Ozzie Guillen was fired Tuesday by the Miami Marlins. After luring Guillen to the Marlins with a $10 million dollar four year deal at the beginning of this current season, management decided it was time for a change after the Marlins finished in last place. The Marlins season began to fall apart in April when Guillen made a remark praising Fidel Castro. Marlins Owner Jeffrey Loria will now begin the search for the fifth Marlins manager since 2010. Two of the managers that Loria fired made the playoffs this year.
The Marlins will still have to cover the more than $7.5 million dollars Guillen is owed on his contract.
Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest said in a statement:
“After careful consideration following the disappointment of the 2012 season, we decided to dismiss Ozzie. Our managerial search begins immediately and our hope is that a new manager, along with roster improvements, will restore a winning culture.”
The Marlins started the seasons as a favorite to make the World Series. They went on an off-season splurge last year that brought several high profile names to Miami. They recruited Guillen and moved into a brand new ballpark. Yet, by June, it became apparent that the team was not going to make the playoffs, and management began a fire sale of players to clear payroll.
Even from the start of the season, Guillen realized that the road to the World Series would be tough in Miami. His comments about Castro, a virtual Pandora’s box in heavily Cuban Miami, had him suspended for five games only five days into the season by management.
At the time, Guillen said:
“That was a very, very hard situation for me and the people around me. It was maybe the worst thing I ever did.”
Guillen had been a part of the World Championship Marlins in 2003. After that, he had spent eight seasons with the Chicago White Sox. The Marlins had to trade two hot prospects to Chicago to lure Guillen away. Guillen had told the press after he inked the four year deal that he felt like he was just coming home.
Guillen had told the press towards the ends of the season that he was glad he had rented a house in Miami instead of buying one, leading to speculation that he was going to be sacked after the season.
“With the job I did this year, do you think I deserve to be back here? 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. In 20 big league seasons, the Marlins have been to the World Series twice, and they won both times, the last time being lead by Neww York Yankees Manager Joe Girardi.