¡Feliz CumpleaƱos!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Hanley Ramirez and Cody Ross share a birthday today. Cody is turning 29, while Hanley is 26. We send our best wishes to both, as well as Ryan, whoever he is. Perhaps one of you guys can wish for Josh Johnson to get paid?

Image via wetakethecake.com


This Is Going to be Way Better Than the Hall of Presidents

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Via Fish@Bat, I found out yesterday that the new Marlins stadium will include a $2.5 million feature (below) that utilizes animatronic Marlins to celebrate a home run. You can view a video of the proposed design at the Sun Sentinal's website (embedding is disabled, unfortunately). I think it looks pretty interesting, reminiscent of a bizarro old-timey carnival display.

But I have one suggestion that would put the feature over the top into the realm of legendary design. Let's crossbreed one of the animatronic Marlins with the giant Jason Taylor robot featured at the 2007 Dolphins-Giants game in London (below). The two would create an awesome merman, no? If I had decent photoshop skills, I would mock up a design, but instead you will have to use your imagination.

Let's make this happen, people. You can e-mail the Marlins front office at fanfeedback@marlins.mlb.com.



Monday, December 14, 2009

Phillies reach deal to get Halladay

Remember when Philly used to shoot itself in the foot every year? Yeah, those days were nice...


So Long, Alfredo

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Marlins have non-tendered super-utility man Alfredo Amezaga, feeling he was too big of a risk coming back from microfracture surgery on his knee. The team could still conceivably sign him at a lower price after March 2 (as per MLB rules), but as Craig points out, Amezaga has "a lot time to prove to the other clubs he is good to go while the Marlins are sitting on the sidelines." So goodbye, Fredo. Your stats were never good enough to start, but you did everything you could for the team, even making yourself Miguel Cabrera's personal celebration dance specialist. You will be missed.

Cue Neil Young...

And once more, for posterity, below is Amezaga's best Ozzie Smith impression.


In Which We Are Already Penning JJ's Diaspora Post

Friday, November 20, 2009

If you haven't heard by now, tonight news broke via ESPN.com that negotiations between the Marlins and Josh Johnson have reached an impasse and that no long term deal figures to be signed soon. He will most likely sign a one year deal for 2010. He will remain under club control until the end of the 2011 season, at which point he is eligible for free agency.

This is not-so-good news. I tried to warn people via Twitter, message boards, and word of mouth, that just because there were reports during the season that the team would offer JJ a long term contract this winter, didn't automatically mean he would sign off on it. Josh and his agent are smart and know if they take a mini-gamble and bank on no serious injury or dip in performance, that a huge payday is coming and it won't be Jeffrey Loria signing the checks.

"It seems to me that based on his age and performance, Josh falls into that group of two or three starting pitchers out there whose next contract could very well exceed $100 million,"
- Matt Sosnick (Johnson's agent)

Ugh. Marlins and $100 million just don't go to together. I doubt they would trade him as early as this year, but 2011 now figures to be very interesting. For now, I suggest we all just do our normal Marlins-thing and just enjoy his dominance as long as we can and trust that the organization will either get him signed eventually or get full value in any potential trade. That, and Dave and I will begin penning his Marlins Diaspora post.


Runaway Renyel

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Fish@Bat informs us that Renyel Pinto is in a bit of legal trouble. This will seriously affect next year's revision of the Renyel Pinto Flow Chart...


Congratulations Lowell!

Monday, November 16, 2009

The votes are in, and Chris Coghlan has been named National League Rookie of the Year in a very close race. Congratulations to Chris.

Coghlan joins former Marlins winners Dontrelle Willis and Hanley Ramirez.

UPDATE: Rob Iracane is mad, because Andrew McCutchen didn't win the award and Rob's a Yankees fan and now that he can't be mad at Melky Cabrera or something he needs to direct his anger somewhere else so this is where it landed also what's the point in telling everyone that baseball writers are idiots, it's kind of like calling the sky blue...zzzzzzzzz


Not Funny, Baseball America

Baseball America listed the top ten prospects in the Marlins organization last week. You can read their analysis here. What I found interesting, though, was BA's projected 2012 Marlins lineup:

Catcher: Kyle Skipworth
First Base: Logan Morrison
Second Base: Chris Coghlan
Third Base: Dan Uggla
Shortstop: Hanley Ramirez
Left Field: Isaac Galloway
Center Field: Cameron Maybin
Right Field: Mike Stanton
No. 1 Starter: Josh Johnson
No. 2 Starter: Chad James
No. 3 Starter: Ricky Nolasco
No. 4 Starter: Chris Volstad
No. 5 Starter: Sean West
Closer: Ryan Tucker

Apparently, no one at Baseball America has heard of the Florida Marlins, because their is no way that Dan Uggla, Josh Johnson, Chris Volstad, and Ricky Nolasco will all be on the team by the time 2010 rolls around. At least half of that quartet will join the Marlins Diaspora in the next two years.

h/t: FishStripes



Monday, November 9, 2009

In case you're bored, below are some Marlins trivia quizzes from Sporcle.com.

And from YardBarker.


So Long, Jeremy

Friday, November 6, 2009

Well that was quick. The Marlins figure to have a busy offseason and they wasted no time making their first move. They have cut the cord on the Jeremy Hermida balloon and are letting him float up to Boston (unless he's hiding in the 400 level of Landshark Stadium). In return the Red Sox are sending us a couple of average pitching prospects, both lefties I think.

We've had a good time ribbing Jeremy for his lofty LOB numbers and then being elated by his few clutch homers. The truth is, he has never lived up to expectations. He was a first round pick, and was often reffered to as our best prospect. He also hit a grand slam in his first major league plate appearance, which hadn't been done in 100 years. That probably set the fans' bar pretty high. But, he was often injured and underperformed. A good second half in 2007 gave new hope that he would put it together and be a let's say Jayson Werth-like player. Wrong. He was reduced to a platoon role this year in the outfield and struggled. Did I mention he isn't the best of fielders?

So now the question is who will be the next to go? Dan Uggla is probably the biggest candidate and safest bet. We'll keep you posted.


Playoff Bracket Results

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Your 2009 Playoff Bracket Contest Winner is Adam Smoot, with a whopping 15 points after correctly picking the Yankees to defeat the Phillies. Congrats Adam, drop me an e-mail and we will sort out your prize selection and delivery.


I am confused...

So, should I be happy the Phillies lost the World Series, or mad that the Yankees won?


World Series TV Guide: Game 6

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Pedro faces Pettite, and PLEASE GOD END THIS SERIES ALREADY! Your other television options are below.

