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Were he not the man who cuts the paychecks Joe Girardi receives as manager of the Florida Marlins, Jeffrey Loria would be nothing more than another yahoo yelling at umpires from an expensive box seat.

 

As it stands, Loria is the principal owner of the Marlins, does furnish Girardi's wages and wields an opinion that matters, particularly since five weeks ago Loria allegedly fired Girardi, mid-game, when Girardi took umbrage to Loria's fervent complaining about balls and strikes. And as the season winds down and the Marlins finally have faded, so begins the discussion of next season, and that means talking about Girardi's future with Florida.

 

Loria, approached at Shea Stadium on Monday, was not keen on that topic.

 

"There's no news," Loria said. "So I have nothing to talk about."

 

Not even about your manager?

 

"Whatever you want to write," Loria said. "Go ahead."

 

Well, fine.

 

If Loria eventually does fire Girardi, which seems imminent, he will add the title of dunce to an ever-growing list that already labels him a franchise wrecker, a smug huckster and a handout-seeking greedmonger.

 

Alienating employees seems counterintuitive with the prospect of building a strong franchise, yet Loria had no issue charging Girardi like a baby goat that just got his horns. And much like a kid, once the posturing was finished, he retreated from the conflict and acted as if it never happened.

 

Now Loria finds himself in an even bigger public-relations quandary than he did five weeks ago. Sympathy is on Girardi's side, particularly after Loria lauded general manager Admin Beinfest and his scouts deserved praise, mind you while letting Girardi's superlative work this season go unmentioned. Loria must settle this issue now, with a dismissal or contract extension, because Girardi deserves that much, his players deserve that much and the remaining Marlins loyalists who watched Loria disembowel the team this offseason and cut the team's payroll to $15 million a dozen individuals in baseball will make more than that this year deserve that much.

 

If and why Girardi wants to stay only he knows, and he's not saying. Just like he didn't say anything when the Marlins traded Paul Lo Duca, Carlos Delgado, Luis Castillo, Mike Lowell, Juan Pierre, Josh Beckett and Guillermo Mota, and just like he hasn't said much since. The only time Girardi seems compelled to open his mouth is when he wants someone else's to close: He allegedly told Loria to shut up during their tiff.

 

"I don't worry about where I am next year," Girardi said. "Because I can't control that. This is a team that has grown up a lot. There's talent and they're figuring it out.

 

"You make these relationships, and you'd like to see them through."

 

What Girardi has done with Florida this season should win him National League Manager of the Year in his first season on the job. The Marlins regularly field rookies at first base, second base, shortstop and all three outfield positions. Three of their starters are in their first seasons, as are four of their regular relievers. Girardi sees the kids, the way they progressed, how they learned to win after an 11-31 start, and the tug of a potential championship might supersede the ego beat down that stems from working under Loria.

 

"I want them to enjoy what I got to," said Girardi, who won three World Series with the New York Yankees. "People ask me to explain it, and I can't answer it. When you walk out on that field, and the emblem is there, and the jets fly over, it's different. You have to experience it. And the gratification when you win is impossible to imagine."

 

This season has been gratifying enough. The Marlins made a spirited run at a playoff spot, which seemed less likely than a run at the New York Mets' single-season loss record. In the midst of it, the Marlins drew four-figure crowds to Dolphin Stadium, prompting backup catcher Matt Treanor to tell the Palm Beach Post that "people in South Florida should be ashamed of themselves."

 

Perhaps so, but even the best-looking man doesn't get a second look when he cheats on his wife, and Loria tends to foster a sense of betrayal wherever he slides his paws. When he bought the Montreal Expos and could not get a new stadium built, he paved the way for their move to Washington. He has shopped the Marlins to other cities, too, because Miami voters have not approved funding for a new stadium.

 

While Loria did lose nearly $12 million last year on the Marlins, who were one of five teams in baseball in the red, according to Forbes, and Florida's local revenues, which many teams mill from new stadiums, ranked among the worst in baseball, the Marlins' franchise value has increased around $70 million, to $226 million, since Loria bought them.

