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Marlins Fire President of Operations

Miami — The latest purge by Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria targeted the personnel department rather than the dugout.

President of baseball operations Larry Beinfest was fired Friday after 12 years with the Marlins. The move came as the team neared the end of its third consecutive last-place season in the NL East.

Loria also fired Jim Fleming, who had also been with the Marlins for 12 seasons and was Beinfest’s special assistant. Beinfest and Fleming were dismissed with two years left on their contracts.

Loria said he would soon make further announcements about a new structure in baseball operations, and Marlins executive Dan Jennings is considered a strong candidate to replace Beinfest. Jennings has been with the team for 11 seasons and is vice president of player personnel and assistant general manager.

Another possible candidate is vice president and general manager Mike Hill, who has been with the Marlins for six seasons.

Beinfest provided a measure of stability during the Marlins’ frequent payroll purges and changes in managers — they’ve had five since 2010, with Mike Redmond holding the job this season.

Beinfest was general manager in 2003 when the Marlins made an improbable run to the World Series title. But there has been no return to the playoffs since, with Loria’s tight payrolls making it difficult for the franchise to be competitive.

The Marlins moved into a new ballpark last year, but their fortunes on the field only declined, and their loss total has risen each of the past four years. This season has been especially dismal, with the team ranking last in the majors in runs, home runs and batting, ensuring the seventh last-place finish in the franchise’s 21 years.

Beinfest also worked under Loria in 2001 with the Montreal Expos. When Loria bought the Marlins before the 2002 season, he brought Beinfest along.

Mariners Manager Won’t Be Back

Seattle — Seattle manager Eric Wedge told the Mariners on Friday he will not return for next season, saying it became obvious he did not have a future with the organization.

The Mariners said that Wedge will manage the final three games of the season against Oakland before beginning another search for a manager.

Seattle, which has never reached the World Series, entered the final weekend 70-89, assured of its fourth straight losing season. Seattle general manager Jack Zduriencik said the club had every intention of bringing Wedge back for 2014.

Rivera Could Play Outfield

Houston — Yankees manager Joe Girardi says Mariano Rivera can play center field this weekend against Houston if he wants to.

The 43-year-old closer, who is retiring Sunday, has said he wants to play in the outfield.

“I’ll talk to him every day to see what he wants to do,” Girardi said. I know he’s talked about playing some center field, but I know he has some concerns about his leg. That’s really up to him. If he wants to do it, he can do it. I’m OK with it.”

Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte, scheduled to make his final career start today before his hometown fans, is excited about the possibility of Rivera roaming the outfield.

“He’s a great athlete and if he’s able to do that, it will be fun,” Pettitte said.

In 2012, Rivera hurt a knee shagging fly balls in pregame practice in Kansas City and missed the majority of that season.