What a guy; according to Yahoo! Sports, Miami Marlins owner Jefferey Loria personally insisted on lineup changes before a baseball double-header against the Minnesota Twins, Tuesday, according to reports.
The move, which infuriated players and coaches, involved the team’s two starting pitchers for those games. Loria insisted the 20-year old rookie Jose Fernandez start game one, with veteran Ricky Nolasco moved back to the second game. The reasoning? Loria figured the day game would come with warmer conditions than the night game; why that matters is beyond me, personally, but as it turns out, the day game starting temperature was 38 degree Fahrenheit and the nightcap began at 42.
Standard protocol is that the veteran pitcher of a double-header duo gets to choose the game he starts, and Nolasco had chosen the day game. Manager Mike Redmond, however, was told to make the change, and delivered the news to Nolasco only a little more than two hours before the start of the first game.
“He was embarrassed,” one source said of Redmond, who nonetheless claimed publicly the decision was an organizational choice. “He tried to fight it. He had nothing to do with it.”
Word is, Loria tried this last year, too, but then-manager Ozzie Guillen just ignored him. Ozzie was fired, later in the 2012 season, but it’s not like the team was doing well with his coaching, either. The Marlins are currently 5-17, securely in last place in the National League’s East division.
This is the same Marlins owner, now, who shed $100 million in team payroll from last season to this; dictating payroll being (usually) the only way a team owner can “command” lineup changes. But most owners aren’t Jefferey Loria – a man who’s once before dismantled a Marlins team (after a 2003 World Series run); a man who sold the city of Miami on his fielding a competitive ball club, convincing they and county officials to shell out hundreds of millions for a new baseball stadium.
Well, this season wasn’t ugly enough for (whatever remaining) Marlins fans; now the pitiful franchise has a hated, meddlesome owner, players who loathe him and can also assuredly not have much respect for a manager who doesn’t have “the last word” on personnel decisions anymore, either, and a manager who’s humiliated less than a month into his new job. Something smells fishy, here, and it ain’t those fancy aquariums in their shiny new-ish stadium. This situation stinks.