Monday, June 20, 2011

Is Edwin Rodriguez a Quitter?

The news that Florida Marlins' manager, Edwin Rodriguez, stepped down...quit...yesterday was stunning. Yes, the team is 1-18 in June. Yes, the team has seemed moribund and lifeless. Sure, Josh Johnson is out again and Hanley Ramirez is MIA. But quitting? Seriously? There is no way to know what really happened, and so all of this is simply speculation. In talking with folks on Twitter yesterday, many said that Rodriguez was going to be fired anyway and this just made it easier for everyone concerned. But if that is true, did it? For one thing, if you are fired, you still get paid. If you quit, you don't. So quitting doesn't make sense.

The standard line we are seeing is that Edwin Rodriguez didn't feel like he could get the team going. His comments the day before his decision were telling as seen in this piece here. Rodriguez seemed to be saying that guys like Josh Johnson and Hanley Ramirez should be leading the team and weren't. By stating that the team needs a veteran presence, Rodriguez is basically saying that the young players simply won't listen to the manager and have no respect for him. Isn't that what he is saying? Rodriguez is basically saying that if Hanley Ramirez doesn't get the hit, the manager gets it instead.

Logan Morrison and Gaby Sanchez both came out in support of Edwin Rodriguez. Is it telling that Hanley Ramirez had no comment? Does it say something that the erstwhile shortstop didn't want to talk about his manager? Is Hanley the fall guy here? Doesn't he always seem to be? It's one thing to be considered an "attitude problem." It's another to be that and not produce at the same time. Could Rodriguez simply have had enough of that kind of problem day in and day out? It certainly seems like a possibility.

But quitting? There was a point about twenty years ago when the Fan's employer had a problem. After giving the Fan a letter of resignation to sign, the Fan pushed it back to him. There was no way the Fan was going to make it easy for him to push the Fan aside. In other words, if you wanted to get rid of this employee, than go for it, but there is no way the Fan is going to help you do it. Falling on the sword may be a Japanese tradition, but it seems like the easy way out.

By all accounts, Edwin Rodriguez worked his entire adult life to reach the position he was in as a big league manager. Whether he had the job as a cheap stop gap until the Marlins had their new stadium or not, he reached the pinnacle of his profession. After working so long to get there, why would you quit when things got tough? Sure, you can get fired still, but there is no injury in that. It happens all the time. Getting fired in baseball does not look bad on a manager's resume. But quitting? Yeah, that looks bad. There wasn't respect for Lou Piniella's decision last year and there isn't this year for Edwin Rodriguez.

The bottom line for this Fan is that Edwin Rodriguez quit. He quit on his team when things weren't going well. Whether he thought he was the problem or even if he quit because he was going to get fired anyway, he still quit. The word is what the word is. This Fan would have respected Rodriguez if he got fired and we found out later that his team was not responding to him. But there is no respect for quitting. This Fan just can't get through that no matter how it went down.

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