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Conspiracy theory by Berardino...

jonnylons

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Frankly, I am disgusted by this article. It seems that the media is cleaving two sides here - the players vs. the owner and front office. I dont like the way the media is making this out to be, but if true we may have a serious problem. Read the article, if you havent already and post your opinion. I am of the belief that the writers have a slant they are trying to sell, but I would like to know whether or not this is substantiated. Here is the article from the Sun-Sentinel:

BERARDINO: Torborg set up to fail
Published May 15, 2003


An unmistakable voice from Jeff Torborg's past showed up on the answering machine Monday morning.

This was the day after his fifth and, likely, final managerial stint went down in flames, and the wounds were still raw. So it felt good to hear George Steinbrenner calling to let his former big-league coach know there was a job waiting with the New York Yankees if he wanted one.

"We've always had a unique relationship," Torborg said Wednesday afternoon from his Fort Lauderdale apartment. "It's always felt like family."

Torborg thought he had that sort of comfort zone with Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria, but if Sunday's firing taught us anything, it's that nothing is guaranteed. Not even for a good man with four decades in the game and legions of admirers.

It just doesn't work that way in the cutthroat business of professional sports. And make no mistake, pro sports executives don't come any more cutthroat than the ones running the Marlins these days.

They weren't content just to fire pitching coach Brad Arnsberg. They had to call a special news conference just to portray him as some sort of homicidal lunatic.

They refused to let Arnsberg back into Pro Player Stadium to say goodbye to his pitchers, just as they refused to let Torborg address his team before Sunday's game. Instead, they forced him to stop players in the parking lot as they left for a two-week road trip.

On and on it goes, the evidence rolling in until you start to wonder if it wasn't just injuries and bad luck that conspired against Torborg and Arnsberg.

Considering the longstanding animosity Marlins President David Samson and General Manager Admin Beinfest -- the Toxic Twins -- showed toward both men, it doesn't take much imagination to see this whole thing as an elaborate setup.

From Samson's preseason prediction of 91 wins for a team that has reached that level just once in its history to Beinfest's ridiculous talk that Marlins opponents should be the ones running in fear to the money-driven refusal to promote Dontrelle Willis when everyone on the big-league staff was clamoring for his help, it's obvious Torborg was swimming against a riptide.

To his credit, the deposed manager refuses to point fingers. Though he didn't sign any confidentiality agreements, Torborg won't go into full rip mode. Just not his style.

"I'm taking the high road," he said. "I don't think it does any good to burn bridges. In the long run, it doesn't make anybody look good."

According to several sources close to Torborg, however, his final weeks were a study in frustration. Time after time, his requests were denied, no matter how logical or necessary.

He wanted a full-time bullpen coach instead of glorified bullpen catcher Pierre Arsenault. This way there would be a voice of authority to remind Vladimir Nunez to keep his arm angle high, for instance.

Beinfest kept putting off the request, even though the Marlins were the only big-league team working from such a disadvantage. Finally, to mollify Torborg and Arnsberg, minor league pitching coordinator Wayne Rosenthal was sent in to fill the role for a few days.

Guess who the Marlins' new pitching coach is? Rosenthal. And just as Torborg was leaving, bench coach Jeff Cox was reassigned to his old job in the bullpen. Nice touch.

Forcing Gerald Williams onto the roster instead of Al Martin at the end of spring training? That was a Beinfest production as well, thanks to a nebulous "team policy" that saved a relative pittance by enabling the Marlins to demote their 25th man to the minors during the first 45 days of the season.

Martin objected and landed with Tampa Bay, where he's hitting .299. Williams, who is finished, accepted the terms, hit .042 and was sent out on Day 38.

Cha-ching!

Speaking of money, Willis would have been up by mid-April if Torborg and Co. had their way. Instead, the Marlins kept the impressive lefty in Double-A until the (approximate) 35-day cutoff for Super 2 arbitration status had passed, a subtlety that could save the team millions in 2006.

Willis magically appeared on Day 40 and held the Rockies in check. One day later, Torborg was fired.

How about the 20-inning game on April 27, when the Marlins played a man short in the bullpen and wound up using Carl Pavano for three innings of emergency relief? Tommy Phelps would have tossed those innings instead if Beinfest had honored Torborg's request for relief help two days earlier.

Instead, with the Marlins headed west and A.J. Burnett headed to the disabled list, Beinfest determined Phelps would join the big club in Phoenix. It wasn't just the cost of a flight from Colorado Springs to Fort Lauderdale -- $305, even with a one-day notice -- but the fact Triple-A Albuquerque had a doubleheader scheduled and Beinfest didn't want to leave the Isotopes in a bind.

Incredibly, that was the reason given.

Then there's Justin Wayne, Loria's pet project since his Expos drafted him out of Stanford. Wayne had a horrible spring, then, over the objections of the big-league staff, was promoted to make two starts on Torborg's final road trip.

