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Front Office Soured Relationship with Girardi from the Start


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I long suspected, ever since reading Girardi's initial comments on the team (for instance, it seemed he thought the Marlins would keep Josh Beckett), that he was taken by suprise by the extent of the changes during the offseason. Quickly he began to tow the company line and play it off like he was expecting all of the changes. It seems that this wasn't the case.

 

Further, it seems promises were made to Girardi that he would be consulted on the direction the team would take and this did not happen. So it seems the FO, not Girardi, poisoned the well from the start.

 

Also contrary to previous reports, it seems that it may have been the reaction of the players to the news Girardi was fired and not Beinfest that dissuaded Loria from firing Girardi.

 

Between these reports below and the latest instance of Samson crying poormouth (and saying there will not be many changes in the payroll next season) I am really getting disgusted with the Loria and his crew.

 

Girardi-Loria seemed doomed at start

By Joe Capozzi

 

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

 

Sunday, October 01, 2006

 

MIAMI GARDENS When the shouting inside manager Joe Girardi's office finally stopped, the door flew open.

 

"I just got fired,'' Girardi said as he walked out, passing stunned players in the Marlins' clubhouse Aug. 6.

 

Exactly what transpired next is unclear; players said they were "sworn to secrecy." But according to several first-hand accounts, the players' reaction was so emotional that owner Jeffrey Loria reversed his decision.

 

"It was going to be a mutiny,'' one source said.

 

"Loria changed his mind on his own after being informed of the chaos in the clubhouse,'' another person said. "People were crying."

 

The players' reaction persuaded Loria to change his mind on the condition that Girardi apologize to the owner in front of the team. But the players might be powerless to save the manager again.

 

Many fans and even some insiders cling to the possibility that Girardi will return next year. But he is expected to be fired this week, possibly as early as today, because his relationship with the front office has been tense almost since the day he was hired, Oct. 19.

 

Girardi and Loria reached the breaking point Aug. 6 at Dolphin Stadium. It was a Sunday afternoon. The Los Angeles Dodgers were in town, and the Marlins were being swept in a three-game series.

 

Loria, watching from his seat next to the dugout during the seventh inning, was barking at the home-plate umpire about balls and strikes. Girardi, who had been ejected from the previous game, didn't want more trouble with the umpires. He and bench coach Gary Tuck responded tersely to Loria.

 

When Tuck used a curse word in talking to Loria, the infuriated owner left his seat. After the game, he fired Girardi and Tuck in the heated meeting in the manager's office.

 

Lack of early input set tone

 

The day's events shocked many of the players, who said they had no idea of the friction between their skipper and ownership.

 

The Girardi-Loria union was troubled from the start, according to interviews with multiple sources who agreed to speak on condition of anonymity.

 

General Manager Admin Beinfest wanted to hire Atlanta Braves third-base coach Fredi Gonzalez, a former Marlins coach, to succeed Jack McKeon. But Loria, whom many insiders believe is infatuated with New York Yankees pinstripes, wanted the former Yankees catcher and bench coach who won three championships in the Bronx.

 

"I feel it in my gut that Joe is the guy," Loria said at Girardi's introductory news conference.

 

At the time, Girardi understood that the Marlins might trade first baseman Carlos Delgado, who was owed $48 million, and perhaps lose at least a few other players, including disgruntled starter A.J. Burnett.

 

"There are going to be changes to this team," Beinfest said when Girardi was hired. "We'll wait for that payroll direction from Jeffrey. Joe will have input."

 

But people close to Girardi said he wasn't asked to give much, if any, input. They said he was as surprised as most fans when the Marlins parted ways with Josh Beckett, Mike Lowell, Paul Lo Duca and Luis Castillo as part of a payroll purge. The $65 million Marlins of 2005 were transformed into a rookie-dominated team earning $14.9 million.

 

"Joe Girardi had no clue they were going to slash the payroll,'' said a person with knowledge of the situation. "They told him the payroll was going to be one thing, then they changed it without consulting him.''

 

Girardi didn't complain publicly, but some of his actions betrayed how he felt. According to one anecdote that has been heard around the league, a front office executive - Beinfest or President David Samson - called Girardi at his home in Chicago not long after he was hired to discuss coaching candidates.

 

Girardi's wife, Kim, answered and explained that he was busy reading a bedtime story to their daughter. Girardi never called back.

 

"What was he reading to her? War and Peace?" a member of the front office complained weeks later.

