Rodriguez to helm Marlins in Puerto Rico
Interim manager grew up near stadium where team will play
MIAMI -- Edwin Rodriguez will be managing the Marlins when they head to Puerto Rico, where he was born, for the start of a three-game series against the Mets on Monday, Florida owner Jeffrey Loria confirmed before Sunday's 4-2 loss to the Padres.
"After that," Loria said, "we'll see. It's still a process."
Rodriguez grew up about five minutes away from San Juan's Hiram Bithorn Stadium -- "five minutes with traffic," he clarified Sunday -- but he'll be staying at the team hotel for the series.
"Although I'm closer to the field from my house than my hotel," Rodriguez said. "I'm staying at the hotel because there's going to be so much going on there, it's going to be easier for me if I stay there."
The trip means a lot of ticket requests for Rodriguez, who knew of about 25 already but said there could be many more.
"The true friends haven't been calling me for tickets," Rodriguez said. "They just say they're going to be there."
With Rodriguez being the first Puerto Rico native to manage in the big leagues, the trip will be special for more than just Rodriguez, his family and his close friends -- it'll be memorable for the whole island.
"I'm just excited to go there and share this moment with the country," Rodriguez said.
"For many, many years, baseball people in Puerto Rico, they were questioning who's going to be the first. And not only who, [but] when that's going to happen. So, regardless of who's going to be the first, it was a matter of when. And I think that's why I think it's so important for the country of Puerto Rico."
Rodriguez, formerly the manager in Triple-A New Orleans, took over on an interim basis Wednesday when the club dismissed Fredi Gonzalez and had a formal sit-down interview with the Marlins' brass on Saturday. He said on Sunday morning that there has been no follow-up since.