Edwin Rodriguez abruptly left the Florida Marlins yesterday. It seems the club was as surprised as the fans must have been.
If club execs are to be believed, they were not considering making a change. (Although, the fact that there is no suggestion they tried to persuade the manager to stay might be a clue to how they really felt.) The Marlins are in a horrendous stretch (1-18 in June) after a good start. Injuries have a played a role in the team's poor play.
But for Rodriguez to quit without even the hint of a push from the front office is astonishing. He had experience in the minors as a manager and last year took over the Marlins as interim manager piloting them to a 46-46 record. He was the game's first Puerto Rican-born manager.
In a statement he praised the team for playing hard. He praised the organization. But he left anyway. One story had him quoted as saying he did what was best for the team.
Maybe that's the way the world works now. Politicians (like Sarah Palin) quit midterm without so much as a thought. Maybe it's the era I grew up in, but I think it shows a lack of character. Barring health problems or a family crisis, Rodriguez should have stuck it out and fought hard to turn the team around.
He must have fought hard to put himself in position to be a major league manager. I can't imagine working that hard and then just surrendering.
If he couldn't stick it out after a bad month, maybe he wasn't cut out to be a major league manager after all. Now Marlins fans can root for Jack McKeon to turn the team around like he did in 2003.