MIAMI (AP) — Skip Schumaker has been a candidate to take over as manager of the Boston Red Sox and New York Mets for the past few years, only to see those clubs pick someone else.
The Miami Marlins didn’t let him get away.
Schumaker was hired by the Marlins on Tuesday, becoming the 16th manager in franchise history after the team described an “extensive process.”
“As we continue to grow as an organization, we felt it was important to find an individual who was part of a successful culture,” said Kim Ng, general manager of Marlins. “As a member of two championship teams, coupled with his reputation for tenacity and bringing out all his skills, Skip will be a great example for our players. His leadership style, teaching skills and attention to detail made him the clear choice as the club’s new manager.”
Schumaker, who played for World Series-winning clubs in St. Louis in 2006 and 2011, is coming to Miami from the Cardinals, with whom he spent that season as a bench coach. Schumaker was the first base coach and assistant manager for San Diego from 2018 to 2021 and then joined the Cardinals’ staff.
“Skip has a long list of outstanding achievements both as a player and as a coach that demonstrate his remarkable personality and the high level of credibility and leadership he will bring to the coaching bank and the Marlins organization,” said Marlins owner Bruce sherman “He has incredible passion and a winning spirit that will set the stage for the Marlins franchise.”
Schumaker, 42, takes over from Don Mattingly, who managed the Marlins for seven seasons. Mattingly went 443-587 with Miami and won NL Manager of the Year honors after leading the Marlins to the playoffs in the 2020 season shortened by the pandemic.
Mattingly’s contract expired at the end of that season, and he and the Marlins’ front office agreed it would be best for both sides not to sign a new contract.
The Marlins went 69-93 this season, the 12th time they have finished with a losing record in the past 13 years. The exception was in 2020 when they went 31-29.
The 2022 season for the Marlins started with a bit of a shock: In February, Hall of Famer Derek Jeter — who had been CEO of Miami, the first black man in baseball history to hold that role with a franchise — announced a surprise departure after 4 1/2 mostly unsuccessful years that didn’t come close to matching his success as a player for the New York Yankees.
Now, like Jeter, a former Yankees captain, Mattingly is leaving and Schumaker is taking charge of Miami’s next rebuilding effort. Schumaker inherits a club hopeful for a Cy Young Award in All-Star ace Sandy Alcantara (14-9, 2.28 this season in MLB-best 228 2/3 innings). But the Marlins had big problems with the plate — their team average of .230 ranked 27th out of 30 MLB clubs, and the team ranked 28th in runs scored.
“I’m very excited and grateful that Bruce, Kim and the Marlins organization have given me the opportunity to lead a very talented team,” said Schumaker. “Delivering a successful, sustainable crop with the expectation of moving into the postseason is the next step for this organization and South Florida – and I can’t wait to get started.”
The Marlins are the second team to change managers since the end of the regular season. Texas hired veteran Bruce Bochy as its skipper last week, and now there are two positions left — Kansas City and the Chicago White Sox.
The NL champions Philadelphia Phillies made a managerial change of sorts, taking the interim mark from Rob Thomson. The move came two days after the Phillies defeated St. Louis 2-0 in a wildcard series that ended as Schumaker’s departure from the Cardinals. Toronto also signed John Schneider, who had been the Blue Jays’ interim manager, to a three-year deal.
Schumaker played 11 seasons with the majors, mostly with the Cardinals, and is now getting his first managerial opportunity at Miami — which shares a spring training complex in Jupiter, Fla., with St. Louis.
Schumaker was a starter for the Cardinals team that won the 2011 World Series. The California native hit .278 in 1,149 games while playing mostly at second base and outfield. He retired in March 2016 while in camp with the Padres as part of a minor league deal.
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