A few days ago, [Edwin] Rodriguez appeared to be a prop for the [Florida] Marlins as they went through some fairness-in-hiring motions and made Bobby Valentine their manager anyway. Now, E-Rod is the real deal. Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria announced Tuesday that Rodriguez would remain the Fish’s skipper for the rest of the season.
Nobody yet knows why Valentine fell through, though working for the Marlins has proven difficult through the years. They’ve had 10 managers since 1993 (11, if you count Cookie Rojas’ 1-0 mark in 1996). – Yahoo Sports
Ten managers in 17 years. What you see here – again – is that Marlins’ ownership has as much business running a major league franchise as BP does conducting an environmental study. They fucking dump their manager in mid-season lacking a realistic plan for his replacement. How does this improve the team or advance its agenda? Why make a move for its own sake, looking like clueless assholes while doing it?
Of course, Marlins ownership is used to behaving like clueless assholes. They’re the ones who started to fire Joe Girardi mid-season, publically changed their minds (the chairs were still being set up for the press conference when they called it off), then pulled the trigger at the end of the season……the one where Girardi was awarded Manager of the Year, then went on to skipper the Yankees. That’s right – they fired the Manager of the Year.
I have nothing against Rodriguez, about whom I knew nothing before this week, but he’s not the answer. Neither is Valentine. The Marlins aren’t going anywhere with this ownership, whose penny-pinching business model ran the Montreal Expos out of existence, and whose contempt for south Florida fans and the institution of professional baseball are as contemptible and damaging as steroid use among players.
But don’t take my word for it. Using some contacts I can’t reveal here, I managed to get Bobby Valentine on the phone late last night and ask him what happened:
“Look,” he says, “Jeff Loria and I go ‘way back, and I consider him a friend. He can be generous and thoughtful. But when it comes to business, he’s as tight as Dick’s hatband.”
We know that, Bobby. He charges $8 for rubber hot dogs, and there’s meters in the toilet stalls .
“Um , that’s not him – that’s CenterPlate Catering. Did you know they run the toilets at What-Is-It-This Week Stadium, too? Never drink the ice tea. Anyway, in simple terms, I wanted a whole lot more than he wanted to pay me, and I wanted a 5-year commitment. I think the 5 years was the deal breaker.”
Because they’re planning to sell the team as soon as the stadium is built?
“You know about that? Well, I’m not sure that’s the reason. Maybe it was just the money. ESPN pays me a lot to do nothing but watch games, make jokes, and look pretty on camera. I’m good enough at the first two that I get away with the third one. But my point is, I need a mountain of money to take on managing the Marlins.”
Why, because they’re a bad team, or because it’s bad ownership, or it’s a tough job?
“They’re not a bad team, but they need some major upgrades to be seriously competitive. As for bad ownership, look at my record of working for complete assholes in this industry – George W. Bush owned the Rangers when I managed there, and then I went to the fucking Mets! It’s a given. No, it’s a real difficult job, especially in a place like south Florida where apathy and indifference toward the game is thick as the grease on a media noche. In New York, at least the fans and media were concerned enough to be hostile.”
So what’s next?
“For me? I stay where I am, and that’s a damn good gig. For the Marlins? More of the same. They’ll unload their more expensive talent for promising prospects again, plod through the season, finish with a mediocre record, bullshit the public about “rebuilding for the future,” and do it all over. I’m happy for Eddie, but the manager makes no difference. Hey, I gotta go.”
You read it here first, fort spans. But is anybody surprised?