Just got off the phone with Edwin Rodriguez, who is home in Puerto Rico and sounding like he's already itching for the start of spring training. "It's only the second week (of the offseason) and I'm bored already," Rodriguez said.
I suggested a couple of books (Jonathan Franzen's "Freedom" and Peter Carey's "Parrot and Olivier in America") when we turned to the real issue at hand, specifically, his uncertain future with the Marlins. As the Marlins go about their search for a permanent manager, with Bobby Valentine removing his name from the cast of contenders on Wednesday after reportedly being offered the job, Rodriguez and the coaching staff sit in limbo.
Rodriguez, who was told he would be considered for the full-time job after taking over for ousted manager Fredi Gonzalez in June on an interim basis, said he hasn't heard a word from the front office since the season ended.
"I don't know if that's good or bad," he said.
Rodriguez very much wants a chance to manage the Marlins from start to finish, from the first day of spring training to the final out of the season. And he would prefer a multi-year contract like those given to other new managers.
"I just need a shot to go through a whole spring training and show them," said Rodriguez, who guided the Marlins to a 46-46 record after taking over on June 23. "I have to show to the Marlins, and to the baseball world, what I'm capable of doing."
That means, Rodriguez said, that even if the Marlins offer him only a one-year deal, he would likely accept knowing that he could be replaced at the end of 2011 with someone like Ozzie Guillen, who is coveted by the Marlins but remains tied to his contract with the Chicago White Sox. The White Sox hold a club option on Guillen for 2012.
Still, the way Rodriguez looks at it, one year is better than no years at all.
"The way I see it, they gave me, in June, a one-day tryout. That was June 23. And then they extended that to a week. And when we came to Puerto Rico, they extended it to the rest of the season. They took a gamble, so I'm willing to take a gamble. So, yeah, if they offered me a one-year deal, I'm confident I could do the job. I would take that challenge. I have to take the chance. And if the team has a good season, if I take the team to the playoffs with the staff, that's even better. Now I would feel like I'd be in the driver's seat."