about competing. It's about showing up every single day. That's what I'm about."
-After signing a three-year contract on Friday, Mike Redmond became the 11th former catcher to fill one of the 30 current major league managerial positions. Six of the top seven winningest managers in Marlins history were either big league or minor league catchers.
-Even though he left the Marlins in 2004 and didn't have the chance to play with many players that are currently on Miami's roster, catcher John Buck and several others are excited to play for Redmond. "I'm definitely excited about it," Buck said. "I spoke with Joe Mauer when we were at the All-Star Game [in 2010] and I remember asking him specifically about Redmond because he was in our division and he came across as one of those intelligent guys who stayed in the game because he was really smart and not because he was athletically gifted."
-Redmond, in the eyes of many, has the confidence and leadership skills needed to successfully manage in the big leagues. Redmond was popular as a player, and despite managing for the past two years, is not far removed from that role. "For me to come back as a player now - I mean, as a manager," he said, stumbling over his title because he's only two years removed from picking up a bat. "I'm sorry, but after being a player, making my major-league debut in a Marlins uniform, I mean, the smile says it all, right?"
Around The League
-For teams looking to sign a shortstop this offseason, there aren't many available. Stephen Drew and Marco Scutaro highlight a free agent market that will contain more utility players that can play the position rather than authentic shortstops.
-Mariano Rivera plans to return to the Yankees next season even though his contract expired after last season. "He called me yesterday and told me that he'd like to play in 2013," Yankee's GM Brian Cashman said. "Now [agent] Fernando Cuza and I will work behind the scenes and do our jobs in making that happen."
-The Major League Baseball Players' Association donated $1 million dollars to the American Red Cross to assist those whose lives have been affected by Hurricane Sandy. "As our thoughts and prayers remain with all those who have been impacted by this tragedy, it is a privilege for Major League Baseball to support our fans and their communities during this urgent time of need," Commissioner Bud Selig said. "All of us at Major League Baseball are grateful to our society's leaders, first responders and volunteers, and we hope that our contribution to these humanitarian organizations will assist in the vital relief efforts along the East Coast. This is a time when the resiliency of the great American spirit will prevail."
-The Oakland Athletics signed Bartolo Colon to a one-year contract on Saturday. "One of the reasons I think we won a lot last year was because of the depth in our rotation, and we've still got such a young staff," said general manager Billy Beane. "Bart was so good for us last year, and given the cost of those type of players, we thought it was the best thing for us next year."
At Fish Stripes
-Aside from Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle, how did Miami's rotation do in 2012? Check our the Fish Stripes' season review here.
-Can Mike Redmond bring stability to the Marlins' managerial position? Or is he only going to last for a few years?
-Miami prospect Marcell Ozuna is shining in the Dominican Republic, as he leads the winter league in home runs.
-The Infante/Sanchez trade worked out well for the Tigers as the two helped Detroit reach the World Series. How did it work out for Miami?
-After starting the season in the rotation, Carlos Zambrano ended the season in the Marlins' bullpen. How would you rate his season?
-Check out the Fish Stripes analysis of the Redmond hiring here.