Sunday, March 9, 2014
Mike Redmond will be the first former Portland Sea Dogs player to become a major league manager.
Sea Dog catcher MIke Redmond makes contact with the ball for an out during baseball action at Hadlock Field in a game against the Canton-Akron Indians on Monday, June 3, 1996.
The Miami Marlins have called a press conference for Friday to introduce Redmond, 41, who grew up in the Marlins system before moving on to the Minnesota Twins and Cleveland Indians.
After retiring as a player in 2010, Redmond joined the Toronto Blue Jays as a minor league manager, first in the Midwest League (Lansing, Mich.) and this summer in the Florida State League (Dunedin). Lansing went 77-60 and Dunedin 78-55.
"He'll make a good one," said Carlos Tosca, Redmond's manager with the 1995 and 1996 Sea Dogs, both of whom won divisional titles, and a former major league manager himself with the Toronto Blue Jays. "I think the world of Mike. This will be my 34th year (in professional baseball) and he ranks right at the top of my list in terms of personality, of players who overachieved, who got the most out of his ability, and influenced his teammates."
Redmond returned to Portland to start the 1998 season, after spurning a spring training offer to become a minor league coach because the Marlins didn't think he had the talent to reach the majors as a catcher.
A series of injuries, trades and promotions landed Redmond in the big leagues by the end of May, and he lasted 13 seasons as a back-up catcher with a reputation for defense, handling pitchers and hitting to the opposite field.
When Tosca was interviewed by the New York Mets for a managerial opening, "They asked me what my thoughts were on their personnel," said Tosca, by phone from his home in Roswell, Ga. "I said the first thing I would do is get Mike Redmond on this team, if you're talking about changing the culture and changing the influence on a team. He's a special person."
Redmond will sign a reported three-year contract. He replaces Ozzie Guillen, fired after one season of a four-year deal.
The Marlins, coming off a disappointing 69-93 record, will make Redmond their fifth manager since early 2010, when they fired Fredi Gonzalez, another Sea Dogs alumnus. Gonzalez had replaced Joe Girardi; both guided their current teams – the Braves and Yankees – to the playoffs this season.
Tosca currently serves as the bench coach for Gonzalez in Atlanta, the same roles they played with the Marlins.
"He'll land on his feet if the same fate happens to him that's happened to everybody else who's been there," Tosca said. "At least he'll be able to show the world what he's capable of doing. Girardi did that and Fredi did that. Good for them, and good for him, because he's special. He's cut out of a different cloth."