The Miami Marlins have had a second straight terrible season in 2013, and this could go down as the team's worst year in history. Despite the known problems going into the year, there is a possibility that jobs will be at stake by the end of the year. Vice president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest, who has been with the franchise since Jeffrey Loria purchased it in 2002, may once again be at risk of being fired at the end of this season, according to Peter Gammons of GammonsDaily.com.
Miami’s Larry Beinfest is one of the most respected GMs in the game, but since 2009, Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria has whimsically run everything. Loria seemed intent on making Dan Jennings his GM last fall, then backed off, and may still, as Beinfest has two years remaining on his contract.
It seems that the conflict between Loria's and Beinfest's camps from last year has continued. Assistant general manager Dan Jennings is rumored to be Loria's desired candidate to step into the general manager's role should the team depose Beinfest and current GM Michael Hill. The two sides supposedly did not agree on moves such as pursuing Prince Fielder in the 2011-2012 offseason.
The conflict back then remains unchanged after this season. Beinfest and company were overseeing a ship without a significant number of parts this year, as the Marlins were stripped bare on owner's orders in the offseason. Nothing that Beinfest did this year would justify any difference in his evaluation at the end of this season. At the same time, Beinfest is notorious for his disinterest in advanced baseball statistics and is part of a dying breed of baseball executives. More and more parties are utilizing the same sorts of statistics we use here at Fish Stripes, and the Marlins cannot afford to continue to fall behind in the evaluation game.
However, on the other hand, there is the risk that, if Beinfest is fired, Loria would simply promote Dan Jennings as a hand-picked successor to follow Loria's various team-management whims. Marlins fans cannot be excited about having a guy who agreed with moves such as paying hefty prices for Prince Fielder-types ans is more inclined to agree with the delusional at (at best) inexperienced Loria.
Beinfest and Hill are signed through 2015, so their contracts are on their side, as Loria is unlikely to be willing to pay more for another person to do a job someone is already being paid to do. But Loria also showed last year that they are willing to go for a cheap option to divulge themselves of an unwanted one; the team is currently paying Ozzie Guillen $7.5 million over this year and the next two years to sit in a TV booth and not manage the Marlins. If Loria feels it is the right move, he will do it, regardless of the sunk cost.
The question, of course, is whether firing Beinfest and his team is the right move.