First, it was the November fire sale trade with Toronto. Then came the newspaper apology, the new Public Relations firm, and finally the front office refusing to move the seats of valued season ticket holders.
As if only winning 20 games over the span of the first two and a half months of the season isn't enough, the Marlins continue gain negative publicity. On Friday night, catcher Miguel Olivo left Marlins Park before the start of the game, and as a result, he has been placed on the restricted list..
Olivo appeared in 33 games for Miami in 2013. However, Olivo was either a pinch hitter or a late game defensive substitution for manager Mike Redmond in the majority of those games.
As Spring Training concluded, Miami signed Olivo, familiar with the organization after spending 2006 and 2007 with the Florida Marlins, to a one year contract. In one of the first games of the preseason, Jeff Mathis broke his collarbone, and there was not a clear timetable for his return.
Olivo hit .203 with four home runs and nine runs batted in while getting on base at a .250 clip. His most recent contribution came last Sunday, when he hit a two-run home run in the tenth inning against the Mets.
Despite the fact that he has proven he can still hit and be solid defensively, Olivo wasn't satisfied being one of Miami's pinch hitters.
"They say we need you for pinch-hitting," Olivo said in an interview with the Miami Herald. "I said I've never been a pinch-hitter in my life. That's not my game."
Redmond and several Marlins players were surprised at the time Olivo decided to exit. He said that if Olivo had waited until after the game, things might have been different.
"You're always in shock," Redmond said of Olivo leaving. "I've never been involved in something like that. To have somebody leave after batting practice. I think everyone was kind of in shock. I know it wasn't an ideal situation for him, not getting to play a lot. At the same time, the team relies on you. Had that happened after the game, it would've been probably a different situation. But do it during the game and put your team in a tough spot, it's tough on your teammates and coaches."
Miami's front office appeared to have a good relationship with Olivo, which is likely one of the reasons the team brought him in for the second time. According to Olivo, though, General Manager Michael Hill refused to grant Olivo his release, even though he had asked several times.
"I told them I wanted to be released and they wouldn't give it to me," said Olivo. "I don't understand why they don't release me. I told them I wanted to be released because I have 30 days of not playing. I need to play."
While on the restricted list, Olivo could be losing a portion of his $800,000 salary. Miami could look to see if they could trade Olivo. While on the restricted list, he cannot negotiate with any other team.
Following the trade with the Blue Jays, free agents will likely be hesitant to sign with the Marlins. This may be another turn off when the Marlins hit the market and try to piece together a team in the offseason.
"I don't understand," Olivo said. "If I'm not doing nothing, I don't understand why they keep me doing nothing. Let me go. Right now they're going to make me look bad, and I'm not. I hope people understand. I just want to play baseball. They have three catchers."