The Miami Marlins fired manager Ozzie Guillen on Tuesday, less than one year after the team hired him to lead the new-look franchise in its inaugural season in a new stadium.
Guillen’s tenure got off to a rocky start when his remarks about Fidel Castro led to a media firestorm, a five-game suspension and a public apology to Cuban Americans. His run ended with a last-place finish in the National League East and a fire late-season fire sale.
“After careful consideration following the disappointment of the 2012 season, we decided to dismiss Ozzie,” Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest said in a statement (via the Associated Press). “Our managerial search begins immediately and our hope is that a new manager, along with roster improvements will restore a winning culture.”
The team still owes Guillen $7.5 million for the final three years on his four-year contract.
In addition to trading prospects to the Chicago White Sox to bring Guillen to Miami, the Marlins signed a slew of high-priced free agents, including shortstop Jose Reyes, starting pitcher Mark Buehrle and reliever Heath Bell.
But with the playoffs all but out of reach in July, the Marlins shipped star infielder Hanley Ramirez to the Dodgers and dealt starter Anibal Sanchez and infielder Omar Infante to Detroit.
On Saturday, the team unloaded the disgruntled Bell – and most of his massive contract – in a three-team deal that sent the ousted closer to Arizona and picked up 22-year-old Oakland shortstop prospect Yordy Cabrera.
Guillen saw the end coming in recent weeks, telling reporters he did not believe he deserved to return for 2013 season.
“Let’s start from the top,” he said (via the Associated Press). “The front office failed, Ozzie failed, the coaching staff failed, the players failed, everybody failed.”