Enjoy your time off, Larry Beinfest

Mike Ehrmann

Friday, Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria fired his general manager.

Well, not exactly. His general manager, officially speaking, is someone named Michael Hill. We're still waiting for confirmation that "Michael Hill" is a real person, and not just an imaginary friend that Loria yells at every five or six minutes. Loria's vice president of player personnel, Dan Jennings, apparently has been making a fair number of the important decisions. Or recommendations, since it's not clear that anyone but Loria makes any actual decisions.

But on paper, at least, Loria's top man has been Larry Beinfest for some years. Until Friday, when Loria fired Beinfest; Jennings apparently will move up on the org chart. Here's some fiery good stuff from Scott Miller:

Having somehow served as owner Jeffrey Loria's top baseball executive now for 12 years, what Larry Beinfest deserves is a new Corvette, a gold watch and a Lifetime Achievement Award. Not a firing.

But a firing he gets, as Loria's soap operatic world makes another spin at the conclusion of yet another sorry Marlins season. Because that's how Loria rolls.

Clearly, the most two most thankless tasks in baseball are cleaning the tobacco spit out of the dugouts each night, and working under Loria. Probably not in that order, either.

--snip--

And President David Samson, that walking organizational virus? Who knows? People close to the Marlins say he's hardly been heard from over the past few months. There is rampant speculation that when Loria and Samson's mother divorced, part of the settlement included lifetime employment for lil' David. Some now think maybe the paychecks will keep coming but Samson finally will have the stitches removed from his baseball, if you get the drift.

--snip--

As for Beinfest, he's got two years remaining on his contract and a rich experience of working for and surviving a crazed lunatic. And you know what that positions him to do? Head straight toward Arte Moreno's Angels to replace GM Jerry Dipoto.

Just an idea.

Otherwise, Beinfest could always collect Marlins money over the next two years and buy himself that gold watch. Good grief.

A two-year paid vacation? Hey, there are worse things in the world. And a two-year paid vacation after spending all those years with Jeffrey Loria? Hey, that might be the best thing in the world.

There's been a lot of talk these last couple of days about Bud Selig's legacy. Not from me, because I won't believe he's actually quitting until a new Commissioner has actually been named. But there's been a lot of talk, and I think it's worth remembering that Major League Baseball generally and Bud Selig specifically deserve a lot of the credit for Jeffrey Loria and the Miami Marlins. Yes, John Henry and the demise of the Curse of the Bambino and a great scene in Moneyball: The Movie are a part of that story, too.

That's the thing about Commissioner Bud's ... You gotta make a list of just about everything that's happened over the last 25 years, because he's had his bony old fingers in every bit of it. Right and wrong, good and bad, and everything in between. But of course his weren't the only fingers. And I've got a tough time giving him a great deal of credit for baseball's revenues, because the regional sports networks were going to be there no matter who was Commissioner. Same with the ever-more-lucrative Internet. To a large degree, he just happened to be sitting in the chair when everything happened. Revenues in the other sports are way up, too.

But he's been effective, and a lot has happened. Which makes him hugely important, historically speaking. His legacy, though? Considering the guy's in office for another 15-plus months, at least, I think we're a long way from having anything like the necessary perspective on his career.

p.s. It's li'l David Samson ... apostrophe goes in the middle there, pal.

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