When MLB general managers fire their managers, it is the first step in recovering from a failed season. The Marlins, Red Sox and Dodgers, despite achieving varying degrees of success in 2012, are in desperate need of a fresh face.
In fact, choosing a new coach to lead the troops can often be just what the doctor ordered. Look no further than Baltimore, where Buck Showalter and the Orioles are making big noise as contenders for the AL East crown in just his third season at the helm.
Miami, Boston and Los Angeles need change after this season simply because none of the three teams reached their full potential despite the talent at their disposal.
Miami Marlins, Ozzie Guillen
The way the media operates these days, franchises are better off with a coach that understands how to maintain a low profile for himself and his players.
In Miami, Coach Guillen has done nothing of the sort.
Brush-ups with umpires and heated ejections aside, the biggest knock on Ozzie is that his team will finish definitively in the cellar of the NL East division. Looking up at the likes of the Atlanta Braves and the Washington Nationals, Miami's immediate future looks worse than it is.
A new chapter can potentially open for the Marlins if they let their hyper-dramatic manager go. The team already cleared Hanley Ramirez' salary in a trade with the Dodgers and are primed to refocus on growing talent from within the organization.
Offensive centerpiece Mike Stanton showed great promise in 2012. If he can stay healthy for a full season, the Marlins can count on him being one of the fiercest bats in the National League.
Miami needs a leader to keep calm and withstand the steady toughness of the NL East. Ozzie Guillen is not their guy.
Boston Red Sox, Bobby Valentine
What a terrible season for the Red Sox. Boston's problems have deeper roots than current coach Bobby Valentine could ever hope to influence, but after a miserable campaign he still deserves the boot.
The Sox are planted in last place in the AL East. Considering the Opening Day lineup was intended to feature Jacoby Ellsbury, Carl Crawford, Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz and Adrian Gonzalez, the complete flop that is 2012 carries a bit more sting.
Boston was nagged by the injury bug all year, but consistently suffered inexcusable losses in tight games.
On top of it all, Fenway and the Red Sox have become a complete media circus. Dating back to the chicken and beer debacle that tainted the end of 2011, the clubhouse has been under a heavy microscope.
Similar to the issues in Miami, Valentine was abhorrent at handling media affairs. In a town where every move is picked apart by critics and fans alike, his behavior was simply unacceptable.
GM Ben Cherington was almost forced to turn the team in a different direction. The easiest way for him to jump-start a positive culture around the Red Sox is to place a new, more composed face at the center of it all.
Even if he still believes Valentine's managerial skills are a fit for the Sox's needs, Valentine's lack of professionalism should be a cause worthy of his departure.
Los Angeles Dodgers, Don Mattingly
This one's a bit tougher, only because I don't think Coach Mattingly has done a poor job. The Dodgers will finish 2012 with close to 90 wins, but will fall short of the division title and most likely miss the playoffs.
A lot happened off the field that Los Angeles baseball fans have to be excited about.
With new ownership and a brand new crop of talent taking the field, the Dodgers are poised to make a statement in 2013.
Whether the boys in blue will actually play to their potential next season depends greatly on their man in the dugout. As it stands, Coach Mattingly has some new weapons at his disposal that may be enough to help him get his Dodgers over the hump in the NL West.
Make no mistake, Los Angeles will be as tough as they've been in recent history next season. However, it wouldn't surprise me to see the new brass make a decision to brand 2013 as the first full year of the new Dodger culture and hire a new manager to lead the way.
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