"Jeff didn't want him, nobody did," one Marlins insider says. "He wasn't ready. At some point the front office has to take some responsibility for who they're sending up."

Wayne allowed five combined first-inning runs in those starts, failing to record a single out in Houston. The Marlins returned home, battered and reeling, from a 2-5 road trip that Loria's pet helped ruin.

On May 5, Assistant GM Jim Fleming called a friend with the Cincinnati Reds and received a glowing recommendation for Jack McKeon, who admittedly had been watching Marlins games on satellite for the previous week.

The setup was nearly complete.

Mike Berardino can be reached at mberardino@sun-sentinel.com.
 

jonnylons

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It just seems like Berardino is stretching A LOT with this article. Willis and Phelp's examples dont prove anything. Willis should not have been rushed, but due to injury HAD to make an appearance (I would have rather seen Bump though). Phelps' example seems very likely to me, I dont think anyone predicted a 20 inning game on the horizon and even if you did, you still would have had 11 pitchers and not 12. We have 3 catchers and dont tell me that Torborg would rather not have Pudge and have 12 pitchers instead...
 

Hotcorner

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When exactly did people expect the firing of coaches to be a pleasant situation??

I like Berardino and I usually side with him. I also believe the front office here is fairly shady and cutthroat and I don't think they make a lot of friends in the business.

That being said, this article seems kind of pointless. Anyone could see Torborg was being set up to fail once the front office starting talking playoffs and Sampson was talking 90 wins, despite the pitching injuries and their admittance that they had to keep payroll down... Confidence is one thing, but when you present your coaches with Coors Lite and expect them to turn it into Dom Perignon that's another story. We already knew Arnsberg wasn't allowed into the stadium Sunday morning and that the Herald was alerted virtually seconds after Torborg got the news, and yes it was all pretty disrespectful, but it's just the way it goes sometimes. In baseball and in every other sport, coaches are hired to be fired. Is it ever a pleasant situation?

Also if it could save the team millions later on by holding back Dontrelle Willis a week or two, that's a good business move as far as I'm concerned.
 

Das Texan

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It goes to show that


a) the Marlins front office are still presenting that cheapsake image.

(of course clubs do this ALL the time in regards to arbitration)

why did they not bring in a bullpen coach? money? couldnt find one? what? the same thing with the Martin situation, that was crap from the start.


b) the Marlins front office are not doing what it takes to win on the big league club.

The reason for not bringing up Phelps sounds like total bulls***. Not bringing him up because it might leave the Isotops shorthanded...what about the Marlins, isnt that your #1 priority?????

c) certain members of this front office seem to still have no clue on how to run a big league organization.



as an addendum...Wayne should never of been promoted last fall nor this spring....thats favoritism at its finest....and it might only hurt Wayne in the long run.
 

DurableTear

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Come on Berardino.. I expect this from Le Batard... not you... and that sounds more like a plot for a movie..


Anyways.. what is it with the press and Torborg?
 

Marlins2003

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You have to remember Mike B. declared war on the Marlins' front office with his allegations concerning AJ and now to kinda bitchslap him the Marlins froze him out of the BIG story.
He has to be one angry puppy and as much as I respect him, I think he's doing this as much to continue the war as anything else.
He's on the radio every week, he's working on his reputation, so what if he takes a few shots at management, he wouldn't be the first guy to make it to ESPN on the back of some general manager.

As for the AJ thing, anyone who's ever had a bone spur knows before and better that you have it. Trust me, if AJ had it, he knew.
 

minus

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Come on Berardino.. I expect this from Le Batard... not you... and that sounds more like a plot for a movie..


Anyways.. what is it with the press and Torborg?
that what I was thinking....
 

DurableTear

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You have to remember Mike B. declared war on the Marlins' front office with his allegations concerning AJ and now to kinda bitchslap him the Marlins froze him out of the BIG story.
He has to be one angry puppy and as much as I respect him, I think he's doing this as much to continue the war as anything else.
He's on the radio every week, he's working on his reputation, so what if he takes a few shots at management, he wouldn't be the first guy to make it to ESPN on the back of some general manager.

As for the AJ thing, anyone who's ever had a bone spur knows before and better that you have it. Trust me, if AJ had it, he knew.
I think this just shows how crappy the Miami press is..
 

Marlins2003

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One hour. One solid hour of Mike and Hank bashing the Marlins. Not one word about play on the field, except to malign mgmt over waiting to bring up Dontrelle. No talk of three homer nights, no talk of Hollandsworth's hot bat, no recognition of Castillo's play (again except to say he's gone), just...

crap

crap

more crap

I'm trying to figure if Hank Goldberg is the King or court jester of Miami's media scum? What a totally disgusting human being
 

Jack1

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Cripes! If all that is true...why the hell isn't Beinfest down on the field running the freaking team? To tell the truth, that guy has phoney written all over him. He looks like a used car salesman, not a GM of a major league team. I think the article probably has told the truth. What a bunch of losers in the front office of this team! I also have no doubts they knew about AJ's bone spur and kept quiet. It was easier to blame the Torborg & Arnsberg.
I still think they should have fired the hitting coach.
*(apologies to any used car salesman reading this)
 

Marlins2003

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Hey Jack, what you read and heard today is the truth, but ONLY PART OF THE TRUTH.

