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October 25, 2012

Transaction Analysis

One and Done for Ozzie Guillen

by R.J. Anderson

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MIAMI MARLINS
Team Audit | Player Cards | Depth Chart

Fired manager Ozzie Guillen. [10/23]

Giving credence to the idea that the chase is better than the capture, the Marlins have dismissed Guillen a year after hiring him. Guillen had become the Marlins’ white whale. Each offseason brought rumors about the Marlins’ desire to bring Guillen, his outspoken nature, and his Latin American ethnicity to town. The Marlins entered the 2012 season with Guillen, a new stadium, new uniforms, and new household names on the roster. They were dreaming of a new era—an era where baseball ruled South Beach.

Those dreams never came true. Miami held first place for one day, during a white-hot June. After the All-Star break, the Marlins played like a 59-win team. You can’t put all of the blame on Guillen’s shoulders. By the time July ended, the front office was in the process of deconstructing the roster; Hanley Ramirez and Randy Choate went to Los Angeles, Omar Infante and Anibal Sanchez to Detroit, Edward Mujica to St. Louis, and so on. Young or otherwise inexperienced players stepped in, and on the season the Marlins received replacement-level production at four positions—first base, third base, left field, and center field.

Guillen’s bluntness works for and against him. His no-holds-barred commentary after losses is refreshing and often humorous. But Guillen’s public role forbids him from making political statements; something he ignored when commenting on Fidel Castro early in the season. The fallout from those comments invariably played a role in souring the Guillen-Marlins relationship. One thing working in Guillen’s favor is how his players still appear to respect him. Despite a public feud with closer Heath Bell, at least one Marlins player expressed disbelief after news of the Guillen firing broke. Guillen may have lost the faith of the front office, but seemingly not the clubhouse.

Guillen will land another managerial gig sometime in the near future. His bullpen management with the White Sox drew rave reviews, and he brought an aggressive style to the Marlins—Miami ranked near the top in overall stolen-base attempts, and at the top in double-steal tries. Factoring in Guillen’s relationship with most of his players only ups his attractiveness. Of course, Guillen’s loud ways make him a prime candidate for a television gig if he wants to sit out for a year.  

As for the Marlins, their next manager will be the seventh in eight seasons. Miami had reported interest in Bo Porter before, but he took the Astros job. Two names to keep in mind are Mike Redmond and Bryan Price. Redmond has a history with the club as a player, and Price is currently serving as the Reds’ pitching coach. Mike Lowell and Jeff Conine have had their names bandied about as well, though neither seems particularly interested.

No matter whom the Marlins select, the front office will need an active offseason to better the roster. Miami has to decide whether Logan Morrison is reliable enough to pencil in at first base or left field, and whether it trusts Gorkys Hernandez and/or Justin Ruggiano to man another outfield spot. (For what it’s worth, some in the industry are skeptical of Ruggiano’s ability to hit offspeed pitches.) If the Marlins are able to reconstruct their roster a bit then who knows. Maybe their next manager will last more than a season. 

R.J. Anderson is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see R.J.'s other articles. You can contact R.J. by clicking here

Related Content:  Ozzie Guillen,  Florida Marlins

8 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

Ric Size

This team will never get better until management develops a workable plan, and actually sticks to it. It took them three months of baseball to give up on their last one.

Oct 25, 2012 06:28 AM
rating: 1
 
Richard Bergstrom

I can't believe this entire article was written without mentioning how flaky the Marlins ownership and front office is.

Did they really dream of a new era, or just want a taxpayer funded stadium and spent an offseason acting like contenders to be a bit of a carrot?

As noted elsewhere, this postseason featured two ex-Marlins managers (Girari and Gonzalez). Given how the Marlins seem to worry more about a player's Twitter account than his production (Logan Morrison), is it really any surprise that the Marlins would hype up Guillen just to dump him a year later?

Oct 26, 2012 14:11 PM
rating: 1
 
R.A.Wagman

Jim Leyland is also a former Marlins manager.

Oct 26, 2012 15:21 PM
rating: 1
 
Richard Bergstrom

Yep. You're correct. I guess I forgot him because he wasn't fired.

Oct 26, 2012 18:43 PM
rating: 1
 
matthewverygood

Their May was hot, not June

Oct 25, 2012 09:32 AM
rating: 0
 
eighteen

Ozzie a prime candidate for live TV? Can I have some of what you're smoking?

Oct 25, 2012 10:58 AM
rating: 0
 
Drungo

There do exist premium cable networks that do not have to fear FCC sanctions.

Oct 25, 2012 11:50 AM
rating: 0
 
terryspen

Ozzie has been a postseason commentator on TBS, although I'm sure they were on seven-second delay manned by a guy covered in flop sweat.

Oct 26, 2012 13:05 PM
rating: 3
 
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