The interim manager has traditionally been seen as baseball's version of the substitute teacher. He's not going to be around very long, he faces an uphill battle for respect and he's probably not going to get very much done during his time.
This is problematic as a fan because it can be very easy to write that team off for the rest of the season as boring and unworthy of your attention.
What the Florida Marlins are doing by making 80-year-old Jack McKeon their interim skipper after the resignation of Edwin Rodriguez, however, qualifies as the exact opposite — a temporary stewardship that should qualify as both entertaining and compelling.
As first reported by ESPN's Buster Olney on Sunday night, the team has scheduled a press conference at 3 on Monday afternoon to announce that McKeon — the man who helmed the 2003 World Series team and three of the franchise's five above-.500 teams — will be leading the team for the rest of the season.
When that happens, McKeon will officially become the oldest manager in National League history. Connie Mack, who managed the AL's Philadelphia A's until he was 87, holds the record of baseball's oldest manager.
Seeing as how the Marlins have lost 18 of 19 games in June and have fallen to 12.5 games out of first place in the NL East, McKeon probably won't be able to reel in the Fish like he famously did in 2003. That was when McKeon replaced Jeff Torborg in early May after a 16-22 start and led them to 91 wins, a NL wild card and a World Series win over the New York Yankees.
But even past the jokes about McKeon's age — he was managing a minor league team in the Dallas area when JFK was shot and his first managing job came with the 1973 Kansas City Royals — his hiring will make for a great story to follow in the second half of the season.
Marlins and players shouldn't expect a game of shuffleboard, either. After he stepped down from the Marlins after a disappointing 2005 season, there were plenty of rumors that McKeon's tough personality wasn't going over so well in the clubhouse.
Maybe that approach won't play in 2011, either, but at least it'll be interesting for us to watch.