The Ozzie Guillen era in Miami lasted just one season. The Miami Marlins fired Guillen Tuesday. Picked by many to contend for a playoff spot before the 2012 season, the Marlins finished 69-93, in the cellar of the NL East.
Marlins President of Baseball Operations Larry Beinfest made the announcement. The Marlins still owe Guillen $7.5 million for the three years remaining on his contract. The team traded two minor leaguers to the Chicago White Sox last fall in exchange for Guillen, who had managed the White Sox for the previous 8 seasons.
"After careful consideration following the disappointment of the 2012 season, we decided to dismiss Ozzie," said Beinfest. "Our managerial search begins immediately and our hope is that a new manager, along with roster improvements, will restore a winning culture."
Guillen's tenure got off to a rocky start when he was quoted in Time magazine praising Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. The team suspended him for five games as locals called for him to be fired.
"That was a very, very hard situation for me and the people around me," Guillen said in September. "It was maybe the worst thing I ever did."
The Marlins recovered from a slow start in April to climb atop the NL East standings by the end of May. But that success was short-lived. The team went 8-18 in June, and their winning percentage continued to drop as the season wore on.
"We know Ozzie and when you live with someone for a while, you know Ozzie is Ozzie," Beinfest said about the decision to fire the outspoken Guillen. "Overall we were disappointed with his performance."
Guillen couldn't immediately be reached for comment, but his comments in the past few months did little to make his bosses happy.
"With the job I did this year, do you think I deserve to be back here?" he said on the final day of the season. "Of course not. But I'm not the only one. ... Let's start from the top. The front office failed, Ozzie failed, the coaching staff failed, the players failed, everybody failed."
Guillen also feuded with some of his own players. When relief pitcher Heath Bell criticized Guillen on local radio in September, he returned serve, saying of Bell, "I don't respect [Bell] as a person."
Bell was traded over the weekend, making it seem at the time like the team might save Guillen.
Whoever is tabbed to lead the Marlins next season will be the team's fifth manager since 2010. Beinfest said the Marlins are open to hiring a first-time manager, but did not mention any specific candidates.
"We're looking to win games, were looking for a guy who can extract the best out of our talent and it's all about winning," Beinfest said.