It’s Still Not Totally Obvious Who the Marlins’ GM Is

It could have just been your basic ol’ swap: make your general manager your manager, and your assistant general manager your general manager. Since it’s the Marlins who have attempted to make the maneuver, though, they couldn’t just go and make it that straightforward. When your author was simply attempting to confirm, via the Internet, that former Marlins assistant general manager Mike Berger was now in fact the Marlins’ general manager, your author fell into a hole of frighteningly dissonant reportage. That the reportage is dissonant is not, your author has hypothesized, the fault of the very able reporters. Rather, the author suspects that blame should be placed at the feet of the Marlins, seeing as the identity of the other 29 general managers can be very easily ascertained on the same Internet via the work of these same reporters.

To re-set the timeline: on Sunday, May 17, the Marlins were handily defeated by Shelby Miller and the Atlanta Braves in a matinee, after which manager Mike Redmond was fired. On Monday, May 18, Dan Jennings (not Dan Jennings) was re-assigned from Marlins general manager to manager, in time to be knighted by Ichiro Suzuki in the dugout that evening. This part is pretty straightforward.

Tracking the Marlins’ front office: not nearly so straightforward. In the wee morning hours of the 18th, two prominent baseball reporters tweeted within the very same minute two very similar but also dissimilar things about the Marlins’ new organizational structure. The first tweet shown below posits that the Marlins have given Berger the promotion of assistant GM to GM. The second tweet indicates some notable ambiguity with the Marlins’ new job titles:

The very same minute!

Let’s go to a few hours later in the morning. Now, a tweet from a reputable source that Jennings, who was said just a few hours ago to have vacated the front office in favor of the dugout, is still in the decision-making mix:

Do you think we’re done? No, we’re not done.

Barely ten minutes later, we receive trustworthy confirmation that there is no single GM:

The next day, we learn that, contrary to what was reported the day before, Jennings is in fact not part of the Marlins’ front office. Also, no single GM is named, although a potential candidate is eliminated:

On Friday the 22nd, Jon Heyman wrote a passage in his column a passage that seemed to confirm, if nothing else, that the Marlins do not actually have a general manager:

Clubs baseball ops president Michael Hill, who already was doing a lot of GM type duties, will absorb more of them now that Dan Jennings has made the unusual transfer to become the team’s manager. The Harvard-educated Hill is quite capable.

And now a piece of information that refutes everything above: while the Marlins’ website lists Jennings as manager on its roster page, Jennings continues to be listed as Vice President and General Manager on the site’s front office page.

While Jennings’ assignment to manager is unconventional, there are still plausible ways that it could be a good decision — or at least a not-bad one. If the Marlins’ front office is nearly as confusing from the inside as it appears on the outside, though, it becomes harder to see how moving Jennings could benefit the team.

Miles Wray contributes sports commentary to McSweeney's Internet Tendency, Ploughshares, The Classical and Hardwood Paroxysm. Follow him on Twitter @mileswray or email him here.

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
8 years ago

Does anyone else get the feeling that making the GM the manager was sort of a “you built this team, so show me that you did a good job” move from Loria?

8 years ago
Reply to  Alex

I like to think that there was a testy office exchange between Redmond and Jennings that went something to the effect of:

“Oh yeah Nerdlinger? You think you can do better smart guy? Why don’t you go right ahead!”

“Thanks, Jerk, I think I will!”

8 years ago
Reply to  Alex

He just didn’t want to pay two managers at the same time.