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Marlins fire manager Fredi Gonzalez

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Sports Network
6/23/2010 10:56:47 AM
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Baltimore, MD (Sports Network) - The Florida Marlins have fired manager Fredi Gonzalez, along with bench coach Carlos Tosca and hitting coach Jim Presley.

The Marlins have also named Edwin Rodriguez, manager of the club's Triple-A affiliate in New Orleans, interim manager. Brandon Hyde becomes the bench coach and John Mallee takes over hitting coach duties, both on an interim basis.

Gonzalez was in his fourth season as manager for the club, having taken over in 2007, when Florida went 71-91. The Marlins improved under Gonzalez in the next two seasons, recording 84 wins in 2008 and 87 last year.

Florida defeated Baltimore 7-5 on Wednesday and improved to 35-36 this season, but sit in fourth place in the National League East.

Reports indicate Bobby Valentine will interview with the Marlins this weekend for their managerial opening. Valentine last managed in the majors with the Mets in 2002.

"It is never easy to make a change in managers," said Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria said in a statement. "Fredi has been with our Club for four years. We have become close, and I am extremely fond of Fredi. I, along with all our fans, am grateful for Fredi's contributions. At the same time, we can't let personal feelings get in the way of taking steps that we believe are necessary to improve our ballclub.

"Decisions on individual personnel cannot supercede our overall goal, which is to win. We believe we can do better and be better. We owe it to our fans to put this team in the best possible position to win. Everyone knows how I feel about winning. That's the reason we're making this change."

The season has been an up-and-down one for the Marlins, who have not won or lost more than four in a row. Additionally, in May, Gonzalez removed star shortstop Hanley Ramirez from a game because of an apparent lack of effort, then benched him for the following contest. But it is unclear if that played any part in Gonzalez's firing.

Rodriguez takes over the managing duties after spending the last 1 1/2 years as manager for New Orleans. He has also managed the Marlins' Single-A affiliate and their Gulf Coast League team.

Hyde, who managed for six years in the Marlins' minor league system, was in his first season as the team's minor league infield coordinator. Mallee has spent the last nine seasons as the organization's minor league hitting coordinator.

Fredi Gonzalez (Photo: Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
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