« Strickland has unique perspective on candidates | Main | Valentine or Rodriguez Would Make For Puerto Rican Intrigue »

Rodriguez, first Puerto Rican-born manager, wins debut

BALTIMORE -- Edwin Rodriguez said being promoted to Marlins interim manager was "bittersweet" because it cost friend Fredi Gonzalez his job. His first win as the first Puerto Rican to manage in the big leagues? That tasted a lot better.

Rodriguez said he was handed a game-ball from first baseman Gaby Sanchez, a bottle of champagne from Marlins management and the winning lineup card after Florida was able to rally for a 7-5 win against the Orioles Wednesday night.

"Definitely a very good win, especially in a close game," Rodriguez said. "We got clutch hits, aggressive base running. Great bounce back by Ricky Nolasco. He bounced back. Great pitching by Brian Sanches and Leo Nunez late in the game. The victory is a way better feeling [than being called up to manage from Triple A. The game was pretty much the same. I felt like I was managing a regular game."

Rodriguez, who has been in the Marlins system for eight years, has no illusions about his future. He knows he's just a candidate in what likely will be a short search for a new manager. At this point, it seems like unless ESPN analyst Bobby Valentine balks, Rodriguez will probably be back in the minor leagues soon.

"I might be here a day, I might be here a week, I might be here a month, who knows?" Rodriguez said before the game. "I'm just here enjoying the moment and I expressed that to the players and the team. At the meeting, they were pretty much on the same page I was, kind of bittersweet. They all love Fredi for the kind of person he is... but we know we have to move on and win games."