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Marlins: Rodriguez will remain manager all season

Edwin Rodriguez told the Florida Marlins’ top executives last weekend that he would happily accept whatever job they wanted him to have.

Turns out, they want him to stay on as manager.

Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria told the team before its game in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Tuesday night that Rodriguez will remain as manager through the rest of the 2010 season. The club made the announcement in the second inning of its game against the New York Mets.

Rodriguez is the first native of Puerto Rico to manage in the major leagues. He was named interim manager last Wednesday when Florida fired Fredi Gonzalez, its all-time winningest skipper. Gonzalez was dismissed after going 276-279 in 3

The Marlins also interviewed former third-base coach Bo Porter, now with Arizona, and had interest in ESPN analyst Bobby Valentine before deciding to stay with Rodriguez. On Sunday, Loria said the process would take “as long as it takes,” adding that the organization would make sure “we get the right guy.”

Loria said he told Rodriguez just before the game of his decision.

“At the end of the year we’ll re-evaluate things,” Loria said in the press box during the game. “What will always be my first and foremost concern are the players. I thought the continuity ... was the most important thing we could do. Edwin’s going to be their manager. The coaches will continue that are in place. Continuity’s important.”

For now, anyway, that’s what Rodriguez represents.

“We’ve gotten to know him very well,” Marlins second baseman Dan Uggla said earlier this week. “I got to know him in spring training a little bit, but to actually see him now during the season and have him as a manager, I think he’s been unbelievable. He does a great job communicating. He wants to learn from us just like how we want to learn from him. That’s huge as a manager.”

Valentine was once thought to be the front-runner before talks slowed late last week, then broke off.

“I wish them all the success in the world,” Valentine wrote in an e-mail.

Valentine has been to the postseason in the majors twice, leading the New York Mets to the World Series in 2000, where they lost to the Yankees.

He has a long relationship with Loria, having managed the Texas Rangers when Loria owned that franchise’s Triple-A affiliate. Valentine has a record in the majors of 1,117-1,072, and ended a six-year run as manager of the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan’s Pacific League in 2009.

Before getting summoned to replace Gonzalez, Rodriguez — who said his interview with the Marlins on Saturday was his first formal interview in a 30-year baseball career — was managing Florida’s Triple-A team in New Orleans.

“Edwin deserves a chance to see what he can do,” Loria said. “And I want to give him that chance. I like his levelheadedness and I like his focus on the game.”

Loria entered this season with expectations of the Marlins being a playoff contender. They entered Tuesday 36-40, in fourth place in the NL East and already 8

“We can make it,” Loria said. “We should be able to make a charge. I haven’t given up on the season. Neither have the players.”

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