MIAMI -- After Ozzie Guillen's dismissal Tuesday, the Marlins are looking to fill the managerial vacancy quickly. But who will that be?
The next skipper in Miami would be the organization's fifth since 2010, and speculation has already begun regarding the type of manager that owner and CEO Jeffrey Loria wants for his club. The team wasted no time, bringing in Mike Redmond for an interview on Wednesday night.
Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest detailed a list of qualities that he would like in a manager, but he was clear which attribute would be most important.
"We're looking to win games," Beinfest said. "I think we're looking for what everybody is looking for, and that is a guy to extract the most out of our talent, to know how to hit their hot buttons, to bring them back when they're down and struggling, to have good communication with the front office and ownership, and have a plan that we're all working together and buying into.
"At the end of the day, it's all about winning," Beinfest said. "We're looking for a winner. All of those things are important. At times, we've done a better job of finding that individual and other times we haven't. We're going to try to find the right guy this time and move forward."
There have been questions about whether the managerial turnover in Miami will affect future candidates, but Beinfest does not believe that will be an issue.
"I really don't think so," Beinfest said. "There are 30 Major League managing jobs. We have a lot of things going for us here. We have this beautiful new building. We have some really good, young talent. I would think that this would be really attractive to a lot of people."
In the past, teams have typically interviewed candidates with prior managerial experience. However, the Cardinals (Mike Matheny) and White Sox (Robin Ventura) are two examples of teams who had success this past season after hiring skippers with no previous managerial experience.
While experience could be a factor in whom the Marlins hire, Beinfest would not rule out looking at someone similar to Matheny and Ventura.
"I think we're open to everything," Beinfest said. "I think if you have a good, smart baseball person and they're adaptable and have good people skills that they could absolutely go right into that job."
So what are the Marlins' options? Redmond is considered to be a frontrunner, but there will likely be a few interviews before they decide. Below you will find three groups of potential managerial candidates -- some more realistic than others --who could be considered by the Marlins as they search for the franchise's new on-field leader.
The Up-and-Coming Group
Sandy Alomar Jr.
Alomar Jr. has been a hot name recently. The six-time All Star and 1990 American League Rookie of the Year is considered one of the brightest future managers in the game. Alomar took over for Manny Acta in Cleveland and managed the final six games of the season, going 3-3. He interviewed for the Indians' managerial opening before taking a position as bench coach on Terry Francona's staff. Alomar is rumored to be a candidate for Toronto's managerial vacancy.
Bogar is a former Major League shortstop that many expect to be a big league manager very soon. A career National Leaguer as a player, Bogar spent this past season as bench coach with the Red Sox. He has managed the Double-A Akron Aeros, as well as the Lexington Legends and the Greeneville Astros. The 45-year-old has been considered for several big league managerial openings in recent years.
Marlins fans know Espada, who has been the team's third-base coach since 2010 and has coached in the organization for the past seven seasons. Espada has never managed at any level but has expressed interest in becoming a Major League skipper some day. He will get his first opportunity to manage soon, as he will lead the Atenienses de Manati in the Puerto Rican Winter League.
The former big league outfielder has been Joe Maddon's bench coach with Tampa Bay since the 2008 season. Martinez is considered by many in baseball to be a future manager. The 48-year-old has interviewed for several managerial openings in the past few years but has yet to land a job running a team. As long as Martinez is considered a managerial prospect, his name will continue to arise with every managerial vacancy.
Price has been the Reds' pitching coach since 2009. Prior to joining Cincinnati's staff, the Marlins showed interest in Price for their coaching staff. Price has also interviewed for the Marlins' managerial vacancy in recent years. The 50-year-old has yet to land a job with Miami, but that could change soon, as the Marlins are searching for someone who has experience with winning clubs. Price has been the pitching coach for D-backs and Reds teams that have reached the postseason.
Marlins fans may remember Redmond as the backup catcher on the 2003 World Series team. The 41-year-old played with the club from 1998-2004 before moving on to the Twins and Indians. After retiring in '10, Redmond managed in the Toronto farm system. He began his managerial career leading the Class A Lansing Lugnuts in '11 before being promoted to guide the Class A Advanced Dunedin Blue Jays last season. Redmond's familiarity with the Marlins' ownership and front office could be beneficial to him if they decide to look at a candidate without big league managerial experience.
Wallach was present when the Marlins played their first game, and he could be leading them when they play their next one. The 55-year-old started at third base for the Dodgers on April 5, 1993. Now, Wallach is the third-base coach for the Dodgers, but he has proven himself as a manager in the Minors. Wallach was named the 2009 Pacific Coast League manager of the year and was named Baseball America's "Best Manager Prospect" that same year. He interviewed for the Boston vacancy this month before John Farrell was named manager.
