Guillen Will Make Marlins Interesting, But Not Better

He can't magically make the Marlins title contenders, but at least Guillen will be entertaining

View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    Hours before the final game in the stadium they're leaving, the Marlins formally introduced Ozzie Guillen as their manager for 2012. (Published Wednesday, Sep 28, 2011)

    Anyone hoping new Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen will magically transform the team from an underperforming middle-tier baseball team into a playoff contender should probably re-examine their expectations.

    The Marlins are finishing off a disappointing 2011 campaign, and coaching has been the least of their problems this summer.

    Injuries to star players, underperforming pitchers, and just plain bad luck have plagued the Marlins.

    Ozzie Guillen can't change any of those. Advanced statiticians will tell you that a good manager results in an improvement of two to three wins a year.

    That could be the difference between a playoff spot and an early start of the offseason, but it will take more than good coaching to get the Marlins back on track in 2012.

    What will be more important to the Marlins' chances of success next season will be the moves the team makes in the offseason.

    If Team Loria really wants to put a contender in their shiny new stadium, they will need to add a strong starting pitcher, some bullpen depth, and a new third-baseman.

    Retiring manager Jack McKeon understands better than most that in baseball, a manager can only do so much. The manager does not draw up plays or construct a gameplan. Instead, he just puts out the best lineup he can construct from his roster and hope for the best.

    When McKeon was asked earlier this week what he thought Guillen would bring to the Marlins, he said, "You got me. Ozzie ain't going to bring anything. The players are going to bring it."

    "What he can bring, it's like anything else," McKeon added. "Good managers are (as good as) their good players."

    But if he can't make the Marlins much better, he will at least make them more interesting. His colorful Twitter feed and frequent public disputes with White Sox management and sportswriters made him a focal point during his tenure in Chicago. That is unlikely to change as he relocates to Miami.

    "Ozzie's a colorful guy," McKeon said. "You guys will love him," he told a group of sportswriters.

    "You'll have a lot to write about." Truer words have never been spoken.