The lingering backlash caused by Ozzie Guillen’s praise of Fidel Castro contributed to another Miami Marlins managerial shakeup Tuesday.
Guillen was fired Tuesday after one year with the Marlins, undone by too many losses and one too many ill-advised remarks.
A promising season began to derail in April with Guillen’s laudatory comments about Cuba’s former leader. Six months later, the episode was a factor in the decision to fire Guillen, Marlins officials said.
“Let’s face it. It was not a positive for the team; it was not a positive for Ozzie,” president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest said. “It was a disappointment, no doubt about it.”
A lousy team didn’t help, either. The Marlins took high hopes into their new ballpark following an offseason spending spree but finished last in the N.L. East at 69-93, their worst record since 1999.
Miami’s next manager will be the fifth for owner Jeffrey Loria since early 2010. Two managers he fired made the playoffs this year.
The latest change comes even though Marlins still owe Guillen $7.5 million for the three years remaining on his contract.
“We all felt we had a pretty good ballclub coming out of spring training, and we just didn’t play well,” Beinfest said. “We all share in this. This is not a fun day for me, certainly not for Ozzie or Jeffrey or anybody involved. This is an organizational failure. But we felt like we needed to make this change so we could move forward.”
In the 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.
Under Loria they have usually been among baseball’s thriftiest teams. With attendance and revenue falling short of projections this year, the spending binge of last offseason ago is unlikely to be repeated.
Clearing the bases
Washington reliever Drew Storen, who failed to hold a ninth-inning lead against St. Louis in Game 5 of the N.L. division series, is among six extra players eligible for salary arbitration this winter under baseball’s new labor contract. San Diego shortstop Everth Cabrera, New York Mets catcher Josh Thole, Tampa Bay outfielder Sam Fuld, Colorado outfielder Tyler Colvin and third baseman Chris Johnson also are eligible because of the new deal, Major League Baseball and the players’ union agreed. … The Boston Red Sox introduced John Farrell as their new manager. The Red Sox sent infielder Mike Aviles to Toronto and obtained reliever David Carpenter in the deal. The Red Sox finished in last place in the A.L. East.