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Marlins fire manager, call Valentine

BALTIMORE — Fredi Gonzalez was fired Wednesday as manager of the Marlins, whose search for a full-time successor began with a call to Bobby Valentine.

Gonzalez was dismissed with Florida at 34-36 and in fourth place in the NL East, 7½ games behind first-place Atlanta.

"This team seems to be stuck in neutral, and our competitors are on the accelerator," president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest said. "We were looking for a leadership change to hopefully get us on the accelerator. That's a big part of what we did today."

Edwin Rodriguez, who has spent the past 1½ seasons as manager of Triple-A New Orleans, took over as manager on an interim basis.

Also fired were bench coach Carlos Tosca and hitting coach Jim Presley. They were replaced on an interim basis by Brandon Hyde and John Mallee.

The Marlins immediately began searching for a successor. Club president David Samson acknowledged talking to Valentine.

Prospect recovering

BOSTON — Red Sox OF prospect Ryan Westmoreland has taken in a couple of ballgames, hung out with his girlfriend and seen a movie or two since having brain surgery this spring.

When he's not in physical, occupational or speech therapy.

"When therapy time comes, it's all business," he said in a conference call. "But after that, I just try to be a normal 20-year-old kid."

Westmoreland, a top prospect and a nephew of Rays home clubhouse/equipment manager Chris Westmoreland, was diagnosed with a rare brain disease during spring training. He had surgery in March.

He has made what doctors have told him is "remarkable progress" and has done some light throwing and running.

"You can ask yourself, 'Why me?' " he said in his first comments since the surgery. "But at the same time, it's happened, there's nothing you can do about it, just move on."

DUMPLING RE-HIRED: Andrew Kurtz, who had raced around the Pirates' stadium in a pierogi costume until being fired last week for criticizing extensions given to general manager Neal Huntington and manager John Russell, was re-hired. Communications director Brian Warecki said Kurtz, 24, shouldn't have been fired in the first place.

HONOR FOR GONZALEZ: The Diamondbacks will retire former Jefferson High standout Luis Gonzalez's No. 20, the first player to be so honored in the franchise's 13-year history.

ASTROS: Rookie SS Tommy Manzella has a fractured index finger and is out about six weeks.

METS: LHP Johan Santana said "the case is closed" regarding a woman who accused him of raping her in Florida last year. The state attorney's office declined to prosecute in January.

PIRATES: Former Rays 2B Akinori Iwamura went unclaimed on waivers and accepted an assignment to Triple-A Indianapolis. … LHP Zach Duke went on the 15-day disabled list with a sore left elbow.

REDS: RHP Edinson Volquez pitched five sharp innings in his first Triple-A start since having Tommy John surgery in August.

Marlins fire manager, call Valentine 06/23/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 23, 2010 11:36pm]

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