The Marlins have moved on from Ozzie Guillen, and now it’s time to focus on who may replace him. Some names have surfaced, and it’s no surprise to me that many of them are former major league catchers.
Look around baseball and the recent trend of a success for former catchers who are now managers. This is certainly not a new phenomenon, as catchers have long been known for having a high baseball IQ. They are normally good leaders on the field who study every part of the game, and that seems to translate into becoming good managers.
Just look at the final four managers from this baseball season. Bruce Bochy, Joe Girardi, Mike Matheny and even Jim Leyland are all former professional catchers. Keeping that in mind, some of the following names fit into that category and could be very good fits in Miami.
Mike Redmond- I covered Redmond from 1999-2004 when he was a member of the Marlins as a back-up catcher. He was a smart and well spoken guy. Redmond was always popular in the clubhouse and in the media. He’s no Guillen with his personality, but he does have a very sharp sense of humor. He also took batting practice completely naked to loosen up a slumping Marlins team. Not even Guillen thought of something so crazy. Joking aside, he’s not that far removed from the game, and at 41 years old, he can likely relate to most of the guys in the clubhouse. It also helps that he has managing experience. He’s been a manager in the minor leagues for the Toronto Blue Jays organization over the last two seasons. The Marlins wasted no time to ask and receive permission to interview him.
Brad Ausmus- Another former catcher, Ausmus recently had an interview with the Boston Red Sox for their managing job, and he reportedly knocked it out of the park. The Sox decided to go in another direction, but it’s just a matter of time before Ausmus gets his chance as a big league manager. He currently works for the San Diego Padres, and he managed team Israel in the preliminary round of the World Baseball Classic earlier this year. Like Redmond, he is very well respected and young. He’s just 43 years old.
Bryan Price- If the Marlins look for a guy with plenty of MLB coaching experience, they may look to current Reds pitching coach Bryan Price. Price has been a major league coach for over a decade, spending time with the Mariners and Diamondbacks before joining Cincinnati. He’s 50 years old and has worked under Dusty Baker since 2009. He was a name that was considered last season before Guillen was hired by the Marlins.
Rich Renteria- Marlins fans recognize this name. He was an original Marlin in 1993, and he actually managed in the Marlins minor league system for three seasons after his playing career was done. He’s 51 years old and currently the bench coach for the San Diego Padres. If managing experience is important to the Marlins, Renteria could be the way to go.
Other names to consider include a couple more former catchers; Sandy Alomar Jr and Tony Pena. Alomar is currently the bench coach for the Cleveland Indians, and most fans will remember we was a star catcher with that team. Meantime, Pena is the bench coach for the New York Yankees. He was a major league catcher, and more importantly, he managed in the big leagues with the Royals and won the AL manager of the year award in 2003. Former major league 3rd baseman Tim Wallach is also a candidate. He’s currently the 3rd base coach for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
One other name to consider is Jeffrey Loria. Okay, I’m kidding. But maybe I shouldn’t be. He doesn’t seem to be happy with any manager, so he may as well try it himself. That way he’d no one left to blame.