Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria has alienated the team’s fans and the city’s politicians after following last season’s new stadium opening with a firesale of players. On Tuesday, Loria reportedly gave his players and manager reason to join critics after meddling in the Marlins’ starting lineup.
Loria personally called for rookie manager Mike Redmond to flip-flop starting pitchers Jose Fernandez and Ricky Nolasco in Tuesday’s doubleheaders against the Twins at Target Field, according to a Yahoo! Sports report. The move left Marlins players furious, according to three sources:
“He was embarrassed,” one source said of Redmond, who nonetheless claimed publicly the decision was an organizational choice. “He tried to fight it. He had nothing to do with it.”
This is not the first time Loria has tried to tinker with his team’s on-field product. Loria, one source said, also made lineup suggestions to Ozzie Guillen, the team’s previous manager. Guillen ignored them.
Loria reportedly wanted 20-year-old rookie pitcher Fernandez to pitch in the first half of the doubleheader when the temperature was expected to be warmer at Target Field. Veteran pitchers are often given their choice of which game they’d like to pitch in doubleheaders, and Nolasco had picked the day game. Temperatures ended up measuring 42 degrees at the first pitch of Nolasco’s start and 38 degrees for Fernandez’s night outing.
The Marlins own baseball’s worst record (5-17) and attendance has dropped dramatically after Loria traded off more than $100 million in players and payroll last summer halfway through the team’s first season in Marlins Park.