Thursday, December 23, 2010

Ted will henceforth be known as Tie Guy. Which makes him way better than Hat Guy.


Happy Holidays

The Marlins Diehards editorial staff will be holding our Winter Meetings this weekend, so we won't have any new content up until after the new year most likely. Merry Christmas, enjoy the holiday, be safe, and eat as much as you can this weekend. To our Jewish readers, a belated Happy Channukah, and enjoy the Chinese food and movie on Saturday (I recommend True Grit). And to our pagan readers, I hope you had a pleasant solstice.


Ricky Signs

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Marlins have signed Ricky Nolasco to a 3-year deal worth $26.5 million. That's one less uncertainty for Marlins fans, and the Johnson-Nolasco-Vazquez-Sanchez-Volstad starting rotation is just about set in stone.


There's Still Time

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Today at Fish Stripes, GameFish informs us of the existence of a Marlins toaster, just in time for the holidays. I thought I'd point out another Marlins-related gift idea, though this might be better for the Marlins fan who is more of a frenemy than a garden-variety buddy, via @sweetcarolin_a:


New Potential For Marlins Twitter Curse

Monday, December 13, 2010

Courtesy of MLB, we now know Marlins first baseman and team muscle, Gaby Sanchez has a Twitter account. This sounds great, but as you may remember, Marlins players who used Twitter during last year did not fare too well. A recap:

  • Chris Coghlan: Unfortunate pie injury, torn meniscus
  • John Baker: Missed season, had Tommy John surgery
  • Brett Hayes: Separated shoulder, ended season
  • Logan Morrison: Foul ball to the face, luckily okay
Look Gaby, the diehards love you. You're a Miami guy, a "U" alum, and just an all around dude, but we urge you, PLEASE BE CAREFUL. Either delete Twitter immediately, or stay close with Mike Stanton, who somehow has avoided this nasty disease.



Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Marlins radio man (and longtime Expos broadcaster) Dave Van Horne has been selected as the 2011 recipient of MLB's Ford C. Frick Award, presented annually for major contributions to baseball broadcasting. Partisan as I may be, I cannot think of anyone more deserving.

Ted and I are both fans of DVH, but in this case we defer to Jonah Keri, who penned a lovely tribute to the man who called Expos games during his youth:
For as long as I can remember, I had a little radio by my bed. Nearly every night from age 8 through the end of high school, the voice coming out of that radio belonged to Dave. He called the game like a master, showing just the right amount of excitement when a big play happened (take note, Joe Buck) and the right amount of healthy skepticism when a player, manager, umpire or anyone else failed in their duties. He was exciting and informative all at once, the perfect blend for a play-by-play man. Dave's voice carried with it the nightly rhythms of the season, his measured pace carrying me off to sleep even as the Expos toiled deep into the night at Candlestick or Jack Murphy. As hard as it is to do catchphrases well, Dave's were seamless and comforting, like the warm blanket I slid over my shoulders on a cold Montreal April night. "Hi again, everybody. Glad to have you aboard for this game," he'd say at the start of every telecast. Dave wasn’t just describing the action. He was inviting us into the booth to sit with him for a few hours, even when he was 2,000 miles away.
Read the whole thing here. Here's hoping Jonah gets DVH to appear on his podcast real soon.


A Philosophical Question

Saturday, December 4, 2010

News that the Boston Red Sox have agreed in principle to a trade for All Star first baseman Adrian Gonzalez has me wondering, can we legitimately call Gonzalez a member of the Marlins diaspora? Gonzalez, as you may recall, was the first pick in the 2000 amateur draft by the Florida Marlins, and was traded to the Texas Rangers at the 2003 trade deadline for closer Ugueth Urbina (an iffy move, but the Marlins did win the World Series in 2003, so I never got too worked up about it).* However, Gonzalez did not make his major league debut until 2004 as a Ranger. So I ask, should we include Gonzalez in the Marlins diaspora? He spent more time with the team than Mike Piazza, but never actually played for the big club, save for Spring Training action.