  • 7 EST Heat at Wizards (ESPN). The Heat attempt to bounce back from last night's loss to the Suns.
  • 8 EST Bill Cosby receives The Mark Twain Prize for American Humor 2009 (PBS - encore presentation at 9:30). Featuring classic Cosby clips and tributes from Chris Rock, Jerry Seinfeld, Sinbad, and jazz saxophonist Jimmy Heath(!). I saw Bill Cosby at the University of Florida in 2002. He killed.
  • 9 EST Modern Family (ABC). It's the best new comedy on TV this year (with apologies to Community).
  • 9:30 EST Income Property (HGTV). Featuring, for the ladies, the deliciously Canadian Scott McGillivray.
  • 10 EST Top Chef All Stars Dinner (Bravo). Food porn at its finest.
Tonight's book recommendation is 1959: The Year Everything Changed, by Fred Kaplan. Kaplan looks at a number of touchstone events from 1959 which set the stage for the major cultural, political, and technological shifts of the 1960s. He examines the worlds of computer science, jazz, literature, and geopolitics, among others, in a concise, quick read.


World Series TV Guide: Game 5

Monday, November 2, 2009

Cliff Lee faces AJ Burnett tonight. Perhaps the Yankees will clinch tonight and get this series over with. Here's what's on tv.

  • 8 EST Idiocracy (Comedy Central). Mike Judge (of Beavis and Butthead and Office Space fame) wonders aloud what would happen if stupid people continued to outbreed smart people over the next few centuries. Spoiler Alert: Bad things happen. This movie has developed a nice afterlife on DVD after flaming out in theaters, and rightfully so.
  • 8 EST Man vs. Wild (Discovery). Bear Grylls is in Belize, where he encounters a 9 foot boa constrictor. I bet he turns it into a shelter.
  • 8:30 EST Monday Night Football (ESPN). The Saints take on the Falcons. It's Drew Brees against Matt Ryan in a classic matchup of bland quarterbacks with little personality.
  • 9 EST Bizarre Foods With Andrew Zimmern (Travel). Andrew is on the Gulf Coast this week. You know what that means: nutria!
  • 10 EST Mad Men (AMC). In case you missed last night's episode. Apparently, something happened to President Kennedy.
  • 10:30 EST For Rent (HGTV). I'm still trying to understand why HGTV would target the notoriously cheap renter demographic.
Tonight's book recommendation is William Cooper's Town: Power and Persuasion on the Frontier of the Early American Republic, by Alan Taylor. Taylor masterfully chronicles the life of William Cooper (founder of Cooperstown, NY and father of novelist James Fenimore Cooper), using his life as a vehicle to examine the radical social and economic changes taking place during the early years of the American republic. His writing is quite accessible, and this book won the Pulitzer Prize for History in 1996.


World Series TV Guide: Game 4

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Last night we came very close to what us Marlins fans wanted in this World Series, a win for mother nature. But alas, the game was only delayed and not postponed. Anyway, it's game four tonight in Philadelphia and here is the suggested TV viewing.

  • 8:00 PM The Amazing Race (CBS). Yes, it's a reality show, but it's won many Emmys and has a lot going for it. You get to see people in different parts of the world doing wacky tasks and you can really feel the competition between the teams. About once a year I end up watching an episode because I landed on it channel surfing and didn't turn away.
  • 8:00 PM Catch Me If You Can (TNT). I haven't seen it, but it also won some awards and got good a good reception since it's 2002 release. Plus, Leonardo DiCaprio is in it, which may please some female viewers
  • 9:00 PM Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO). If you haven't gotten into this show, you are missing out. I understand it's not everybody's cup of tea but if you need laughs and outrageous plot lines, this is it. Bonus: the episode will also air at 10PM
  • 10:00PM Mad Men (AMC). I admit, I haven't hopped aboard this fad yet, but everywhere I go, I hear about how great it is. Tonight might be a good time to check it out.
Below is Dave's book recommendation.

Tonight's book recommendation is The Duke of Havana: Baseball, Cuba, and the Search for the American Dream, by Steve Fainaru and Ray Sanchez. These journalists chronicle the opening of Cuba to Major League Baseball and tell the story of El Duque Hernandez's journey from Cuban pitching phenom to political dissident to refuge to Major League stardom. Also features Livan prominently, which makes up for the entire chapter of Yankees highlights.


World Series TV Guide: Game 3

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Tonight is game three, but it's a Saturday and it's Halloween, so you really should go out. Because of that, the TV options are quite limited. Sure you can always find some Law and Order reruns but there is not much in the way of new programming. So if you must stay home and pass out candy, we have just one suggestion other than the World Series that are worth watching on TV.

8:00pm: College Football - Two huge games that have national championship implications. Texas pretty much controls their own destiny and they will travel to Oklahoma State. In the other matchup, Oregon hosts USC in essentially an elimination game in the Pac-10 race. The games can be found on ABC and ESPN2, check your local listings. If you aren't into football, then check the HBO's.

Below is Dave's book recommendation.

Tonight's book recommendation is A Confederacy of Dunces, by John Kennedy Toole. This is simply my favorite novel. I read it about every other year, and it gets more enjoyable each time. The book has everything, a Falstaff-like antihero, a pants magnate, crazy old men, hot dog carts, Boethius, Fortuna, etc. Also, Ignatius Reilly will open your eyes into an entirely new technique of insult.


World Series TV Guide: Game 2

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Tonight it's Pedro vs. AJ Burnett, but on the plus side, Thursday is like the best night on television week in and week out. Besides, AJ hates Jack McKeon, so to hell with him.

  • 7 EDT UFL Football - California vs. NY (Versus). It's technically football.
  • 8 EDT Community/Parks and Rec/The Office/30 Rock (NBC). It's the best lineup on network television, enough said.
  • 10 EDT It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia/The League (FX). The most bizarre comedy on TV right now, followed by the debut of a show that has a decent premise (it's about a bunch of friends in a fantasy football league) that I probably will not like for some reason.
And tonight's book recommendation is Sarah Vowell's Assassination Vacation. This book cemented Sarah Vowell as my literary crush -- she is deliciously nerdy. Vowell explores various destinations surrounding the assassinations of Presidents Lincoln, Garfield, and McKinley, musing on history, memory, and kitsch, all with some George Bush bashing for good measure.


