Mike Redmond was slightly insulted the first time the Marlins approached him about working for the organization as a coach.
It was 1998, and Redmond was a 27-year-old rookie catcher trying to establish his playing career after the Marlins' first fire sale. When someone in the organization suggested he might be better off as a minor-league coach, Redmond politely declined.
After gutting out a 13-year career as a backup catcher, including a 1998-2004 stint with the Marlins, Redmond might be ready to return to Miami as the team's newest manager.
Redmond appears to be the front-runner to succeed Ozzie Guillen, who was fired Tuesday after guiding the Marlins to a 69-93 record this year in his only season as the team's manager. The Marlins received permission from the Toronto Blue Jays to talk to Redmond, who was interviewing with the Marlins on Wednesday night.
Redmond, 41, guided the Class A Dunedin Blue Jays to a 78-55 record in the Florida State League this year, his only season managing at any level.
The Marlins also are considering Cincinnati Reds pitching coach Bryan Price, who has strong ties with Larry Beinfest, Miami's president of baseball operations, from their days with the Seattle Mariners.
Another possibility is Tim Wallach, the third base coach for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Former All-Star third baseman Mike Lowell, another ex-Marlin who has been mentioned as a possible replacement for Guillen, confirmed that he "is not interested in managing or coaching at this time."
If the Marlins go with Redmond, who played on the team's 2003 World Series championship team, they will need to offset his inexperience with a strong coaching staff.
Bringing back infield coach Perry Hill would be a huge help. Hill, who's expected to return to Miami, knows Redmond.
Redmond, a .287 career hitter, was popular in the Marlins' clubhouse during his playing days. In 2003, he tried to help the team snap out of a losing streak by going into the batting cage and taking batting practice wearing only a pair of cleats.
Some Marlins players already know about Redmond's reputation for connecting with players.
"You have to go out and regroup yourself because whoever comes in doesn't know who I am from Adam,'' said outfielder Justin Ruggiano, who was a favorite of Guillen's this year.
"Jose Reyes and Giancarlo Stanton and Mark Buehrle, those guys are fairly established. But for the rest of us young (players), we need to go out there and prove ourselves and do it in front of a new manager again who hasn't seen me play all year.''
As for what kind of manager the Marlins want, baseball operations President Larry Beinfest offered a broad canvas.
"We are looking for a guy can extract the most out of our talent, to know how to hit their hot buttons, to bring them back when they are down and when they are struggling, to have good, solid communication with the front office and with ownership on a plan and we are all working together and everybody is buying in toward a final goal of winning,'' he said.
"At times we have done a better job of identifying that individual and at other times we haven't. We're going to try to find the right guy this time and move forward.''
The Marlins will give strong consideration to a candidate with minimal managerial experience.
"I think we are open to everything,'' Beinfest said. "If you have a good smart baseball person and they are adaptable and they have good people skills, they can absolutely go right into that job.''
Some Marlins players weren't happy to that Guillen got fired.
Marlins pitcher Ricky Nolasco fired off a profanity-laced tweet Tuesday -- "U gotta be (expletive) (expletive) me'' -- then removed the tweet within 30 minutes.
Nolasco and outfielders Giancarlo Stanton and Bryan Petersen spent time with Guillen in Spain over the weekend, according to photos posted on twitter.
Ruggiano said he has spoken to many teammates and the consensus is that none was shocked by the firing because of the rumors that had simmered since September.
"I didn't really think he would get fired but some things were going to change. They chose to go a different route. I wish Ozzie the best and I hope whoever comes in here next is someone who will lead us in the right direction,'' he said.
"That was totally the front office's decision and I think we all respect their decision,'' he said.
Ruggiano said he doubted any of his teammates faulted Guillen for the team's performance this year.
"I think we just underachieved for him. You hate to see someone get the boot for a team that underachieved because he's not the one out there,'' Ruggiano said.
"We are professionals. It doesn't take motivational speeches, it doesn't take anything other from him except writing the lineup. We should be able to be able to go out there and self-motivate and play as professionals.''
As for Guillen, he addressed his firing in a series of tweets late Tuesdaylast night, both in Spanish and in English. In one tweet he said: Here are his English tweets, including the typos.
"Thanks to my family and great friends for there support my kids mi wife and all my boys"
"to the fans that support me and for those who are happy as well mu love and respect to you as well"
"In life there are worst things and I have experienced them I have lived through bad moments and I will get through this with support"
"Better things will come or worst things but they will come. Thanks a lot for the support in this difficult time but not the worst"
"im fine with the people that I love with my head held up high real high"
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