[freedomtowernight_edited.jpg] 26th Parallel: Fredi Did Good

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Fredi Did Good

The Florida Marlins concluded its 2009 season today, finishing the season in 2nd place in the National League East with a record of 87-75. If you're the Yankees, Red Sox or Mets, that record would not be acceptable. However, for the Marlins of 2009, I say that's a pretty good record, all things considered.

I mention this because the latest rumor is that Manager Fredi Gonzalez's job may be on shaky ground. Several news reports, including this one by the Herald's Clark Spencer, indicate that Marlins ownership is considering replacing the entire coaching staff. One possibility mentioned: Ex-Met manager Bobby Valentine. Oh boy.

This would be a bad move by Loria/Samson. Fredi Gonzalez took a team with the lowest payroll in the majors and they ended up winning only 4 games less than the 2003 World Champion Marlins team won. That's right. Only 4 games less (the 1997 WS champ Marlins won 92 games). Gonzalez had a team with a good bats, but limited speed, a limited defense (to say the least) and a mediocre closer. The Marlins don't have a catcher (Baker/Paulino) who can regularly throw people out on the bases, their second baseman (Dan Uggla) is average on a good day, a third baseman (Emilio Bonifacio) playing out of position and who couldn't get on base as a leadoff hitter, and an infielder playing left field (Chris Coughlan - who was a revelation in 2009).

With all that and despite injuries and some poor performances in the strength of the team - starting pitching, the Marlins finished 6 games behind the defending world champs. As former Miami Dolphins offensive coordinator Gary Stevens was famously quoted as saying upon his firing after the 1997 season for the sub-par running attacks of the early and mid 1990s: You can't make chicken salad out of chicken shit.

(An aside: wouldn't he and Dan Marino have killed to have a Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams in their backfield?).

Not that the 2009 Marlins were necessarily fowl excrement, but there's little doubt that Gonzalez squeezed out just about every drop he could from the team. His strategic decisions are usually solid and he rarely gets "out-managed", IMO.

Perhaps the Marlins front office needs to look at other coaches to replace, but these days coaching staffs seem to come in packages. Or perhaps, Loria/Samson need to loosen the purse strings just a little and invest in a good catcher and second baseman.

4 Comments:

Blogger Jorge Costales CPA said...

Agreed Robert - what really bugs me is why they had to out of their way to criticize Gonzalez with an excuse which makes sense to no one, when all they had to do was to say that they had a history with Valentine and preferred to have him as a manager. Zero class on their part.

3:32 PM, October 05, 2009  
Blogger Robert said...

Jorge,

At least they would be honest if they took your approach. Even then, the move would be awful. They DID get rid of Joe Girardi after a good 2006, so they have a history of not getting along with overachieving managers.

BTW, thanks for letting me link Uggla and Bonifacio back to your blog. I just love how you have Bonifacio listed between Economics and Emmaus in your labels section!

5:23 PM, October 05, 2009  
Blogger rahul said...

Nice post spanischschule

2:02 PM, October 07, 2009  
Blogger Andy said...

I didn't get this move at all. Fredi made some boneheaded moves during the season but the team finished 10 over after having the lowest payroll in the majors.

If Loria et al want to go to the playoffs they need to invest in pitching.

2:55 PM, October 16, 2009  

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