The Miami Marlins apparently are already on the lookout for their next manager, as Buster Olney reports that the Fish are aggressively seeking managerial candidates to replace embattled current manager Ozzie Guillen.
Marlins are aggressively seeking a replacement for Ozzie Guillen. Will they wait to find someone before firing him? We'll see.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) October 4, 2012
Guillen signed with the Marlins last year for four years and $10 million, but a 69-win season, the worst the team has performed since the dark days of 1999, apparently has the Marlins scrambling for a new manager. Owner Jeffrey Loria has the final say on the matter, and Guillen has mentioned that he has spoken with Loria in the last few days and not discussed his job status, Remember, with as fickle an owner as Loria, you would not be surprised to see the Marlins make a mostly cosmetic change.
Candidates that have been mentioned included Bo Porter, who is now the manager of the Houston Astros, and Mike Lowell, who apparently will not be considered despite being discussed. Brad Ausmus, who is currently managing the Israeli team in the World Baseball Classic and is a special adviser for the San Diego Padres, apparently is not interested in getting into managing either. The only name that we have heard connected to the Fish that has yet to be ruled out is Mike Redmond, who is currently coaching the Toronto Blue Jays' High-A affiliate. Rumors have also swirled about Bobby Valentine, who is expected to be dismissed shortly by the Boston Red Sox. However, with $7.5 million still owed to Guillen, the Marlins are likely to go for a cheaper option than Valentine.
If the Marlins do fire Guillen, it once again proves that the franchise is stuck in their ways and is failing to see the forest for the trees. How could Guillen be a successful manager with the team performing as poorly as it did? He was not the cause of the Marlins' troublesome injury problems, nor was he the one who caused the series of underachieving performances from the likes of Logan Morrison and John Buck, for example. Guillen likely had a hand in some of these problems, but blaming him without at least holding the front office that built the team also accountable seems like it places an unfair load on a party that has the least effect on on-field performance.
No, if the Marlins do fire Guillen, it will likely be so that the team can cut most of its ties with the horrid 2012 season. That is an understandable premise, but it is not a justification for firing someone who likely deserved at least another season on the job. Replacing Guillen just because he was at the helm of the 2012 year is simply a cosmetic change that makes the ownership feel better about having "done something to fix the problem" without having to commit to a serious evaluation of the organization. It is an unsurprising move, and perhaps in that regard it is disappointing to see (again) from the Miami Marlins.