Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen began the year by mistakenly saying that he respects Cuban dictator Fidel Castro in the one place that you absolutely can't do so: South Florida. Following his mid-April remarks, he led his team to a franchise-best month of May that at one point saw them sitting atop the National League East standings. He continued to just be himself, but being himself wasn't working, as Miami quickly fell out of contention. Now, despite being signed through 2015, is Miami manager Ozzie Guillen guaranteed to be in the Marlins' dugout managing games next season?
Not without protest. After quickly realizing that they didn't have a realistic shot at the postseason, Miami's front office made several key moves that brought in key prospects that should help the organization in the future. However, when the season comes to a close, those prospects are not the ones that will be evaluated. The front office officials that brought those young players in, though, are the ones that will be thoroughly evaluated by owner Jeffery Loria at the conclusion of the 2012 season.
Guillen can only use what he had, and what he had wasn't producing wins. Hanley Ramirez was having a down year, Josh Johnson didn't look like his overpowering 2010 self until July, and Logan Morrison and Emilio Bonifacio couldn't drive in runs from the disabled list. Guillen did get what he expected out of Mark Buehrle, and was surprised by the play of Justin Ruggiano; however the same issue that prevented previous Miami teams from making the post season in the past plagued them again: inconsistency.
Rumors have claimed that Larry Beinfest might be on his way out, and those quick to criticize Guillen have recently said that the team is considering Mike Lowell and Bo Porter, among others, to manage the team next year. The manager is to blame if the team doesn't perform. But should Guillen be blamed for things that he couldn't control?
-According to a source, the Marlins' front office is going to remain in tact, however manager Ozzie Guillen is "in trouble." The front office along with Guillen will be evaluated by owner Jeffery Loria at the end of the season.
-Owner Jeffery Loria has a lot of decisions to make following a disappointing 2012 season. Sun-Sentinel columnist Dave Hyde expects several changes after Miami's third consecutive losing season. Hyde's reason for changes is centered around the fact that ticket sales have decreased as the season progressed, and will continue to decrease in the future if moves aren't made.
-Miami president David Samson has recently said that fans should not blame the team's lack of success on the dimensions of Marlins Park. Several players have been vocal about the fact that hitting the ball out of Marlins Park is truly a challenge. "I think there is too big a deal being made because the walls are the walls and if you let it affect you in any way, and I'm not speaking specifically about our players, that's not productive," Samson said on 790 The Ticket on Wednesday. "You have to deal with it. Use it to your advantage. Hit the balls in the gaps. If you had a pitcher on the other end of the line and asked if the big walls or if the dimensions were a problem he'd probably say no."
-President of Baseball Operations Larry Beinfest is aware that his job and the jobs of several other front office officials may be in jeopardy following yet another losing season. "It's easy to say, ‘Well Ozzie didn't do this, Larry didn't do that and Jeffrey didn't do this and David did that,'" Beinfest said. "I think it's real easy to do a lot of that right now, but it's all of us. If Hanley didn't perform, you know what? I was part of the negotiating team that gave him the long-term contract. I was part of the decision-making team that kept him here and wanted him to perform. Gave him to Ozzie and Joey Cora to work on his fielding at third base."
-The Marlins' rookies were outfitted as a water polo team for their trip to New York on Thursday. Outfielder Giancarlo Stanton posted photos on his Twitter page of the rookies walking around Times Square and other popular tourist destinations around the city.
-Jacob Turner had a rough night in New York on Friday night, as the Marlins fell to the Mets 7-3. Turner gave up six runs, only three of which were earned, over five innings. "The way we played the first three innings, four innings, was embarrassing," Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said. "If I was pitching in that game, I would fight with somebody."
-Despite all of the rumors involving the state of his job, manager Ozzie Guillen is not concerned about where he stands. "If Jeffrey doesn't think I'm doing the job I should do, it's not the first time he's fired a manager," Guillen said.
-Center fielder Justin Ruggiano, who could be considered Miami's most consistent player this year, exited Friday night's 7-3 loss in New York with a right shoulder sprain. "I jammed it," Ruggiano said. "I know it's not too serious."
-The Marlins said goodbye to Braves' third baseman Chipper Jones on Wednesday with a video tribute dedicated to Chipper before he played his final Miami home game against the Marlins at Marlins Park. "I think he's just had enough. He's told me he's missed enough time with the kids,'' Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez, now in his second season on the Braves bench after being fired by the Marlins in 2010, said.
Around The League
-Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez became 2012's first 20 game winner and the first 20 game winner in Nationals history, as the Nats defeated the Brewers 10-4 on Saturday.
-Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey earned his 19th win of the season as the Mets defeated the Marlins 4-3 on Saturday afternoon.
-Reds manager Dusty Baker is expected to return to Cincinnati on Sunday after remaining in a Chicago hospital through Saturday. "He's doing well," bench coach Chris Speier said. "The report is they just want to keep him one more day and make sure everything is fine before they release him.
At Fish Stripes
-SB Nation United Style is coming! Be prepared, and stay tuned for more!
-Larry Beinfest may be fired after the season. Check out the Fish Stripes reaction.