A typically sharp performance last night by Dontrelle Willis coupled with Death Wish’s latest failure kept the Marlins within 4 games of the NL Wild Card, but the South Florida Sun-Sentinel David Hyde has further dirt to dish regarding the status of manager Joe Girardi. Writing that owner Jeffrey Loria “might have to stand in line next time he wants to shout at Girardi,” Hyde seems to be the beneficiary of a whispering campaign designed to take the Fish skipper down a notch or two.

Back in spring training, according to two Marlins sources, here’s some changes Girardi pushed for: Miguel Cabrera from third to first base; Dan Uggla not at second base but in left field; Josh Willingham at catcher, not Miguel Olivo; Alfredo Amezaga might not have made the team; and young pitchers like Ricky Nolasco and Josh Johnson would have started in the minor leagues.


Pick your own reason to worry what might have been.

So you can understand, as Girardi pushed against moves the front office spent a thorny off-season making, how a perfect-storm of problems was brewing. Loria’s shouting match with Girardi was to some extent just the boiling point of that.

Ironically, it was Loria who demanded that Girardi be hired. That meant General Manager Larry Beinfest and Girardi had to hatch out their relationship on the run, and it has been “spotty at best,” one source said.

The manager’s job shouldn’t be overvalued. If you’re listing the assets for this team, you’d say: 1. Beinfest and his scouting staff; 2. Miguel Cabrera; 3. Dontrelle Willis; 4. The young arms starting with Johnson; 5. Hanley Ramirez and Uggla …

… and somewhere down below would be Girardi.