Some clarity caps a confusing weekend
NEW YORK – Under a cloud of uncertainty the Marlins headed to New York on Thursday. They will be leaving town Sunday night with some clarity, at least in regards to the front office.
Although there is no official announcement from the club, early in the trip, team owner Jeffrey Loria put to rest reports that Larry Beinfest’s job was in jeopardy.
Shortly before the team’s flight left Miami on Thursday, USA Today reported that Beinfest would be dismissed as president of baseball operations, and replaced by Dan Jennings, the team’s vice president of player personnel and assistant general manager. Within 24 hours, Loria made it clear to the front office that he was keeping the status quo. If a shift in power were going to occur, that meeting was the time and place to do it. It also was made clear that there would be no reassigning of duties or responsibilities.
Word leaked on Friday night that the front office was staying as is, meaning Loria feels the player evaluators were not the major reason why the Marlins have been so disappointing.
What remains unsettled is manager Ozzie Guillen’s status.
Is Guillen on the hot seat? Absolutely.
There is growing speculation that Guillen may be out after the first of his four-year contract. Aside from the obvious, the team has underperformed, there are rumblings of clubhouse and community disconnect.
The bottom line with Guillen is the decision will be made by Loria.
As the rumors build, a source said Loria has not come to a conclusion. If he had decided to retain Guillen, then most likely the owner would have said something this weekend. After all, he did with Beinfest and the rest of the front office.
Loria basically is weighing the pros and cons, and going back and forth about what he wants to do.
Several sources have said there is a “60 percent” chance Guillen will not be back. Some noted a few days ago, that if major changes were to take place, it would be either at the front office or manager levels. Not both.
Guillen’s status also may be impacted by some other candidates. If, say, the team could convince Mike Lowell, who has never managed or coached at the professional level, to take the job, then Guillen could be out.
Bo Porter, a former Marlins coach, has been discussed with numerous jobs, including the Marlins. But some insiders feel Porter, now the Nationals third base coach, may end up getting the Astros’ managerial job.
Mike Redmond, a former Marlins backup catcher, may attract interest. One scenario could be Lowell managing and Redmond coming in as the bench coach. Redmond managed the Blue Jays’ Class A Florida State League squad this summer.
Maybe the Marlins decide to keep Guillen, and give him a second year to try to turn things around. There still could be changes made on his staff. Hitting coach, Eduardo Perez, for instance, will have his contract expire in October.
Miami could simply decide not to renew, and search for another hitting coach.
Questions remain unanswered, but more clarity around Guillen and his staff should be known by the time the season ends on Oct. 3.
– Joe Frisaro