 

Girardi never saw finances get in the way of winning with the Yankees. He's learning something new in Florida, and Girardi often talks about the best part of managing coming from the knowledge it gives. Girardi used to sit next to Don Zimmer on the Yankees' bench and watch as the old man shook his head, seeing something he'd never seen before, despite more than 50 years in baseball.

 

No matter where he ends up if Girardi does leave Florida, he will get a job, perhaps with the Chicago Cubs, with whom he played twice, or as the heir to Joe Torre as Yankees manager Girardi will take with him a lesson reinforced more this year than any of his previous 41.

 

"This game, baseball, is hard," Girardi said.

 

And sometimes the game itself is the easiest part.

 

 

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news;_ylt=ApkJ...o&type=lgns

 

I thought this was a good article.

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Loria is gonna look like such a donkey when he gets rid of Girardi

 

 

Its embarrassing

 

just among the talking heads and fans.... which I guess is alot

 

but I dont think as many baseball people as you think will be devastated by the move, especially if it brings the Marlins a legit prospect or 2 from the Cubs ala Randy Winn to the Mariners for Sweet Louu

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I love Loria bashing.

 

There's such endless possibilities.

 

 

Loria is gonna look like such a donkey when he gets rid of Girardi

 

 

Its embarrassing

 

just among the talking heads and fans.... which I guess is alot

 

but I dont think as many baseball people as you think will be devastated by the move, especially if it brings the Marlins a legit prospect or 2 from the Cubs ala Randy Winn to the Mariners for Sweet Louu

 

Yeah, I agree with that.

 

BUT

 

Stability is incredibly important and this is another move that further undoes it in Florida. Then again, when you're the least stable organization perhaps in all of sports, I guess it's just water under the bridge.

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I prefer stability on the field, with a manager who makes moves that help his teams chances of winning, rather than stability with the fans who don't show up and the idiots in the media.

 

 

If you're trying to sign free agents, perceptions are important.

 

To the baseball world, Girardi is a HUGE part of our success, and that impression translates to the players. Think about it...

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I prefer stability on the field, with a manager who makes moves that help his teams chances of winning, rather than stability with the fans who don't show up and the idiots in the media.

 

 

To the baseball world, Girardi is a HUGE part of our success, and that impression translates to the players. Think about it...

Just wait until next year when the Marlins are legitimate contenders from the start under a new manager.

You think a change in manager is going to make us suddenly a legitimate contender.

I think we've had a great year this year. Everybody's stayed pretty healthy, especially the starting pitchers.

I don't expect any great additions to payroll in the off-season.

The Marlins over-achieved this year.

I expect next year their record will be about the same as this year.

.

Loria will look like a donkey if he loses Girardi. Letting go of a manager that had a part in making this an epic season for the Marlins. It's the biggest story in baseball this year. More so than whoever wins the World Series.

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You think a change in manager is going to make us suddenly a legitimate contender.

I think we've had a great year this year. Everybody's stayed pretty healthy, especially the starting pitchers.

I don't expect any great additions to payroll in the off-season.

The Marlins over-achieved this year.

I expect next year their record will be about the same as this year.

.

Loria will look like a donkey if he loses Girardi. Letting go of a manager that had a part in making this an epic season for the Marlins. It's the biggest story in baseball this year. More so than whoever wins the World Series.

 

 

No one thinks a change in manager will make us a contender.

 

Simply starting the season over and removing APRIL and May would have made us a contender.

 

We were 11-31, we are now 75-77, by my math that's 64-46 or .582 winning %.

 

that's a better % than every team in the NL not named the Mets, and it's over 110 games, not exactly a small sample size.

 

We are good NOW.

 

We're not losing anyone too crucial.

 

We have the ability to fill a hole or two, perhaps improving our middle relief problems.

 

That's why next year, we think we'll be legit contenders.

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I prefer stability on the field, with a manager who makes moves that help his teams chances of winning, rather than stability with the fans who don't show up and the idiots in the media.

 

 

To the baseball world, Girardi is a HUGE part of our success, and that impression translates to the players. Think about it...

