Juan Pierre, who was Redmond’s teammate in 2003 under manager Jack McKeon and is back on the team as an outfielder, said he always figured the analytical, personable catcher would one day become a manager.
“He was a funny cat, and it’s still in him, but he has to be in charge now,” Pierre said. “I’ve had all kinds — Jack, Ozzie, Joe Torre, Dusty Baker — and I think Red is a younger guy who can help the younger players so they won’t feel overwhelmed. He’s not that far removed from playing. A guy like Jack — he’s old school. He doesn’t understand iPads or iPods. Red is part of our generation.”
Larry Beinfest, Marlins president of baseball operations, said he was struck by Redmond’s “genuine” personality.
“He’s a Marlin who can reunify the organization,” Beinfest said. “I’d love to have some stability in the dugout. It was nobody’s intent to have the managerial upheaval we’ve had.”
Beinfest envisions Redmond growing with the team and sees a best-case scenario like that of Mike Matheny with the St. Louis Cardinals.
Redmond is really doing what he did as a player — directing the team on the field or from the dugout. When he wasn’t starting, he was on the bench, strategizing.
“I watched, I asked, I broke it down, I second-guessed,” he said. “I’m a hybrid of the managers I played for. Jim Leyland was good at matchups. Ron Gardenhire showed faith in his players. Jack was honest and kept the communication lines open. What I love most is interaction with the guys.”
What he’s telling his young, unknown Marlins is to have fun and focus on the upside. Who knows? If things get really bad this year, Redmond may go back into the cage, naked.
“It’s crazy already, not how we drew it up,” Redmond said of the pitching rotation alterations. “But we’re stressing opportunities. I always found a way to step up. That’s what I’m looking for.”