Sep 11, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria is seen in front of Marlins dugout after they defeated the Atlanta Braves 5-2 at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
The Larry Beinfest firing yesterday has caused plenty of uproar around baseball and within the Miami Marlins fan base. Earlier today, we posted a Marlins Way with a ton of reaction from around the web stemming from the firing of the former Marlin GM/President of Baseball Operations.
Our Marlin Maniac staff also has plenty to say about the firing and we decided to do a roundtable discussion on the firing to share our thoughts with our loyal readers.
1. Initial reaction to the Beinfest firing:
Ehsan Kassim: Saddened. I have been a pro-Beinfest guy for the last few seasons. Despite the crippling Miguel Cabrera trade seven years ago, I still believed Beinfest did as much as he could do within his power to build the Marlins into a contender. Unfortunately, that has not happened and the Marlins needed a change. To bad change is not what we are going to get. Loria opted against clearing house and instead promoted his “yes man.”
David Polakoff: Not surprised.
Chris Logel: I am saddened by this. I think Larry Beinfest is an above average executive. I don’t think he would have made many of the moves that we despised if it weren’t for a cheap skate owner forcing him to. Our last executive to get pushed out was Dave Dombrowski who has done a dynamite job in Detroit. For those that are happy to see him go let me ask you this question. What good executive is going to come down to the dysfunction that is the Marlins current organization? We won’t get anybody better than Beinfest, that is certain.
Daniel Zylberkan: With all the talk surrounding Loria and the Front Office recently. I’m certainly not surprised that this is the decision he came to. The reports said he listened to Dan Jennings which would act to isolate or at least marginalize. Beinfest/Hill. So firing Beinfest is the best solution to getting Loria’s man Jennings as the only voice at the front office. A voice that will always agree with him.
Laura Georgia: This does not come as a shock. Weeks of swirling rumors across the media prefaced it, as did the rumors about Beinfest’s potential firing last season. Plus, news came out about Greg Dobbs being re-signed yesterday. Word on the street claims Loria crafted the deal unbeknownst to anyone else in the front office.
Placido Estevez: Not surprised by the firing of Larry Beinfest considering the rumors of a schism having developed between Beinfest and owner Jeffrey Loria. The timing is a bit curious, but maybe Loria wants to get out ahead of other teams in looking for a replacement. Of course, most media members believe the replacement will be current Marlins assistant GM Dan Jennings.
2. Was the timing of the firing justified?
Ehsan Kassim: Nope. If Loria wanted to fire Beinfest, the best timing would have been last off-season when all the big free agent signing failed. The Marlins are better positioned now than they were a year ago today, that is because of the labor from Beinfest.
David Polakoff: The firing would have been justified 3 years ago as the Marlins continued to underwhelm and the minor league system was bare. The firing would have been justified last year as the expensive team drastically underachieved. But now that Yelich and Fernandez have arrived, prospects are panning out, and it looks like the team won its trades last winter, this only makes sense in Loria’s World.
Chris Logel: That depends on whether you believe that Beinfest was making important decisions. I believe that smaller decisions were made by Larry and I think many of those were good decisions. I feel that Loria let Beinfest make decisions and if he agreed he let it slide, if not he vetoed it. Can’t blame Beinfest for that.
Daniel Zylberkan: No. I chose to believe that it was Beinfest and not Loria that saw the writing on the wall regarding the 2012 spending upsurge. Beinfest traded a lot of contracts, Reyes, Johnson, Ramirez as well as free agents we wouldn’t be able to sign back regardless: Sanchez, Infante and Nolasco and got a big infusion of young talent into the farm system. MLB teams survive on their minor league prospect pool and whatever it was worth. The trades with Toronto, Detroit and the Los Angeles have given the Marlins a future talent base to work from in the future.
2A. Beinfest was constricted by the situation, Loria and his desire to make his own personnel decisions as well as marginalizing Beinfest/Hill in favor of Jennings. I would say he did the best he could given the circumstances.
Laura Georgia: No. Beinfest has done the best he could with what little he’s been given. He was responsible for a draft that garnered Jose Fernandez, among others, and worked out returns to acquire good talent with minimal funds (i.e. Adeiny Hechavarria was part of the package that came to Miami from Toronto last season).
Placido Estevez: The firing was justified due to Beinfest’s failures in putting together the 2012 Marlins team and a string of failed first round draft picks over the last 10 years or so. However, I do not believe those are the real reasons he was fired. I think he was fired because he showed some backbone this season and disagreed with Loria on his vetoing the call ups of Chris Valaika and Derek Deitrich due to their involvement in the Tino Martinez incidents. If you don’t play by Loria’s rules, he will take his ball and go home.
3. What’s next for the Miami Marlins franchise with Beinfest out of the picture?
Ehsan Kassim: More and more of Loria meddling in the team’s every day affairs. I will bet that Beinfest finds a job (maybe the Angels) and makes the playoffs before the Marlins even sniff the .500 mark.
David Polakoff: Loria and Jennings will continue to make the moves and the team will continue to flirt with improvement without actually making the leap to the next level until Loria is gone.
Chris Logel: I really wish that I could put a positive spin on this. Dan Jennings is probably going to take the job. He seems little more than a yes man for Loria. Mike Hill is a cutting edge stats guy and he will be next go, probably soon. With this shakeup we are relying on Loria to make good decisions in both the big and small acquisitions and releases and I have very little faith in that. I don’t mean to be a doom and gloom guy but this doesn’t look good.
Daniel Zylberkan: The Beinfest firing is how Loria plans to have a rubber stamp on all personnel decisions from his lackey Dan Jennings. Loria wants to be the GM as well as the owner and getting a front office that will be amiable to his position is the most important thing that he could have done. But regardless, the Major League and Minor League talent is present in the organization, especially in the outfield and in the pitching. Giving the Marlins a chance to improve and possibly contend in the near to short term future regardless of who the GM is.
Laura Georgia: There’s an ominous note at the end of the press release written by Jeffrey Loria. ‘I will soon be making further announcements in terms of our new structure in baseball operations.’ Take that as you’d like. Many believe the that the obvious conclusion is Dan Jennings, who has been reported as part of the Loria ‘camp’ as the front office began to fracture. Currently, Jennings is VP of player personnel and assistant GM with Danny Knobler of CBSsports.com reporting he has taken over temporarily in the wake of the firing. As the rumor mill has churned, names like Mike Hill have popped up as possible replacements as well. Next? I would imagine more ‘rumors’ to come to fruition. Keep an eye out for David Samson’s name to start popping out of the woodwork again.
Placido Estevez: It is tough to imagine that anyone would want to work for Loria in any capacity, so besides Dan Jennings the only other candidates likely need to be desperate to get into a front office position. Maybe guys like Steve Phillips or Jim Bowden who have some black marks on their records.
Please share your thoughts in the comment section!