Thursday, May 21, 2015

Who Will Be The Next Manager of the Miami Marlins?

Fans of the Miami Marlins entered the 2015 season with high hopes for the team.  Several huge contracts had been signed over the winter ensuring that super human outfielder Giancarlo Stanton would be around for many years and that the team could be built around him.  Concurrently outfielder Christian Yelich was also signed to a long-term contract ensuring that he would be there with Stanton to form the nucleus of the team. 

Several trades were made to bring in "support" staff to build behind Stanton and Yelich.  Dee Gordon who runs so fast I swear he's part antelope was acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers.  Martin Prado, an excellent third baseman was acquired from the San Francisco Giants and mega-hitter Ichiro Suzuki was acquired from the Seattle Mariners. Everything was in place and secured for a record-breaking season for the Marlins.

And then the season started.

Languishing near the bottom of the standings in the National League East Division, the Marlins were soon a laughing stock and everyone was scratching their heads wondering what happened to all this expensive talent that was supposed to be the salvation of the Miami Marlins.

All of that talent was acquired by the General Manager Dan Jennings and approved by Owner Jeffrey Loria.  Despite that fact when the Marlins couldn't get their season in order, Loria fired the Manager Mike Redmond and made him the scapegoat for the managerial miscues foisted on the team by him and his general manager.

"A new direction" and "a new vision" were the two buzz phrases uttered the day following Redmond's unceremonious firing as the Marlins introduced the next manager in the team's history - none other than General Manager Dan Jennings - the same culprit who formed that team that couldn't win for which Redmond was made the scapegoat.

Jennings' managerial experience consisted of managing high school baseball more than 30 years ago but according to Jeffrey Loria, the art-collector owner of the Marlins he was "the person" for the job.

Since taking the helm of the Marlins their record under Jennings is 0-3 and the team is slipping further into irrelevance as the "new direction" seems to be straight for the cesspool.

No doubt Jennings will be made the next scapegoat of the Marlins and I want to be in line for the position.  So this morning I wrote to Jeffrey Loria and applied for the job of manager.  My experience is actually greater than Jennings (and it spans a longer time frame) having coached 4-H league softball in the early 1970s and later adult-league softball in the late 1980s.  I certainly can't be any worse than Jennings, plus I will work for much less than he is being paid.

A copy of my letter and the resume I attached to it follow.  We'll see where this leads.  Should I be accepted for the position I will ensure that all of my friends receive tickets to whatever games you want to see.  Likely you'll be the only people in the stands by then anyway.

May 21 2015

Mr Jeffrey Loria, Owner
The Miami Marlins
501 Marlins Way
Miami, Florida  33125

Re:  Marlins Managerial Position

Dear Jeff,

After Sunday’s unceremonious firing of Marlins Manager Mike Redmond, it was stated in various media outlets that the Marlins were looking for “new direction” and a “new vision” for the team.  To accomplish that goal you hired (actually demoted) General Manager Dan Jennings to the position of team manager.  Subsequent media reports stated that Jennings was “just the man” for the position.  Curiously when you hired former manager Mike Redmond in 2012 you said the exact same words about him.

As we have seen over the last three games, any “new vision” that Jennings has brought to the team is extremely blurred and a visit to the optometrist is probably in order very soon.  Three straight losses over three nights are more of blindness than a vision.  Accordingly I predict that in the next couple of months you will once again seek a new vision and a new direction for the team and fire Jennings.  When that happens, I want the job.

Unlike Jennings whose entire managerial experience consisted of high school baseball 30 years ago, my managerial experience actually consists of two levels of ball. First I coached a 4-H league softball team in 1970 to a record of 28-1.  This was in Rice Lake, Wisconsin.  Later, in the late 1980s, at about the time Dan Jennings was gaining his managerial experience at the high school level, I managed an adult league softball team in Grand Island, Nebraska.  Although our record was 14-11 it was still better than what Dan and his new vision and direction are bringing to the Fish.

Therefore I am applying in advance for the position of manager of the Marlins.  I bring to the position 31 years of experience as a wildlife biologist with the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Despite that having nothing to do with managing baseball, it’s actually more time in one position than Jennings has had over the last 31 years.

To aid you in your decision-making I have attached a 2-page resume outlining all of my relevant experience.  As far as salary is concerned I am quite open but believe, given my level of experience (greater than the current manager) that $500,000 a year would be adequate.  If you find my experience to be of greater value we can discuss an increase.  I’d prefer this be in a five-year contract so that after you fire me I can still live well for a few years afterward as your last three casualties at the manager position are now doing.

Thank you very much for considering my application.  My email and phone numbers are on my resume.  I look forward to taking the reins of the Fish soon so I can apply my vision to furthering the downfall and irrelevance of the Marlins under your ownership.


Craig Faanes
Wildlife Biologist


Wildlife Biologist, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Arlington, Virginia        Sept 1994 – March 1 2008  
·         Managed the mapping program of the National Wetlands Inventory (
·      Provided technical support, science advising and analytical expertise in biological sciences (particularly wetlands and ornithology) to other natural resource programs of the Fish and Wildlife Service, other Federal agencies and the states.
·      Managed expenditures for the $4.7 million national appropriated budget and obtained agreements with numerous Federal state and private resources for additional funding.
·      Authored the 5-year strategy document guiding the program’s new focus and direction.
·      Provided program oversight and management of the National Wetlands Status and Trends study and resulting report to the President and the Congress.

