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Jack’s Back In Baseball!

Bro Bill McKeon managing the Otters in 2010. Courtesy Courier & Press

Being a die-hard Cubs fan, I normally wouldn’t  give two cents about managerial changes with the Florida Marlins, but for that team what’s old is new again.

Jack McKeon, 80, was named the team’s interim manager Monday. McKeon came out of retirement to lead the Marlins to a World Series title in 2003 after he took over the squad in May of that season. McKeon was rewarded for his efforts by winning National League Manager of the Year honors. He stayed on as skipper until he retired at the age of 74, in 2005.

McKeon will become the second-oldest manager in Major League Baseball history. Hall of Famer Connie Mack was 87 when his run with the Philadelphia Athletics came to an end in 1950.

McKeon has his work cut out for him. In taking over for Edwin Rodriguez, who resigned Sunday, he inherits a team that has lost 10 in a row and 18 of 19 games in June. The fish are in last place in the National League East, eight games under .500.

The Marlins have been hit hard by injuries to pitcher Josh Johnson and the struggles of shortstop Hanley Ramirez, whose batting average is hovering around .200.

Since leaving the dugout in 2005, McKeon has remained with the Marlins, serving as a special assistant to owner Jeffrey Loria. Jack McKeon has a local connection too. His brother Bill lives in Evansville, and briefly managed the Evansville Otters last year on an interim basis.

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