New Marlins co-owner and CEO Derek Jeter is reportedly feeling regret over a series of firings that left two MLB Hall of Famers and two Marlins legends unemployed.
According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, Jeter is attempting to make amends, calling the dismissals of Andre Dawson, Tony Perez, Jack McKeon and Jeff Conine a misunderstanding in personal conversations with each individual.
The four men had served as special assistants to out-going Marlins president David Samson and former owner Jeffrey Loria. Jeter reportedly called on Samson to handle the firings, which disappointed and even angered some in the baseball community. Now he’s reportedly looking to find new roles for them after officially taking the reins in Miami on Monday.
In his first apparent course-reversal in his new high-profile role, new Miami Marlins CEO/part-owner Derek Jeter personally has reached out to the four esteemed Marlins front office members he reportedly ordered fired – Hall of Famers Andre Dawson and Tony Perez, Mr. Marlin Jeff Conine and the Marlins’ octogenarian, World Series-winning manager Jack McKeon – and informed them he didn’t really intend to fire them and that he’d be interested in retaining all four with the team in some unidentified role.
Sources say Jeter personally called the four men this time and told them he wants to keep them with the club, and someone familiar with the situation suggested Jeter provided no explanation why they’d been told they were being let go, or more specifically, why the second message was the opposite of the first.
As magnificent as Jeter was the first day he set foot on an MLB field, his transition to owner has been anything but smooth thanks to the circumstances surrounding these firings and another round he reportedly forced on Samson last week. Obviously, the job description is much different. He’s a former player who will be on the business side of a lot of tough decisions. That means he won’t be able to avoid hurting people’s feelings, regardless of his intentions.
Here, it seems pretty clear Jeter intended to remove as many remnants left over from the Jeffrey Loria regime as possible. By having Samson involved in the process, it would sever ties without him having to get personally involved, thus easing the burden of decisions he wasn’t entirely comfortable making.
Clearly, that backfired. The backlash was impossible to ignore, and now he’s been forced to take this issue on head on.
It makes for an awkward start to the Jeter regime, but that doesn’t mean it’s doomed to continue that way. The fact Jeter is reaching out, rather than brushing it under the rug, indicates he’s already learned one tough lesson. Being a successful owner and businessman means owning up to mistakes. If Jeter proves willing to do that, he’ll be on the right track sooner than later.
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