After starting his career with five straight losses, manager Dan Jennings is a joke. The team hates him -- and hates the front office that he sprang from. Even the good guys on the team -- the ones who always show up for charity events -- skipped the Marlins Fish n Chips fund raiser Thursday. That certainly sent a message.
I woke up in the middle of the night with an easy answer: Ozzie Guillen. First of all, he's still under contract to the Marlins, so I'm figuring he wouldn't cost anything. Loria could just call him up and say be at the ballpark Saturday night (Sunday afternoon at the latest). We all know Loria's a cheapskate (despite the Stanton signing) so that Guillen's price tag would appeal to him.
Now, longtime Marlins observers may say, "But Guillen won't let Loria tell him what to do, and Loria likes to tell managers what to do."
Exactly! We fans sure don't want a manager listening to Loria.
Let's look at the career numbers:
Ozzie Guillen -- 747 wins as a manager, twice AL manager of the year, brought the ChiSox their first World Series victory in almost a century.
Jennings -- zero wins as manager.
What's more, Ozzie has the experience backed by playing 1993 ML games. Jennings' ML experience: Zero.
Jennings was supposed to provoke a spark in a team that was considered good but uninspired. So first thing he did was to call his good buddy Bill Parcells, a football has-been who messed up the Dolphins and then ran away. What'd Parcells suggest? Block better at the line of scrimmage? And then Jennings goofed on a reliever match-up and explained he had gone with his "gut" -- based on what experience? Nada. Friday night, he brings in the struggling Cishek in a crucial situation and the crowd (smarter than the manager) boos.
Rather than responding to a fired-up new manager, the players are reacting like rebellious, sullen school boys who can't seem to put one foot in front of the other. Or a ball out of a glove. On Thursday afternoon, when a bunch of us went to the old-farts-get-in-free game, we saw several stupid plays in which sure outs turned to hits because the fielders couldn't get the balls out of their gloves. That's not the inspiration that Jennings was supposed to fire up in his players.
I'd give Guillen the chance to pick his own staff -- including a pitching coach. Chuck Hernandez certainly has been getting the least out of a staff that was supposed to be pretty good. Actually, I'd be happy for Ozzie to replace the front office staff too -- all of them -- but that's probably allowing a bit too much fantasy in my thinking.
At first, I was going to suggest that Ozzie not be allowed to talk to reporters about anything other than baseball. But on second thought, let motor mouth go to work -- on Fidel, Venezuela or anything else he wants. That would take some of the limelight off the players, who could use a (comic?) break for a bit.