Always good to be back in Miami, where I worked for three years before coming to the Cubs in 2005. I made a lot of life-long friends during my time with the Marlins, including their new manager Mike Redmond, who was Florida’s backup catcher back then. He was one of my favorite players for a lot of reasons. He was a great observer of the game, he had a long big league career after being signed as an undrafted free agent. His big league claim to fame was that he just murdered left-handed pitchers.
Check out these numbers: .438 vs Tom Glavine, .432 against Mark Buehrle, .500 off CC Sabathia. He loved to flip singles into right field off all those guys with regularity.
He was an important clubhouse guy on the 2003 World Championship team. Always looking for ways to keep things loose, he was known to take naked batting practice in the underground cage. No, that’s not a legend, it actually happened. He was never afraid to make a funny comment on the team bus to make everybody laugh and relax.
And his story-telling ability is off-the-charts. Talking baseball with Mike is something I enjoyed a lot.
The job he accepted comes with a big caveat. Yes, he’s managing in the big leagues, but he takes over a roster that is devoid of star players. The Marlins slashed their payroll after a very disappointing first year in their new ballpark and are basically starting from scratch.
You can’t win without talent, but I just hope “Red” can make it through this rebuilding period because I think he has a chance to be a very good big league manager.