Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami Marlins completed one of the most inept seasons in franchise history Tuesday when they fired manager Ozzie Guillen after just one season.
“After careful consideration following the disappointment of the 2012 season, we decided to dismiss Ozzie,” said Marlins President of Baseball Operations Larry Beinfest. “Our managerial search begins immediately and our hope is that a new manager, along with roster improvements, will restore a winning culture.”
Guillen just completed the first year of a four-year contract worth $10 million. He joined the Marlins before the inaugural season at Marlins Park and will be paid for the remaining years of his contract, which will be $7.5 million.
According to CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman, “management thought he (Guillen) did a poor job. Some were appalled he delegated so much to Cora.”
Guillen’s tenure with the Marlins started rough after he gave an interview in which he complemented Fidel Castro. The comments set off a firestorm that Guillen and the Marlins had to deal with just after the opening of Marlins Park.
For the Marlins, there was plenty of blame to go around for the miserable season the team just completed. Owner Jeffrey Loria, Beinfest, and team president David Samson sank a lot into the offseason signings of some big name free agents and several blew up in their faces.
Most notable among the free agent busts from last year was closer Heath Bell. The one-time dominant closer with the Padres was a shell of himself with the Marlins this year and clashed with teammates and Guillen in the clubhouse.
After signing a large contract with the Marlins, the team traded Bell last week for a minor-league prospect.
The Marlins finished the 2012 season with a record of 69-93, dead last in the NL East once again. The Marlins also failed to meet the targeted fan attendance, even with a brand new stadium.
The Marlins do have a foundation to build around for the future in shortstop Jose Reyes and right fielder Giancarlo Stanton. The latter has the potential to be a power hitter to be feared in Major League Baseball, while Reyes came around in the second half of last season.
Still, this is just the latest managerial failure for the Marlins, suggesting the issues with the franchise are much deeper than just who is leading the team.
The team has fired Guillen, Fredi Gonzalez, and Joe Girardi in recent years, Edwin Rodriguez quit. Guillen has won a World Series in the past, Gonzalez led the Atlanta Braves to the playoffs in 2012, and Girardi won a World Series as manager of the New York Yankees.