What's Buzzing:

Sources: Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria personally mandated pitching lineup change

Yahoo Sports

Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria personally mandated the lineup card change that flip-flopped starting pitchers Jose Fernandez and Ricky Nolasco in a doubleheader Tuesday and left Marlins players furious with his continued meddling, three sources with knowledge of the situation told Yahoo! Sports.

View photo


Owner Jeffrey Loria makes yet another bad decision for the Marlins. (Getty Images)

Loria insisted Fernandez, the team's prized 20-year-old rookie, pitch in the first half of the doubleheader at frigid Target Field instead of the scheduled Nolasco because the day game was expected to be warmer. The temperature at Fernandez's first pitch (38 degrees) was actually colder than at the beginning of Nolasco's start (42 degrees).

Rookie manager Mike Redmond delivered the news to Nolasco about 2½ hours before the first game against the Minnesota Twins, and it did not go over well with him or his teammates. Standard protocol for doubleheaders is that veterans choose which game they want to pitch. Not only did Loria ignore that and further alienate Nolasco, the Marlins' highest-paid player who has previously requested a trade, he sabotaged Redmond less than 20 games into his managerial career.

By overstepping boundaries no other owner in baseball would dare, Loria presented Redmond with a Catch-22: listen to the man who signs his paycheck and risk drawing the players' ire, or refuse to kowtow to Loria's requests and find himself at the mercy of the owner's short fuse.

[Related: MLB Power Rankings: Rangers climb near top]

"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.

Following an offseason in which they shed more than $100 million in payroll during an epic fire sale, the Marlins are 5-17, the worst record in baseball. Their beautiful new stadium sits practically empty on a nightly basis, even as the team gives away tickets. Neither free seats nor a public-relations barrage meant to spin Loria and Marlins president David Samson in a positive light seems to be working.

The arrival of Fernandez tried to maximize goodwill. For a low-revenue team such as the Marlins, prioritizing service-time consideration instead is of the utmost importance. Loria ignored that, preferring the splash the young Fernandez could make upon a sterling debut.

And indeed he has started well – too well, arguably, to send him to the minor leagues, which means Fernandez will be a free agent after six seasons. Had the Marlins stashed him in the minor leagues for the season's first 11 days – a time during which Fernandez made only one start – he would not have been eligible for free agency until 2019.

[Related: Yankees may give up on plan to reduce payroll ]

No players enjoy hitting the open market more than the Marlins', some of whom refer to free agency as parole. The only true way to build a winner, absent another misguided spending spree, is by changing that perception – by making Miami the sort of franchise for which players want to play.

The latest incident from Loria is simply another reminder: That will never happen as long as he runs the team. After more than a decade as an owner, Loria remains naïve to the real goings-on of a clubhouse – of how an incident such as this doesn't just affect Nolasco but filters down to his teammates and even the purported beneficiary, Fernandez.

As much as Loria tries to ingratiate himself to Fernandez – he personally delivered the news that the right-hander would break camp with the Marlins – it is more of the same misguided nonsense. There is too much bad history and too little sense from Loria for Fernandez's opinion on Marlins ownership to be any different than all the other players who go through Miami.

Fernandez heard the stories, the ones that seem too far-fetched to be true. And now, just like all the others stuck playing for the worst owner in baseball, he must live them for years to come.

More MLB coverage on Yahoo! Sports:

Other popular content on Yahoo! Sports:
NFL draft first-round winners and losers
Manti Te'o, Geno Smith headline Day 2 NFL draft prospect list
Mack Brown running out of excuses at Texas
Magic Johnson gives up on Lakers' chances

Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Hockey
Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.
    • Indians fan gives up plane seat so Lofton makes World Series

      Indians fan gives up plane seat so Lofton makes World Series

      A longtime Cleveland Indians fan says he didn't think twice about giving up his plane seat to make sure former outfielder Kenny Lofton arrived in time to throw out the ceremonial first pitch as this year's World Series began. Ken Kostal, of … More »

      The Canadian Press - 38 minutes ago
    • Cleveland Indians get boost from newborn babies in onesies

      Newborn babies at an Ohio hospital have joined the ranks of Cleveland Indians fans. The Cleveland Clinic says at least five babies born Tuesday at its Fairview Hospital were dressed in World Series onesies. It says babies born throughout the World … More »

      AP - Sports - 1 hour 7 minutes ago
    • 10/25/16 MLB.com FastCast

      10/25/16 MLB.com FastCast

      Corey Kluber pitches six-plus scoreless frames, plus his batterymate Roberto Perez homers twice in the Indians' World Series Game 1 victory … More »

      MLB.com - 2 hours 58 minutes ago
    • Kluber, 2 Perez HRs get Indians by Cubs

      Kluber, 2 Perez HRs get Indians by Cubs

      Corey Kluber and the Cleveland Indians are off to a pitch-perfect start in the World Series. The Chicago Cubs, meanwhile, fell completely flat in their first appearance since 1945. Kluber dominated into the seventh inning, Roberto Perez had four … More »

      AP - Sports - 4 hours ago
    • Indians Beat Cubs 6-0 in World Series Game One

      Indians Beat Cubs 6-0 in World Series Game One

      The Cleveland Indians beat the Chicago Cubs 6-0 in game one of the 2016 World Series. Cleveland starter Corey Kluber pitched into the seventh inning with out allowing a run. Cleveland catcher Roberto Perez hit two home runs. (Oct. 26) … More »

      AP Canada - 4 hours ago