Miami Marlins: Is Ozzie Guillen Being Unfairly Criticized?
The Miami Marlins' season was a colossal failure.
Everyone can agree to that. It's evident with their pathetic 66-90 record and their standing in the NL East (last as of Sept. 28). They underachieved greater than anyone could have expected.
This season was supposed to bring hope to a Marlins franchise that has dealt with its fair share of mistakes in recent history. It gave away triple-crown threat Miguel Cabrera for nothing and fired Joe Girardi after a season in which he won NL Manager of the Year, just to name a few.
After a complete franchise overhaul, the Miami Marlins were supposed to be a team that would compete (at least that's what we were led to believe).
They recruited Jose Reyes, signed Heath Bell to an absurd contract as an aging closer and brought in one of the most outspoken figures in sports, Ozzie Guillen.
Guillen believes that the blame to this tumultuous season should not solely rest on him, but everyone in the Marlins organization.
In a recent article in The Palm Beach Post, Guillen said:
When you are in last place you need a better manager, better general manager, better owner, a better everything when you are a last-place team because we all failed.
Guillen didn't stop there:
Whoever works for the Marlins and denies that he should be fired is full of (expletive). My coaches, myself, the front office, my players, we’re all involved in this thing. We all failed. And we’ve got to be better. Hopefully we learn by the mistakes we made and we move on.
Is Ozzie Guillen the right person to blame for the Marlins season?
It's hard to disagree with Guillen's comments as he is absolutely right. Guillen is taking the blame full-force from the media, but has it really been his fault?
Injuries plagued the seasons of Logan Morrison and Emilio Bonifacio, and Bell and Gaby Sanchez underperformed. All of these guys were expected to pay dividends for the ball club.
Guillen's comments regarding Fidel Castro were completely out of line and quite possibly the worst thing a new Miami sports figure could say in South Florida. He's made blunders in not being able to make the Hanley Ramirez situation work out. But was it all his doing?
In an article from Fish Stripes on how Ozzie Guillen is being used as a scapegoat for the 2012 season, Michael Jong writes:
A team fails, and when it does, the manager is not the only person who is at fault. Is it Guillen's fault that the Marlins are paying $9 million for Bell after he came off of his worst season since becoming a closer? Is it Guillen's fault thatreceived a reasonable three-year contract but is now being paid $9 million to be a glorified fifth starter? Is it Guillen's fault that Josh Johnson lost two miles per hour on his fastball and subsequently lost some of his effectiveness?
It's very easy to put the blame on Ozzie, but he should not be the focal point of criticism for the Miami Marlins season. He's a former world champion manager and deserves another season to prove he can help turn things around and be the guy the Marlins hoped he would be.
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