Mike Redmond, a native of Spokane, had not interviewed for a big league job until he met with the Marlins last week. He’ll be introduced as their fifth manager since early 2010 at a news conference at Marlins Park Friday.
“I am not surprised at all,” current Gonzaga University baseball head coach Mark Machtolf, who recruited and coached Redmond his first season at GU, said. “If you would have told me 15 years ago, then maybe I would be surprised. As his career unfolded and he showed interest in managing I knew he would succeed. He deserves this opportunity and will do great with it.”
Redmond will replace Ozzie Guillen who was fired last week after only one season with the Marlins.
“This hire speaks volumes about him as a person,” Machtolf said. “They value him highly to make this with his limited managing experience. No question he will be successful. I see no reason why he cannot manage in the big leagues for 20 years.
“This also speaks highly of the program and the players coming in and out of Gonzaga and the roles they continue to have in the sport, whether as a player or a coach. This bodes well how we prepare our players once they leave Gonzaga,” Machtolf said.
Redmond played for the Zags from 1990-93 along with his twin brother Pat. At the time, the baseball program was a member of the Pacific-10 Conference.
Once he was on campus it was immediately clear Redmond would be a leader for the program.
“I remember him as a great competitor who had a great feel for catching and an even better feel for the game,” Machtolf reflected. “He made great strides with the bat and was always a guy who just fit in. You could tell he would be a good college player and had potential as a professional.”
During the 1991 and 1992 seasons Redmond was named first team all-conference for the Bulldogs.
“Players always gravitated towards Mike,” Machtolf said. “It was fairly obvious he was a tough competitor and combined with his ability to relax will really help him as a manager.”
Redmond would go on to play as a major leaguer for 13 years which included him winning a World Series title with the Florida Marlins in 2003. During his career Redmond also played for the Minnesota Twins and Cleveland Indians.
He finished his career with a .287 batting average and behind the plate he recorded 4,003 putouts, 308 assists and committed 18 errors for a .996 fielding percentage.
“He had an amazing career even though he was a backup most of the time,” Machtolf said. “However, when he played he always hit. Sometimes he would play once or twice a week but when he did he would hit in the three-hole. I never understood why teams never played him more or DH’ed him more. I was always amazed how well he was able to do even though he was not playing every day.”
Throughout his playing career one constant was his loyalty toward Gonzaga.
“He has always been a great alum,” Machtolf said. “Anytime someone from Spokane has an accomplishment like this is exciting. It bodes well for the city and the Gonzaga baseball program to have an alum like him.”
After his playing career Redmond tried his talents at managing.
In 2011 he became the manager of Toronto’s Class A Dunedin squad. He compiled a 155-115 record (.574) in his two seasons as a Minor League manager. Redmond was also named 2011 Midwest League Manager of the Year.
This year, he managed Dunedin to the Florida State League playoffs where his Blue Jays would lose to eventual-champion Lakeland.
As manager of the Marlins, Redmond will take over a revamped and young roster that will look for stability from the managerial position. He will be the fourth different manager for the Marlins on opening day over the past four seasons.
“He will be a player’s manager,” Machtolf said. “He is a tough guy but not a disciplinarian; meaning he can relate to the players really well. He was not playing too long ago so he should not have to worry about being the hard guy all the time. He will be easy to play for and players will embrace him.”