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BASEBALL PLAYOFFS | AMERICAN LEAGUE | AROUND THE MAJORS

Marlins fire, and hire, a manager

October 04, 2006|From the Associated Press

Once the runner-up to Joe Girardi for the job of managing the Florida Marlins, Fredi Gonzalez became his successor Tuesday.

The Marlins fired Girardi, and five hours later announced that he'd be replaced by Gonzalez, third base coach for the Atlanta Braves the last four years. Girardi's departure after only one season had been expected after his rift with owner Jeffrey Loria boiled over in an on-field confrontation two months ago.

Gonzalez, 42, interviewed with the Marlins a year ago after Jack McKeon resigned. Instead they hired Girardi, but his relationship with Loria and General Manager Larry Beinfest soon soured.

The cost-conscious Marlins wanted Girardi out so badly they were willing to let him go with two years left on a guaranteed three-year contract, which may cost them as much as $1.5 million. The Marlins made the move even though Girardi is considered a strong candidate for NL manager of the year.

Girardi said he was fired during a short, unemotional meeting in his office with Beinfest, assistant general manager Mike Hill and team President David Samson.

"They came in and said, 'We're going to make a change,' " Girardi said. He said no reason was given, and he didn't ask for one.

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Besides Gonzalez, Atlanta Manager Bobby Cox said that longtime bench coach Pat Corrales would not be back with the team next season and that bullpen coach Bobby Dews would return in a different role next season.

New to the staff will be bench coach Chino Cadahia, third base coach Brian Snitker and bullpen coach Eddie Perez, the former Braves catcher.

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Washington released six pitchers: right-handers Brian Lawrence, Pedro Astacio, Ryan Drese, Felix Rodriguez and Zach Day, and left-hander Joey Eischen.... Boston sent outfielder Adam Stern to Baltimore, completing the trade that brought catcher Javy Lopez to Boston in August.... Cleveland picked up the options for 2007 on pitcher Jake Westbrook and utilityman Casey Blake and declined the option on baseman Aaron Boone.

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The Philadelphia Phillies did not renew the contract of three coaches: first base coach Marc Bombard, third base coach Bill Dancy and bench coach Gary Varsho.

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Detroit police were interviewing witnesses to find out what happened between Tigers pitcher Kenny Rogers and a man who filed a complaint against him after an incident near Comerica Park. Rogers was driving near the ballpark after Saturday night's loss when a man started beating on Rogers' car, Detroit police spokeswoman Yvette Walker said.

She said Rogers got out and exchanged words with the man, who wanted an autograph. The man told officers that Rogers grabbed him, but multiple witnesses said there was no physical contact, Walker said.

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