Ozzie: Onus on himself, players, not Marlins brass

Ozzie: Onus on himself, players, not Marlins brass

Ozzie: Onus on himself, players, not Marlins brass
MIAMI -- Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen on Tuesday delivered a terse message to critics of the team making major trades: Blame those in uniform, not the front office.

Miami dealt Omar Infante and Anibal Sanchez to the Tigers on Monday for three prospects, including highly touted right-hander Jacob Turner.

The Marlins took the field on Tuesday night with speculation that more moves could follow.

"Don't blame the front office," Guillen said. "I take the blame. The players, they take the blame. I'm the one that should be sad, upset, embarrassed maybe with the fans, with the media, with the hopes. I'm No. 1.

"I blame myself, first one for making the front office make the move they don't want to make. That's for sure. We've been talking about this for the last three weeks. The front office was very optimistic -- very optimistic about this ballclub, and we don't show them any sign to be more optimistic."

After falling seven games under .500 with a loss at Pittsburgh on Sunday, the Marlins pulled the trigger on the deal with Detroit.

The team then went out and beat the Braves, 2-1, on Monday.

There is growing speculation that Josh Johnson and Hanley Ramirez could be next, as the Marlins are open to listening to offers on any of their players, with the exception of Giancarlo Stanton.

Johnson is signed through 2013, and he is set to make $13.75 million. On Monday night, the right-hander was impressive in six shutout innings, striking out nine.

He was lifted due to a cut near the nail of his right middle finger. The 28-year-old is expected to make his next start.

Ramirez, making $15 million this year, returned to the starting lineup on Tuesday after he missed four straight starts due to inflammation in his right hand. In 2013, the former three-time All-Star is set to earn $15.5 million, and $16 million in 2014.

"That was the reason I signed here," Ramirez said of his long-term contract. "I've been here seven years now, and that was my hope. But like I said, it's a business. I can stay here or otherwise I just want to play and win. Even when you don't do good you just want to win."

The Marlins entered the season with a franchise-record, $101 million payroll. Moving Infante and Sanchez trimmed about $8 million this season.

Guillen noted that management isn't operating as in the past, when they played at Sun Life Stadium and ranked near the bottom of the league in attendance and revenue.

"Miami, I know they're used to blaming the front office," Guillen said. "I was here before and they've done some stuff here that a lot of people thought they shouldn't do that, when they went and broke up the team.

"I think if there's anybody out there that wants to blame somebody, blame the people wearing this uniform, don't blame the people who wear ties and sport coats. Nope. They do a great job. They did everything they could to keep this team together. They spent a lot of money, a lot of time. We added a player. If there's anybody that has to be blamed, I take the blame, and anybody besides me, the players have to take the blame."

Management made an early move on July 4, adding Carlos Lee in a deal with the Astros. But 19 days later, the front office was disappointed with being in fourth place in the National League East.

That prompted dealing Infante and Sanchez.

Heath Bell, in the first of a three-year, $27 million deal, says the team has to keep pushing forward.

"We had a lot of high hopes here," Bell said. "But these 25 guys in this locker room still think we can get to the postseason. We're just going to work hard and try to forget about all the trade rumors and trades and do the best we can."

Said Ramirez: "We're just keeping our mind in the game right now. We don't want to worry about what's happening right now off the field. We owe a lot to this city. We got to go out there and compete every day."