 

In spring training, Girardi irritated the front office when he balked at making public appearances. And in February, he told his coaches that he planned to work with the infielders - a job that has been done for years by infield coach Perry Hill, the only coach Girardi inherited. Girardi agreed to let Hill continue those duties.

 

Another source of contention with the front office has been Tuck, who was a mentor to Girardi during his playing career.

 

Tuck almost was fired in June after complaining to friends in New York after a game was rained out at Yankee Stadium that the Marlins "are so cheap" they would probably insist that the makeup game be part of a split-doubleheader to get separate gate receipts.

 

Backstage bickering went public

 

The behind-the-scenes friction was overshadowed by the club's surprising play.

 

The Marlins started 11-31 but rebounded spectacularly, eventually becoming the first team in modern baseball to go above .500 after being 20 games under. But when the club began to sink in September, Girardi was criticized by fans and broadcasters for blown games. Most notable was a meltdown Sept. 17 in Atlanta, where the Marlins squandered a four-run lead in the 10th inning.

 

Girardi complained to friends about the front office's failure to trade for a center fielder or relief pitchers. He never complained publicly, but hints of his discontent slipped out.

 

After rookie reliever Chris Resop blew a 2-1 lead in the eighth inning on Sept. 19 at Shea Stadium, Girardi said: "We don't bring any experience. That's the cards that were dealt, and you've got to find a way to grow up and get the job done.''

 

Nevertheless, the Marlins shocked the baseball world by staying in playoff contention until Tuesday. Their success made players wonder why Girardi and Loria couldn't work things out.

 

Some of the players recalled a fight in spring training when veteran Lenny Harris and rookie Robert Andino exchanged punches after some ribbing about a pair of shoes got out of hand. That blow-up was quickly resolved but the front-office feud festered.

 

One insider captured what many players and fans asked:

 

"If you are Jeffrey Loria, what would keep you from sitting down and saying, 'Look, you have done a terrific job with this team. There are some things off the field that need to be changed. Let's see if we can work out some stuff.' ''

 

Pitcher Scott Olsen said Saturday that the players want Girardi to stay but they understand the situation.

 

"We're young and we're loose," Olsen said. "Whatever goes on with him and Loria or him and Beinfest or him and whoever - I don't know who he's arguing with. We've pretty much come to the conclusion that we can't control it. So, we just don't worry about it."

 

Girardi might merely be posturing, but he maintains that he plans to complete his three-year contract.

 

"He's not the kind of guy who says nothing can be repaired,'' a Girardi friend said. "He'd admit he hasn't done everything right.''

 

Ending seems forgone conclusion

 

But Loria's plan seems to be set. Last week, during the broadcast of a Marlins game, Fox Sports Net Florida showed viewers a nightly "Geico Quote" in which Tampa Bay Devil Rays senior adviser Don Zimmer praised Girardi's performance. Loria was so angry he made sure FSN Florida knew about it.

 

"He got upset because it made Joe look good,'' a source said.

 

On Saturday, Beinfest was seen in Girardi's office for the first time in weeks.

 

"We will evaluate him after the season, as normal,'' Beinfest said without elaborating.

 

Before Saturday's game, Girardi wouldn't answer when asked about his evaluation.

 

"I'm here to manage as long as they want me to manage," he said.

 

Before the season ends, he plans to address his team at least once more.

 

"I will tell them," he said, "how proud I am of the way they played and all of the things that they endured this year and all of the challenges that they faced being such a young club."

 

Joe Capozzi, Oct. 1, 2006, Palm Beach Post

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The part about the Marlins players crying when they found out was just WOW to me, thats something i never knew. This article was an eye opener in some parts. I would like to see Giradi back because he has done one heck of a job, but when Loria is the owner nothing is guranteed and he is always around to spoil something good.

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I'm getting very tired of this situtation. Loria should be the one getting fired, and not Girardi. If we do suck next year I know who to blame.

 

With the talent this team has, I doubt we will.

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I don't necessarily trust those "close to Girardi" to make a honest assessment of what Girardi knows. Certainly not now that Girardi is being fired.

 

 

P.S. The news that the players, not Beinfest, convinved Loria to keep Girardi shouldn't be too surprising. What supporters did Girardi have in the front office anyway?

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Wasn't it Peter Gammons who reported Girardi was told about the firesale before he was hired?

 

 

 

link?

 

I don't necessarily trust those "close to Girardi" to make a honest assessment of what Girardi knows. Certainly not now that Girardi is being fired.

