Rodriguez gets formal interview
MIAMI -- Florida interim manager Edwin Rodriguez will still be with the Marlins when they open a three-game series in his native Puerto Rico on Monday.
He just doesn't know what job he'll have.
The Marlins gave Rodriguez a formal interview Saturday, the latest part of their ongoing quest to find a permanent replacement for Fredi Gonzalez, who was fired Wednesday after 3½ seasons. Bobby Valentine is still thought to be the front-runner for the job, and Rodriguez wasn't told when the Marlins will make a decision.
"They have to do what they have to do," Rodriguez said.
Valentine did not interview Saturday. It's not clear if he will speak to the Marlins again before the team leaves for San Juan after Sunday's game in Miami against San Diego.
Another coaching shakeup was announced about an hour after the interview ended, with the team announcing that first base coach Dave Collins had resigned -- a possible sign that the next manager, whomever he is, may want to bring in his own staff.
Rodriguez met with the team's top four officials -- owner Jeffrey Loria, president David Samson, president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest and general manager Mike Hill -- in Beinfest's office for about 45 minutes. Rodriguez wasn't sure Friday if he would even need to interview, saying the team already knew his thoughts, but Hill extended the invitation for a sit-down talk anyway.
The Marlins have said they will not comment on specific interviews.
"I think I got my point across," said Rodriguez, who remains, officially anyway, the manager of Florida's Triple-A club in New Orleans. "I think the bottom line, they got to know me better. We've been talking some the last three days, but they got more information, more feel for what I think."
The Marlins have spoken with Valentine at least twice, including not long after making the decision to fire Gonzalez on Wednesday morning. Valentine -- who has been mentioned as a possible Marlins hire for the past several months -- said the sides are "in the process" and has indicated that the search could take longer than first expected.
"I told them, if their decision was against me in this process, I'm an organizational guy. I will go wherever they send me," Rodriguez said. "I'll do the same job with the same intensity and dedication."
Just getting a chance to go to Puerto Rico is a huge deal for Rodriguez.
His current home is about five minutes away from the ballpark in San Juan where the Marlins will "host" the New York Mets starting Monday. Ticket sales have been brisk, bolstered further in recent days by the likelihood that Rodriguez -- the first Puerto Rican native to manage in the majors -- would be leading the Marlins.
Rodriguez said no matter what happens, he's appreciative of both the chance to be an interim manager and being some part of the trip to San Juan.
"They already showed me, doing that, that they had confidence in my abilities," Rodriguez said.
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press
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