Ozzie Guillen was fired after a year as manager of the last-place Marlins.
Miami’s next manager will be the 5h for owner Jeffrey Loria since early 2010. Two managers he fired made the playoffs this year. The Miami Marlins still owe Guillen $7.5 million for the 3 years remaining on his contract.
”After careful consideration following the disappointment of the 2012 season, we made a decision to dismiss Ozzie,” president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest said in a statement. ”Our managerial search begins immediately and our hope is that a new manager, together with roster improvements, will restore a winning culture.”
The franchise was allegedly transformed by an offseason spending spree and the move into a new ballpark, and the Marlins predicted to contend for a playoff berth.
In spring coaching, Guillen touted his team as well balanced and ready to win. But a dismal June took the Marlins out of contention for good, and management dismantled the roster in July.
The season went sour from the beginning. Guillen’s comments praising Castro in a magazine interview enraged Cuban Americans, who make up a large section of the Marlins’ fan base. The Venezuelan manager apologized regularly at a press conference for his remarks about the former Cuban leader. Guillen then started a 5-game suspension only 5 games into his stay with the team.
”That was a very, very hard situation for me and the people around me,” Guillen asserted in September. ”It was maybe the most terrible thing I ever did.”
In September 2011, Guillen left the Chicago White Sox after 8 seasons. Some 24 hours later he sealed a 4-year contract with the Miami Marlins, where he used to be a 3rd-base coach for the 2003 World Series championship team.
”I feel like I’m back home,” he announced at the time.
Loria traded 2 minor league players to get Guillen and gave him a team-record $10 million, 4-year contract.
But by June, the Marlins fell below .500 for good. In spite of the frustrations of losing, the talkative, opinioned, profane Guillen kept his cool for the most part, and he repeatedly accepted responsibility for the team’s performance.
Mindful of speculation his job might be in jeopardy, he said 2 weeks before the end of the season he was happy he rented a house in Miami rather than purchasing when he took the job.
‘With the job I did this year, do you really think I should be back here?” Guillen said on the last day of the season. ”Of course not, but I am not the only one. … Let’s start from the top. The front office failed, Ozzie failed, the coaching staff failed, the players failed, everyone failed.” Basketball scores
In December, the Marlins signed All-Stars Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and Heath Bell to contracts worth a combined $191 million. But Bell was a bust as the closer, and the Marlins were troubled by poor hitting, especially in the clutch. Bell was traded last week to Arizona.
In the Miami Marlins’ 20 seasons they have reached the postseason only twice, as wild-card teams in 1997 and 2003. Both times they won the World Series.