Why Beinfest’s baseball career stalled
Larry Beinfest’s impact on the Marlins is severely underrated. He led the front office for 12 seasons, as general manager from 2002-2007 and president of baseball operations from 2008-2013. The results speak for themselves—during that span, they won a World Series title and nearly half their games overall (.486 regular season winning percentage). Consider that in the other 15 Marlins seasons combined, the franchise has only a .443 winning percentage and one summer above the .500 mark.
When Marlins Park opened with back-to-back crappy campaigns, Beinfest was relieved of his duties. Understandable, but why hasn’t he surfaced since then?
On Thursday’s Local Hour of the Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz, former Marlins president David Samson explains what happened to his “close friend.” Jeffrey Loria fired Beinfest at the end of the 2013 season (against Samson’s wishes), and likely sabotaged his opportunities with other clubs by speaking ill of him to fellow MLB owners:
“Many GMs roll over. To this day, many GMs roll over to the owners because it’s the owner!
“Larry stopped rolling over and he got fired because of it, and the other owners would’ve known that.”
Longtime baseball scribe David O’Brien, who now covers the Braves, reported that Beinfest was a candidate for the vacant Atlanta GM job in the fall of 2017. But that didn’t pan out and remains a “free agent” at age 56.
During the conversation, Samson also shares a few anecdotes about Ichiro Suzuki and (uncharacteristically) finds himself in agreement with Derek Jeter! He says the upcoming Marlins baseball operations furloughs are justified heading into an abbreviated season.
I realize that most of this audience despises Samson, but for those interested in more behind-the-scenes stories, listen to his guest appearance on the Fish Across the Pond podcast.
Undrafted free agent frenzy
In anticipation of the most talented crop of undrafted free agents in the modern MLB Draft era, Baseball America has selected and ranked the top 25 of all time (subscription required). However, the article includes dozens of honorable mentions in various groups.
For example, Mike Redmond (draft-eligible in 1992) is among the most accomplished undrafted catchers. Bryan Harvey (1984) became an All-Star with the Angels and Marlins despite his modest roots.
Right-hander Trevor Richards, who you’ll remember from the 2018-2019 Fish, was not included because he got his start in affiliated ball when the club technically purchased his contract from the independent Frontier League.
- We made it to another GIFriday! This week’s batch of uploads includes both throwback and contemporary players. Please consider subscribing to receive full access.
- SB Nation has deemed this to be “What if?” week, so I imagined Miguel Cabrera, Buster Posey and Johan Santana as Marlins for life.
- New mock drafts from Baseball America and MLB Pipeline both project the Marlins to select Texas A&M left-hander Asa Lacy with their first-round pick.
- Marlins Rewind on 940 WINZ featured the Aníbal Sánchez no-hitter. For those who missed the broadcast, it should be posted shortly to the Marlins Radio Network podcast feed.
- Old friend J.T. Realmuto spoke candidly to Matt Gelb of The Athletic about his contract status with the Phillies and next winter’s unpredictable free agent market (subscription required).
- Through his first two starts in the Korea Baseball Organization, Dan Straily was superb. He kept it going Friday morning to retake the league lead in strikeouts. Straily will soon be launching his own podcast, appropriately titled Journeyman.
- Periodic reminder that you can provide invaluable assistance while forming lasting relationships with prospects from the Marlins organization and across the sport by sponsoring them. Check out Adopt A Minor Leaguer for more details.
- The Marlins remain constantly involved in COVID-19 relief efforts, with their latest work summarized here.
- Miami-Dade and Broward counties are allowed to re-open some of their businesses on Monday. Please be smart and safe out there, folks.