We here at Fish Stripes have been reporting on the continuous conflict between owner Jeffrey Loria and president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest. Over the weekend, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reported on another obvious example of the ongoing problems between the two parties involved. This conflict involved second baseman Derek Dietrich.
An example of the peculiar way Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria is doing business: When Larry Beinfest, the president of baseball operations, suggested last month that the Marlins promote second baseman Derek Dietrich in September, Loria said no. Loria is annoyed that Dietrich accused former first base coach Tino Martinez - Loria’s hand-picked choice -- of abusive behavior.
But when assistant GM Dan Jennings then recommended to Loria that Dietrich be promoted, Loria changed his mind and gave the OK -– a point that became moot when Dietrich suffered an oblique injury before his promotion.
The problem between them has apparently gotten severe enough that Loria no longer listens to the decisions made by Beinfest. Unfortunately, it also appears that if Jennings makes the very same decision, Loria will listen to him.
This continues the front office rift that is almost surely not a good thing for the Marlins' decision-making process. At this point, Loria might as well fire Beinfest and have Jennings take over, as Beinfest is only serving as a figurehead decision-maker with little to no actual power. But firing Beinfest and his crew may force Loria to promote Jennings to a head position like general manager and probably promote his pay scale, which is something that the notoriously cheap owner may not want to do.
The reason why Beinfest has apparently been neutered in terms of power is that Loria dislikes his personnel moves and the fact that Beinfest often critiques Loria's choices for personnel changes. This sort of thinking does not bode well for Jennings or any other future personnel leaders; once Loria runs out of patience for Jennings's individuality or any other future decision-maker, that person will also lose their power much like Beinfest. It is hardly an ideal work environment.
So who does have Loria's ear in the front office? Jackson has the information.
Among those who have Loria’s ear: Jennings, vice president/player development Marty Scott and agent Scott Boras (primarily concerning how to handle star client Jose Fernandez).
Jennings was a known factor. Marty Scott, who has a major say in the team's draft and developmental system, is a favorite of the franchise and almost has tenure despite the downturn in draft results until 2010. The fact that Scott Boras, however, holds sway with the franchise because of his relationship with client Jose Fernandez does not bode well for the franchise. Boras is cutthroat in his dealings, and having a team listening to an agent looking out for one client's interests is not a good sign for the Fish.
Everything noted here by Jackson is concerning for the future of the franchise. No matter who takes over after Beinfest's seemingly inevitable firing, it seems Loria only has a finite amount of time and patience for them. All of this serves as a reminder that Loria is eventually the man who is in charge, and he will ultimately do whatever he pleases.