SPORTS

Edwin Rodríguez, Manager of the Florida Marlins, is El Dirigente

JUPITER, FL - MARCH 24: Manager Edwin Rodriguez #36 of the Florida Marlins hits the ball during fielding practice prior to the game against the Boston Red Sox at Roger Dean Stadium on March 24, 2011 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

JUPITER, FL - MARCH 24: Manager Edwin Rodriguez #36 of the Florida Marlins hits the ball during fielding practice prior to the game against the Boston Red Sox at Roger Dean Stadium on March 24, 2011 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)  (2010 Getty Images)

Some fans simply know him as El Dirigente.

That's a Spanish nickname for Edwin Rodríguez, manager of the Florida Marlins.

The skipper, who enjoys computers as a hobby, monitors a Web site with that moniker that he uses to update his fans and family in his native Puerto Rico

The site — eldirigente.com — has been up for a couple of months. 

"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," Rodríguez 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."

Rodríguez 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.

Rodríguez became the first Puerto Rican-born manager in major league history when he took over the Marlins last June. His website's not unprecedented among managers — Ozzie Guillen of the Chicago White Sox also has one.

But Rodríguez 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."

Rodríguez 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.

Based on reporting by The Associated Press.

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