World Series TV Guide: Game 1

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

CC Sabathia and Cliff Lee will square off in Game 1 tonight, and here are your alternatives:

  • 8 EDT: NBA doubleheader, Hornets at Spurs followed by Jazz at Nuggets (ESPN): It's basketball, if you're into that sort of thing. Floridians can get the Heat game on Sun Sports at 7:30.
  • 8 EDT: It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (ABC): A Halloween classic.
  • 8 EDT: New Adventures of Old Christine (CBS): My mom loves this show, and it has Julia Louis-Dreyfus. That is everything I know about this show.
  • 9 EDT: Modern Family (ABC): Probably the best new comedy this season, Modern Family is a mockumentary-style sitcom featuring three branches of one semi-dysfunctional family. It is quite good, kind of like an Arrested Development meets The Office.
  • 10 EDT: Burn After Reading (Cinemax): Most of my friends were disappointed by this effort from the Coen Brothers, but I think if you go in not expecting a Big Lebowski-sized success, you will be pleasantly surprised by this farce.
And finally, tonight's book recommendation is The Devil in the White City, by Erik Larson. In it, Larson intertwines a history of the building of the 1893 Chicago World's Fair with the tale of H.H. Holmes, a serial killer who preyed on young women during the fair. Larson deftly balances historical storytelling with an examination of a shrewd psycopath who took advantage of his surroundings to build a small business empire and take advantage of skyrocketing demand for cadavers from the burgeoning American medical school system. I'm making my way through this currently, and have enjoyed it thus far.


Our Service To Marlins Fans

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

This year's Worlds Series matchup is one of the worst in recent memory for Marlins fans, featuring the Phillies, a major divisional rival, and the Yankees, the scourge of South Florida sports fans. We've seen both teams in the World Series over the past decade, but at least they faced another team we could root for. But this year's matchup is almost as bad as the Mets-Yankees matchup in 2000. All we can do is complain that the Yankees bought the pennant and the Phillies benefitted from a very weak National League, and both grievances only make us look petty.

What are Marlins fans to do? Not much, unfortunately. Aside from rooting for an act of god to postpone the series (which I guess would be sort of unethical), our options appear to be limited to apathy. Such is life sometimes. At the very least, we can live with the fact that last year's Phillies World Series victory eventually gave us a great episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia...

But as a public service to our entire reader base (which is only like 30 people, but still), I'll be posting some recommended TV viewing for every night of the series, so none of you will be forced to watch this abomination of a World Series out of boredom. If you don't have cable, then read a book, I'll recommend one of those each night, too. Stay strong, Marlins fans. This will only last a week and a half, at the most. After that, we can just pretend that never happened and distract ourself with Dolphins self-pity.

Yankee fan via Notes from the Nat


A Great Paragraph

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

From the inimitable Joe Posnanski:

Babe Ruth on steroids (and with a better workout plan) might have hit 100 home runs in a season. And Josh Gibson, with no color barrier, might have hit 120. And Walter Johnson with a split-fingered fastball might have struck out 400 in a season. And Zack Greinke, transported to 1968 Detroit, might have had 30 wins and a 1.33 ERA. And Duane Kuiper, in Coors Field, might have hit .300. It's a great game, this baseball. So many possibilities.


This Week in Schadenfreude

Monday, October 12, 2009

From the AP, the Cubs appear to be on the verge of finally being sold, but first, they will have to suffer the embarrassment of bankruptcy:

NEW YORK (AP) -- The Chicago Cubs filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday, a step that will allow their owner to sell the baseball team in an $845 million deal.

The filing in Wilmington, Del., was anticipated and is expected to lead to a brief stay in Chapter 11 for the Cubs. A hearing was scheduled for Tuesday in front of the judge who has been handling the bankruptcy of the Cubs' owner, Tribune Co.

The Cubs' filing is part of the Tribune Co.'s plans to sell the team, Wrigley Field and related properties to the family of billionaire Joe Ricketts, the founder of Omaha, Neb.-based TD Ameritrade.

Tribune, which also owns the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times, filed for bankruptcy protection in December, but the Cubs were not covered in the filing. The team's run through Chapter 11 could last mere days, enough to protect its new owners from potential claims by Tribune creditors, said Ira Herman, a bankruptcy attorney with Thompson & Knight.

Tribune bought the Cubs in 1981 for $20.5 million from candy maker Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. Tribune announced plans to sell the franchise in 2007, but got tripped up by the recession and the collapse of the credit markets.

It has agreed to sell the Ricketts family a 95 percent stake in a deal that tops the record $660 million paid for the Boston Red Sox and its related properties in 2002. Tribune Co. is keeping the remaining 5 percent.

Major League Baseball's other owners have approved the sale.

The Cubs' bankruptcy filing is not the first in baseball. The Baltimore Orioles were sold in a bankruptcy auction in 1993 after owner Eli Jacobs filed for Chapter 11. The same happened to the Seattle Pilots after the 1969 season. The new owners moved the team to Milwaukee and changed the name to the Brewers.

The National Hockey League's Phoenix Coyotes, a franchise that has yet to make a profit since moving from Winnipeg, Manitoba, in 1996, filed for Chapter 11 protection in May.

This has been your This Week in Schadenfreude.


End of Season Awards

The offseason is upon us, so let's hand out some awards and superlatives. On with the memories with some awards I made up...

Dontrelle Willis Out of Nowhere Award, given to the player who was completely off the radar in Spring Training that made a big impact on the team: Chris Coghlan. Who knew Coghlan, who had never played a game in left field until the night before he was promoted to the big club, would flourish in the position? Coghlan wasn't even on my radar before the season, but what he lacked in buzz he made up for with performance, solidifying the leadoff spot and getting some Rookie of the Year consideration along the way.

Jorge Julio Award
, given to the new addition to team who completely flopped: Emilio Bonifacio. Things went downhill quickly for Bonifacio after his inside-the-park home run on opening day, as he posted a .309 on base percentage this year, eighth-worst among NL qualifiers.

Darren Daulton Deadline Dandy, given to the best midseason acquisition: Nick Johnson. Johnson was the perfect hitter to place between Coghlan and Hanley Ramirez, when he was healthy. Hey, it's not like Luis Ayala was getting this award.

Next Member of the Marlins Diaspora, self explanatory: Dan Uggla. Congratulations on another great year with the bat. Unfortunately, you have priced yourself out of the Marlins' 2010 payroll. And when Emilio Bonifacio replaces you, hits .215, and costs the Marlins their season, Jeff Loria will blame Fredi Gonzalez and fire his ass. Way to go, Dan.