Just wait until next year when the Marlins are legitimate contenders from the start under a new manager.

 

I agree. The players brought us here, not Girardi.

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I prefer stability on the field, with a manager who makes moves that help his teams chances of winning, rather than stability with the fans who don't show up and the idiots in the media.

 

 

To the baseball world, Girardi is a HUGE part of our success, and that impression translates to the players. Think about it...

Just wait until next year when the Marlins are legitimate contenders from the start under a new manager.

 

Dream on. We'll have a "manager" who won't get in the way of the team's "We can't compete like this. Get the taxpayers to pay for a stadium or we'll move" strategy. We'll still have by far the lowest payroll in MLB, we'll be hoping our rookies don't have a sophomore slump, and our young pitchers keep pitching over their heads, and our even worse bullpen doesn't blow every lead.

 

You can keep hoping for another "miracle" year, only because you have no idea how instrumental Girardi was to our success. But the baseball world knows. Inside baseball, he is a god for what he has helped these guys achieve.

 

Look for 90+ losses next year, and a smiling FO as they pursue their "we can't compete unless the taxpayers build us a stadium: see how lousy or team is now" strategy.

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I prefer stability on the field, with a manager who makes moves that help his teams chances of winning, rather than stability with the fans who don't show up and the idiots in the media.

 

 

To the baseball world, Girardi is a HUGE part of our success, and that impression translates to the players. Think about it...

Just wait until next year when the Marlins are legitimate contenders from the start under a new manager.

 

Dream on. We'll have a "manager" who won't get in the way of the team's "We can't compete like this. Get the taxpayers to pay for a stadium or we'll move" strategy. We'll still have by far the lowest payroll in MLB, we'll be hoping our rookies don't have a sophomore slump, and our young pitchers keep pitching over their heads, and our even worse bullpen doesn't blow every lead.

 

You can keep hoping for another "miracle" year, only because you have no idea how instrumental Girardi was to our success. But the baseball world knows. Inside baseball, he is a god for what he has helped these guys achieve.

 

Look for 90+ losses next year, and a smiling FO as they pursue their "we can't compete unless the taxpayers build us a stadium: see how lousy or team is now" strategy. Putting us back on the "Major League" script, huh?

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I prefer stability on the field, with a manager who makes moves that help his teams chances of winning, rather than stability with the fans who don't show up and the idiots in the media.

 

 

To the baseball world, Girardi is a HUGE part of our success, and that impression translates to the players. Think about it...

Just wait until next year when the Marlins are legitimate contenders from the start under a new manager.

 

Dream on. We'll have a "manager" who won't get in the way of the team's "We can't compete like this. Get the taxpayers to pay for a stadium or we'll move" strategy. We'll still have by far the lowest payroll in MLB, we'll be hoping our rookies don't have a sophomore slump, and our young pitchers keep pitching over their heads, and our even worse bullpen doesn't blow every lead.

 

You can keep hoping for another "miracle" year, only because you have no idea how instrumental Girardi was to our success. But the baseball world knows. Inside baseball, he is a god for what he has helped these guys achieve.

 

Look for 90+ losses next year, and a smiling FO as they pursue their "we can't compete unless the taxpayers build us a stadium: see how lousy or team is now" strategy.

You have no idea either how instrumental Girardi's managing contributed to the team's success. His in game management is roughly the same as every other manager, so it boils down to intangibles and perceptions, and these can't be measured.

.

.

But, I do believe that the baseball world gives credit to Beinfest for bringing in the pieces, and to Girardi for managing a bunch of rookies to a miracle year. I know that I do. And Loria will look like a donkey if he let's Joe leave. I'd look for around 90 losses next year no matter who the manager is for roughly the same reasons you express.

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I prefer stability on the field, with a manager who makes moves that help his teams chances of winning, rather than stability with the fans who don't show up and the idiots in the media.

 

 

To the baseball world, Girardi is a HUGE part of our success, and that impression translates to the players. Think about it...

Just wait until next year when the Marlins are legitimate contenders from the start under a new manager.

