The Marlins’ house-cleaning efforts took a particularly cruel turn on Oct. 16.
Marty Scott, a 64-year-old Marlins scout who had been with the team since 2011, was laying in a South Florida hospital bed recovering from surgery to remove a cancerous tumor in his colon when he received a phone call informing him his contract would not be renewed, he told Yahoo’s Jeff Passan. Scott’s cancer was discovered as he underwent tests to prepare him for a kidney transplant.
“I just think 40 years was worth more than a spank on the butt and see you later,” Scott told Yahoo. “I’m very hurt. Forty years in baseball, I let a lot of people go. I never, ever fired somebody 10 days, 15 days before their contract was up. If I knew I was going to fire somebody, I did it at the beginning of September.”
Scott described the tone of the call as “apologetic,” though, Passan wrote.
The Marlins have carried out wholesale personnel changes across the organization since Derek Jeter and Bruce Sherman bought the team this fall. In September, before the sale was even finalized, Jeter instructed Marlins president David Samson to fire four well-respected employees, according to the Miami Herald. Hall of Fame players Tony Perez and Andre Dawson were let go, as well as World Series winning manager Jack McKeon and Jeff “Mr. Marlin” Conine. Jeter reportedly asked Samson to deliver the bad news after informing Samson that he wouldn’t be back with the team.
Rich Waltz, the Marlins’ TV play-by-play man for the last 13 years, is also gone, though Fox Sports Florida maintains that it made the decision without input from Marlins ownership.
Cost cutting has been the dominant theme of Jeter and Sherman’s nascent ownership. They’ve spent the last several weeks trying to trade the team’s superstar slugger, Giancarlo Stanton, merely to unload his expensive contract. They’re also already recruiting additional investors.