By Mike Berardino
Sun Sentinel columnist
12:53 PM PDT, October 23, 2012
It's one and done for Ozzie Guillen and the Miami Marlins.
Nearly three weeks since ending a deeply disappointing season in last place, the Marlins announced Guillen's dismissal as manager in a 75-word statement issued Tuesday afternoon.
That was still more words than the Marlins managed wins (69) in Guillen's much-ballyhooed return to South Florida.
"After careful consideration following the disappointment of the 2012 season, we decided to dismiss Ozzie,” Marlins President of Baseball Operations Larry Beinfest said in the statement. “Our managerial search begins immediately and our hope is that a new manager, along with roster improvements, will restore a winning culture.”
Guillen still had three years and $7.5 million left on his contract, which was by far the richest this Marlins ownership has ever granted one of its many managers.
Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria returned from a lengthy vacation on Monday. Top team officials were expected to meet in New York early this week to determine a new direction for the organization, which flopped despite a club-record $93 million payroll in 2012.
Failed closer Heath Bell was shipped to the Diamondbacks over the weekend, along with $8 million, bringing the cost of his one season with the club to $14 million.
Previously the Marlins had never paid a closer as much as $4 million in a single season.
Expect a wide-open search for the team's fifth full-time manager since 2010. Bench coach Brandon Hyde also filled in for one game in 2011 before Jack McKeon arrived to replace Edwin Rodriguez, who resigned.
Early candidates figure to include recently fired big-league managers Bobby Valentine (Red Sox) and Manny Acta (Indians) as well as ex-Marlins such as Mike Redmond, currently managing in the Blue Jays minor league system, and possibly even former All-Star third baseman Mike Lowell.
The Marlins talked with Valentine about their managing job after the 2009 season and again at midseason 2010 after dismissing Fredi Gonzalez.
This marked the third time in the past six years the Marlins have finished last in the National League East. That downturn began with the firing of Joe Girardi, also after one season.
Girardi was later named 2006 National League Manager of the Year and has managed the New York Yankees since 2008, winning the World Series in 2009.
Gonzalez returned to his former organization as well, managing the Atlanta Braves to a pair of second-place NL East finishes the past two seasons.
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