Miami Vice: 5 Reasons Ozzie Guillen Will Fail with the Miami Marlins
A World Series champion and former AL Manager of the Year (both 2005), Guillen has already set himself up for a few struggles next season and in one of the baseball’s most unforgiving divisions, it’ll be an uphill battle.
After the Winter Meetings massive haul, expectations are immense for Guillen and the new-look Marlins next season. I don’t see how he is going to meet them.
Disgruntled Hanley Ramirez
Despite bringing in All-Stars Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and Heath Bell this offseason, the keys to the franchise still run through 28-year-old slugger and shortstop Hanley Ramirez.
When healthy and happy, Ramirez is a once-in-a-generation talent, capable of a 40/40 season and .300 batting average. He can also be a clubhouse cancer, warring with teammates and dogging it on the field.
Before even coaching a single game, Guillen has already upset the prima donna superstar.
Disgruntled by the signing of shortstop Jose Reyes, many analysts suspect that Ramirez truly wants out of Miami rather than switching over to third base or center field. Unless Guillen can squash the rumors soon, a war is bound to break out in Spring Training.
Ozzie Guillen is one of the most outspoken managers in baseball, unafraid to speak his mind and relentless when calling out players for their performance. Just last season, Guillen nearly disowned his entire bullpen back in April and months later questioned his lineup’s ability to even get a hit.
With the predominately veteran team that he’d coached for years out in Chicago, Guillen was able to get away with such remarks.
As the new guy in town with a team of streaky youngsters like Mike Stanton, Logan Morrison and Gaby Sanchez, Guillen's public challenges may not be as welcoming this season.
Ozzie Guillen is a baseball strategist in every sense of the word. While his style of “Ozzie ball” brought home the pennant in 2005, his over-management and aversion to statistics proved detrimental to the White Sox success the past couple seasons.
Sometimes it’s good to rest a slumping player. Sometimes a sacrifice bunt is unwarranted. And sometimes righty-righty, lefty-lefty matchups are simply wasting a bullpen arm. Guillen’s stubborn approach to the game has shown success in the past, but it’s also failed quite a bit, too.
Guillen is going to truly push the envelop strategically with the Marlins in 2012, a team that led baseball in sacrifice bunts last season.
While it’s good to not always go with what the numbers say, Guillen cannot recreate a situation like last year where he stuck with DH Adam Dunn in the third and fourth lineup slots for 112 games.
Playing for Third
Even with all the offseason hoopla and hullabaloo, the Marlins are no better than the third best team in the NL East, sitting behind last year’s champion Philadelphia Phillies and runner-up Atlanta Braves.
After all the money Jeffrey Loria and his staff spent this winter ($201 million on Guillen, Reyes, Bell and Buehrle), they’re going to be expecting to see division titles and playoff berths immediately.
While the Marlins certainly look good on paper, the Braves and Phillies have Top 5 pitching staffs in baseball and you could argue that both have as good, if not better, batting lineups as well.
As Good as It Gets
Continuing the last point, with as much money tied up and one of baseball’s worst farm systems, winning has to happen now for the Miami Marlins, because it’s not going to get better.
While the Braves, Phillies and Washington Nationals all have plans in order to compete for the future, the Marlins have maybe two prospects in outfielder Christian Yelich and third baseman Matt Dominguez that could help the team in the foreseeable future.
Three years from now, Guillen could be leaning on a 35-year-old Mark Buehrle for wins, Josh Johnson and Ricky Nolasco could be out the door with Hanley Ramirez soon to follow. If Guillen doesn't win now, it may not happen and it could get uglier even quicker than it did out in Chicago these past couple seasons.