The Marlins have been looking to fire Fredi for some time

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The Florida Marlins turned heads this morning when they fired Fredi Gonzalez, but upon closer inspection, maybe it shouldn’t have been such a surprise after all.

Buster Olney tweets that the Marlins had been planning to fire Gonzalez for a while, actually, but that the whole Hanley Ramirez thing put a kink in it.  I mean, sure, Jeff Loria isn’t exactly a master of public relations, but apparently even he realized that firing your manager the second he gets tough on a player who everyone is excoriating for dogging it is not exactly the kind of thing you want to be doing.

Then you have to think back to last winter when, despite the fact that the Marlins had out-performed expectations and despite the fact that Gonzalez was under contract for two more years, Jeff Loria pushed hard for Bobby Valentine all the same.  That’s just not a sign that your boss wants you around, ya know?

Above all else, though were those expectation. Last winter Loria said “I expect us to make the playoffs.” That’s either supreme delusion or the kiss of death.

Of course with Loria, it could be both.

Dodgers to retire Fernando Valenzuela’s No. 34 this summer

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
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LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers will retire the No. 34 jersey of pitcher Fernando Valenzuela during a three-day celebration this summer.

Valenzuela was part of two World Series champion teams, winning the 1981 Rookie of the Year and Cy Young awards. He was a six-time All-Star during his 11 seasons in Los Angeles from 1980-90.

He will be honored from Aug. 11-13 when the Dodgers host Colorado.

Valenzuela will join Pee Wee Reese, Tommy Lasorda, Duke Snider, Gil Hodges, Jim Gilliam, Don Sutton, Walter Alston, Sandy Koufax, Roy Campanella, Jackie Robinson and Don Drysdale with retired numbers.

“To be a part of the group that includes so many legends is a great honor,” Valenzuela said. “But also for the fans, the support they’ve given me as a player and working for the Dodgers, this is also for them.”