Wanted: Baseball manager
Employer: Miami Marlins, the team that has been through six managers in the last 10 years and on Tuesday ran off Ozzie Guillen following one season – just like we had Joe Girardi. But we won't do that to you. Promise!
Why? Because you have the ability to get along with a megalomaniacal owner and his Napoleonic ex-stepson team president, who manage this franchise with the finesse of a chainsaw and the savvy of a slug. And by "the ability," we mean that maybe, just maybe, we won't find you loathsome by the end of your first season and fire you, too.
Who will I work for? Glad you asked! Jeffrey Loria is the owner. He wants to be like George Steinbrenner, only people think he's a joke. David Samson is the president. He conned politicians into spending hundreds of millions of dollars for an opulent new stadium that nobody went to. The on-field brain trust of Larry Beinfest, Mike Hill and Dan Jennings, long respected, have had a few down years. They're solid baseball men. Jeffrey loves to overrule their judgment on major decisions anyway.
Who am I replacing? Great question! Ozzie Guillen was a Castro-loving lunatic who patterned his managerial style after Castro, kept an altar to Castro in his office and Castro Castro Castro.
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Skills: Ability to manage the personalities of 25 alpha-male millionaires. Dexterity with in-game decisions. Knowledge of advanced statistical metrics. Willingness to work in concert with baseball-ops personnel on roster decisions. Aw, hell, who are we kidding? Just get along with Jeffrey and you're golden.
This is like the weirdest job application ever: For one of the weirdest jobs ever. On one hand, it is one of 30 managerial gigs. Guys work entire careers for a shot at it. And the Marlins have won a pair of World Series over the last 15 years, so it's not like we're asking you to manage the Pittsburgh Pirates. On the other hand, you have to work for Jeffrey Loria and David Samson.
Yeah, and? Well, one of our former managers, Fredi Gonzalez, told the Miami Herald: "There’s not a manager dead or alive that Jeffrey thinks is good enough. Not Connie Mack, not anyone." Even Ozzie, when still employed, zinged Jeffrey good: "Look yourself in the mirror and ask why so many [expletive] managers come through here."
The answer: I am not at liberty to say.
Why? Um, you've seen how Jeffrey likes to fire people, right? It's not like H.R. jobs are altogether safe these days anyway.
So, the job: There's some good. Giancarlo Stanton is a monster. Jose Reyes looked great in the second half. If healthy, Josh Johnson is an ace. Mark Buehrle is consistently above average. Christian Yelich and Jose Fernandez are two of the most exciting players in the minor leagues, and both could arrive next season. There are some pieces in place. Not enough to win now, but enough that winning may not be far off.
You can't redact the payroll! Says who?
The guy applying for this job: Fine. Our opening day payroll last season was $101 million. Then nobody showed up to the stadium. Seriously. Our attendance of 2.2 million was way under expectations and the worst of any new ballpark since the stadium boom hit in the early '90s. After dumping Heath Bell, we've got a little over $60 million in commitments. After filling out the roster, it should end up in the $70 million range – and that's if we don't trade JJ, Buehrle or any of the other guys we've dangled to other teams.
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Yikes: Yeah, I know. I mean: Jeffrey and David know exactly what they're doing.
Like firing Ozzie? Of course. Look, we went 69-93 this year. What were they supposed to do?
Give him another year: Maybe things would've changed, maybe they wouldn't have. The players stuck by him, especially after Heath ripped him on the radio, and that was nice. But the Castro quote did him in. I'm not sure why we let him hang on the season. After that, he was a lame duck. We should've just gotten rid of him then and started fresh. It would've been the …
Uh, hello? (sounds of struggle)
Should I call 9-1-1? (animatronic voice) Is this Jack McKeon?
No: Then you are not qualified. Good-bye.
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