This wasn’t all on the manager, though, and one season isn’t enough to give a man who not quite 13 months earlier you considered your savior. Guillen was Loria’s chance to finally vote for stability in the dugout, to show patience. This was Loria’s opportunity to dig deeper into what ails this organization and quit pretending that lopping off the manager’s head solves anything in more than a cursory way.
Guillen was bluntly honest to the end when on the last day of the season he said: “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.”
Loria is the man who hired Guillen, insisted on Bell and was so enamored of catcher John Buck that he egregiously overspent to get him.
BEINFEST MUST SHARE BLAME
Beinfest is the roster architect ultimately responsible, the man whose 10 seasons of largely unfulfilled draft choices have left the club’s farm system weak, the man who could have gone hard after Gio Gonzalez (who won 21 games for the Nationals) but didn’t, the man who failed to get Cuban defector Yoenis Cespedes (who signed with the A’s).
It is Beinfest’s job to build a winning team despite his owner’s intrusions. It is Beinfest who today should count himself lucky indeed that it was Guillen, not him, sacrificed to this wreck of a year.
It is fair and right to give the Loria regime credit for fighting years to finally realize the new stadium that assures the club’s long-term future here. But it also is fair and right to question and doubt the folks running the team inside that new stadium.
“We have to reignite our winning culture. We’ve gotten away from that,” Beinfest said. “I think maybe we’ve made some poor decisions. This is an organizational failure. We need to spend some time redefining who we are.”
This is who the Marlins fundamentally are right now, still:
A baseball club with a meddlesome owner whose impatience conveys a lack of direction, and invites a lack of faith in his stewardship.
Brand new palace.
Same old king.