Shut Up!: GMs Sending Loud Message To Even Louder Coaches
This week, renowned loud-mouth Ozzie Guillen was fired as manager of the Miami Marlins, only one year after signing on with owner Jeffrey Loria to lead the sad South Beach franchise into their new stadium and into a new era. Now, after shipping out nearly every star player on the club, save for Jose Reyes and Mike Giancarlo Stanton, Guillen is probably going the way of his wild, Spanglish comments – into the hands of the media.
Truth is, the Marlins front office knew of Guillen’s reputation from his days as White Sox manager; he’s a wild card with the media. He doesn’t hold back on any subject, baseball-related or not, no matter how controversial.
Exhibit A: Guillen once called now-disgraced Chicago Sun Time journalist Jay Mariotti a fag.
Exhibit B: After a loss to the Kansas City Royals in 2009, Guillen embarrassed his players, suggesting to reporters, “Is the clubhouse closed? We should open it and let them answer why they're so horses**t.”
And most recently, what was probably the death knell to his stint as Marlins manager, he made comments to TIME magazine explaining his “love” and “respect” for Fidel Castro, the most hated man by the Cuban community, a community that in the Miami region is nearly 900,000 strong. They didn’t take those comments too well, to say the least.
Whether the mind and body of Ozzie Guillen have any connection or coherent correspondence between each other is still up for debate, but his mouth was certainly the reason as to why he was canned.
And he’s not alone.
Bobby Valentine, the press said, was the last thing from lenient. A historically out-spoken individual, who had held an analyst job at ESPN, was thought to be the disciplinarian, no-nonsense general that the beer-drinking, chicken-finger-eating Red Sox clubhouse needed.
Fast-forward ten months since he was announced as manager, and Bobby V was out on the streets again, getting fired after a pathetic 69-93 record, the Sox’ worst campaign in 46 years.
It certainly didn’t help that, before the Sox even dug their toes into the new season, he called out his team’s aging leader, Kevin Youkilis, saying to WEEI Radio, “I don't think he's as physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason.” The falling out after the comment lasted nearly two months and eventually resulted in Youker getting shipped to the Chicago White Sox for two unknowns.
And his media parade didn’t stopped there. Just this week, Valentine visited “Costas Tonight” on NBC Sports Network and lambasted his coaches, players, and the organization, focusing primarily on veteran DH David Ortiz, whom he claimed quit on the team following the deadline deals of Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, and Nick Punto to the Dodgers.
Despite Valentine’s never-ending commentary and noise, the Sox have moved on, trading for Blue Jays manager John Farrell, who is neither no-nonsense nor lenient; he’s just the right guy for the job.
It’s not only Major League Baseball that has been plagued with loud, obnoxious managers. Stan Van Gundy is proof of that.
Why? Blame his yapper.
Stan the Man never shied away from the media during his campaign in Orlando, and after five years of impromptu and passionate commentary on his club’s performance, the pressure on Van Gundy finally boiled over this year, when, amid the Dwight Howard trade drama, he stirred the pot even more, claiming he knew that Dwight wanted him fired. Well, call him a prophet.
The fates of Guillen, Valentine, and Van Gundy are one in the same – fired for being fiery – but more importantly, it says a lot about the mindset of general managers and owners nowadays.
Maybe it’s good PR, or maybe it’s an honest and integrity-driven decision, but it’s clear from these three decisions over the past five months that the front offices of most organizations are fed up with expletives, controversy, and maniacal managers.
In cases of success – Van Gundy – or disappointment – Valentine – or just utter disrespect – Guillen – it seems the head honchos are now playing it much more conservative with their leadership choices.
So let that be a warning to all cocky coaches everywhere. Shut your trap or you’ll get sacked.
I’m looking at you, Rex.