Ted and I usually hold a Fidel-and-Raul grip over the undergirding philosophy of Marlins Diehards, but we are interested in what our readers have to say on this one. Let us know what you think.

*Besides, the truly egregious Adrian Gonzalez trade came in 2006, when Texas traded Gonzalez, Chris Young, and Termel Sledge for Adam Eaton and Akinori Otsuka.


It's Official

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Marlins finalized their deal with Javier Vazquez: one year, $7 million, and a no-trade clause. It is almost the ideal Marlins contract.* The Marlins have called a press conference for 10:30 this morning to announce the signing. Much has been written about a possible Vazquez deal, and my sentiments echo Marlin Maniac, he's a medium-ranged bargain with high upside. I think he'll slot in nicely at the 2 or 3 slot in the rotation, behind Josh Johnson and ahead of Ricky Nolasco and/or Anibal Sanchez. Throw in Chris Volstad or Sean West for the number 5 (and LHP) slot, and this is your 2011 starting rotation.

*The ideal Marlins contract would be less money and minus the NTC.


Of Minor Importance

Monday, November 29, 2010

MLB released its 2011 Hall of Fame ballot today, and included in the list of first-time candidates is the first Marlin and child of the diaspora Charles Johnson. To the best of my knowledge, Johnson is the first Marlin to be considered for the Hall that spent a bulk of his glory days in Florida. It is highly unlikely that he makes the Hall (Baseball Reference lists Andy Seminick, Ed Bailey, and Ernie Whitt as his closest comparables, none of whom are in the Hall of Fame). Nonetheless, I can't help but mark the occasion, since I have never even had to consider whether or not a former Marlin should be in the Hall of Fame (disregarding Andre Dawson, whose Marlins stint played no role in his election to the Hall of Fame last year).

Also included on the ballot for the first time are children of the Marlins diaspora Kevin Brown, Al Leiter, Benito Santiago, Ugueth Urbina, Ismael Valdez, and Lenny Harris. I'm 99% certain that none of them will make the Hall. Also on the ballot is Tim Raines, who finished his career in Florida, is on the ballot again. Here's hoping he surpasses last year's 30.4 percent total and joins fellow Expo/Marlin Andre Dawson in the Hall of Fame. In my mind, he certainly deserves it.


Marlins Finally Land Vazquez

Sunday, November 28, 2010

In a move that has been weeks in the making, Javier Vazquez has signed a one-year deal with the Florida Marlins. Financial terms have not yet been disclosed. Vazquez is a valuable innings-eater who has posted 200+ IP in 9 of the past 11 seasons. He will join Josh Johnson, Ricky Nolasco, and Anibal Sanchez on the starting rotation (5th starter TBD).

If the Marlins get the 2009 Vazquez (5.2 WAR), then this deal will be a rousing success. If they get the 2010 Vazquez (0.0 WAR), then the deal will be a bet that didn't pay off. Either way, I like this move. One would hope that moving from the AL East to the NL East would benefit a starting pitcher, and in general a move to the NL works well for pitchers. Vazquez is no ace, but can definitely be the middle-of-the-rotation starter the Marlins have so desperately needed the past few years to complement Johnson and Nolasco.


Happy Birthday Jack

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

In our heart of hearts, there is room for only two managers: Jack McKeon and Earl Weaver. Today is Jack's 80th birthday. Joe Frisaro has a profile of the birthday boy up at Read it, and savor the glory of a man who never hesitates to follow up his workouts with a big-ass cigar, age be damned.


Yeah? Well we're already with another second basemen

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Uggla looking forward to future with Braves


Something to Compound Your Dolphins-related Hangover

Friday, November 19, 2010

Via the always wonderful Flip Flop Fly Ballin'...


