MIAMI, Fla. – South Amboy native Jack McKeon has once again been called upon to manage the Florida Marlins.
McKeon, 80, takes over as the interim manager following the surprise resignation of Edwin Rodriguez on Sunday. At the time Rodriguez announced his decision, the Marlins had plummeted to last place in the National League East, with a 1-17 record in the month of June.
The Marlins are hoping that McKeon can help them restore order and avoid a historically bad month. The 1988 Baltimore Orioles hold the dubious record, winning just one game and losing 22 in April. The 1916 Philadelphia Athletics were 2-28 in the month of July.
The Marlins will conduct a full-scale search for a new manager for 2012, but McKeon will complete this season. He has been a special assistant to owner Jeffrey Loria since stepping out of the dugout at the end of 2005.
McKeon had previously managed the Marlins from 2003 through 2005. He won a World Series title and the National League Manager of the Year award in 2003. McKeon has a lifetime managerial record of 1011-940 over 15 seasons in the major leagues, and is one of only six active managers with more than 1,000 wins.
The octogenarian McKeon became the second oldest manager in baseball history. Philadelphia Athletics owner Connie Mack managed the team for 50 seasons, stepping down at the end of 1950 at the age of 87. When McKeon made his managerial debut with the Kansas City Royals in 1973, none of the players on the Marlins roster had been born yet.
The Marlins’ slump coincides with struggles of Hanley Ramirez, their best offensive player, who had just three hits in the month of June at the time of Rodriguez’s resignation. Their best pitcher, Josh Johnson, has been on the disabled list since the middle of May.
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