Marlins manager has Spanish website
The Florida Marlins begin their first trip of the season Friday, and manager Edwin Rodriguez is taking a laptop to monitor his website.
Rodriguez enjoys computers as a hobby and built the site himself. It's in Spanish and directed primarily at friends and fans in his native Puerto Rico.
The site - eldirigente.com - has been up for a couple of months. ''El dirigente'' is Spanish for ''the manager.''
''I had a lot of fans and friends in Puerto Rico asking me how things work in the big leagues from the manager's standpoint - how spring training is run, all those questions,'' Rodriguez said. With a chuckle he added, ''I have some experience building and keeping a website. So I said, let's build one so I don't have to answer a hundred questions.''
Rodriguez does answer questions on the site, which he said deal more with the administrative part of the job than with game strategy. He said he spends 30 minutes to an hour on his site every morning, and he hopes to write a weekly column on how things are going with the Marlins.
Because of time constraints, he has not yet branched out into an English version. Rodriguez became the first Puerto Rican-born manager in major league history when he took over the Marlins last June.
Marlins left fielder Logan Morrison was impressed to learn of Rodriguez's Internet skills.
''Edwin, can you build me a website?'' Morrison hollered at his manager in the clubhouse Thursday. ''That's sweet. I had no idea. I guess it's a sign of the times.''
The website's not unprecedented among managers - Ozzie Guillen of the Chicago White Sox also has one.
But Rodriguez might be the big league leader in computer savvy. He decided to start his first website on baseball instruction in 2000, when he was managing in the minors, but he didn't know how to build it.
''I went to a place and they gave me an estimate of $8,000,'' he said. ''I said, `Forget it, I'll build it myself.' So I went to Barnes & Noble and bought a book for $30, and two months later the website was up. At one point I had four websites, all baseball-related.''
Rodriguez has taken a course on computer troubleshooting, and he passed on his interest in the subject to son Alex, who is studying computer engineering in college.