Gonzalez Returning to Miami Marlins as Third-Base Coach

Fredi Gonzalez is returning to Miami…

The 52-year-old former professional baseball player and Major League Baseball manager, who was let go from the team in 2010, will return as the Miami Marlins‘ third-base coach, president of baseball operations Michael Hill confirmed Tuesday.

Fredi Gonzalez

Gonzalez was the Marlins’ manager from 2007-10. He finished with a 276-279 record and is atop the Marlins’ all-time list for managerial victories.

The Marlins were 35-36 on June 24, 2010, when owner Jeffrey Loria decided to fire Gonzalez. Loria had expressed playoffs-or-bust expectations in spring training and said “we can do better and be better” when he fired Gonzalez.

Gonzalez and Loria exchanged barbs after he was fired.

In 2012, Gonzalez told the Miami Herald that “there’s not a manager dead or alive that Jeffrey Loria thinks is good enough.” Loria responded by calling Gonzalez’s comments “classless” and saying he was a “colossal failure” as the Marlins’ manager.

In 2011, Gonzalez was named the Atlanta Braves‘ manager, replacing Bobby Cox. He posted a 434-413 record, with two playoff appearances, in Atlanta before he was fired on May 19, after the Braves started the season 9-28.

Gonzalez replaces Lenny Harris as the third-base coach. The Marlins announced after the season that Harris, hitting coach Barry Bonds and bullpen coach Reid Cornelius would not return to manager Don Mattingly‘s staff in 2017.

Mike Pagliarulo was announced as Bonds’ replacement as hitting coach. Pagliarulo was a teammate of Mattingly’s with the New York Yankees from 1984-89.

Pagliarulo will work with assistant hitting coach Frank Menechino, who was with the club last season.

The Marlins haven’t yet named a replacement for Cornelius.

Guillen Named Marlins Manager

It’s official! Ozzie Guillen will be leaving Chicago’s South Side and moving to South Beach, where he’ll lead the Florida Marlins.

“It’s a big, big step in my career, a new chapter,” says the Venezuela-born former Major League Baseball player about being named the Marlins’ new manager. “Hopefully I can bring energy, flavor and enthusiasm, but the most important thing is a winning team.”

The announcement didn’t come completely out of left field. Shortly after stepping down as manager of the Chicago White Sox, Guillen’s website leaked news that he’d agreed to become the Marlins’ manager. The post was quickly removed, but not before the word was out.

After a successful career as a player—including earning American League Rookie of the Year and All-Star honors—Guillen moved into coaching. In 2004, he became the manager of the White Sox and brought the team its first World Series championship in 88 years, becoming the first Hispanic manager in major league history to win a World Series.

Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria, who wanted an experience a manager to replace 80-year-old Jack McKeon, hopes Guillen can lead the team to the World Series after a disappointing last-place finish this season.

“I think we can turn it around next year,” says Loria, who signed Guillen to a four-year contract. “When you have a — for lack of a better word — category five manager, it’s going to happen.”

Meanwhile, the team will be moving to a new ballpark near the city’s downtown area, where they’ll become the Miami Marlins.