By Bob Hurst

Most folks want to relax in retirement. Not Jack McKeon, who was named the interim manager of the Florida Marlins on Monday.

McKeon, who managed the Marlins to a World Series title in 2003, returned a day after Edwin Rodriguez handed in his resignation.

“It’s great to be back,” McKeon said at the press conference to announce his return on Monday. “I had a little siesta for a few years. They’ve been so good to me and so loyal to me during my stay here that I just couldn’t turn them down.”

Florida hopes a little of the ’03 magic will rub off on the players. McKeon took a sub-.500 team in May of that year and guided them to the National League pennant.

This year’s club, which was 31-22 and two games behind Philadelphia in the NL East on May 31, lost 19 of 20 games through Monday. The Marlins 11-game skid going into Tuesday’s contest tied a team record. They were 32-41 and in last place on Tuesday.

“I think we’ve got a club, “McKeon said before managing his first game back. “This club can win. We’ve run into some tough times and now we just gotta kick a little butt and get a little more aggressive and play the game the right way.

“I want them to enjoy coming to the ball park. All I want out of these guys is to give me their best shot.”

McKeon, who had a 1,011-940 managerial record prior to getting back into managing, watched his team lose 2-1 at home to the Los Angeles Angels on Monday night.

“We’ll turn this around, don’t worry about that,” McKeon said after the game.

Dodgers TV deal rejected: Baseball commissioner Bud Selig on Monday rejected Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt’s proposed TV deal with FOX Sports.

The agreement, reported to be worth $3 billion, would have included a $385 million loan to McCourt that would have eased the Dodgers financial problems.

“This decision was reached after a full and careful consideration of the terms of the proposed transaction and the club’s current circumstances,” Selig said in a statement released by Major League Baseball.

“It is my conclusion that this proposed transaction with FOX would not be in the best interests of the Los Angeles Dodgers franchise, the game of Baseball and the millions of loyal fans of this historic club.”

McCourt has struggled to make payroll and if he doesn’t meet it on June 30, MLB could force a sale of the team.

“We are extremely disappointed with the Commissioner’s rejection of the proposed FOX transaction which would inject $235 million into the Los Angeles Dodgers,” McCourt said in a statement. “Commissioner Selig’s letter of rejection…is potentially destructive to the Los Angeles Dodgers and Major League Baseball.”

Bright future? Dustin Ackley, promoted from Triple A by the Seattle Mariners last weekend, has made an immediate impact. Ackley, who was the second pick in the 2009 draft, got his first major league hit in his first big league at-bat in last Friday’s win over Philadelphia.

He hit his first home run in his first appearance at the plate in Saturday’s loss to the Phillies and tripled and scored an insurance run in Sunday’s 2-0 win.

The only hit missing for the second baseman that would have given Ackley a weekend cycle was a double.

Big weekend for MLB: With sellouts in Boston, Chicago and Oakland, and big turnouts in other ball parks during interleague play, Major League Baseball enjoyed its largest weekend crowds in nearly three years.

Nearly 1.65 million fans attended games over the weekend, making it the highest attendance during a regular 45-game weekend since Sept. 26-28, 2008.

StatsWatch: Among the major league home run leaders, here are the players with the fewest at-bats per homer, through Monday –

1. Jose Bautista, Blue Jays, 10.95 ( 21 HR in 230 AB)

2. Lance Berkman, Cardinals, 12.24 (17 HR in 208 AB)

3. Mark Teixeira, Yankees, 12.52 (21 HR in 263 AB)

4. Prince Fielder, Brewers, 12.95 (20 HR in 259 AB)

5. Curtis Granderson, Yankees, 13.10 (21 HR in 275 AB)

Diamond Notes: The San Diego Padres plan to retire closer Trevor Hoffman’s jersey No. 51 when they honor him on Aug. 21. Hoffman retired prior to this season with 601 career saves…Twins catcher Joe Mauer, who had been out since April 12 with bilateral leg weakness, scored a run and knocked in another in his return last Friday, a 6-5 win over the Padres…After 2009 Florida Marlins NL Rookie of the Year Chris Coghlan was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans, inflammation in his surgically-repaired left knee blocked the demotion and he was placed on the 15-day disabled list instead. Coghlan is  batting just .230…Red Sox left fielder Carl Crawford has been put on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring…Washington first baseman Michael Morse set a career high with 43 RBIs going into this week. Morse had 41 RBIs in 98 games last season.

 

Copyright © 2011  Bob Hurst. All Rights Reserved. Distributed by Hurst Sports Media.

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