Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Ozzie Guillen's firing was inevitable

The only question is why it took so long. You would think that a 90+ loss season after going all in with free agents in the first year of a new stadium would have resulted in a dismissal of Ozzie Guillen right as the season ended. But here it is, more than three weeks later, and the Marlins finally made the move. What took them so long? And where does the team go from here?

For Guillen's part, he handled the dismissal with tact. His tweet was gracious:

"to the fans that support me and for those who are happy as well my love and respect to you as well"

But then again, Guillen is going to get paid for two more seasons despite his new-found unemployment, so he can afford to be gracious. Guillen has a no-prisoners style of managing and speaking in his public position. He lived and died with that style and this time, he did not survive. Nor probably should he have. This space was on record when he was hired for the position that it was a big mistake and that proved to be the case. (don't you hate I-told-you-so's?).

So where do the Marlins go from here? First of all, most opinions on the ownership of the Marlins are bad. Real bad. And they seem markedly deserved. Bobby Valentine flew down there and left in a hurry after assessing that situation. It's a no win situation for a manager. Just ask any of the last five they have had in the last four seasons. So who in their right mind would take such a job?

It won't be an established name, that is for sure. Nobody is going to bake their reputation going to that pit of an ownership situation. So that leaves it for first time managers who deserve a shot at the big league seat.

A couple that come to mind quickly because of their Hispanic background and respect in the game would be Sandy Alomar, Jr. and Tony Pena. Pena would not be a first timer of course. He managed the Royals in the mid-2000's and but for the 2003 season, did not have fun there. But he has not gotten a shot since, so he is in the same category as someone who would take a chance with a faulty ownership situation to get another chance to manage.

Whatever the case and whomever gets the job, the Marlins remain a mess and Ozzie Guillen was not the total scapegoat for what happened there this season. Even so, he was not a good fit and the mistake will cost the team millions. Baseball needs the Marlins to succeed and perhaps the right new manager can catch lightning in a bottle and make it work.

But that is at best wishful thinking. But thanks for the fun, Ozzie. You were certainly different.

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