Bret Barberie Bizarre Boo-Boo: given to the player with the weirdest injury of the season, named after the time former Marlin Bret Barberie missed a game due to a case of habanero juice in the eye: Jorge Cantu. Everyone's favorite sassy senior had to leave the Marlins' June 10 game against St. Louis with a bout of the dizzies. The problem was caused by his cholesterol medication. Cantu is 27 years old, which may make him the youngest person in America to take cholesterol medication...

On with some other, more generic awards...

MVP: Hanley Ramirez. No explanation necessary.

Best Pitcher: Josh Johnson. The only pitcher you could count on to give a quality start.

Biggest Surprise: Chris Coghlan. In a deep farm system, Coghlan was not the first player you would have expected to make an impact for the Marlins, but he did.

Biggest Disappointment: Four-way tie for Ricky Nolasco, Chris Volstad, Anibal Sanchez, and Andrew Miller. Before the season, Ted said "The top three of the rotation [with Johnson] has a chance to be great... they don't need to be all stars now, just decent." I said "None of the Marlins' pitchers will get any Cy Young consideration, but not because they didn't deserve it." Josh Johnson held up his end of the deal. The rest, not so much.


Your Marlins Diaspora Guide to the 2009 Playoffs

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

It's playoff time, and while the Marlins will be watching from home, we can at least follow the lucky children of the Marlins Diaspora who managed to make the playoffs with another team. Here's the lucky few who made it to the playoffs:

NY Yankees: AJ Burnett, P
Minnesota Twins: Mike Redmond, C; Carl Pavano, P
LA Angels: Darren Oliver, P
Boston Red Sox: Mike Lowell, 3B; Josh Beckett, P; Alex Gonzalez, SS

LA Dodgers: Juan Pierre, OF
St. Louis Cardinals: no former Marlins
Philadelphia Phillies: Paul Bako, C
Colorado Rockies: no former Marlins

As you can see, it is not a great list, with the exception of the Boston Red Sox. But on the plus side, we will get to see some former favorites on a big stage. And if Carl Pavano can make some big outs for the Twins against his former Yankee employers, all the better.


Playoff Contest is Closed

It looks like my chances of winning my own contest are quite good, as only Adam Smoot of Bright Orange Seats and Tom Green of 4th and Fail gave us their playoff picks. You can view everyone's picks and point totals as the playoffs move on here. Some interesting points to note:

  • Everyone thinks the Yankees and Angels will win the ALDSes.
  • I had the only bracket without the Yankees in the World Series.
  • Tom and I like the Cards to win it all, while Ted picked the Rockies and Adam picked the Yankees.
  • Adam also gave us an extra-special super-specific prediction: "World Series goes 7 games, Jeter bats .182 with 0 RBI, A-Rod bats .367, with 11 RBI, tying Mantle for 2nd most RBI in a World Series, the universe collapses into itself and life as we know it comes to an end." Not bad...
Good luck guys.

UPDATE: After the divisional series, Adam is in the lead with four points, followed by the field with three points each. Adam is the only entrant left with his World Series choice still in it, but he does not have it locked up yet by any means...


Playoff Brackets

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Twins and Tigers are about to start their one-game playoff, and once the game is over, you will have little time to fill out your playoff brackets.

Here is a blank bracket to be used if the Twins win tonight, and here is a blank bracket to be used if the Tigers win tonight.

To keep managing this thing simple, please send me your picks in a list so I can enter it into a quick spreadsheet, which I'll link here before the playoffs start. Full contest rules are here. You have until the first game starts to e-mail me [davidhill126-at-gmail-dot-com]. Good luck.

On a related note, Slate released their annual "surface-level guide to the postseason," which you can read here. A quick-reference guide that I can use to insult Yankees and Red Sox fans? I'm in.


Fredi Lives!

Ken Rosenthal is reporting that Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez will keep his job. His sources say that Fredi was never in any danger of getting fired, but I believe that about as much as I believe OJ is innocent, which is to say you cannot trust Jeffrey Loria, who is, as Israel Gutierrez calls him, "George Steinbrenner with an empty wallet."

I have a feeling that it will be a long offseason for Marlins fans...


Week in Review

Monday, October 5, 2009

Chris Coghlan, heading home.

Overview: The Marlins took two of three from the Braves and Phillies to finish the year at 87-75, six games out of first and five out of the Wild Card.
Highlight of the Week: Ricky Nolasco strikes out nine consecutive Braves.
Line of the Week: Nolasco was on fire at Atlanta Wednesday, setting a new team record with 16 strikeouts. His line:
7.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 16 K
Looking Ahead: The Marlins are done for the year. As for Ted and me, we'll be doing a few other things around here in October before going relatively dormant until pitchers and catchers report. We'll pop up from time to time to discuss the Winter Meetings, trades, free agent signings, etc., as well. In the meantime, you can find Ted on Ted Ginn & Tonic (his Miami Dolphins blog) and at 4th and Fail. I blog about jazz at Hot House. You can also find us at Twitter (Dave, Ted).

AP Photo/Tom Mihalek via ESPN.com


Why Is Fredi Gonzalez on the Hot Seat?

Note: The final Week in Review of the 2009 season will be posted later today.

Reports are circulating that Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria is pissed, and he may take out his frustrations on Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez. Apparently, Loria is miffed that a team with a payroll of $35 million did not make the playoffs, and he thinks the coaching staff is to blame. I was about to deconstruct this entire line of though entirely, until I read this morning's Miami Herald and found that Israel Gutierrez made largely the same argument that I would have, so I'll quote him instead.

If it's true that Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez is on the verge of being replaced, and team president David Samson did nothing to dispel the rumors that have suddenly circulated, then Jeffrey Loria has officially become a meddler.

And not just your ordinary, run-of-the-mill delusional owner who wants so badly to win that he will more than occasionally make a mockery of his organization.

No, Loria would be worse. He would be the delusional owner who wants to win so badly that he makes a mockery of his organization -- but doesn't spend any money in the process.

He's a persistent beggar and a demanding chooser. He's George Steinbrenner with an empty wallet.

It would be a joke, really, that the owner who dishes out the lowest payroll in the majors replaces the manager who guided his team to 87 wins and a second-place finish in the division. Especially when even the most optimistic of baseball experts considered the Marlins a sleeper team with a decent starting rotation and little else.

The Marlins brass, however, considered this team playoff caliber. And now those unrealistic expectations are about to cost Gonzalez his job?

It's beyond ridiculous. It's profound in its stupidity.

