Even by Miami Marlins standards, owner Jeffrey Loria has been popping some crazy pills in the past 24 hours. Last night, he abruptly fired manager Mike Redmond after just 38 games. And this morning, news has leaked that Loria has chosen Dan Jennings as the replacement.
Jennings' name might ring a bell for Marlins fans — he's been the team's general manager for the past couple years. But his coaching resumé isn't exactly bursting with experience. In fact, the last time Jennings managed a baseball game was in a Mobile, Alabama high school at the height of Miami Vice mania.
Even more troubling than Loria's choice is the fact that he straight-up ignored MLB's rule requiring teams to at least consider a minority candidate for every head coaching job. That's despite the fact that some damn good African-American coaches are unemployed, including the legendary Dusty Baker.
Loria axed Redmond after the Fish narrowly avoided getting no-hit by the Atlanta Braves Sunday, losing 6-0 to drop their record to 16-22. That's certainly not where fans hoped the team might be after splashing some big cash on Giancarlo Stanton's new deal and bringing in some big names in the off-season, including lead-off man Dee Gordon.
But it continues a stunning run of instability in the clubhouse. Redmond was the club's sixth manager in six years.
Today the team will introduce a seventh: Jennings, a well-respected GM with essentially zero experience as a manager. Instead, Jennings came through the ranks as a scout before entering the front office. His last stint as a manager: at Mobile's Davidson High School in the mid-'80s.
The news has left fans and experts alike baffled.
Jennings' only coaching experience was at the HS level... 30 years ago. Makes sense, right? #Marlins— Roderick Crowley (?) (@RoderickCrowley) May 18, 2015
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Loria will have to answer questions about more than just his new manager's clear lack of experience, though. In April 1999, then-commissioner Bud Selig sent a memo to every team with a new requirement: teams must at least consider a minority candidate "for all general manager, assistant general manager, field manager, director of player development, and director of scouting positions," as Fox Sports writes this morning.
Technically, teams can skirt the rule if they promote within, so Loria probably won't face any discipline from the league for sending his GM to the dugout. But by canning Redmond and immediately hiring Jennings — both white men — Loria showed a breathtaking disregard for a rule meant to up the number of minority leadership in the league.
The team has scheduled a news conference at 11 a.m. to introduce Jennings.