Marlins turn to 80-year-old former skipper

SPORTS NETWORK

, Last Updated: 3:44 PM ET

MIAMI -- The Florida Marlins have named Jack McKeon as the club's interim manager in the wake of Edwin Rodriguez's sudden resignation on Sunday.

"It's great to be back," said McKeon, who led the Marlins to the 2003 World Series title in his first go-round as skipper from 2003-05.

At age 80, McKeon will be the second-oldest manager ever in Major League Baseball history. Only Connie Mack was older at 87 when he skippered the team he owned -- the Philadelphia Athletics -- in his last season of 1950.

McKeon, then a spry 72, stepped in as Florida's manager in May of 2003 after Jeff Torborg was fired and guided the Marlins from a struggling team at 16-22 to a surprising World Series championship.

After the 2005 campaign and a then-club record 241 wins, McKeon stepped down and accepted a role as special advisor to team owner Jeffrey Loria.

"When they called and asked me back, they've been so good to me and so loyal to me, I just couldn't turn them down," McKeon added at Monday's news conference.

This time he'll take over a team that has lost 10 straight games entering Monday's series-opener against the Angels. Florida was 30-20 on May 28 and right on the heels of the NL East-leading Philadelphia Phillies before the wheels fell off. Since that time, the team is 2-20, including just one win in the month of June, and has fallen into the cellar of the NL East.

"We've been going through some tough times...but there's enough talent in that room, if we get things right, to play in October," McKeon noted. "I see this club as one that's pressing a little bit. I want them to have some fun."

Rodriguez announced his resignation prior to Sunday's game against Tampa Bay and bench coach Brandon Hyde was the acting manager for a 2-1 loss to the Rays at Tropicana Field.

McKeon is not expected to remain the manager past this season, as the club opens a new home next year.

The Marlins had winning records in each of McKeon's three seasons at the helm.

After taking over in 2003, he led the team to a 75-49 record, a wild card berth and the World Series title with a win over the Yankees. He was named the NL Manager of the Year that season, marking his second such honor as he also won the award in 1999 with Cincinnati.

"I'm not a miracle worker, but I hope some of that [2003] magic can stay with us," remarked McKeon.

The Marlins were 83-79 in each of McKeon's subsequent two years. He called it quits following the 2005 campaign with mark of 241-207 as Florida skipper.

McKeon has a career managerial record of 1,011-940. He also managed the Kansas City Royals (1973-75), Oakland (1977-78), San Diego (1988-90) and Cincinnati (1997-2000).


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