Sunday, June 19, 2011
Well that Hanley Ramirez endorsement turned out swimmingly for Edwin Rodriguez. E-Rod is out, and according to the beat writers on Twitter, the decision was Edwin's. Which could be true (because who wants to stick around for his team's tribute to the 1899 Cleveland Spiders?), but it doesn't pass the smell test.
Having seen the shitstorm that erupted when the team fired hitting coach John Mallee, do you really think Loria would summarily fire Edwin Rodriguez without at least asking him to fall on the sword himself? Regardless of what you think about Loria, the organization has been good to Rodriguez, giving him a chance to manage a big league club after promoting him 3 times in the farm system (from hitting coach at AA Carolina to manager in the Gulf Coast League, A Greensboro, and AAA New Orleans).
I know very little about Rodriguez personally, but if he felt any sense of loyalty to the organization (whether they deserve it or not), it doesn't seem out of the question that he would resign in exchange for a severance package. The move inoculates Loria from criticism (he'll get trashed, but no more so than he is already), and he'll protect his players from feelings of guilt for his exit.
The more I think about it, I am inclined to believe Rodriguez resigned so his players, many of which he coached in the minors and doubtless feel a great affinity toward him, would not feel like he was axed for their own struggles. When Logan Morrison criticized ownership for firing hitting coach John Mallee, he said Mallee's dismissal was "definitely [the players'] fault and it starts with me." Methinks Rodriguez wanted to circumvent the self-assignment of blame that would surely come with his firing. As with so many disputes involving Jeffrey Loria, it is the other party that comes out looking noble, while Loria just cements his legacy as George Steinbrenner with Less Money.™
While we're on the subject of managers, now is as good a time as any to repost our Don't Hire a Manager piece from last year. I still stand by it, unless Loria wants to hire me.