Marlins Asked Bo Porter About Managing Before Sticking With Edwin Rodriguez
You know of the whole flirtation and near deal with Bobby Valentine, of course, but it seems that sticking with Rodriguez might not have even been their second choice. According to Diamondbacks third base coach Bo Porter, the Marlins asked on Tuesday if he'd be interested in becoming their manager for the rest of this season only.
"The conversation did lead to that," Porter said. "They wanted to know, if that was the case, what is your thought process? My thought process is I would want this year and next year, at the very least, to have an opportunity to go through spring training and implement my standards. I want to make one thing clear. it was not like it (the job) was offered, take it or leave it. It was just part of conversation."
After hearing Porter's response, the Marlins announced Rodriguez would be their manager for the rest of the season shortly before winning their second straight game over the Mets in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Those two victories have been just about the only pluses through this whole mess.
When Jeffrey Loria fired Gonzalez, he said it was a necessary step to improve the ballclub. Going after Valentine seemed to follow that line of thinking as the only reason you'd hire a guy like Bobby V is if you thought your team was ready to win right now and was underachieving. Valentine got a lot out of Mets teams that weren't much more talented on paper than this Marlins bunch, and his unique energy certainly creates an imprint that no other manager can make.
Similarly, hiring Porter would have sent a signal that the Marlins thought this team could win but that Gonzalez had somehow lost the ability to bring out their best. Porter was on the staff from 2007-09, knew the players and presumably convinced some people in Miami that he knew what buttons to push to get the team back in the playoff race. But telling the guy he only has until the end of the year, with a team under .500 halfway through the season, doesn't make much sense if the goal was really to improve the ballclub over the long term.
None of this is meant to impugn Rodriguez, who may turn out to be a managerial whiz in his interim stint with the Marlins. If, as rumored, the plan to hire Bobby V fell apart because of organizational in-fighting and Valentine's demands about control and salary, then you have to ask what in the world the Marlins were doing talking to him in the first place. Valentine's personality is well known, he's got a good gig with ESPN and wasn't going to leave it for a less-than-ideal situation.
Lord only knows what the Marlins have planned for the offseason. Ozzie Guillen's name has been bandied about, which actually makes sense alongside the Porter offer. The only thing that's clear is that the ballclub doesn't seem to be any better today than it was when Gonzalez was fired, an indictment of their process over the last few weeks.
Valentine had some harsh words for the Marlins on ESPN.
"If this is a major league process, I hope I'm never in the process again," he said on Baseball Tonight. "It's very disturbing, confusing and it was insulting at times, but it's over.
"This is a situation that you have to be happy for [Rodriguez]. I'm happy for him. I think it is the right decision. The players had enough turmoil. They had enough confusion. It's a young team. This is a guy that knows their team, knows their coaches. Why not make this move here in the middle of the season. A guy coming in from the outside is not going to turn this around, that's for sure. At least I believe that."