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Monday, May 28
Updated: May 31, 4:32 PM ET
Perez replaces Boles as Marlins manager

Associated Press

PITTSBURGH -- John Boles was fired as manager of the Florida Marlins on Monday, replaced on an interim basis by Hall of Famer Tony Perez.

John Boles' removal as Marlins manager was termed "a mutual decision." Some players had lost respect for the job he was doing.

The move came one day after relief pitcher Dan Miceli angrily criticized Boles and his coaching staff for their lack of major league playing experience.

General manager Dave Dombrowski made the announcement 2½ hours before the Marlins' game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

"He's been relieved of his duties," Dombrowski said. "But I think it's probably a mutual decision.

"Bolsey felt he had lost the clubhouse. That happens sometimes," Dombrowski said. "If the manager has that feeling, that he doesn't have the answer, you make a decision and it's a hard decision."

Devil Rays bullpen coach Darren Daulton is being mentioned as a possible managerial candidate for the Marlins, the St. Petersburg Times reported Tuesday.

Daulton was one of Florida's key acquisitions during its run to the World Series in 1997. He interviewed with the Phillies for their managerial position this past offseason before coming to Tampa Bay. The Marlins had not contacted the Rays for permission to speak to Daulton, but he said he would have strong interest in a manager's job.

"That's the only reason I'm still in the game," Daulton told the newspaper.

Dombrowski met with Boles on Sunday night, after the Marlins arrived in Pittsburgh. Dombrowski said Miceli's remarks contributed to the move.

"It sure pushed forward a lot of the decisions to be made," he said.

Dombrowski said he also talked to several players on the hour-long flight from New York, "enough that I thought it was time for a change."

Boles became the third manager replaced since the start of the season. Jerry Narron replaced Johnny Oates in Texas and Hal McRae took over from Larry Rothschild in Tampa Bay.

Miceli said he had no second thoughts about what he said and didn't think his words had an impact on Dombrowski's decision.

"I regret the way I handled it, going to the press," Miceli said. "But the things I said, I don't regret. It's over with. My own teammates said it was probably the best thing to do. I think it would have happened sooner or later. Me saying it had nothing to do with it."

Asked to estimate how many teammates shared his feelings about Boles, Miceli said, "Probably 90 percent."

Boles said he had never been fired from a job. The Marlins' 8-5 loss to the Pirates on Monday dropped them to 22-27, nine games behind NL East-leading Philadelphia

"This is hard for me, but the reason I was fired is the feeling was I didn't have the respect of the players," Boles said. "Then, you don't have their confidence, and that's a pretty bad scenario."

Boles addressed the team before he left PNC Park and predicted the Marlins would improve.

"I told the players I wish I had been a better player because this wouldn't be happening," he said. "I told them I wish we had won yesterday because this wouldn't be happening. And I'm going to miss this because I think this is going to be a lot of fun."

Perez has been on Dombrowski's staff as a special assistant. He briefly managed Cincinnati in 1993 and was fired early in his only season on the job, with the Reds at 20-24.

Dombrowski said Perez turned down a chance to manage for the rest of the season and that Perez's tenure as manager could be only a couple of weeks.

"I have a lot of commitments," Perez said. "If you are going to be the manager, you have to be able to do that fulltime."

Boles, who managed Florida to a 205-241 record, was a longtime player personnel specialist with the Marlins and moved into the manager's job in 1996, replacing Rene Lachemann, the team's first manager.

The next year, he stepped aside when the Marlins hired Jim Leyland, who led the team to the World Series title in seven games over Cleveland.

Florida then unloaded most of its high-priced players in a salary purge as owner H. Wayne Huizenga prepared to sell the team. A year later, Leyland left and Boles returned as manager.

"The players believe in themselves, which is good," Dombrowski said. "Now the onus is on them to perform. I do think we have the talent to play with people. I don't think we should take a back seat to anybody at this point."

Miceli, who dropped to 0-4 Sunday when he gave up three runs and got just one out in a 5-4 loss at New York, was highly critical of Boles and the Marlins' coaches.

"It's the talk of the locker room," he said. "They don't make the right moves in the right situations. From the pitching coach to the manager to the assistant manager ...

"There are grown men in this locker room who have worked their whole lives to get to the big leagues, and they're not getting the right type of instruction from the staff. Stupid moves."

Miceli listed some of the managers he respected.

"I think guys who have been in the big leagues make good managers," he said. "You respect them because they know the game. You can learn from them. Those are the good managers, the ones who played 15 years, like Bruce Bochy, Dusty Baker."

Dombrowski said he routinely keeps a list of candidates for jobs and probably has 20 to 25 names on his manager's list.

"You do run into some time constraints at this time of year," he said. "You can't interview 20 people. It will be limited probably to a handful of people. That's my guess anyway. Two weeks is in my mind but there's no magic timeframe to it."

Perez shuffled Marlins coaching assignments. He put Lynn Jones at third base, Tony Taylor at first base, moved Joe Breeden to the bullpen and designated Fredi Gonzalez as his bench coach.

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