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Question of the Day
The decision to fire Guillen came on the eve of the World Series, nearly three weeks after the Marlins’ final game, following a lengthy assessment of what went wrong this year.
“Everybody wanted to take a step back,” Beinfest said. “It was really an organizational decision.”
Guillen was returning Tuesday from a vacation in Spain and was informed of his dismissal by phone by Beinfest in a brief conversation.
Guillen left the Chicago White Sox a year ago after eight seasons. Some 24 hours later he sealed a four-year deal with the Marlins, where he was a third-base coach for the 2003 World Series championship team.
“I feel like I’m back home,” he said at the time.
Loria traded two minor league players to obtain Guillen and gave him a team-record $10 million, four-year deal. But by June, the Marlins had fallen below .500 for good.
Despite the frustrations of losing, the talkative, opinionated, profane Guillen kept his cool for the most part, and he repeatedly accepted responsibility for the team’s performance. Mindful of speculation his job might be in jeopardy, he said two weeks before the end of the season he was glad he rented a house in Miami rather than buying when he took the job.
“With the job I did this year, do you think I deserve to be back here?” Guillen said on the final day of the season. “Of course not. But I’m not the only one. … Let’s start from the top. The front office failed, Ozzie failed, the coaching staff failed, the players failed, everybody failed.”
In December, the Marlins signed All-Stars Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and Heath Bell to contracts worth a combined $191 million. But Bell was a bust as the closer, and the Marlins were plagued by poor hitting, especially in the clutch.
Bell was traded last week to Arizona.
In the Marlins’ 20 seasons they have reached the postseason only twice, as wild-card teams in 1997 and 2003. Both times they won the World Series.
Under Loria they have usually been among baseball’s thriftiest teams. With attendance and revenue falling short of projections this year, the spending binge of last offseason ago is unlikely to be repeated.
“We need to spend some time redefining ourselves in conjunction with a new manager,” Beinfest said. “I can’t tell you exactly what the Marlin way is today.”
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