“It’s a long way from Erie, man,” said Freddi Gonzalez as he was introduced today as the Marlins new manager. Or was it “eerie”? Because that is what this situation has become, at best – just confounding and confusing.
The latest in the “he said” event of the summer around baseball, the rift between Girardi and the Marlins brass, resulted in his firing. Evidently, everyone has to get along to make an organization work.
And that would be the correct sentiment.
There is much going to be printed and discussed about Girardi and how well he managed this young, cheap, Marlins team to 78 wins and a wild card dash. And there is also going to be much polemic leveled at Jeffrey Loria, the Marlins owner, who is going to be villafied even more by the media who will love Girardi and despise Loria.
But it all shouldn’t come as a surprise, people.
If you yell at your boss, even if you choose NOT to use curse words, shouldn’t you expect the expected? Yes. Girardi knew this, he saw it coming. Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if the August 6th incident was just a “what the heck” moment since things couldn’t have gotten any worse.
There was a power struggle when previously, there hadn’t been one. The front office did their job and the management did theirs. McKeon ran the team on the field, with the players he was given. Girardi seemed to want to have more input, but that just wasn’t going to happen. It disintegrated.
So, we need to all move on, but that won’t happen. There will be questions, and prying and some interest in what went on. Intrigue. At the end of the day, however, all you need to know is that the right man for the job did turn up, even if he was the runner-up last year.
Loria decided to go for hand-picked Girardi, the front office wanted Freddi Gonzalez. And now that the Girardi experiment blew up, the mess has to be cleaned up and the front office started that process by going to who they wanted in the first place.
The timing is impecable. With the playoffs blasting in the forefront of the baseball universe, the Marlins, like thieves in the night, can air out the trash with as little fallout as possible. At least on a national level, where the focus will eventually shift to where Girardi will end up.
Most definetly, the Cubs have to come a knocking. And Girardi can’t feel bad about that, after all the Marlins gave him his first shot and made it count by getting all this talent in the house for him to manage. So although there might be some anomosity, Girardi is actually in a better situation than he could dream.
The Marlins are, too. Gonzalez is a student of the game and has worked himself up to this point. He knows how to manage, since his mentor is one of the best in the game – Bobby Cox. His mentor also may have shown him how to hold a job for a while, too. Gonzalez is from Miami, grew up here, and knows the organization even before the current regime was in place.
So Marlins fans, if you are upset that Girardi was fired, that is fine. But you absolutely cannot deny Freddi Gonzalez your attention – after all, he is one of us. He is you – the hardworking Miamian who grew up in the community and has a love for baseball. He is a Cuban-American who represents not only the American dream, but represents Cuban-Americans as well. In time, he will be embraced – by the players, by the fans, by the organization. He is the right man for the job.