Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Marlins Keeping Fredi Gonzalez

I know this is a day late, but I was pretty busy most of yesterday when the news broke. Earlier in the week, there were talks that Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria was considering firing manager Fredi Gonzalez.

Loria was apparently upset with Gonzalez for not making the playoffs again this season, despite having the lowest payroll in the league. Yes, Gonzalez does have an MVP-caliber player in Hanley Ramirez, a Cy Young-quality arm in Josh Johnson, a breakout rookie in Chris Coghlan, and a great young core for the team, so it would be reasonable to expect him to guide the team to the playoffs.

Gonzalez, in lieu of getting the Marlins to the postseason, has managed the team to its two best seasons that have not ended in a World Series title. That's saying something about Gonzalez, considering that historically, the franchise hasn't spent on players and has traded off rising stars left and right.

But Gonzalez has managed to string together to very good seasons, with a good core of young players, and given a couple more pieces, could lead the Marlins to a place they've only been twice before: the playoffs.

While not making the playoffs this year was tough, especially after contending into the last week of the season, it doesn't mean that Loria should subtract Gonzalez from the equation; he should add other parts (like a closer). Fortunately for the team, and the fans, someone was able to talk some sense into Loria and keep Gonzalez on for next season... for now, because showing him the door would have been a bad idea.

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