MIAMI — Now that he has followed Jim Leyland's advice, Mike Redmond believes he ready to manage in the major leagues.
The former catcher had his first interview for a big-league job this week when he met with Miami Marlins officials in New York City. Redmond spent the past two years managing Class A teams in the Toronto Blue Jays' system.
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"Jim Leyland told me a long time ago when I was getting ready to retire, 'If you want to manage in the majors, you've got to go get some experience,'" Redmond said Friday from his home in Spokane, Wash. "I took that to heart and went out and took a job with the Blue Jays in A ball and got down to the grass roots, where you've got to teach and develop.
"I've learned a lot. I had a lot of great kids, and to see them improve is very satisfying. On top of that, we went to the playoffs both times. That was fun, too."
Leyland — now in the World Series with the Detroit Tigers — was Redmond's first big-league manager with the Marlins in 1998. Redmond, a .287 hitter over 13 seasons, played seven years for the Marlins and helped them win the World Series in 2003.
Because of his ties to Miami owner Jeffrey Loria and president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest, some consider him the front-runner to replace Ozzie Guillen.
"There's definitely a comfort level knowing them," Redmond said. "It's a great opportunity. I'm very thankful to get an interview there. The possibility of me going back to the organization where I made my major-league debut and spent many years is exciting."
Guillen was fired Tuesday after only one season with the Marlins, and the next manager will be their fifth since early 2010. They're expected to interview at least a couple of other candidates, including Cincinnati Reds pitching coach Bryan Price.
Even during Redmond's playing days, he expressed an interest in managing, and he has had plenty of successful mentors. Along with Leyland, he played for Jack McKeon in Miami and Ron Gardenhire in Minnesota, among others.
"People ask you, 'What's your style?'" Redmond said. "I learned a lot from all of my managers. Jim Leyland taught me a lot. He was so great at matchups and getting guys in situations where they could succeed. Gardy showed a lot of faith in me as a player. He hit me third when everybody said, 'Don't do it.' And it worked. Jack was such a great guy and showed so much faith in his players. If guys were struggling, he let them work through it.
"There are so many guys I learned different things from. I sat and listened and watched and learned."