In the last issue of the Pinecrest Tribune, I urged the Miami Marlins to keep Ozzie Guillen at the helm. As if right on cue, the Marlins cut ties with Guillen a couple of days later. What’s more, team president David Samson confirmed my suspicions later that week on Dan Le Batard’s radio show on The Ticket by saying that “we have been with (Larry Beinfest) from the beginning and we believe in him and we believe in the way that he works with us and the way that he runs the baseball organization.”
It has never been more evident that this team does not know what direction it is headed. I have long maintained the position that a manager does not have that much of a direct impact on the on-field play of a team — possibly four more wins or losses in a single season. So, if we can move past the shameful on-field product, we can see that Guillen didn’t deserve this firing.
It was obvious that Guillen had control of his clubhouse. After former closer Heath Bell opined of Guillen on the Dan Sileo show that “it’s hard to respect a guy that doesn’t tell you the truth or doesn’t tell you face-to-face” the Marlins clubhouse came back in support of Guillen. They forced Bell to listen to Guillen’s rebuttal on another radio show just to show their backing of him.
Moments after the news of Guillen’s firing broke, Marlins starter Ricky Nolasco unleashed an expletive-ridden tweet that said, in essence, you have to be kidding me. Ozzie clearly had the respect of the players in his clubhouse. It would have been logical for Ozzie to feel like owner Jeffrey Loria had his back too, after Loria glibly proclaimed face-to-face at the beginning of the season, “You’re the best.”
If it matters, Marlins fans in general reacted with disgust and confusion. Fans never become riled up over the firing of the manager. This situation is an exception for several different reasons. In desperate need of additional on-field talent, the Marlins are essentially cutting loose $7.5 million of dead money. Fans have also seen that Guillen has showed visceral frustration with his team’s performance, at times, more than the players themselves show. Lastly, fans are incredulous that the team is on the verge of having employed six managers in a 418 game stretch.
In any organization that has leadership positions, followers like to understand the methods of operating. They like to see some kind of plan and believe that the leaders know what direction they are taking the organization.
In Miami, we are the audience to two sports teams with track records that are completely opposed: The Miami Heat and the Miami Marlins. The Heat has earned the reputation of being a “class act” to players, fans and, most importantly, the coaches. The Marlins have deservedly earned the reputation of bilking fans, underpaying players and betraying coaches. Marlins fans who have continued to support the team are left duped and confused. It is about time for this team’s management to show that it knows what it is doing; the fans deserve better, the players deserve better and the coaches deserve better.
You built us a state-of-the-art ballpark and for that, we thank you. But we deserve more professionalism than what we are receiving. I implored Mr. Loria to give Guillen more than one year. Clearly, that was not the case. He is more than lenient with the decisionmaker Larry Beinfest, however. Their business organization is nonsensical. Mr. Loria, if you want to fill those deep blue seats in your new stadium with bodies, then turn these tendencies around.
Preston Michelson is a senior at Palmer Trinity School where he is the public address announcer for all varsity sporting events. Contact him on Twitter at @PrestonMich or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org