After the Marlins increased their payroll by about 50% over the off-season with the acquistion of players such as Martin Prado, Dee Gordon, Dan Haren, and Mat Latos and the free agent signings of Mike Morse, Ichiro Suzuki, the Marlins front office was expecting the team to be competitive in the NL East as they surrounded their young rising starts Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich, and Jose Fernandez (rehabbing from Tommy John surgery) with some strong veteran presences. But after being nearly no-hit on Sunday, the Marlins fell to a 16-22 record and manager Mike Redmond was relieved of his duties after taking over as the club’s manager to begin the 2013 season.
Reports circulated the internet hours after the firing of Redmond with former Marlins player Jeff Conine being brought up as the next manager of the team. However, those reports were later debunked and the Marlins were just letting everyone know that Monday morning they would make an announcement on who the next manager would be. Well, when the time came, they made a shocking if not absolutely crazy declaration of Dan Jennings as their new manager.
Jennings had been the general manager of the Marlins, the man responsible for all of the off-season trades and signings, which included handing out the ridiculously insane 13-year/$325 million mega contract to Stanton. So this is the team that he built, the team that he hand-picked with the belief that they could be winners. But with no professional coaching or player experience to speak of, this has to be the oddest managerial hiring ever (if you can even call it a hiring, since he was the GM — did he hire himself?). It reminds me of Major League II when retired third baseman Roger Dorn purchases the Cleveland Indians from the previous owner Rachel Phelps, but in the middle of the season when the team is in a big slump and Dorn is losing lots of money, he sells the team back to Phelps but stays on as the GM and activates himself as a player. In the movie it worked out for the team since they won the pennant, but I don’t anticipate this going over well for the Marlins. But at the very least, it should be an interesting experiment to follow and if by chance it is successful, it could actually be groundbreaking and make Jennings the pioneer of a movement of hiring baseball “minds” as coaches and managers as opposed to ex-players or current/former coaches.
For fantasy purposes, I don’t see this having a huge impact on any of the Marlins players. But it is also hard to say since nobody, not even Jennings himself, knows his managerial style. We will have to give it a couple weeks to see what Jennings tendencies might be when it comes to things like aggression on the base paths and lineup construction.
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