Ozzie Gets the Ax

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Ozzie Guillen, COCKPUNCHED:
The Ozzie Guillen era in Miami lasted just one season. The Miami Marlins fired Guillen Tuesday. Picked by many to contend for a playoff spot before the 2012 season, the Marlins finished 69-93, in the cellar of the NL East.

Marlins President of Baseball Operations Larry Beinfest made the announcement. The Marlins still owe Guillen $7.5 million for the three years remaining on his contract. The team traded two minor leaguers to the Chicago White Sox last fall in exchange for Guillen, who had managed the White Sox for the previous 8 seasons.
At least the dog still likes him. When we discussed whether the Heath Bell trade meant Guillen was safe this weekend, we said, "I think the case could be made that the team is willing to cut bait on any contract, including Guillen's." One point for Dave.

We didn't think Guillen deserved to be fired because Hanley Ramirez and Jose Reyes morphed into average hitters and Heath Bell became Jorge Julio 2.0. Like any respectable stat nerd, we assert that a good manager will add at most 2-3 wins over the course of a season. And it is hard to argue that Guillen could have done anything to improve the team's disappointing hitting (there is an argument to be made that his handling of the bullpen was suboptimal, since he stuck with Bell as closer for way too long).

The worst part of this move, though, is the fact that the team will likely improve dramatically next year, and that will allow Team Loria to give excess credit to the new manager (whoever that will be).

Speaking of new managers, it would not be shocking if Loria goes after Bobby Valentine, who was just fired by the Red Sox. He has long been on the Marlins' radar. I have no idea whether he would represent an improvement over Guillen, but I suspect it's a wash.

Finally, we must once again link to our 2010 piece that argues against hiring a manager at all.


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