The Established Managers
Manny Acta (372-518, .418 winning percentage)
Acta has managed the Nationals and Indians over the last six seasons. The 43-year-old has not had much success with either club and has never posted a winning mark. His best season came in 2011, when he guided the Indians to an 80-82 record that resulted in a surprise second-place finish in the American League Central. The Dominican native has a reputation of relating well to his players, especially those from Latin America.
Jim Fregosi (1,028-1,094, .484 winning percentage)
Fregosi made six All-Star teams and won a Gold Glove in his 18-year playing career. He also has managed over 2,100 games in 15 seasons. The highlight of Fregosi's managerial career came in 1993, when he led the Phillies to the World Series against the reigning champion Blue Jays. Fregosi's club fell short of winning a World Series championship, but he is still highly respected in baseball circles. Currently a special assistant to Braves GM Frank Wren, the 70-year-old Fregosi would be a no-nonsense, old-school leader in the clubhouse and dugout.
Jim Riggleman (662-824, .445 winning percentage)
Riggleman, who most recently managed the Nationals, has skippered four clubs over 12 seasons. In 2012, he managed the Reds' Double-A affiliate, the Pensacola Blue Wahoos. He's managed superstars like Tony Gwynn, Sammy Sosa, Ichiro Suzuki and Ryan Zimmerman in his career but Riggleman, who turns 60 in November, has never had much success. The veteran manager has led a team to a winning record over a full season just once, going 90-73 with the Cubs in 1998.
Jim Tracy (856-880, .493 winning percentage)
Tracy has led his team to six winning seasons in 11 years as a manager, finishing first in the NL West as skipper of the Dodgers in 2004. Tracy was named NL Manager of the Year in '09 after he took over for Clint Hurdle in May of that season and led the Rockies to the National League Division Series. Tracy resigned as manager of the Rockies earlier this month after the team posted its worst record in franchise history.
Bobby Valentine (1,186-1,165, .504 winning percentage)
Valentine is the only manager in this group with a winning record. He has led nine teams to winning records over his 13 full seasons. While he guided the Mets to 97 wins in 1999, his best season as a manager came in 2000, when he took New York to the World Series before losing to the rival Yankees. The Marlins have considered 62-year-old Valentine multiple times in the past but have not been able to come to an agreement. Valentine and Loria are said to be friends, but Valentine's recent issues with the Red Sox -- combined with his outspoken personality and the situation the Marlins have just moved on from with Guillen -- could ultimately send the team looking elsewhere.
The Fan Favorites
Conine may be one of the few Marlins in history more popular than Mike Lowell. "Mr. Marlin" was a member of the team's inaugural roster in 1993, as well as the World Series championship teams in '97 and 2003. Marlins fans would love to see Conine, 46, guiding their team, but the two-time All-Star has always seemed content as a special assistant to team president David Samson, and Conine previously said that he was not interested in managing.
Dawson is another local product who had an outstanding playing career and has connections to the organization. "Hawk" won a Rookie of the Year Award, an NL MVP Award, made eight All-Star teams and won six Gold Gloves and four Silver Sluggers in his 21-year Hall of Fame career. Dawson's credentials speak for themselves, and the former standout at Miami Southwest High School has local ties as well. Like Conine, the 58-year-old Dawson is a special assistant with the Marlins, and he may not want to take on the responsibilities of being the club's manager.
Lowell is one of the most popular Marlins in franchise history. A key member of the 2003 World Series championship team, Lowell is one of the most successful Marlins hitters and a local product. The 38-year-old starred at Coral Gables High School and Florida International University before moving on to a 13-year big league career. A four-time All-Star, Lowell fits the mold of Matheny and Ventura as players who went from retirement into the dugout and had success. But Lowell has two young children and is currently an analyst with MLB Network. He may not be ready to return to the rigors of a 162-game season just yet. Lowell also told the Miami Herald on Tuesday that he wasn't ready for the job. "For me, managing is not on my agenda at this time. I continue to root for the Marlins and wish them great success."
Whether the Marlins hire one of the aforementioned 15 men -- or someone else -- Beinfest hopes that the organization will settle on someone who will bring a winning culture to the club for many years to come.
"We think we have good talent, but we need to find a way to reignite our winning culture," Beinfest said. "For a number of years here -- even after we won the World Series -- we found ways to overcome challenges and put winning ball clubs on the field. I think we've gotten away from that a little bit. We don't need to talk about winning divisions or winning Wild Cards or anything like that. We need to win, period. We need to have that culture here."