Castro outlasts Guillen

Parker Fox, Editor-in-Chief

“I respect Fidel Castro.”  You know why? A lot of people have wanted to kill Fidel Castro for the last 60 years, but that mother—–r is still here.”

            Former Marlins Manger Ozzie Guillen made these comments in April, just days after the Marlins’ 2012 campaign began.  With a new name, a new stadium, a new manager, new uniforms, and even new players, hope ran high from Hialeah to Hammond Park.  Maybe the days of slow build ups and fire sales were behind the two-time World Series Champion franchise.  It doesn’t take a press secretary to realize that explicitly complimenting the man that the Cuban community despises above all others isn’t necessarily a great public relations move, and a very rocky way to start the season.

            Guillen was fired on Wednesday.  The team finished the season an embarassing 29 games behind the Washington Nationals in the NL East.  Considering expectations at the beginning of the season, with the addition of SS Jose Reyes, P Mark Buehrle, P Heath Bell, and P Carlos Zambrano, it is difficult to imagine any possible outcome for the 2012 Fish that could have been worse.  On opening night against the Cardinals, Marlins “ace” Josh Johnson took the mound as the country tuned in to see the infamous new home run statue and the somewhat ridiculous new uniforms.  Little did we know that the Marlins would lose not only that game, but 92 other ones in a season that started off badly, rebounded in May as the Marlins went 21-8, and then got infinitely worse, and worse, and worse. 

            Ozzie may very well still be the Marlins’ manager and the season may have been completely different, had it not been for the ineptitude of formerly reliable closer Heath Bell.  Bell was easily the biggest bust of high profile free agent signings from the 2011-2012 offseason.  After signing a three year, $27 million contract, he proceeded to blow almost every save opportunity he was presented as the season kicked off.  With an ERA of 10.56, Guillen had no choice but to start using other closers.  Bell became the closer again shortly after the All Start Break, only to lose his role again.  Nothing is more demoralizing than continually leading games into the 9th inning, only to walk away with a loss time after time.  The Marlins simply did not have the leadership in the clubhouse to overcome such an obstacle.  Franchise player Hanley Ramirez was traded away to the Dodgers on July 25, the Marlins’ unofficial declaration that they had “given up.” 

            Marlins President Jeffrey Loria has yet to name any potential candidates for a replacement for Guillen.  As for Guillen, who won a World Series with the White Sox in 2005, job openings might be difficult to find after the mess in Miami in 2012.  It is not likely that he will find another managerial position for 2013, and TV possibilities may be thwarted by the inevitable gaffs that Guillen would make.  Hopefully for Guillen, there are other teams out there other than the Marlins more interested in making a headline in hiring a manager than wins and losses.