What Mike and Hank did today on QAM and what Mike did this morning in the Sun-Sentinel was to pick and chose which truthful items to string together.

The Marlins held back Dontrelle for a few months to save millions down the line. Probably true - so what? Every team does that, makes that calculation when bringing up a rookie mid-season. The Marlins are neither the first nor the last team to do this - this is only a big deal for you wanna ascribe bad motives to it as was done today. "Ohhh look what those eveil men - the bosses - are doing, isn't it awful?"

Pathetic, truly pathetic.
 

Teal Shadow

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Guys I don't want to start anything but I heard last year during the time of the Floyd trade that MLB will NEVER ALLOW FLORIDA TO WIN AGAIN. Basically become the Cubs and RedSox.... A high ranking official said MLB is disgusted evertime they see the Florida Marlins champion logo. They will do whatever to make Florida stay at the bottom. Take those comments to the bank. Guys, I laugh at those comments but is it coming true?
 

Ramp

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Guys I don't want to start anything but I heard last year during the time of the Floyd trade that MLB will NEVER ALLOW FLORIDA TO WIN AGAIN. Basically become the Cubs and RedSox.... A high ranking official said MLB is disgusted evertime they see the Florida Marlins champion logo. They will do whatever to make Florida stay at the bottom. Take those comments to the bank. Guys, I laugh at those comments but is it coming true?
how could MLB stop the team from winning.....?
 

Jack1

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I think this just points out that there a lot of things that go on that the average fan doesn't know about. Believe me, in the last couple of years, I learned that baseball is NOT the all American sport that everyone thinks it is. It's not based on anything like freedom but that's another story for another day.
I noticed that Beinfest does come across as an arrogant jackass so I am not surprised to see what was written today.
There was nothing wrong with holding Willis back but if I am an owner, I want that decision made by the people on the field not some idiot in an office.
 

DurableTear

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Guys I don't want to start anything but I heard last year during the time of the Floyd trade that MLB will NEVER ALLOW FLORIDA TO WIN AGAIN. Basically become the Cubs and RedSox.... A high ranking official said MLB is disgusted evertime they see the Florida Marlins champion logo. They will do whatever to make Florida stay at the bottom. Take those comments to the bank. Guys, I laugh at those comments but is it coming true?
I kinda agree with that.. the Marlins are being over looked as garbage for no reason. Now the rumors of a fire sale, rumors of Lowell being traded, Castillo, and I haven't heard a word from the front office.. what happened to that Samson prediction of 91 wins? If management fired Torborg and Arnsberg.. it must be because they want to win..
 

jonnylons

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Looks like we stirred up a hornet's nest here!

As for Berardino - I put him in the Le Bastard list. Both are proving to be more in love with themselves than trying to report anything or comment on what they actually see before them. If the Marlins brought up Willis - and he got shelled, bad - I bet these 'reporters' would be saying how it was a desperate move that is only rushing the Marlins best lefty prospect. They certainly wouldnt be calling for him to be promoted sooner. I think anyone who didnt at least have reservations about bringing up Willis does not understand baseball - or at least the developmental aspect of it (not claiming to be a GM or genius though!). I dont want to see Willis rushed just for the sake of a stop-gap measure. But so far, so good.

Does Berardino have it in for the Marlins? It seems so, which is what disgusts me - this 'good guy' BS portrayal of Torborg is just ridiculous. People were calling for this guy to be fired, and now it is like they feel guilty. I didnt support the firing on the grounds that it is still the players playing the game, and changing the rider and not the horse in a race does not necessary change the result. But McKeon seems to be the right guy for the job, we are 3-2 and our offense has been scoring. Did the front office set Torborg up to fail? NO! They were setting higher expectations for 2 simple reasons: 1, to show that they expect to win and 2, to get the fans excited. Were they beating their chests? YES! I still believe though that this team was and is good enough to snatch a wild-card berth, but it has certainly gotten harder with all the injuries - one more reason to laugh at such conspiracy theories.

As for MLB having it in for the Marlins - all the more reason to root for this team. The Marlins are trying to be competitive with a cheaper, less glamorized template of baseball. If they are succesful guys with speed, and not just power, start getting paid the big bucks and help even out the financial playing field for the demand of players. But does MLB, or some of its higher ranking officials, actually get disgusted by the Marlins championship logo? If they do, they should realize that was all Huizenga - not Loria and Co. What bothers me is not only this kind of junior-high clique that is formed by these baseball execs, but that they suffer from misplaced anger. I wouldnt worry too much about all this, because I am sure the same crowd is in 'disgust' of the things Steinbrenner is doing - who is a good friend of Loria's by the way.
 
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