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Not a Good Fit!
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|Wearing shades, Joe G is not susceptible to his own dazzle spell|
You see, Asher has somehow become convinced that Joe Girardi was the best thing to happen to the Marlins organization since Chuck Carr, and I only say that because he also believes Carr to have been better for the organization than guys like Gary Sheffield, Josh Beckett, and Miguel Cabrera. Asher believes that firing Girardi is part of some grand organizational scheme to save money and lose games. This could not be further from the truth.
There was a rift between Girardi and upper management; I'm not denying that. But this rift began right out of spring training, not after the three-way yelling match between Girardi, owner Jeffrey Loria, and an umpire. Both Loria and General Manager Larry Beinfest wanted Josh Johnson and Ricky Nolasco to begin the year as starters for the Marlins. This should not surprise, as each pitcher had 4+ strong minor league seasons under their belts and each had dominated in spring training. But Joe Girardi did not want either player to even break camp with the big league ballclub.
A compromise was reached, as both pitchers began the season in the Marlins' bullpen. Once injuries and ineffectiveness plagued starters Brian Moehler, Sergio Mitre, and Jason Vargas, Girardi was forced to use Johnson and Moehler as starters and expose his inept ability to evaluate talent. The two rookies combined to go 22-16 with an aggregate 3.91 ERA as starters, whereas Girardi's trio of Moehler, Mitre, and Vargas conspired to go 7-16 with a starters' ERA of 6.46.
The last straw came on September 12th, when Girardi brought Josh Johnson back to pitch after an 82-minute rain delay in the second inning. JJ went on to pitch five shutout innings despite developing a sore forearm midway through the start. Johnson would not pitch again on the season.
A manager who rides young pitchers too hard is "not a good fit" for an organization full of young pitchers, in my humble estimation. A manager who struggles to evaluate young pitching talent "is not a good fit" for an organization full of young pitchers either. To top it all off, despite exceeding most everyone's expectations, the Marlins still did not perform as well as the numbers say that they should have. Consider these further points against Girardi:
The firing may have had more to do with Beinfest's ego than Loria's pride, as the GM has received little accolade for his shrewd offseason trades while Girardi has been repeatedly praised for his mediocre-at-best handling of an exciting young team.
But even if you're still convinced that Girardi had done a good job, there is no reason to believe that Loria fired him because he wanted to save money and see the team fail. The Marlins finished dead last in team attendance despite their solid play, and are just as likely to be moved to another city as they were a year ago. Firing Girardi also made the team eat approximately $1.5 million of his salary, not exactly a typical move of someone who's making all of his decisions based on money.
So I'm sorry to disappoint movie fans everywhere, but Joe Girardi has no business being mentioned in the same breath as major league. (Oops, I forgot to italicize that, didn't I? Sloppy writing on my part).
Disagree with something? Got something to add? Wanna bring up something totally new? Keith Glab resides in Chicago, Illinois, and can be reached at email@example.com.