 

Dream on. We'll have a "manager" who won't get in the way of the team's "We can't compete like this. Get the taxpayers to pay for a stadium or we'll move" strategy. We'll still have by far the lowest payroll in MLB, we'll be hoping our rookies don't have a sophomore slump, and our young pitchers keep pitching over their heads, and our even worse bullpen doesn't blow every lead.

 

You can keep hoping for another "miracle" year, only because you have no idea how instrumental Girardi was to our success. But the baseball world knows. Inside baseball, he is a god for what he has helped these guys achieve.

 

Look for 90+ losses next year, and a smiling FO as they pursue their "we can't compete unless the taxpayers build us a stadium: see how lousy or team is now" strategy.

You have no idea either how instrumental Girardi's managing contributed to the team's success. His in game management is roughly the same as every other manager, so it boils down to intangibles and perceptions, and these can't be measured.

.

.

But, I do believe that the baseball world gives credit to Beinfest for bringing in the pieces, and to Girardi for managing a bunch of rookies to a miracle year. I know that I do. And Loria will look like a donkey if he let's Joe leave. I'd look for around 90 losses next year no matter who the manager is for roughly the same reasons you express.

Girardi doesnt have many fans in his own clubhouse.... Dont expect a players revolt once he is let go of his duties as Marlins manager.

 

And dont expect baseball people to be all that surprised either

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This is the last I'm saying about this because some people don't get it or refuse to get it:

 

Girardi is a good manager. Great? No. Average? Probably.

 

Girardi is perceived to be a big reason for our success. True? Debateable. Completely false? Probably not.

 

Firing Girardi will not be a strictly baseball decision. True? Absolutely 100%

 

Firing Girardi will outwardly send a signal (again) of instability to anyone interested in being a part of this organization. True? Absolutely.

 

The replacement for Girardi will be Jack McKeon, Art Howe or someone like them (subordinate yes-men).

 

Thus, firing Girardi will take this team backwards, even if you believe, in a vacuum, that replacing Girardi will lead to more wins.

 

You have to understand this team has dynasty written all over it, making waves less than a year in is just not a good idea, but then again, bad ideas have never stopped Loria before.

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I prefer stability on the field, with a manager who makes moves that help his teams chances of winning, rather than stability with the fans who don't show up and the idiots in the media.

 

 

To the baseball world, Girardi is a HUGE part of our success, and that impression translates to the players. Think about it...

Just wait until next year when the Marlins are legitimate contenders from the start under a new manager.

You think a change in manager is going to make us suddenly a legitimate contender.

I think we've had a great year this year. Everybody's stayed pretty healthy, especially the starting pitchers.

I don't expect any great additions to payroll in the off-season.

The Marlins over-achieved this year.

I expect next year their record will be about the same as this year.

.

Loria will look like a donkey if he loses Girardi. Letting go of a manager that had a part in making this an epic season for the Marlins. It's the biggest story in baseball this year. More so than whoever wins the World Series.

 

You are underestimating the talent of the players. Some of us knew all along this team had it in them.

 

:thumbup Yep, I thought this team could win 75-78 games if things went our way alittle. Not the 110-120 losses the bozos in the media were forecasting. Although I didn't believe we could recover about the 11-31 start and come where we are now.

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The replacement for Girardi will be Jack McKeon, Art Howe or someone like them (subordinate yes-men).

Thus, firing Girardi will take this team backwards, even if you believe, in a vacuum, that replacing Girardi will lead to more wins.

You have to understand this team has dynasty written all over it, making waves less than a year in is just not a good idea, but then again, bad ideas have never stopped Loria before.

 

Take a step back. There's no reason to believe that Beinfest want a yes man (and I agree that regardless of the name, that would probably harm the team). You are basing that ENTIRELY on your feeling of who is right in this dispute when you or any of us know a fraction of what it is about. It could just easily be as also been reported (rather than the constant editorializing of the umpire feud) that Girardi was unrelenting in allowing Beinfest and the front office have a say beyond the shape of the 25-man roster. Now to a Girardi apologist that might sound as if Girardi was having the other opinions shoved down this throat, but more likely it is what it sounds like, a disagreement over roles within the organization.

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