On the one hand, I can't point to anything Redmond did to deserve to keep his job. He did help Miami improve by 15 wins last year despite losing both Jose Fernandez and Giancarlo Stanton for long stretches, but he finishes his Marlins tenure 51 games under .500 in more than two seasons. On the other, he seems to have been universally respected by his players and I haven't heard Marlins fans complain about his tendencies.
I understand frustration with a club that is underachieving. But how was he supposed to salvage this team? He did not sign Jarrod Saltalamacchia last year, which resulted in the accelerated promotion of J.T. Realmuto (.226/.260/.323) once the fish tired of him. He didn't go out and sign Mike Morse (.214/.276/.291) or trade for Martin Prado (.278/.318/.361) or Mat Latos (5.54 ERA) or Jarred Cosart (4.08).
He didn't hurt Christian Yelich's back or lose two MPH on Steve Cishek's fastball. Mike Redmond was punching uphill all season and managed to hold his team together in spite of it.
What's next for the Marlins?
Nevertheless, Redmond is gone. Chris Cotillo laid out a number of candidates to replace Redmond yesterday. None of them are particularly inspiring or offer anything like a clear upgrade. Eventually, Jose Fernandez will be back and healthy, and will provide some additional stability in the starting rotation.
The club will improve* simply because it's virtually impossible for players like Morse and Latos to continue to be so awful and keep their jobs. Yelich will be healthy again at some point. Of course, neither will Dee Gordon (.425/.449/.521) and Adeiny Hechavarria (.319/.345/.435) continue to hit like they have. But, as we discussed last week, the Marlins have no one else on the horizon ready to contribute unless you like pitchers who don't strike anyone out. The Marlins have already graduated their young talent.
*Never mind. Multiple sources are reporting that the Marlins are moving General Manager Dan Jennings, who put this team together and who has never once played nor managed in professional baseball, into the spot vacated by Redmond's firing. This can, and indeed probably will, get worse before it gets better. All bets are off.
The problem is upstairs
Ultimately, the Marlins' biggest problem isn't the lack of talent on the field or in the manager's seat, but in the front office. Jeffrey Loria and his Survivor-playing
son-in-law step-son, David Samson, have all of George Steinbrenner's worst qualities—his impatience, impulsiveness, meddlesomeness, and temper. At the same time, they don't have the willingness to spend freely and refusal to accept mediocrity that simultaneously made The Boss great.
Loria is seemingly willing, if Ken Rosenthal's article is accurate, to sit back and continue to rake in checks from MLB's revenue sharing. They, by their own admission, bilked South Floridians out of hundreds of millions in tax revenue and continue to be content to rake in the subsidies paid by Major League Baseball for their failure to produce anything like a decent team on the field.
If a Marlins fan falls in a forest, Loria won't hear them...
I am sure that Marlins fans, what few of them are left, are outraged. But there's no way for them to register it in a way that Loria can hear. They already refuse to come to the park, as the Marlins have finished dead last in the National League in attendance every year over the last 10 seasons, except for the year that they opened Marlins Park. It's like the stadium is radioactive. Nevertheless, the powers that be in Miami have made it clear that, as long as the club is profitable, nothing else matters. Not outrage in the local media. Not TV ratings. Any and all justifiable complaining falls on deaf ears.
As long as Loria and his lackey are in charge, it ultimately won't matter who is running the clubhouse and filling out the lineup card. There is no good will left in Miami. There is no trust. There is always another indignity around the corner. The Marlins will continue to be an embarrassment for as long as Loria and Samson are allowed to treat them like a piggy bank and not a baseball team.