You can read the rest of his take here. For the record, this is the same front office that considered Emilio Bonifacio to be worthy of starting at third base and hitting leadoff. And they think Fredi was the problem this year. The front office has complained about Gonzalez's handling of late-game situations, but Gutierrez points out that the Marlins were 30-20 in one-run games this year, so what exactly are they concerned about (except for the decision to platoon Matt Lindstrom and Leo Nunez in the closer spot, which was essentially forced upon Gonzalez when the front office failed to acquire bullpen help for the stretch run)?

What Gutierrez does not mention, but is worth discussing, is that good managers rarely add more than a few wins over the course of a season. Baseball is in many ways an individual sport, it's hitter vs. pitcher, with some occasional teamwork occurring on defense. The Marlins really only have themselves to blame for not making the playoffs this year. There is nothing Fredi could have done to prevent Ricky Nolasco from forgetting how to pitch effectively at the beginning of this year, for instance.

Hopefully David Sampson, Larry Beinfest, and Michael Hill will come to their senses and talk Loria out of firing Fredi. If not, then the Marlins will have become the bizarro Yankees.


There's a reason the Marlins have the reputation they have...

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Marlins players openly joke about the looming salary slashing. "Happy trails to you, Danny Boy!'' Ross Gload said to Dan Uggla. "You're making too much money. I hope we get a good pitcher for you.''
via the Miami Herald

AP Photo/Tom Mihalek via ESPN.com


The Requisite "Next Year Will Be Better" Post

The time has come for some end-of-season reflection, so here are my thoughts on the 2009 season. Last year, the Marlins were considered to be a bit of an overachieving team, finishing 84-77 despite a Pythagorean W-L of 81-81. 2009 was a similar story, with the Marlins currently sitting 86-74 with a Pythagorean W-L of 82-78. Indeed, were it not for a dismal month of May, during which the team went 9-20, the Marlins could have very easily made the playoffs in an alternate universe. So while I am disappointed 2009 did not go better, I also understand that the Marlins played a bit above expectations.

I won't rehash all the failings of the team in 2009, from the bullpen nightmares to the inconsistent starting pitching, but will instead use 2009 as a guide for what the Marlins need to accomplish to improve in 2010.

Offensively, the Marlins appear due for a dropoff next year. At this point they have scored the fifth most runs in the National League while posting the fourth highest OBP and fifth highest OPS (and that was with Emilio Bonifacio starting most of the season!). But it appears highly likely that the team will lose at least two of the trio of Nick Johnson, Dan Uggla, and Jorge Cantu to free agency and/or arbitration. While it is possible that their numbers can be replaced by some of the younger players due to come up in 2010 (Gaby Sanchez, Logan Morrison, ?), I'm not so enthusiastic that the offense will necessarily continue humming along next year.

That is not to say all hope is lost. The Fish still possess Hanley Ramirez, one of the most talented players in the game who creates runs no matter who is batting around him. And Chris Coghlan has turned himself into an effective OBP machine hitting leadoff. If an effective hitter can take residence between the two in the lineup (perhaps Maybin?), then the Marlins will trot out a formidable top of the order every day next year. Hopefully the front office doesn't try to convince themselves that Bonifacio could start at second if Dan Uggla does not return.

But as we learned this year, a good offense cannot win the division without consistently effective starting pitching. Not to get all Joe Morgan here, but aside from Josh Johnson, the Marlins' rotation in 2009 was a bit of a roller-coaster ride. Ricky Nolasco struggled out of the gate, and never fully recaptured his effective 2008 form. Chris Volstad showed promise, but gave up 29 home runs over the same number of starts, which limited his effectiveness. Andrew Miller and Anibal Sanchez battled injuries all year, and Sean West showed flashes of brilliance but struggled with his control, walking 44 batters over 103 innings. All six of these pitchers had some great outings during the year, but they were all too often punctuated by disappointing outings, with the exception of Johnson, who proved himself worthy of at least one lame Photoshop.

If the Marlins wish to compete next year, they will need to get more quality starts out of their rotation. They got 73 through the first 160 games of 2009, which puts them at 13th in the NL. To me, this is the most important statistic to watch in 2010, as it will tell you how well the young pitching staff will be at logging low-scoring innings.

Then there is the bullpen. Though the team has publicly said they are comfortable bringing back Matt Lindstrom and Leo Nunez, I'm not convinced. We'll see what they have to say after the dust has settled on the 2009 season and Fredi Gonzalez does not have to worry about keeping the clubhouse peaceful. The Marlins had some good success from 2004-2006 picking up closers off the scrap heap (Armando Benitez, Todd Jones, even Joe Borowski) and letting them pitch; perhaps it may be time to try that again (although they are always liable to end up with another Jorge Julio/Kevin Gregg situation...).

Until all the offseason roster shake-ups are done, I am loathe to make any predictions about next year. Nevertheless, I feel I am justified in being optimistic about 2010.


(Insert Atlanta Hitter Here) Struck Out Swinging

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Who said September out of contention baseball couldn't be fun? Ricky Nolasco struck out 16 batters last night, which is a new Marlins record, eclipsing Livan Hernandez and Eric Gregg's epic performance in the 1997 NLCS (also against the Atlanta Braves). He struck out nine batters in a row at one point, which was one short of Tom Seaver's major league record. To show the magnitude of just how much sixteen strikeouts is, I've listed them all, as they appeared in the play-by-play.

1st: N McLouth struck out swinging.
1st: M Prado struck out looking.
2nd: B McCann struck out looking.
3rd: A LaRoche struck out swinging.
3rd: M Diaz struck out swinging.
3rd: J Vazquez struck out looking.
4th: N McLouth struck out swinging.
4th: M Prado struck out swinging.
4th: C Jones struck out swinging.
5th: B McCann struck out swinging.
5th: G Anderson struck out swinging.
5th: Y Escobar struck out swinging.
6th: G Norton struck out swinging.
6th: N McLouth struck out swinging.
7th: M Diaz struck out swinging.
8th: B Conrad struck out swinging.

The Marlins won the game 5-41. That coupled with Tuesday night's win just about kills Atlanta's playoff chances. The win also gives the team 85 for the year which means this has statistically been the third best season in franchise history (or best non-playoff/World Series year).

1 Not before another Leo Nunez fail and a stunning bailout by Brendan Donnely (not really) and Matt Diaz of the Braves. Truly strange.


Out Of Contention

The Fish defeated the Braves 5-4 last night, but with Colorado's win over Milwaukee, the Marlins are officially out of the playoffs. So let's just go with Neil Young for the last time this year.


