The Marlins decided to make some changes to their front office today, firing president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest. The rumors had been circulating recently, and for the 2nd year in a row, but after some days of silence, Jeffrey Loria released a statement:
“Effective immediately, I have relieved Larry Beinfest of his duties so that he may pursue other opportunities. Larry has worked with me for 13 years, making huge contributions to our efforts and serving as a partner to me in the process. I wish him nothing but the best and know he will make a great addition wherever he lands.”
Beinfest has served with Loria for 13 years, extending back to his days in Montreal with the Expos. It has been an uneven run, going from the height of the World Series championship in 2003 to the low of a 100 loss season this year. Seeing through the various rebuilding phases; shipping Miguel Cabrera off to Detroit in 2007 and Hanley Ramirez off to LA last season, it hasn’t been easy for Beinfest to really get his signature on the team for very long. Loria has always mandated a tightly run budget, and given those tough circumstances, Beinfest has been able to mine talent.
Reports are that the fracture in the Marlins’ front office was just too much to mend. There are two factions that seemed to have formed with Beinfest and Fleming on one side, and Dan Jennings on the other. Today the fracture was cleaved and one of the factions remains standing.
Larry Beinfest deserves a lot of credit for building and rebuilding this team in many guises. There has always been the challenge of a tight budget, a touchy owner, and an anemic fan base but in all instances, Beinfest did his best to give the Marlins a stable to build with. It is one thing having an open wallet and finding the best talent on the free agent market – something the Marlins tried and failed heading into the 2012 season – it is another thing to be in the position of having to deal talented players in search of cheap talent. Beinfest excelled at this, and in a strange way enabled Loria to be well, Loria. In fact, it was Loria who pushed for Heath Bell, the firing of Joe Girardi and eventually Fredi Gonzalez. Beinfest had been a voice of reason to buffer Loria but this duty will be his no more. There may not be a better word for Beinfest than “relief” at this point. It is never easy to be fired, but perhaps better days are ahead for Larry Beinfest. We at MarlinsNation certainly wish him the best.