Wednesday, October 24, 2012

It could be worse, Twins fans

Ozzie Guillen was one-and-done as the manager in
Miami, where he led the Marlins to the division cellar
despite a drastically expanded payroll and sabotaged the
team's marketing strategy by expressing admiration for
Fidel Castro's longevity.
The Twins have been terrible the last two seasons. They had the worst record in the American League both years. They've been bad.

They have, however, kept some semblance of dignity, which cannot be said of at least a couple of teams.

The Miami Marlins on Tuesday, for example, fired Ozzie Guillen in their latest lurch of impulse management.

Last year around this time, the Marlins gave the White Sox two minor leaguers for the right to sign Guillen to a four-year contract. Now they've canned him with three years left on the deal and $7.5 million yet to pay — and they concede that the Fidel Castro flap at the beginning of the season played a major role in this decision.

Of course, had Marlins done their homework, they would have known that Guillen had said similar things about Castro in the past. Even without knowing that specific, they had to have known that Guillen talks. A lot. And sometimes — "sometimes" being definable in his case as about once a week — he says something his bosses really wish he hadn't.

If they couldn't live with that, they shouldn't have hired him.

His successor, whoever the sucker is, will be the Marlins' fifth since early 2010.

In another piece of Marlins news/embarrassment ...  the city of Miami has a contingency plan for the death of Fidel Castro, and city officials have suddenly realized that it's outdated. Part of the plan is to use the Orange Bowl for public rallies/protests.

Only there is no Orange Bowl anymore. It was torn down to make room for Marlins Park.

And, says the mayor, Marlins Park won't work as an alternate location:

I don't think the Marlins would want that. Knowing them, they would charge to protest.

The Marlins aren't alone among major league franchises in finding new levels of stupidity to plumb.

The Pittsburgh Pirates have instituted a bizarre Navy SEALs approach to treating their prospects.

The latest piece of this ongoing saga, detailed by Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Review-Tribune, was "Hell Week" -- and the injury of one of their top prospects.

The piece really must be read to comprehend the extent of the lunacy, but the upshot from Kovacevic is this:

I know about the above because I continue to hear from prospects worried about injury (some among the team’s most expensive draft picks), from parents who wish their sons had never signed with the Pirates, from angry agents, even from men who answer to [assistant general manager Kyle] Stark and GM Neal Huntington.
I’ll repeat: The Pirates’ development system is the laughingstock of baseball.
The Twins have problems. They don't have the compulsive stupidity of the Marlins or Pirates.

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