 

 

P.S. The news that the players, not Beinfest, convinved Loria to keep Girardi shouldn't be too surprising. What supporters did Girardi have in the front office anyway?

 

 

 

 

 

:yourpoint

 

 

 

 

Anyone who thinks that Girardi knew the extent of the firesale before he signed on has a fricking screw loose

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Anyone who assumes it would have made the slightest difference hasn't been paying much attention.

 

You can question the front office's attempts to question Girardi. All their attempts to demonish his talent evaluation skills and so on. But don't Girardi's supporters have the same incentive to stretch the truth? Everyone's trying to make their side look best.

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I don't necessarily trust those "close to Girardi" to make a honest assessment of what Girardi knows. Certainly not now that Girardi is being fired.

 

 

P.S. The news that the players, not Beinfest, convinved Loria to keep Girardi shouldn't be too surprising. What supporters did Girardi have in the front office anyway?

 

 

Which of the sources close to Girardi and others used in this story do you think are spreading lies? All of them? You think it was all about Girardi being obstinate and stubborn and the FO was just left shaking their heads asking why did we did we get stuck with this guy? What makes the sources close to Girardi or familiar with the situation (not necessarily Girardi supporters) any less valid than those in the Marlins FO that leaked stories about Girardi?

 

I don't find the news too suprising that it was the players' reaction to Girardi's firing that made Loria change his mind. What I thought made it newsworthy and highlightworthy was that after the incident the story that was put out there was that cooler heads in the FO (Admin Beinfest and Mike Hill) convinced Loria to keep Girardi at the helm. It now seems that the real reason was that the players were up in arms (some even crying) over the firing and Loria made the decision on his own to keep Girardi in order to prevent, in the words of one source quoted in the article, a "mutiny".

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I believe Capozzi here, 100%.

 

Girardi's press conference was always "Beckett, Cabrera and Willis...Beckett, Cabrera and Willis."

 

Secondly, Capozzi is the only Marlins "insider" to break the two huge stories of the past two seasons...first the McKeon mutiny, second the beginning of the fire-sale with the Beckett trade.

 

Thirdly, to anyone who watched the game in person today and saw the exchanges of the players and coaches, you'll have a hard time telling me that these guys want him gone. I honestly didn't think Uggla or Dontrelle were going to let go of Girardi in their post-game hugs.

 

Finally, is it the least bit surprising that this ownership group attempted to poison yet another well? It's almost as if positive publicity has no place with the Marlins. If we're winning, they're bitching about the stadium or the fans or the manager, if we're losing, they're bitching about losing and the stadium and the fans and the manager.

 

Seriously, I'm such a self-loathing Marlins fan it's ridicuolus, it just makes me nauseated thinking I actually support these clowns.

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Thirdly, to anyone who watched the game in person today and saw the exchanges of the players and coaches, you'll have a hard time telling me that these guys want him gone. I honestly didn't think Uggla or Dontrelle were going to let go of Girardi in their post-game hugs.

 

I noticed that too. Also the crowd cheering Girardi at various times.

 

I just saw Helms on Channel 10 saying he has no doubt all the players would want to see him back. All the fans they showed support Girardi.

 

I wasn't a big Girardi fan even before he got hired but there's no doubt in my mind he wasn't expecting a firesale of that extent. They weren't any more honest with him than they were with the season ticket holders. The way this whole thing has been handled leaves a very sour taste. I understand this divorce seems inevitable but what a classless way to end it.

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I'll be honest, I'm 100% completely in the Girardi camp just because it's completely against Loria's wishes.

 

I wasn't his biggest fan, then I met him and was just amazed at how nice he was.

 

Then the Loria stuff happens and *bam* the man could kill baby seals on the mound and I'm cool with it as long as it's pissing Loria off.

 

PS: Did anyone at the game notice how huge the reaction was during the "Hi...I'm Joe Girardi and I'm teaming with Popular Mortgage..." ?

 

Gave me chills.

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I'll be honest, I'm 100% completely in the Girardi camp just because it's completely against Loria's wishes.

 

I wasn't his biggest fan, then I met him and was just amazed at how nice he was.

 

Then the Loria stuff happens and *bam* the man could kill baby seals on the mound and I'm cool with it as long as it's pissing Loria off.

 

PS: Did anyone at the game notice how huge the reaction was during the "Hi...I'm Joe Girardi and I'm teaming with Popular Mortgage..." ?

 

Gave me chills.

 

Yes, the reaction was amazing! It was so spontaneous it started the minute he said "hi."

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