MLB Playoff Bracket Contest

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Idea

It's a playoff bracket. I think you understand the concept. All Marlins/South Florida sports bloggers are invited to participate, as are commenters. I will mock up a rough bracket as soon as the final playoff spots are secured.

The Rules

  • Each competitor will send their picks to davidhill126[at]gmail[dot]com before the start of the first divisional round matchup.
  • In addition to selecting the winner of each round, competitors must predict how many games it will take the winner to clinch the series.
  • Competitors must also predict MVPs for the ALCS, NLCS, and World Series.
  • Points will be awarded as follows: For correctly selecting the winner of a divisional round matchup, competitors will be awarded 1 point. Competitors will be awarded 1 extra point if they select the winner of a divisional round matchup and predict the correct number of games necessary to clinch the series. For correctly selecting the winner of an LCS, competitors will be awarded 2 points. Competitors will be awarded 1 extra point if they select the winner of an LCS matchup and predict the correct number of games necessary to clinch the series. For correctly selecting the winner of the World Series, competitors will be awarded 5 points. Competitors will be awarded 2 extra points if they select the winner of the World Series and predict the correct number of games necessary to clinch the series. Finally, competitors will be awarded 1 extra point for each correct series MVP selection.
  • The maximum total points possible is 24.
  • Whoever scores the most points wins the contest.

The winner of the contest will receive a 12-pack of the beer of his/her choice courtesy of Ted and Dave. If the winner prefers Belgian tripels, we may go with another denomination. If the winner prefers something other than beer, then we can work it out later.


Send them to me at davidhill126[at]gmail[dot]com or leave a note in the comments. The first divisional matchup begins on Wednesday, October 7. That gives you a little over a week to figure it all out. Good luck!


Week in Review

Monday, September 28, 2009

Anibal Sanchez throws a shutout against the Phillies.

Overview: The Marlins took two of three from the Phillies before dropping two of three to the Mets. They are officially out of contention in the NL East, and would need to win their final 6 games to have a shot at the Wild Card.
Positives: With the season seemingly over, why toy with this category? I'm on a time crunch, so I'll be brief.
Negatives: Apparently Leo Nunez will still be with the Marlins in 2010. Don't toy with me, Marlins front office. Josh Johnson is either sick or hung over (I'm guessing the former).
Highlight of the Week: Two words: Brad Lidge.
Line of the Week: Anibal Sanchez was lights out against the Phillies on Tuesday. His line:

8 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 7 K

Looking Ahead: The Marlins finish off their season with series in Atlanta and Philadelphia. If things go well, they could eliminate the Braves from playoff contention this week.

AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee


With The Playoffs Seemingly Out Of Reach, We Need Someone to Laugh At

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Thanks, Brad.

Meanwhile, I thought it was really sweet of Fredi Gonzalez to pay tribute to his former mentor, Bobby Cox, by getting ejected on the night Cox announced he will retire at the end of the 2010 season. I can think of no better homage.

Tweet courtesy of el Tomas Verde


This Week in Schadenfreude

Great come from behind win for the Marlins last night and I couldn't resist nominating Brad Lidge for this week's Schadenfreude segment. Lidge recording his astonishing eleventh blown save of the season. Below is his line from last night, which ended with him walking of the mound after allowing a game tying RBI single to Jorge Cantu and a game winning RBI single by Brett Carroll.

L, BS, 2/3 IP, 3 H, 2 ER

Even better is the amazing stat line that Lidge has compiled this season.

0-8, 7.48 ERA, 31 Saves, 11 Blown Saves

There has been much debate this morning about the Phillies situation and what they should do, should they find themselves in the ninth inning in the playoffs with a one-run lead. Basically, I don't think they can do much now. They did try some other options with limited success. They've reached the point where the will either live with Lidge or die by him. We'll see what happens. I've probably given him the reverse kiss of death and he will have a great postseason en route to another ring.


Week in Review

Monday, September 21, 2009

These embraces between our middle infielders may be an endagered species, with Dan Uggla acknowledging he might be traded this offseason

Overview: The fish took two of three in St. Louis before splitting a four-game set with the Reds. They finished the week 4-3.
Positives: The starting pitching has shown up again with four quality starts, including a surprising but encouraging outing from Sean West. The team also came through with some late heroics on back to back nights in Cincinnati to win in come from behind fashion. To emphasize how poorly we've done in Cincinnati in recent years, those were Fredi Gonzalez' first wins in Great American Ballpark.
Negatives: 4-3 weeks just won't cut it anymore. If the team wants to get a postseason berth they will need to reel off a significant winning streak. The offense by in large has been quiet, scoring just over three runs per game this week.
Highlight of the Week: I'm going to give a double shot of love to Brett Carroll who gave us two web gems. First was a leaping grab on Thursday. And who doesn't love a runner being gunned down at third from right field?
Line of the Week: Leo Nunez had a very unconventional save against the Cardinals on Wednesday night. He hit the first two batters he faced (forcing in a run) and then got a huge double play to end the game.

S, 2/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 2 HBP

Looking Ahead: The Fish have three each at home with the Phillies and then the Mets.


Nice Phillies Fans: They Exist

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Via TMZ:

Come on, you were expecting him to be pissed at his daughter, weren't you?


2010 Schedule Released

MLB released 2010 schedules for every team the other day. Read more here. The Fish open 2010 at Citi Field against the Mets and close the season with three home games against the Pirates. That will come in handy if they are in a pennant race that goes down to the wire. They will also do a home-and-home with the Rays.

That's all I have to say about the 2010 schedule.


This Week in Schadenfreude

Monday, September 14, 2009

This Week in Schadenfreude has nothing to do with baseball, but I couldn't resist.

Ted and I have long been die-hard fans of the University of Miami's football team, ever since we started attending games in Orange Bowl with our parents in 1991. Like all Canes fans, we harbor a special distaste for Ohio State University (if you don't know why, don't ask). So you can imagine my joy when I read Chris Brown's takedown of Jim Tressel today at Dr. Saturday. Read it, and try not to break into uncontrollable giddy laughter.

Image via The 7th Floor.


Week in Review

Not to get all Uni Watch, but the preferred nomenclature is Los Marlines.

