The last 48 hours have been a whirlwind for the Miami Marlins. After the Marlins lost for the sixth time in the last seven games on Sunday, dropping their record to 16-22, Mike Redmond was dismissed from the team. This move was followed by various reports of possible replacements, which ranged from long-time manager Dusty Baker to current Marlins analyst/ Special assistant to the President Jeff Conine.
Ultimately, news broke early Monday morning that General Manager Dan Jennings would take over the vacant manger position for the Marlins. Jennings has no professional experience as a manager, as the last time he managed was in the late 1980s for a high school team in Alabama.
Jennings becomes the Marlins sixth manager in the past six seasons. Redmond was fired 38 games into the 2014-15 campaign after receiving a contract extension through 2017 last September. The Marlins, who are still paying off Ozzie Guillen's contract, will owe Redmond around $3 million.
So after making this kind of move, it was safe to assume that Jeffrey Loria would be present at Jennings introductory press conference as manager yesterday to explain how and why this decision was made. But Loria was not in attendance and, in addition, the job that Mike Redmond did, or failed to do, was not talked about much. Later on in the day, Loria did offer some harsh comments about the decision to fire Redmond over the phone with Andy Martino of the New York Daily News:
"The lack of energy spoke for itself," Loria said about the team under previous manager Mike Redmond. "They were lifeless...I don't see this as such a bold move. I see it as a move to get some energy in that dugout, and elevate some of the lack of energy."
Loria was not done there with the harsh criticism of Redmond and the clubhouse that he had created, via Bob Nightengale of the USA Today:
"People like to say this is controversial, different, outside the box,'' Loria said in a telephone interview with USA TODAY Sports. "I can't think of anyone better suited for this job than him. There was a tremendous lack of energy and fire in that clubhouse and dugout. We needed to bring some life in there.
"We needed more accountability, more energy, more fire, more communication, and Dan fills all of those roles.'' And that simply wasn't going to happen, Loria is convinced, under Redmond.
"You don't have to be a rocket scientist to see the team wasn't performing,'' Loria said. "Everybody in baseball can see it. A lot of players lost accountability, and structure was lacking.
After the Marlins stumbled to a 3-10 record to begin the season, rumors began to arise that Loria and the front office were upset with the job that Redmond was doing and were already in the process of thinking about possible replacements. The members of the front office confirmed those late-April reports yesterday by saying that the club had began thinking about replacing Redmond after the Marlins slow start. The Marlins front office claimed that a 'new voice' was needed to reach the players and to get them energetic about playing.
Without being around the team, and in the clubhouse and dugout everyday, it is hard to defiantly say that the team was not lifeless and did indeed play with a lot of energy. But from the outside, it seemed as if the players were enjoying themselves during games and there was a positive atmosphere surrounding the club. At no point this season did it feel like the Marlins lost because of a lack of effort or care.
With that being said, the move seemed more like more of an effort to blame someone other than the players for the Marlins 16-22 record. Miami is towards the bottom of the National League in runs scored and their bullpen currently boasts a 4.23 ERA to go along with a major league high of eight blown saves. Additionally, Henderson Alvarez and Jose Fernandez have made a combined three starts and key bats in the lineup have been inconsistent. Even though these factors are out of Mike Redmond's control, the Marlins front office did not want to waste any more time with a manager that they believed was leading an underperforming ball club.
The decision to fire Redmond, and the subsequent move to replace him with Dan Jennings, has recieved a lot of criticism around the league. Many people, including Dan Jennings own mother, think that firing Redmond was a mistake and the hiring of someone with no managerial experience is even more ludicrous. The Marlins on the other hand believe that with the help of the coaching staff, Jennings can be successful as a manager because he had a major hand in building the team and thus has a strong knowledge of the players.
There are a lot of uncertainties moving forward, as far as if this decision is going to work out, but one thing is for certain: the Marlins will be an interesting team to follow for the rest of this season.