The Marlins announced Sunday that general manager Michael Hill will replace Larry Beinfest as president of baseball operations, with vice president of player development Dan Jennings moving up to Hill's old job. The move is a touch surprising: Jennings seemed to be the front-runner to replace Beinfest, while reports of the schism in the front office had Hill on the outside looking in with Beinfest. Instead, Hill will remain Jennings' boss.
|Michael Hill, photo via NBCMiami.com|
Unless Beinfest was ruling the front office with an iron fist (and reports indicate that it was Loria who was doing that as of late, not Beinfest), it is unrealistic to think that Hill and Jennings will make the kind of changes necessary for the Marlins to be more competitive in the coming years. This seems like little more than a cosmetic change in the front office, where management will continually be hamstrung by their owner's notorious penny-pinching and micromanagement.
If there was one big damning fact hanging over Beinfest, it was his bad record in drafts through much of his tenure. While his staff hit big on early-round picks Giancarlo Stanton and Josh Johnson, none of Beinfest's first round picks from 2002-2009 made lasting contributions to the franchise. To be fair, recent years have seen the selections of Jose Fernandez and Christian Yelich, but there was a time when Chris Volstad and Chris Coghlan looked like they would be important players for years to come, nothing is certain.
Regardless, the question that keeps coming up with regards to the dismissal of Beinfest is "Why now?" His draft record was no secret, and he has missed far more often than not on big trades before last seasons' fire sale. In all likelihood, Beinfest forced this on himself by reportedly asking Loria to either fire him or let him resume running the team without interference, and Loria (for once) did the right thing and bought out the final two years of Beinfest's contract.
So Beinfest will earn the remainder of his salary for two years, and will probably be courted by a number of clubs this winter (should he choose not to take some time off). Hill and Jennings got promotions, but I can't escape the feeling that Beinfest himself is the biggest winner of this episode.
Sunday, September 29, 2013
Henderson Alvarez has just thrown the fifth no-hitter in Marlins history, and the Marlins made it interesting. Miami did not score until the bottom of the ninth, leaving Alvarez in limbo after he struck out Matt Tuiasosopo to end the ninth inning:
Then in the bottom of the ninth, the Marlins managed to break through. Giancarlo Stanton and Logan Morrison hit back-to-back singles with one out, then advanced to second and third on a wild pitch by Detroit's Luke Putkonen. After Chris Coghlan walked with two outs to load the bases, pinch hitter Greg Dobbs came to the plate with it all on the line.
On the first pitch, Putkonen got one by catcher Brayan Pena, allowing Stanton to score from third and preserve the wildest no-hitter in a very long time.
Excluding the two World Series victories, this is easily the best ending to a season in Marlins history, and certainly cements this year's edition as possibly the weirdest team in franchise history.
Friday, September 27, 2013
Today Jeffrey Loria finally did what everyone had been expecting him to do: fire president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest.
Marlins Diehards has obtained exclusive video of Beinfest being fired by Loria:
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Remember the time last year when speculation abounded that Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest was not long for his job? He is back on the hot seat, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports:
Beinfest is miserable, major league sources say. You would be miserable, too, if your owner over the past four years had gone from merely meddlesome to completely hands-on, even vetoing minor league call-ups for reasons unrelated to performance.The Miami Herald corroborated much of Rosenthal's report,:
The Marlins’ power structure, according to sources, essentially consists of Loria and VP of player personnel Dan Jennings on one side and Beinfest and general manager Mike Hill on the other. Loria’s stepson, team president David Samson, has been all but invisible this season and also is on the outs with Loria, sources say.
Sources said Loria is now making most – if not all – of the baseball decisions, which is fueling speculation that president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest and team president David Samson could be ousted after the season.Plenty of people have soured on Beinfest over the past few years, but even a subpar front-office-type is better than Loria at building a baseball team. Loria has long had the reputation of wanting one or more of "his guys" on the coaching staff (guys like Ozzie Guillen and Tino Martinez, both of whom have been the "Loria guy" at different points - and those worked out great, right??). It seems highly likely that if/when Beinfest is gone, another "Loria guy" will find himself in Beinfest's old position.