Overview: The Fish swept a 3-game set at Citi Field, then dropped 2 of 3 to the Nationals.
Positives: The Marlins may be preparing to make Josh Johnson an offer he can't refuse (h/t JD). The Marlins will not raise ticket prices next year, Fish Stripes informs us. That's all the optimism I can muster, this week was the most disappointing 4-2 week I have seen in awhile.
Negatives: Did the Marlins just lose a home series against the Nats? I'm now calling it, they will not make the playoffs. Reason #1: Apart from Josh Johnson, the starting pitching has been woefully inconsistent. Case in point: in six starts this week, Marlins starters failed to pitch five full innings four times. Even when averaging 4.9 runs per game, it's hard to win when your starters don't get quality starts. Also, again with the red hats!?!?
Highlight of the Week: Gaby Sanchez hit his first career home run on Saturday night. Congrats to him. Might we see Gaby crack the starting lineup in 2010 if Nick Johnson exits via free agency? I hope so.
Line of the Week: If it weren't for Albert Pujols (and if the Marlins were in better position vis-a-vis the Phillies), Hanley Ramirez would be a lock for NL MVP. His line in six games this week:

27 22 5 9 0 0 2 7 4 .409 .481 .682 1.163

Looking Ahead: The Marlins begin a 3-game series in St. Louis tonight before followed by a 4-game set in Cincinnati.

AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee via si.com


Statistical Anomaly Alert!

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Baseball Reference Stat of the Day blog (an essential read) informs us that Hanley Ramirez is 19 hits short of becoming only the second player in MLB history to post multiple 200-hit, 20-home-run, 20-stolen-base seasons. He accomplished this feat in 2007, and is now sitting with 181 hits, 22 home runs, and 24 stolen bases. With 22 games remaining in the season, the 200-hit mark is certainly doable.

Who was the other player to achieve multiple 200-20-20 seasons? None other than Vada Pinson, who coincidentally was the Marlins' first base coach in 1993. Vada did it thrice, in 1959, 1963, and 1965. The two are in good company, as Vladimir Guerrero, Hank Aaron, Paul Molitor, Willie Mays, Lou Brock, Bobby Bonds, and Kirby Puckett all posted a single 200-20-20 season. See the full list here (major h/t to BR).

Image via vintagecardtraders.org


This Week in Schadenfreude

Thursday, September 10, 2009

In the seventh inning of tonights Marlins-Mets game, the Marlins had a runner on second with two outs and the pitcher's spot coming up to bat. Fredi Gonzalez sent up Ross Gload to pinch hit, and then the Mets did something inexplicable: they intentionally walked Gload to get to Chris Coglan, he of the .309 batting average and 47 hits in August. At that moment, Ted and I had the following exchange on gChat (edited for spelling and grammar, of course):

Dave: Why would the Mets intentionally walk Ross Gload to get to Coghlan, the hottest non-Hanley hitter in the lineup?
Ted: It was the last dumb thing on the Mets' checklist of things to accomplish this year.
Dave: Well put.
Ted: Like a scavenger hunt.
Dave: They walk Gload to get to Coghlan, who singles, then they have to face Johnson and Hanley, who both single. Why are they so scared of Gload?
Ted: Well he has been extraordinarily good as a pinch hitter, but I'd rather to pitch to a .300 pinch hitter than a .300 everyday guy.
The Marlins scored three runs that inning, all because the Mets refused to pitch to Ross Gload, who is hitting .264 this year. As Bill Simmons would say, these are your 2009 Mets! And the Marlins went on to win 13-4, sweeping the Mets in their final trip to Citi Field this year. Not as nice as beating the Mets on the final day of the season to knock them out of the playoffs (twice!), but it will do for now.

Image via Meet the Mess store


Photo of the Day

Our good buddy Lowell got hit by a Patrick Misch pitch in second inning of yesterday's game against the Mets and gave a provocatively suggestive pose for the photographers. This photo made the Wall Street Journal's Pictures of the Day column. Click on the photo to see a larger version, then try not to picture it next time you get busy.

You're welcome.

AP Photo/Henny Ray Abrams via WSJ



With the hope of making a potentially Marlins-free playoff season interesting to us Fish fans, Ted and I are holding a South Florida/Marlins blogger MLB playoff bracket competition this October. It will function a lot like a March Madness bracket, with a few tweaks thrown in to make things interesting. We will be contacting the bloggers in our Rolodex soon, but readers will be welcome to join in on the action. As with the Trade Pool contest, the winner will receive a 12-pack of sudsy beverages of their choice. Unlike the Trade Pool contest, this time there will be an actual winner.

We will open the competition and provide a full run-down of the rules during the last week of September, so you can wait until then to fill out your brackets.


Week in Review

Monday, September 7, 2009

Cameron Maybin robs Christian Guzman.

Overview: The Marlins split a four-game set with Atlanta and took two of three from Washington, leaving them 6.5 games behind the Phillies and 5 games out of the Wild Card.
Positives: Wes Helms provided some late-inning heroics on Wednesday. I'm happy to see Cameron Maybin back with the big club. Chris Coghlan was named NL Rookie of the Month for August. Hanley Ramirez hit his 100th career home run yesterday, becoming the fourth-fastest shortstop to reach the mark (behind A-Rod, Nomar Garciaparra, and Ernie Banks).
Negatives: Sunday's blown save was so disastrous that it inspired Ted to coin the term Greggorian. If the Marlins were to miss the playoffs by one game, then Sunday's loss would be all the more heartbreaking. Fights between teammates can't be good, and I don't care what Brendan Donnelly has to say about it.
Highlight of the Week: Cameron Maybin lays out for a sweet catch off of Christian Guzman on Saturday night. Wes Helm's walkoff home run was negated by Ryan Zimmerman's, so Maybin wins this week.
Line of the Week: Chris Coghlan deserves some Rookie of the Year consideration. He has become a real force at the top of the order, going 15-for-33 this week with 8 runs scored. He is currently in the middle of a 14-game hit streak. His promotion to the big club, while unexpected at the time, has been about as big a success as anyone could have hoped for.
Looking Ahead: The Fish play three against the Mets in New York followed by a weekend series at home against the Nats.

AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez via ESPN.com


Introducing the Marlins Die-Hards Glossary

Ted and I have begun compiling a glossary of terms useful for understanding Marlins fandom. We have posted a link to the glossary in the sidebar. Here is another link.

There are only five terms in the glossary at the moment, but we are open to adding more, and welcome reader suggestions (unlike those elitists at the O.E.D.). Some guidelines for suggestions:

  1. Be creative. Try not to be too obvious.
  2. We already have definitions for three different types of saves, so spare us any additional suggestions unless they're really good.
  3. Don't be too clever, we're looking for terms that stand the test of time. Only colossal events like a Jorge Julio blown save or wasted Emilio Bonifacio at bats are worthy of preserving for prosperity. We don't need to immortalize middling players like Orestes Destrade; only the really great and incredibly terrible.
Have at it, folks.


