Despite reports, rumours, and photoshops that indicated otherwise, Jeffrey Loria will not be hiring ESPN analyst Bobby Valentine to manage the Marlins for the second half of 2010. Instead, J-Lo will play the hand he was dealt, sticking with former New Orleans Zephyrs manager Edwin Rodriguez, because why not, amirite?
Ending a week of speculation, the Marlins decided to give Edwin Rodriguez - the interim manager they summoned to replace Fredi Gonzalez - the chance to continue leading the team for the remainder of the season. Loria told Rodriguez he was hired about 30 minutes before the game, told the team just before the first pitch, and the inspired Marlins went on to beat the New York Mets 7-6.
"It gives everybody peace of mind," left fielder Chris Coghlan said.
It doesn't give bloggers, peace of mind, Chrissy. Bobby Valentine is comedy gold for sports blogs! And with him ghettoized on ESPN's Baseball Tonight, a show that nobody with access to MLB Network should ever, ever watch, we're stuck waiting until another managerial job opens up before Bobby V. can rear his surgically-stretched face again.
Good for Edwin Rodriguez, though, the first Puerto Rican manager in the big leagues and certainly a dude who is appreciated by the Florida players. The whole announcement is extra special for Rodriguez with the Marlins playing the Mets in Puerto Rico this week. What a homecoming! It'd be like the the Tampa Bay Rays announcing a contract extension for Joe Maddon while playing a weekend series in the wine department of the Tribeca Whole Foods.
But what of Bobby Valentine? What caused Loria and team pres-o-dent David Samson to sour on the self-proclaimed inventor of wrap sandwiches? Was there a problem buying out Bobby V's contract with ESPN? Could the two parties not agree on money? Contract length? Or did something more sinister happen, like the composing of a paragraph entirely out of questions?
Perhaps Loria realized that he could save a few sheckels by staying with the in-house guy. After all, he'll need all the money to fight off the PETA lunatics.