By Joe Capozzi, Palm Beach Post –
The Miami Marlins announced the firing of manager Ozzie Guillen on Tuesday.
“After careful consideration following the disappointment of the 2012 season, we decided to dismiss Ozzie,” said baseball operations president Larry Beinfest.
“Our managerial search begins immediately and our hope is that a new manager, along with roster improvements, will restore a winning culture.”
The Marlins went 69-93 in 2012, finishing last in the NL East.
The Marlins fired Guillen even though it will cost them $7.5 million — the money remaining on the four-year, $10-million contract he signed late last September.
The Marlins’ front office will meet with owner Jeffrey Loria in New York on Thursday for their annual organizational meetings.
Guillen’s tenure in Miami got off to a rough start in the first week of the season when he sparked an uproar with published comments in Time magazine that were sympathetic to Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.
Guillen returned early from the Marlins’ first road trip to apologize in Miami to the city’s large Cuban population, but many in the organization felt the episode set the tone for what turned out to be the most disappointing season in franchise history.
After struggling through April with an 8-14 record, the Marlins posted a 21-8 record for the month of May, the most wins ever in any month in franchise history. But the season quickly went into a tailspin after that.
Guillen is on vacation in Spain and one source said he was expected to return Wednesday.
Some sources said Guillen lost the support of the front office well before the season ended, with Loria as perhaps the last man in the manager’s corner.
But Guillen irked Loria at least twice in the last month of the season because of public remarks. On the last weekend of the season, Loria was not happy when Guillen implied that he cared more about going on vacation than whether he would be retained as manager: “The only thing I worry about, make sure that American Airlines plane is ready for Madrid on Thursday.”
There was no immediate word on the fate of the Marlins’ coaching staff, but it is believed that bench coach Joey Cora — Guillen’s long-time friend and confidant — will not return, either. Fox Sports reported that Cora will not be back.
If you are keeping score, the next Marlins manager will be the eighth since Loria took control of the team in 2002.