At first, the Miami Marlins appeared to be all but ready to fire president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest and his camp in the front office and replace them with assistant general manager Dan Jennings. Then those rumors were apparently shot down, and it was manager Ozzie Guillen's job that appeared to be on the line in the last few weeks.
Well, it appears that we are hearing more mixed news regarding owner Jeffrey Loria's stance on whom to fire within the Marlins organization. The latest news from MLB.com's Joe Frisaro:
There is growing speculation that Guillen will be dismissed, but that decision hasn’t been made. There is a very strong chance Guillen returns. What could change is the chain of command in the front office. Roles for those already on staff may be different.
Just a few days ago, we mentioned links in our latest Fish Bites that had been rumored to say that the Marlins were "aggressively seeking" replacements and that Guillen's job was in "real jeopardy." Now it seems Guillen has a good chance of returning to the Marlins despite a horrific season, and it appears a front office shakeup is once again on the table as a possibility.
What does this tell you? Well, for one, it tells you that Jeffrey Loria is still undecided, and the longer he stays undecided, the more likely that all parties will get a pass for their role in the disastrous 2012 season. Guillen is one who most benefits from extra time, as he will be further and further separated from the ugly season as the calendar moves closer to November and the official start of the offseason. Chances are, the Marlins will want to have the name of their new manager in line by then, so the closer we get to the end of the month, the better for the Fish.
The same cannot necessarily be said about Larry Beinfest and current general manager Michael Hill, if only because the organization seems hellbent, right or wrong, to reset their organization with an internal candidate in Jennings. We have heard that Jennings is a little more open to advanced statistics, but we do not have any real word from him regarding the topic. Either way, the important thing in this situation is that Jennings is already entrenched in the organization and knows his way around the Marlins. That means that, should Beinfest and Hill be replaced, the transition to Jennings and his regime should be significantly shorter, meaning the Marlins may not need to get this situation cleared up as quickly as with Guillen.
Nevertheless, if the Marlins are to make a move, either in the front office or in the clubhouse, it will get done in October. With the playoffs in full swing and most eyes off of the team, the Marlins can quietly make their changes and receive less ridicule than they did when they were making splashier moves last season. In addition, important decisions need to be made starting in November, and the Fish will want their front office and manager situations cleared up by then.
If Beinfest and Guillen can survive October, they should be here for another season. But unlike the word from the last few weeks, it seems both parties should be at least preparing their resumes for the worst.