Miami Marlins fans might as well get used to this headline, as owner Jeffery Loria continues to meddle in team affairs he has no business in. The latest news out of Miami is that Jeffery Loria personally mandated rookie manager Mike Redmond to flip-flop starting pitchers Ricky Nolasco and Jose Fernandez in the double-header the Marlins played against Twins on Tuesday.
According to Jeff Passan’s sources, Redmond tried to fight Loria on this, pointing out that a veteran pitcher usually has the choice on when he wants to pitch in a double header:
By overstepping boundaries no other owner in baseball would dare, Loria presented Redmond with a Catch-22: listen to the man who signs his paycheck and risk drawing the players’ ire, or refuse to kowtow to Loria’s requests and find himself at the mercy of the owner’s short fuse.
“He was embarrassed,” one source said of Redmond, who nonetheless claimed publicly the decision was an organizational choice. “He tried to fight it. He had nothing to do with it.”
Nolasco’s agent Matt Sosnick lashed out on the Marlins on Thursday for the incident. Nolasco was sent back to his hotel room 2 1/2 hours before his scheudled start:
“To be told two or 2 ½ hours before a start that you’re starting eight or nine hours from now [instead] is a bunch of [expletive],” agent Matt Sosnick said, adding this “is very much in line with the message the Marlins have sent to veteran players.”
This is not the first time Nolasco and his agent have been upset with Loria and his ways. After the big blockbuster deal that sent all of the Marlins moneymakers to Toronto, Sosnick told the Marlins that his client want to be traded. Although there was never a formal trade request, it was well documented around baseball that Nolasco was unhappy, as many of the Marlins players were.
Sosnick does not believe that manager Redmond or the front office executives played a role in the decision, but feels they were forced to oblige when the owner told them to do so:
“I know it wasn’t the manager’s decision, and [front-office executives] Larry Beinfest and Mike Hill have too much integrity to make that type of call. Whoever made the choice would have to have so little social and emotional awareness that would totally have a lack of understanding of how it would affect Ricky and the manager.”
Nolasco is widely regarded as a candidate to be traded at the July trade deadline. Nolasco for his credit, handled the situation well on Tuesday night. Nolasco pitched five solid innings, striking out four hitters. He also handled himself quite nicely with the media.
“I was on my way [to the ballpark],” Nolasco said. “I’m not going to talk about that situation. I know what I have to do. I still have to go out there and pitch. Happy or not, whatever the situation is, you have to go out there and do your job. It wasn’t fun, but I grinded it out. I felt like I just did good enough to win.”
The Marlins treatment of Nolasco is not only affecting the teams relationship with Nolasco and his agent, but it affects the future of Giancarlo Stanton in Miami, as he and Nolasco are close friends. The more Loria draws the ire of Nolasco, the less likely Stanton is to sign a long term extension with the team.
The situation in Miami with owner Jeffery Loria is not pretty right now. Jeffery Loria is working behind the scenes, barely seen so far this season after he could not keep himself out of the spotlight this season. Stay tuned to Marlin Maniac for more updates on the Nolasco situation and other Marlins-related news.