Embarrassing. Unbelievable. Head-scratching.
No, I'm not speaking of the seventeen Florida Marlins relievers to put on a jersey this season.
This morning's firing of all-time winning manager, Fredi Gonzalez, will more than likely go down as the dumbest thing the Jeffrey Loria/Larry Beinfest regime has been a part of.
That's saying quite a bit, considering this is the same power tandem who pulled the trigger on a deal that sent a future Hall of Famer (Miguel Cabrera) to the Detroit Tigers for a left-handed pitcher who can't get hitters out in Double-A Jacksonville (Andrew Miller), a center fielder who supposedly has five tools, but looks more like Reggie Abercrombie every day (Cameron Maybin), and a veritable "who cares?" of minor league lifers.
Loria's statement to the media?
"We believe we can do better and be better. We owe it to our fans to put this team in the best possible position to win. Everyone knows how I feel about winning. That's the reason we're making this change."
If I could offer a suggestion: in order to put the team in the best position to win, you have to actually invest in the team.
Sure, they've made long-term deals with primadonna Hanley Ramirez and Cy Young candidate Josh Johnson. Their skills and talent go to waste when you piece together a bullpen whose most productive member is Leo Nunez.
No lead is ever safe!
The bargain bin method used to work (see also: Joe Borowski, Todd Jones, Kiko Calero). However, when teams (and agents) saw this ploy, bigger deals were made with pitchers who would normally take the league minimum salary and cash in the next year. This left the scrap heap even more bare than before.
At the end of the day, this ownership has made it very difficult for Marlins fans (all 10 of us) to continue staying committed to the team.
Fredi did everything that was asked of him, only to be toyed with in the offseason by an owner who thought "Vuvuzela Night" was a great idea.
This is the same owner who sold tickets to a perfect game thrown by the opposing pitcher , post-game. I'm thinking Rachel Phelps of "Major League" fame would make a better owner at this point.
At least then the team would have a pipeline to the California Penal League.
To be honest, Fredi is better off. Now he can go a fulfill his destiny to be the apparent heir to Bobby Cox with the Atlanta Braves, just like Joe Girardi did with the New York Yankees. He deserves better and come the offseason, he'll get it.
In the meantime, the Marlins can enjoy the same mediocrity with the same missing pieces, but with an interim manager who'll get the same axe soon enough.
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