In his first move as Florida Marlins interim manager, Jack McKeon benched three-time All-Star Hanley Ramirez for arriving late to the team’s clubhouse Monday.
According to The Palm Beach Post, the 80-year-old skipper made the decision to sit Ramirez for the team’s Monday night game against the Los Angeles Angels.
When asked if there was a particular reason the star shortstop was not in the lineup, McKeon reportedly said, "Yeah, because I didn’t put him in there."
But team sources told The Post McKeon made the move after Ramirez arrived late for a 3:30pm local time team meeting.
The decision came just hours after the team officially introduced McKeon as the interim replacement for Edwin Rodriguez who resigned Sunday.
McKeon, who led the Marlins to the franchise’s last World Series title in 2003, spoke to reporters earlier Monday about not being afraid of making tough decisions.
"If you try to be [the players’] friend that will get you fired," he said.
Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest said Monday McKeon would have complete autonomy for on-field decisions.
"He can get the attention of the team very quickly and get them moving in the right direction," Beinfest said.
The two-time National League Manager of the Year managed the Marlins from 2003 to 2005 and amassed a .518 winning percentage in 15 seasons as a big league skipper.
Rodriguez tendered his resignation after the club lost 17 of 18 games in June, including their last nine. Bench coach Brandon Hyde managed the Marlins during the team’s 2-1 loss to the Rays Sunday, extending the current skid to 10 games.
The club — ranked 22nd in both batting average and runs scored — has struggled offensively, which led to the firing of hitting coach John Mallee earlier this month.
The Marlins are currently in last place in the NL East at 32-40.