The Ozzie Guillen experiment has failed in Miami, and the Marlins couldn’t have chosen to go in a more different direction with their new manager if they had tried. After a year of turmoil with outspoken manager Ozzie Guillen, the Marlins have hired soft spoken former catcher Mike Redmond to be the ballclub’s new skipper.
Redmond was one of the most liked players in the locker rooms he spent time in during his 12 year career. A large part of that career was spent behind the plate in Miami, as Redmond served as a Marlins catcher from 1998-2004, winning a World Series with the team in 2003. Redmond then spent four years with the Minnesota Twins backing up Joe Mauer before finishing his career with the Indians.
But although he never flourished as a starting catcher, Redmond is a highly touted manager who is in his third year of managing, and will make the Marlins job his first big league job since retiring as a member of the Cleveland Indians in 2010. But the Marlins aren’t worried about Redmond’s first time manager status, as his 155-115 record with the Blue Jays A-ball team is all the eveidence they need he’ll lead the organization in the right direction, i.e. away from Guillen.
“Red fits what they’re looking for in terms of his voice and the teaching aspect of it,” former teammate Cliff Floyd said. “You know you’re not going to get the lip of Ozzie. I’m an Ozzie fan. It’s real hard to manage and win and be able to say what he’s said. I think Ozzie definitely gets back in the game. But they’re looking for stability. And they’re looking for one voice.”
Floyd recalls that even though Redmond never held a starting catching job, he was a team player nonetheless, and understood his role on the teams he was on. From backing up Ivan Rodriguez to Joe Mauer, Redmond filled in when he was asked to, and was a soothing locker room voice no matter what.
“Red knew exactly what his role was. I never said anything (bad),” recalled Floyd, a longtime teammate. “When (Charles Johnson) needed a break, when it was hot as hell, he’d play on those Sunday afternoons or against the tough righty or lefty. Red never bitched about anything. He was also wore out lefties. He was one of those rare guys who talked about strategy all the time. And he used every bit of ability in him.”
Redmond beat out other possible candidates in Larry Bowa, Luis Gonzalez, Lloyd McClendon and Bryan Price. But the Marlins clearly had Redmond in mind for a long time, and it didn’t take long for them to snatch him away from the Blue Jays, who are themselves currently looking for a manager.
“He’s a quality baseball guy, a former catcher that has really taken to managing,” said Blue Jays VP Tony Lacava. “I think he has a great future and the Marlins really made a great choice.”