In a move that surprised almost nobody, Marlins sources confirmed that former general manager and current President of Baseball Operations Larry Beinfest had been relieved of his duties by team overlord Jeffrey Loria on Thursday afternoon.
Beinfest’s position has been in the news in recent weeks, with reports surfacing that he was miserable and that he had asked Loria to make a decision on his fate one way or another. Sources said that Loria had “marginalized the front office” and that Loria and Beinfest’s relationship began to sour as early as 2009, when the meddlesome owner was courting Bobby Valentine to manage the team despite Fredi Gonzalez’s relatively successful run as manager.
It had been reported that Beinfest and current general manager Mike Hill were on one side of the divide, with Loria and assistant general manager Dan Jennings siding together. Conventional thinking suggested that Beinfest and Hill, who both had contracts through 2015, would be fired together, although there has been no news about Hill’s job. It’s assumed that Jennings will take over Beinfest’s role, but ultimately the final say has always belonged and will always belong to Loria.
Loria’s meddling this season has included the forced hiring of Tino Martinez as hitting coach, then forcing the team to stick with Martinez long after internal news of his mishandling of players came about. After Martinez was fired and news became public, Loria is said to have prevented promotions of players like Chris Valaika and Derek Dietrich who were publicly named as players who had it out with Martinez. A month ago, there were also reports that Loria had a strained relationship with normally outspoken stepson and team president David Samson, which prompted me to wonder if Samson was looking for a job. While Samson’s job and Hill’s future are currently up in the air, one thing is certain: more Loria-mandated changes will be coming for the Marlins.