Yesterday the Marlins lost for the 14th time in 15 games to slide into sole possession of last place in the NL East and judging from Hanley Ramirez’s comments about having Edwin Rodriguez’s “back till death” the players clearly think their manager is on the hot seat.
Team president David Samson told Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post that firing Rodriguez “is not something that I have pondered.”
He stopped well short of saying Rodriguez’s job is safe, however, as Capozzi notes that he “chose his words carefully” and “left that door open a bit” while saying:
Obviously we are going through an unprecedented bad stretch and we are disappointed. But as quickly as things have gone bad, we are hoping they can get good again. I am confident we have the ability to get out of this. We’ll just have to see how we do it. You hear this from us every year: Everyone is always evaluated every day, always.
Roughly translated, that sure seems like “we’re not ready to fire him right now, but we’re also not ruling it out if the losing continues for much longer.”
Rodriguez, who took over as manager in the middle of last year when the Marlins fired Fredi Gonzalez following back-to-back winning seasons, has gone 78-83 in one game short of a full season at the helm.
On Sunday, we learned that while the Nationals would continue to pay their minor leaguers throughout the month of June, their weekly stipend would be lowered by 25 percent, from $400 to $300. In an incredible act of solidarity, Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle and his teammates put out a statement, saying they would be covering the missing $100 from the stipends.
After receiving some criticism, the Nationals reversed course, agreeing to pay their minor leaguers their full $400 weekly stipend.
Doolittle and co. have not withdrawn their generosity. On Wednesday, Doolittle released another statement, saying that he and his major league teammates would continue to offer financial assistance to Nationals minor leaguers through the non-profit organization More Than Baseball.
The full statement:
Washington Nationals players were excited to learn that our minor leaguers will continue receiving their full stipends. We are grateful that efforts have been made to restore their pay during these challenging times.
We remain committed to supporting them. Nationals players are partnering with More Than Baseball to contribute funds that will offer further assistance and financial support to any minor leaguers who were in the Nationals organization as of March 1.
We’ll continue to stand with them as we look forward to resuming our 2020 MLB season.
Kudos to Doolittle and the other Nationals continuing to offer a helping hand in a trying time. The players shouldn’t have to subsidize their employers’ labor expenses, but that is the world we live in today.