MIAMI - The Marlins have fired Ozzie Guillen. Surprised? Well, you shouldn't be.
The Marlins haven't been very good at winning many games of late, but one thing they've been very good at is firing managers. If firing them were a sport, Marlins Owner Jeffrey Loria would be in the Hall of Fame.
Guillen was the latest casualty, and he certainly deserves plenty of blame. Let's face it, when you go 69-93 and finish in last place, you're automatically on the hot seat. But, when you do it after a controversy-filled season in a brand new ballpark, you all but handed yourself a pink slip.
The problem is this franchise has been all too consistent at reaching this point, and Loria is a big reason why. The Marlins owner was the biggest supporter of Guillen before the season. He hand-picked him to be the new leader of a new look team. Instead, he was the poster child for the debacle of a season for Miami.
It started with the early season mess when Guillen was quoted as saying he "loved" former Cuban leader Fidel Castro. But, let's be honest, if the Marlins were any good, that wouldn't have mattered much today.
That's why the front office deserves as much, if not more, blame than Guillen. Loria opened up his pocketbook and allowed Larry Beinfest to go on a shopping spree. They spent hundreds of millions of dollars and built a team that had at the look of a Ferrari. Unfortunately, this car was a major lemon, and Guillen was stuck as the fall guy.
Beinfest and General Manager Mike Hill survived, despite the fact that many of the roster moves they made ended up being miserable. It's starting to become a trend for a front office that for many years was known as one of the better groups in baseball in acquiring young talent.
Right now, that's not the case. From the Heath Bell disaster, to the useless trade for Carlos Lee, to the fact that this front office traded a man who just won the first Triple Crown in over 40 years, Beinfest has been swinging and missing a lot.
Yes, I bring up Miguel Cabrera all these years later because that seemed to be the beginning of the end for the current Marlins front office. That's the kind of trade that really tarnishes a legacy. It's one that will likely be on Beinfest's professional obituary.
But, he gets another chance, and so does pretty much everyone else outside of Guillen. Should Guillen have been retained? Many of the players believed he wasn't the problem.
Not all is lost. Maybe they find a good, young manager who will lead this team. Maybe they'll spend less this offseason but get more. It's all possible, and it wouldn't surprise me to see the Marlins improve next year. But, do you have faith that good times are ahead after five managers in the last six years and no playoff appearances in nearly a decade?
The reality is that Loria and the front office are failing to look at the real problem right now with this organization. All they need to do is look in the mirror.
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