11/02/12 6:06 PM ET
After Redmond hire, Marlins hope to find their way
By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com
A change in course is needed after three straight losing seasons and two consecutive last-place finishes, including a 69-93 finish in 2012 after high expectations.
The fun-loving, yet doggedly determined Redmond was seen as an ideal replacement to the unpredictable Ozzie Guillen, who was dismissed on Oct. 23.
Guillen, who is still owed $7.5 million for the final three years of his contract, ended up taking the fall for problems that the club admits extended beyond his control.
President of baseball operations Larry Beinfest talked on Friday about the team restoring what has disappeared in recent years. In a nutshell, the Marlins of late have lost their way.
"I think the Marlins Way was that we always outperformed our challenges," Beinfest said. "Whatever our challenges were, whether it be playing in a football stadium or the weather was a challenge, or the lack of fans, or the lack of revenue, for that matter, we always found a way to outperform our challenges.
"What we need to do in 2013 is, we need to make some personnel changes on the field. There is no doubt about it, because we need to try to improve. But we need to find a way to get back to that, which was the Marlins Way."
Redmond offers an upbeat presence and the ability to connect with players. The 41-year-old former catcher was officially hired on Thursday, and on Friday he was introduced to the media at Marlins Park.
During his playing days with the Marlins, from 1998-2004, he wore No. 52. Now he will sport No. 11. Redmond welcomes what is ahead, and he notes the Marlins have some nice pieces to build around.
"This is an exciting team," he said. "You've got speed. You've got a nice mix of young players, some old players. You've got Reyes. You've got some good arms. Spring Training is going to be big for me to get a feel and learn these guys as quickly as you can."
Admittedly, the Marlins have much work to do.
Third base is a high priority, Beinfest said. And while Steve Cishek is expected to be the closer, the search is on for a capable eighth-inning candidate now that Heath Bell has been traded to the D-backs.
If Logan Morrison moves to first base, which is likely, left field is a position of need. Center field probably will be manned by Emilio Bonifacio, but that could change if he is switched to second or third base.
"What we haven't had here in the past are these blatant holes that we created ourselves with some of the trades we made midway through the season last year," Beinfest said. "And lack of people ready to go in the Minor Leagues. We have to fill these holes, and then we will go from there. It's a different deal for us."
Creating a winning culture may take some time -- at least more than one year.
"I was thinking about our fans," Beinfest said. "The old, 'Be patient with us.' Well, this is the big leagues. If you want to be patient, you can go to the Minor Leagues, where a guy has to develop or whatever.
"We have to be realistic about where we are right now, what things we need to improve on to start to make those steps. Whatever those steps are -- better finish in our division, more wins -- those are all goals. We need to click those things off. I think we need to be up front and just explain exactly where we are at and try to implement a plan and just get better."
The Marlins had winning seasons from 2003-05. And they won in 2008-09, mainly by finding players who became bargains.
In '06, for instance, the Marlins acquired Cody Ross from the Reds for either a player to be named or cash. The cash ended up being $1. And at the Winter Meetings in '05, the team paid $50,000 to pick Dan Uggla in the Rule 5 Draft.
"We found ways to get it done," Beinfest said. "And I'll take a lot of blame. I think we kind of lost some of that. We need to get back to it. We need to find value. We need to rely on our scouts, our scouting and our people to help us overcome some of these challenges."