Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria sounded very much like a politician when he spoke briefly with reporters following the team photo shoot Friday afternoon, offering little in the way of specifics but promising to rectify problems and fix his underachieving team.
How he intends to do that remains a mystery.
Let me tell you something, Loria said when asked if he thought the last-place team could contend next season. I thought this team was a contender this year. So we have to figure out what went wrong and how to go about rectifying it. And we will.
Loria said he will meet with his front office staff following the season to see what action to take.
Right now, Im just looking, doing what everybody else is doing, looking, Loria said. And then well come to some conclusions or not. Ive asked our guys to look, come back with some recommendations, and well go from there. You really cant make those evaluations until the season is over.
Asked if president of baseball operations Larry Beinfests job is safe, Loria said: Thats not a fair question. Thats not a fair question about anybodys job.
One thing to keep in mind: Beinfest and general manager Michael Hill have three seasons remaining on their original eight-year contracts. Asked what, in his mind, is most to blame for the Marlins underperformance, Loria said: I have not assessed blame, or looking at it that way. I think theres been a lot of things that went into whatever didnt work, and I want to hear what our people say. I know what I think, but I want to hear what everybody else has to say.
Loria said he believes that talent exists on the club.
I have in mind some thoughts, but we have some very good pieces here, very good elements, very good parts on this team, he said. We had some guys who performed very well. Others havent, so well have to look at it. Maybe there were aberrations. We have to be very careful. You dont want to say, Well, this guy doesnt work, and then he goes elsewhere and he does work.
We need to meet, talk, put it all on the table. Well come to some intelligent conclusions. We always do. But we will fix it.
• According to manager Ozzie Guillen, the Marlins arent planning to make any minor-league callups until Sunday. The organization wants to see whether Double A Jacksonville presently one game behind in the second-half Southern League standings reaches the playoffs.
• Carlos Zambrano, who has been relegated to the bullpen, said his first preference next season would be to return to the Marlins, but only as a starting pitcher. Given his performance this season and the influx of new arms, that scenario appears doubtful. Look for Zambrano, 31, who is expected to become a free agent after the season, to go elsewhere in hopes of landing in some teams rotation.
• Saturday: Marlins RHP Josh Johnson (7-11, 4.00 ERA) vs. New York Mets RHP Jeremy Hefner (2-5, 4.65), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.
• Sunday: Marlins LHP Mark Buehrle (12-11, 3.62) vs. Mets RHP Chris Young (3-7, 4.64), 1:10 p.m., Marlins Park.
• Scouting report: Johnson has lost his past four starts, beginning with a defeat against the Mets on Aug. 9.