“He has marginalized the front office,” said a major league source, who spoke only on the condition of anonymity. “The front office isn’t making decisions. Loria makes them all.”
But if Loria hates one thing more than having his brilliant opinions ignored by his subordinates, it's paying money for someone to not be his team's president, and Beinfest is under contract until 2015. Perhaps Loria is trying to make life so uncomfortable for Beinfest that he quits, letting Loria off the hook for his next two years' worth of salary. If anyone is shrewd enough to pull off such a move, it is Jeffrey Loria, because:
Friday, September 13, 2013
It remains to be seen whether he can overcome Yasiel Puig in the NL Rookie of the Year race, but one thing is certain: it's been a giftastic year for Jose Fernandez. Here are our favorite gifable moments from the Marlins' rookie superstar.
He baffled opposing hitters:
Like, seriously baffled them:
He made some sweet defensive plays:
He ran into some wardrobe difficulties that one time:
He seemed happy just to be in the majors most days:
He admired his first career home run:
But most of all, he made Marlins fans feel like this:
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Making his final start of the 2013 season, it wasn't enough for Jose Fernandez to notch his twelfth win and hold the Atlanta Braves to 1 run over 7 innings. The kid also hit his first career home run and made the Braves extra salty in the process.
The home run (a solo shot) came in the bottom of the sixth inning. In the middle half of the inning, Fernandez was visibly angry in the Marlins' dugout. He could be seen angrily pacing, and manager Mike Redmond had to intervene to calm him down.
Braves 3B Chris Johnson could be seen jawing with Hernandez during his at bat that inning, nonchalantly mouthing "Nope" after one of Fernandez' pitches sailed high for a ball. That is probably what got Fernandez worked up.
Then Jose came to bat in the bottom of the inning, and he found the perfect way to vent his frustration. He deposited a Mike Minor pitch in the Clevelander behind left field, taking a few seconds to admire his shot before trotting around the bases. Here is his pimped-out home run trot.
Of course, baseball being baseball, the Braves were not content to let the 21-year-old Fernandez enjoy what was the capstone to his impressive rookie campaign. When he arrived at home plate, Braves catcher Brian McCann said a few words to Fernandez. He basically told Fernandez to tone it down next time. "He talked to me like a friend, a father," Fernandez said after the game.
But Johnson was livid, and came running down the third base line looking like he wanted to continue the hostilities. Probably because Fernandez did this:
Both benches cleared, and Johnson was pulled away from the scrum pretty quickly, but there was no further escalation (Watch the whole incident below). Judging from the way Johnson immediately stood behind the home plate umpire when he arrived near Fernandez, it's pretty clear he didn't actually intend to throw a punch (which makes it worse in my mind - either start something or don't, but definitely don't act like you're going to throw a punch then place an obstacle in your way so you don't have to follow through on your own hollow threat).
Either way, the night belonged to Jose. He came out in the top of the seventh worked out of a two-out jam with runners on first and second, striking out Justin Upton and walking off the field to a well-deserved standing ovation.
This is your public service announcement. Jose Fernandez is making his final start of the season. Having thrown 165 innings and change, he is almost certain to surpass his 170 IP limit tonight. If you are in Miami and haven't seen him pitch live, do it! As always, there are plenty of good seats still available.
Fernandez will try to cement his case to become the fourth NL Rookie of the Year in franchise history, don't miss it. TV coverage is on FoxSports Florida, in case you can't make it to the ballpark. After tonight, there really is little reason to pay attention to the Marlins as they continue their quest to lose less than 100 games.
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
It's been no secret that the Marlins will shut down rookie pitching phenom Jose Fernandez when he hits the 170-innings mark for the season, and now we know exactly when that will happen. According to Joe Frisaro, the Fish plan to give Fernandez two more starts in 2013, and will skip his next turn in the rotation in part to ensure both starts will occur at home (ostensibly to give the team an attendance boost, scant as it may be).
So on Wednesday, rookie Brian Flynn will make his major league debut at Wrigley Field against the Cubs. Fernandez is slated to start on Friday night at home against Washington, then again on September 11 against Atlanta (also at home).
You have two chances to watch Jose again this season. DON'T FUCK THIS UP. This concludes our public service announcement.