You're Doing It Wrong

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The object of the Alfonseca-save is to allow many baserunners and only one fewer run than the current lead. Even for an Alfonseca-blown-save, you are supposed to manage an epic long inning with things like walks and singles. Instead you gave us a Greggorian (yes, new term). This is a blown save so quick that you don't even comprehend what happened. Today's Leo Nunez outing is abuot as textbook as they come. He entered the ninth inning with a 4-2 lead. Then...

3 batters faced
5 pitches thrown
0 outs recorded
2 home runs allowed
3 runs allowed

Fail. Calling it a fail might actually be underselling it. This was a swift kick to the stomach. Sigh.


The Near Future

Hanley is getting reinforcements.

The Marlins may or may not make the playoffs this year, but regardless, the prospect of having Chris Coghlan, Cameron Maybin, and Hanley Ramirez at the top of the lineup for the next four or so years has me salivating. Coghlan has put it together, hitting .309 with a .382 OBP after racking up 47 hits in August. If Maybin can produce the way he has in the minors (he hit .319 with a .399 OBP at Triple-A New Orleans this year), then he and Coghlan will make a formidable 1-2 punch in front of Ramirez at the 3-hole. The trio could be as successful as Ramirez, Dan Uggla, and Miguel Cabrera were at the top of the lineup in 2006. Here were their numbers for that year:
Dan Uggla 683 611 105 172 27 90 48 .282 .339 .480 .818 112
Hanley Ramirez 700 633 119 185 17 59 56 .292 .353 .480 .833 116
Miguel Cabrera 676 576 112 195 26 114 86 .339 .430 .568 .998 159
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 9/6/2009.

Then there's Maybin's defense. I am quite happy to have these three guys locked in for the next few years.

Unrelated: Congratulations to Brett Hayes on his first career tater tot. Incidentally, he hit his home run off of Victor Garate, who was making his big league debut. Surely Tim Kurkjian took notice of this. This afternoon, the Fish go for their fourth sweep of the Nats this year, with Anibal Sanchez taking the hill against J.D. Martin.

AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez via ESPN.com


Children of the Marlins Diaspora 10

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Livan Hernandez, RHP

Played for Marlins: 1996-1999
Other Teams: San Francisco (1999-2002), Montreal/DC (2003-2006), Arizona (2006-2007), Minnesota (2008), Colorado (2008), NY Mets (2009), DC (2009-present)
Marlins fans know him because: He was the MVP of the 1997 NLCS and World Series, striking out 15 Atlanta Braves in an epic Game 5 of the NLCS that year. Livan was a fan favorite, as he defected from Cuba, where he was a promising pitcher on the national team, in 1995. When accepting the World Series MVP trophy at Joe Robbie Stadium, Hernandez, whose English was still weak, beamed, saying only "I love you Miami."
Everyone else knows him because: In addition to his postseason heroics for the Marlins. Livan had good stints with the Giants and Expos, becoming and innings-eater for both teams and making the NL All-Star team in 2004 and 2005 as an Expo/National. He also won the Silver Slugger award for pitchers in 2004. Livan started two games in the 2002 World Series for San Francisco, but lost both, only going a combined 5 and 2/3 innings while giving up 9 earned runs.
Best Marlins moment: Livan was the face of the Marlins 1997 team. It is difficult to overstate how much he meant to that team, winning 9 games down the stretch and dominating the Braves when the series was tied 2-2 (subbing for an ill Kevin Brown, to boot). Though I must admit, Moises Alou should have won the World Series MVP...


Just a note...

Friday, September 4, 2009

If anyone were to acquire a Chuck Carr Starting Lineup Figure and give it to me for the holidays/birthday/etc., I would love that person forever.

Just sayin...

H/t, image via Sharapova's Thigh.


Tech Miscellany

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The dumb nerds visionaries at Baseball Reference have answered the prayers of many lazy baseball bloggers and made their data tables embeddable. Now it is ridiculously easy for me to point out that Emilio Bonifacio is terrible at getting on base.

Emilio Bonifacio                                                     
2009 FLA 115 494 449 113 33 93 .252 .303 .310 .613 63
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 9/3/2009.

Thanks to everyone at Baseball Reference for making my life easier.

Image via chantastic's flickrstream.


Two Omens

Two things happened in the past 48 hours:

Exhibit A: Hanley Ramirez and Dan Uggla went all Jeff Kent/Barry Bonds on each other Tuesday, with Uggla questioning Ramirez's commitment to the team and implying that Hanley pulled out of Tuesday's game to preserve his league-leading batting average. The incident was later played down as "family business."

Exhibit B: Wes Helms hits a walkoff home run Wednesday night after Leo Nunez gives up a game-tying home run in the top of the ninth inning. Afterwards, Craig Minervini receives word via a text message from the man himself that Nick Johnson is rejoining the team and is "good to go."
I have a feeling that at the end of the month, I will look back to these two incidents and (myopically) consider one to be an omen of how the month of September played out. Which will it be?

Image via Page2.


Meet the September Callups

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Welcome back, now can we please keep Emilio Bonifacio out of the outfield?

Last night, the Marlins recalled Cameron Maybin from Triple-A New Orleans and DFA'd Luis Ayala (so much for that experiment). By making the move before September 1, the Marlins can add Maybin to the postseason roster if they make the playoffs (which is technically still possible). Today begins the first round of September callups, who are listed below. I'll update this post with names and commentary as more callups are announced.

The First Wave
Burke Badenhop, P
Rick VandenHurk, P
Brett Hayes, C

We already know plenty about Badenhop and Henricus, as they have both spent some time with the big club this year. Since the Marlins missed out on the Brad Penny derby, VandenHurk will likely get a start on Wednesday against Atlanta. With Volstad being sent down to the minors and the rest of the staff struggling, one would hope these two could contribute some quality starts and/or effective long relief if needed, but that may be asking too much (there's a reason they weren't on the 25-man roster...). Hayes seems merely a seat-filler at this point, he may get a start here and there to give Paulino and Baker a rest, but both seem well-rested due to their platoon situation.

More Callups
Andy Gonzalez, SS
Andrew Miller, LHP
Chris Volstad, RHP
Gaby Sanchez, 1B

Gonzalez becomes the de facto backup shortstop, since the only other option is Emilio Bonifacio. The Marlins recalled Miller from Triple-A. He will probably be used in long relief situations, though he could get a spot start in an emergency. Volstad will probably be used the same way. As for Sanchez, it's probably the bench for him.


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