The beginning of Derek Jeter's tenure as the face of the new Miami Marlins ownership is off to a rocky start. Per a report from Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald, special assistant Jeff Conine, who was also a popular outfielder for the team for years, is leaving his position after Jeter and his group offered him a lesser role at a significant pay decrease.
Conine did not mince words when announcing his decision to leave the franchise he helped win World Series titles in 1997 and 2003.
"To say I'm disappointed that I won't have a role in this organization, yeah, I'm disappointed," Conine told the Miami Herald on Thursday.
"I spent 7½ years as a player and the last nine years as someone working with the organization," Conine said, according to the Herald. "I've always considered myself a Marlin. I'm a member of this community. I want to see them win again. I want to see them get back to the World Series and the playoffs."
An icon disrespected
To say Conine is being disrespected would be an understatement. This is someone who had not one but two different stints with the team, each of which featured a run to the World Series against all odds. In fact, it was Conine's sacrifice fly in the infamous Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS against the Chicago Cubs that gave the then-Florida Marlins a lead they would never relinquish en route to their stunning World Series victory over the favored New York Yankees.
And that's just a small piece of what Jeff Conine did in a Marlins uniform. In the team's inaugural season in 1993, as a 27-year-old rookie, he hit .292 with 12 home runs and 79 RBI and appeared in 162 games, finishing third in NL Rookie of the Year voting behind future Hall of Famer Mike Piazza and Atlanta Braves stud reliever Greg McMichael.