MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami Marlins are a mess with a 55-94 record heading into the final weeks of the regular season. The team has struggled hitting, fielding, and outside of Jose Fernandez, pitching. But the biggest dysfunction may be in the team’s front office.
It all starts with the most loathed owner possibly in South Florida sports history, Jeffrey Loria. The formerly hands-off owner has gone all-in and is undercutting his team’s executives at times because of what seem to be personal grudges.
According to FoxSports.com, Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest may be on the outs with the franchise. However, Loria, according to FoxSports.com, is keeping Beinfest in the dark and it’s helping create a power struggle in the Marlins front office.
FoxSports.com reported the sides are divided with Loria and vice-president of player personnel Dan Jennings on one side and Beinfest and general manager Mike Hill on the other. FoxSports.com said team president David Samson, “has been all but invisible this season and also is on the outs with Loria, sources say.”
Given the limitations Loria has constantly put on Beinfest and the rest of the organization; the fact that Miami has brought together some solid young talent like Giancarlo Stanton and Jose Fernandez is a remarkable achievement.
Loria’s most notable meddling this season came when the team was preparing to call-up infielder Chris Valaika from Triple-A on August 19. Valaika became known to Loria after he was named as one of several players who had altercations with former Marlins hitting coach Tino Martinez.
The multiple incidents with Martinez eventually led to his resignation, which angered Loria because the owner hand-picked the former Yankee player to be the team’s hitting coach. So, when Valaika was set to be called up, Loria stopped the call-up from going through.
Instead of calling up Valaika, a young player, the Marlins recalled 33-year-old journeyman Gil Velazquez, according to FoxSports.com.
All of it continues to contribute to the chaos that is the Miami Marlins franchise. The Marlins are not expected to bring in any big name talent in the offseason and will likely head into the 2014 season with one of the lowest payrolls in the Majors.
The only question remaining for the 2013 season is will the Marlins finish with 100 losses for just the second time in franchise history?
The team has 13 games remaining and has a record of 55-94 on the season. The Marlins won’t set the franchise record for losses in a season, which still stands at 108 in 1998, the first season after a massive salary/talent dump.
But, the Marlins will have a winning percentage under .400 for just the fourth time in franchise history.