Some might think that a more appropriate step toward improving the Marlins ball club would be a shiny new bullpen. Owner Jeffery Loria feels a bit differently. In a shocking statement today, Larry Beinfest announced the firing of manager Fredi Gonzalez, bench coach Carlos Tosca, and hitting coach Jim Presley.
STATEMENT BY MARLINS OWNER JEFFREY LORIA
It is never easy to make a change in managers. Fredi has been with our Club for four years. We have become close, and I am extremely fond of Fredi. I, along with all our fans, am grateful for Fredi’s contributions. At the same time, we can’t let personal feelings get in the way of taking steps that we believe are necessary to improve our ballclub.
Decisions on individual personnel cannot supercede our overall goal, which is to win. We believe we can do better and be better. We owe it to our fans to put this team in the best possible position to win. Everyone knows how I feel about winning. That’s the reason we’re making this change. We still have a very long season in front of us, and plenty of time to turn things around. Everyone – our fans, our team, our organization, and myself – wants us to win. That continues to be, and will always be, the goal.
Edwin Rodriguez, who has managed the New Orleans Zephyrs for the past 18 months, has been named the interim manager. Brandon Hyde will fill in as bench coach, and John Mallee will serve as interim hitting coach.
Craig's Thoughts: I would say this is probably the stupidest thing Loria has done, but I'm waiting on the new ballpark to proclaim that. It is not Fredi's fault that the bullpen he was given couldn't pitch. Nor was it Tosca, or Presley fault that the team couldn't consistently hit. If you try to draw a parallel between this and 2003 you are just fooling yourself.
Fredi will land on his feet and will probably be the next Atlanta Braves manager. Nothing about the firings will address the problems the Marlins have. However, this will shake up the clubhouse, but not in a good way. This is absolutely wrong. But being a Marlins fan is never easy, and I really don't care whether you agreed with Fredi's moves or not, this was not the time to make a change.