Back in April, I predicted that Ozzie Guillen would lead the Miami Marlins to a World Series championship. Guillen, of course, managed the Chicago White Sox for eight seasons and is no stranger to the World Series having led the Chisox to a World Series title in 2005.
Well, the day before the 2012 World Series begins, the Marlins have dismissed Guillen after leading them to a last place finish in the NL East with a disappointing 69-93 record.
Guillen had agreed to a four-year contract with the Marlins prior to the start of this season but quickly rubbed players, management and the community the wrong way. The Marlins suspended Guillen for five games after he praised Fidel Castro in a magazine interview.
However, by the end of May things had appeared to have turned the corner. On May 31st, the Marlins were 29-22, a half game behind the Washington Nationals. But the Marlins went south going 40-71 the rest of the way.
By mid-season, the Marlins had a mini-fire sale trading away Hanley Ramirez to the Dodgers and then trading pitcher Anibal Sanchez and infielder Omar Infante to the Detroit Tigers. Sanchez and Infante now get to play in the World Series.
Earlier this week, the Marlins dealt former closer Heath Bell to the Arizona Diamondbacks in a three way trade with the Oakland A’s in which the Marlins obtained outfielder Chris Young from the D’Backs. Bell, who had come off three consecutive 40 plus save seasons with the San Diego Padres, signed a 3-year, $27 million contract with the Marlins. In 2012, Bell saved only 19 games and posted an ERA over 5.00 and lost the closer’s job to Steve Cishek.
The Marlins’ lone bright spot was Giancarlo Stanton. The 22-year old outfielder hit .290 with 37 homeruns and 86 RBI. His numbers would have been even better if he hadn’t missed a month due to knee surgery.
Whoever Guillen’s successor is it’s going to be somebody low-key. Of course, compared to Ozzie everyone is low-key. But it will be someone who isn’t going to draw attention to himself. I say Dodgers third base coach Tim Wallach is the right man for the job and if the Toronto Blue Jays don’t nab him then the Marlins should put out their reel for him.