Congratulations to Fredi Gonzalez on being fired as manager of the Florida Marlins! Gonzalez immediately becomes the favorite to take over from the retiring Bobby Cox as the 2011 manager of the Atlanta Braves.
I’ve regularly trashed the Marlins in this column, not for their on field play, but for their consistently disgraceful upper management. It’s just one thing after another with this outfit. They soak in all those revenue sharing dollars every season while maintaining one of the lowest payrolls in the sport. They offer free tickets to fans willing to stuff the All-Star ballot box, a decidedly bush league approach (and also yet one more example of why the All-Star game is an exhibition, not a real game, and should NEVER be the deciding factor for World Series home field advantage). And, of course it was the Marlins with the inane “Vuvuzela Night” promotion last week that drew widespread and nearly unanimous ridicule.
The firing of Gonzalez is probably bad news for Terry Pendleton , who seemed to be the frontrunner to replace Cox. But we also knew that Gonzalez was reportedly on the hot seat coming into this season, and it’s no secret that Gonzalez, formerly the third-base coach for the Braves, is still very tight with Cox.
I could not wait to read the comments from Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria as to why they were canning Gonzalez. True to form, one of the worst owners in any major sport put together a statement that can only be described as a complete fabrication.
“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,” wrote Loria.
Yeah, right. That must explain why your team dumps much of its best talent on a regular basis and never even fakes an attempt to add any marquee talent that could actually get this entry over the hump. If you really want to do something for your fans, try selling the team.
Edwin Rodriguez has been promoted from AAA New Orleans to act as interim skipper, and according to club president David Sampson , Rodriguez is a candidate for the full time job. But Sampson also confirmed a rumor that surfaced immediately after the Gonzalez firing was announced. Sure enough, there has already been conversation with Bobby Valentine and it seems like it’s just matter of time before the current ESPN analyst in back in uniform.
As for Fredi Gonzalez, I’m hoping he gets his chance to manage an actual major league franchise, rather than one that goes through the motions. I think he’s a solid manager and that he’ll have a real chance to win with a higher class organization.
A little fantasy talk on Friday, with the focus on some current setup relievers who may well be given closing opportunities in the near future. At least a few of these pitchers are good speculative free agent pickups, so if you’re in a tough league where grabbing some saves off the scrap heap might come in handy, be sure to give it a read.
My top play on Wednesday was the Angels, and it’s always fun to be on the right side of a crazy conclusion, as was definitely the case in the Halos 2-1 nod over the Dodgers. Make sure to check out the highlights from the finish of this game. Calling the climax unusual is, at the very least, a major understatement. As for my plays, they continue to produce serious profits. If you’re playing for profit rather than just messing around aimlessly, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org for details on my guaranteed winners.