Miami Marlins History: Ozzie Guillen Fired After One Season

MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 02: Manager Ozzie guillen
MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 02: Manager Ozzie guillen /

Ozzie Guillen was expected to lead the Miami Marlins back to the postseason. Instead, on this day in 2012, his tumultuous tenure with the team came to an end after one disappointing season.

It appeared to be the perfect match. Ozzie Guillen had managed to turn around the Chicago White Sox, remaking the team in his image. He ended the White Sox own World Series failures, helping the franchise win the 2005 title. When he stepped down to take over as the manager of the Miami Marlins in 2012, it appeared to be the perfect fit.

Signed to a four year contract, Guillen was expected to be one of the faces for the new look Marlins. With the team heading into a brand new stadium, owner Jeffrey Loria actually opened the vaults, bringing in top free agents like Jose Reyes and Mark Buehrle. Guillen was also expected to help the Marlins outreach with the Hispanic community, as the team had high hopes for the 2012 season.

Unfortunately, those best laid plans did not come to fruition. Guillen’s tendency to say the wrong things and his combative nature cropped up again. He swiftly alienated the Cuban community in Miami by praising Fidel Castro, and began to feud with players. Most notably, he and Heath Bell had their issues, with the Marlins closer to call the 2012 campaign “interesting” due to Guillen’s presence.

More from Call to the Pen

Guillen himself seemed to be aware that the end was coming soon. In September, he said that if Loria did not feel that he was the right person for the job, he could fire him, as a number of managers had come and gone already. As such, it was not a surprise when, on this day in 2012, Guillen’s time with the Marlins came to an end. He was still owed another $7.5 Million over the next three years, but it was worth paying him to leave.

With Guillen’s departure came other changes. The Marlins reversed course, sending Reyes, Buehrle, and others to the Blue Jays for a package of prospects. Bell was shipped out to Arizona as a part of a three team deal. Guillen’s close friend Carlos Zambrano was also allowed to leave, with his major league career ending after that season.

Next: Marlins 2017 review, look ahead

The Miami Marlins hoped that Ozzie Guillen would help usher in a new era in their history. Instead, he lasted for just one tumultuous season, with his time in Miami turning into a disaster.