Wildlife Biologist, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Ventura,, California           Feb. 1993 – Sept.1994
·      Managed the activities of a diverse and controversial Ecological Services Field Office including supervision of a staff of 30 and budget management. The office was responsible for protection and management of 118 endangered and threatened species of plants and animals including Sea Otter, California Condor, Desert Tortoise, Red-legged Frog and many others,  in a 10-county area of southern California
·      Oversaw habitat conservation work including reviews of wetland development permits under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, NEPA reviews, and initiation of a Coastal Resources program. 
·      Developed and implemented the first Environmental Contaminants program in the Field Office.

Wildlife Biologist, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Grand Island, Nebraska              Jan. 1987 – Feb.1993
·      Participated in the Platte River Management Joint Study involving Endangered Species Program issues in Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming related to the Platte River ecosystem.
·      Developed mathematical models applied to Whooping Crane, Piping Plover, Least Tern and forage fish habitats
·      Designed and conducted studies of Whooping Crane and Sandhill Crane habitat use of the Platte River system.
·      Worked with regional and state media in distribution of information on Platte River issues including development of a statewide endangered species public education program.

Research Wildlife Biologist – U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Athens, Georgia       April 1984 – Jan 1987
  • Principal investigator for recovery research on the endangered Kirtland’s Warbler in Michigan and in winter in the West Indies

Research Wildlife Biologist – U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Jamestown, North Dakota  Jan 1979 – April 1984
  • Principal ornithologist at the Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
  • Designed and conducted research to elucidate factors affecting populations of song birds and other non-hunted species in the Northern Great Plains of the United States

Wildlife Biologist – U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Minneapolis, Minnesota     August 1977 – Jan 1979
  • Conducted biological assessments of lands nominated to the Fish and Wildlife Service for acquisition and inclusion into the National Wildlife Refuge system in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.
Education and Training

Masters Degree – Biology (Wildlife Biology Concentration) University of Wisconsin – River Falls   
Bachelors Degree –  Earth Science and Biology.  University of Wisconsin at River Falls. 

U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Upper Level Management Development Program

Law Enforcement – Eau Claire, WI (provided certification to exercise game warden arrest authority in Wisconsin)

Publications and Presentations

·     Published more than 60 peer-reviewed applied science and research papers and journal articles, books, book chapters and book reviews on conservation topics (primarily neotropical migrant birds and endangered species)
·      Published my first non-science book “Somewhere South of Miami” in 2002  “Continental Drifting,” “Minor League Heckler,”  and “Sojourn to South Africa” were published as books in 2013 and “Slices of America’s Pie” in 2014.
·      Prepared research and technical reports, non-refereed articles, Congressional testimony,  case affidavits, and other public documents
·      Delivered approximately 460 public speaking and workshop presentations

Teaching Opportunities

· - Taipei American School – Taiwan – Primary presenter at a week-long environmental education program in 1991
·      Norfolk, Virginia – Caribbean College Students Program (Presidential Training Initiative for the Island Caribbean, 3-day training) – Guest lecturer
·     1988-1991 – Central Community College, Grand Island, NE – Instructor for Beginning Bird Watching
·     Other teaching opportunities –
-          Public Outreach and Environmental Education – Fish & Wildlife Service’s Ecological Services Basic Training – Seattle   Washington
                -      Educational seminar organizer – for Nebraska & Kansas oil production companies –
                      Subject:  Ways to reduce bird mortality at oil storage areas
-          Educational seminar organizer & presenter – for Nebraska Public Power Districts –
Subject:  Ways to reduce bird mortality with power lines
-          Developer and organizer – for local Chamber of Commerce – Subject: “Wings Over the Platte.”,  a public education program about the Platte River Ecosystem

Honors and Activities

·         “Environmental Excellence Award”, Department of the Interior  (group quality award)   
                 Report to Congress on the Status and Trends of the Nation’s wetlands.
·         “Thousand Points of Light”,  President Bush’s award from the Secretary of the Interior  
·         “Outstanding Contribution Award”, Director’s award from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service  
                Project to establish the Wings Over the Platte educational celebration in Grand Island Nebraska
·         Earth Day – Dan Rather’s CBS Evening News – segment on my environmental education activities 
·         Manuscript reviewer for:  The Auk, Birds of North America, Birding, Blue Jay (Saskatchewan Natural History Society) Canadian Field Naturalist, The Condor, Ecology, Journal of Field Ornithology, Florida Field-Naturalist, The Loon (Minnesota Ornithologists Union) Passenger Pigeon (Wisconsin Society for Ornithology) Prairie Naturalist (North Dakota Natural Science Society), Studies in Avian Biology, Western Birds, Journal of Wildlife Management, Wildlife Society Bulletin, Wilson Bulletin  
·         Hobbies: Birding, International travel (visited 114 countries), Civil War history, music, arts, theater

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