Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – No one will argue the Miami Marlins season of promise turned into a disaster, but is it enough to cost manager Ozzie Guillen his job? According to a new FoxSports.com report, it just might.
According to Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, the Marlins haven’t made a final decision on firing Guillen, but “the team is ‘testing the waters’ with managerial candidates and has contacted at least one already, according to major-league sources.”
Guillen did himself no favors at the beginning of the season with controversial comments about former Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. The Marlins then started to win and finished off the best month in team history in May. Then the wheels came off in a big way.
As of Friday afternoon, the Marlins were 66-84 and 25.5 games behind first place Washington in the NL East. Additionally, the Marlins, despite a spectacular nearly completely taxpayer funded stadium, still are ranked 18th in the league in attendance with just barely more than 2 million in attendance in 2012.
The Marlins have reportedly been talking about hiring someone who will be a low-priced alternative to Guillen. The current Marlins manager has a 4-year, $10 million contract that could prevent the hiring of a high-priced manager to help rebuild the Marlins.
Previous reports have stated the Marlins were planning to fire the president of baseball operations, Larry Beinfest. If Guillen goes, it could be a part of a major shakeup in the front office of one of baseball’s perennial under-performing teams.
Whoever manages the Marlins next season, they could see the team deal number one starting pitcher Josh Johnson at some point in the season as his contract runs out after next season and the Fish may not be willing to pay his free agent price.
The Marlins do have two young pieces to work with in star outfielder Giancarlo Stanton and shortstop Jose Reyes. The Fish also have veteran pitcher Mark Buehrle and a few other players the team is high on heading into 2013.
Stanton is the face of the franchise and Reyes has turned in a solid hitting season after starting slowly. The future isn’t all bleak for the franchise, but it could be a rough ride getting back to the top for Marlins fans in the coming years.