|What, me, manage?|
This is, in a word, insane. Jennings hasn't managed since he was wrangling high school kids in the 80s, and while I'm not a huge fan of the "you had to play the game to know how to coach it" school of thought, there are limits. This has the potential to get very ugly, very fast, especially if the clubhouse tunes out the suit who's sitting where Redmond used to be. (Then again, he's the GM and he negotiates contracts. Maybe we'll see massive sucking up instead.)
Now the Marlins are saying all the right things - sort of kind of. They claim a hire had to be named RIGHT NOW (unlike pretty much any other managerial hiring in history) and so Jennings was the best qualified internal candidate (never mind all the coaches and minor league managers) and while they would have loved to have interviewed more candidates, particularly minority ones, there just wasn't time if they didn't want their GM to get snapped up to manage another team which of course no other team would do in a million years.
No, the suspicion around many parts is that Loria fired Redmond and realized that he was now paying two guys not to manage. And seeing as Loria loves his money like he loves few other things (the money of the taxpaying citizens of the greater Miami area being the only one that leaps to mind), he decided he was going to dunk Jennings - already under contract - into the role so he wouldn't have to pay a third manager.
That being said, it seems a shame that Loria went immediately for his GM as a replacement. There were any number of other possibilities lurking around the Marlins' organization who could also have served, and might have benefitted from a more lengthy search process. Consider:
- Well-regarded veteran first base coach Perry Hill
- Well-regarded veteran pitching coach Chuck Hernandez
- New Orleans Zephyrs manager Andy Haines, with nearly a decade of minor league managerial experience
- A-ball hitting coach for the Greensboro Grasshoppers Luis Quinones, whom I have roughly 3000 baseball cards of
- Former franchise legend Ivan Rodriguez
- Former legendary baseball player who briefly was a Marlin Andre Dawson
- Franchise mascot Billy the Marlin
- The late naturalist and TV show host Marlin Perkins, who's working cheap these days
- The rotating dolphin sculpture in center field
- The beer vendor who works section 19
- Some guy they caught hanging around the stadium trying to cadge tickets
- Lori himself, though he's probably the least qualified candidate of the lot. And that includes the sculpture.