MIAMI (AP) — As part of the Miami Marlins’ ownership change, Jack McKeon is out.
The team’s 86-year-old executive said Friday he was told he will not be retained by the new ownership group that includes Derek Jeter.
McKeon managed the Marlins when they won the World Series in 2003, and for the past 12 seasons has been a special assistant to owner Jeffrey Loria.
McKeon said he was advised of his firing not by Jeter’s group, but by current team president David Samson, who is not expected to be retained either.
“This is new ownership, and they have the right to do those things,” McKeon said. “They want to bring their own people in. I’m disappointed of course. I had great relationships in Florida — great fans, great support. It has been a great ride.”
Major League Baseball hopes to hold a special owners’ meeting before November to vote on approving the sale of the Marlins to the group headed by venture capitalist Bruce Sherman that includes Jeter, the former New York Yankees captain. At least 75 percent of the major league clubs must approve the sale.
Loria said he has had no conversations with Jeter since the ex-shortstop began his pursuit of the Marlins.
“I don’t know him that well,” McKeon said. “Managing against him, that’s about it.”
Loria has owned the Marlins since 2002, and during the 2003 season he hired McKeon, who then led the team on an improbable title run.
The dismissal of McKeon scuttles a plan for him to return to manage for one game next year, when he would surpass Connie Mack as the oldest manager in major league history. Loria and Samson came up with the plan.
“They approached me a couple of years ago about that possibility,” McKeon said. “They brought it up and thought it would be a great idea.”
Instead, he noted with a laugh, he has again been fired — not for the first time, but for the first time since 2000, when he managed the Cincinnati Reds.
“It’s part of the game,” he said. “I’ve been through it before.”
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