Mike Redmond has been hired by the Miami Marlins as their new manager/glutton for punishment. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports first reported the news on Thursday morning and the team later confirmed it upon announcing a Friday press conference.
The 41-year-old former catcher most recently played for the Cleveland Indians in 2010, but will replace Ozzie Guillen holding a strong Marlins pedigree. He was drafted by the franchise in 1992 before it had ever played a game and served with the big-league club from 1998 to 2004. He also played with the Minnesota Twins for five seasons before finishing his career in Cleveland.
For the past two seasons, he managed in Lansing and Dunedin for the Toronto Blue Jays minor-league organization. Redmond, however, was not mentioned as a candidate for the open Jays managing job. (The Jays and Rockies now own the only two vacant managing jobs in baseball.)
The news of Redmond's hiring elicited a message of support from Guillen, his predecessor who was fired by the Marlins last Tuesday:
congrats mike redmond for u new job good luck buddy u have great guys going to play for you — @OzzieGuillen
The early Twitter take on Redmond is that he's a well-liked guy with a good sense of humor (naked batting practice, anyone?) and that his team will play hard for him. It also can't hurt that he knows a thing or two about catching with young Rob Brantly expected to make a big impact in Miami over the next few years.
But Redmond's unofficial job description also contains humoring the meddlesome Jeffrey Loria/David Samson duo at best and catering to their organizational whims at worst. He'll be the team's sixth full-time manager in the past nine seasons which makes ESPN's Jerry Crasnick report of a three-year deal worthy of a chuckle. Guillen, after all, was brought in on a four-year deal before being dismissed after just one season.
Still, there are only 30 major-league managing gigs and Redmond is being given one over the likes of former major-league managers Larry Bowa and Lloyd McClendon. The team has a long way to go to improve from last season's 69-93 record and Redmond seems as good a choice as any to get the ball moving as long as his ownership lets him.