Trade Analysis, For Real This Time

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Okay, we've all had a chance to react to the Dan Uggla trade and reconsider our initial reactions, so here are my thoughts on the matter. While it will be sad to see Uggla go, I am not surprised that the team ended up dealing him. Uggla turned down a 4-year, $48 million offer, which would have put his average annual payroll just below that of both Hanley Ramirez and Josh Johnson. I don't think Uggla is worth more than either, and I was sure the Marlins would not come back with a higher offer. And frankly, for a guy who has already made $14 million in his career, a guaranteed $48 million doesn't seem that bad.*

But I digress. After rejecting the Marlins' offer, it became clear that one of two things would happen: Uggla would be traded, or he and the Marlins would have gone to arbitration, and he would remain a Marlin for the first part of 2011, at least. As I've mentioned before, Uggla was at times one of the only reasons to be excited about the Marlins, and I have nothing but fond memories of his time in Florida. At the same time, I'm kind of relieved the Marlins will not be paying $10+ million in 2013 and 2014 for a power hitter on the wrong side of 30. Uggla does one thing well: hit for power, and when that goes, it goes fast, and the Marlins could have had a real albatross around their necks. It is no guarantee that his dropoff will come in 2013, but neither is it a guarantee that it won't, and I was never really comfortable with that risk.

So if the Marlins weren't going to keep Uggla long term, it made sense to trade him while his value is high, but I'm not convinced this deal works for the Marlins (I'm not the only one). Uggla was good for 5.1 WAR last year. The pieces received in return, infielder Omar Infante and reliever Mike Dunn, were not nearly as valuable (2.7 WAR for Infante, 0.1 for Dunn, albeit in only 19 IP). While Infante and Dunn will make a combined $3 million (ostensibly freeing up an extra $7 million for the Marlins to spend elsewhere), I can't help thinking that the Marlins pulled the trigger on this deal too soon. It is only November, after all. Who knows if holding out for better chips could have worked? But I am not privy to the Marlins' internal discussions, nor do I know what they had been offered from other teams for Uggla. Nonetheless, it doesn't seem like the Marlins got all that they could from an Uggla trade.

As my Twitter feed made abundantly clear this evening, the natives are restless amongst the serious portion of the fanbase. Here's hoping Mike Stanton can fill Uggla's shoes as the power-hitting bat to complement Hanley Ramirez, someone emerges to play centerfield, and the young bullpen arms the team has acquired this week pan out. But if Emilio Bonifacio ends up starting on Opening Day 2011, it may be time for a code red.

*Joe Frisaro tweeted that he heard Uggla was asking for 5 years, $71 million, which is way more than I would want to pay, fwiw.


The Uggla Trade: More Analysis



Context. Further commentary forthcoming.


What Just Happened?

It was a crazy day for Marlins roster transactions, let's get straight to it. First in unconventional Marlins fashion the team signed free agent catcher John Buck to a three-year, $18 million deal. Then out of nowhere, this evening they traded Dan Uggla to the Braves for Omar Infante and LHP Mike Dunn. First reaction:

And that seemed to be the reaction of most Marlins fans/followers. I won't try to totally defend this move, but I do see some upside. For the last few years we have been complaining about not having enough guys that hit for average instead of hitting for power. We also all know the bullpen issues. But let's be honest, Uggla deserved better and we deserved better. This is no prize haul. We'll have more later. In the meantime you can find more thoughts on Twitter here and here. Also check out MarlinManiac: Twitter and Website.


Trouble Brewing?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Via Ken Rosenthal:

The Marlins, unable to reach agreement on a contract extension with Dan Uggla, plan to trade the second baseman, according to major-league sources.

The team is "down the road" with several clubs in trade discussions, and a deal could happen within the next week, one source said.
I try not to put too much stock in trade rumors, because my own anxiety about possible trades does nothing to influence the outcome, so I defer the anxiety for later. However, if the Marlins do trade Uggla, within a week of trading away the two major chips received in the Miguel Cabrera trade, the Marlins may have a fan revolt on their hands.

And if the Marlins trade Uggla to a division rival (!) I will have a hard time forgiving them.


Bye Andrew

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Last night the Marlins traded LHP Andrew Miller to the Red Sox for LHP Dustin Richardson. Here are his career numbers, he's probably not a diamond in the rough. He strikes out hitters at a good clip but also walks a lot of batters. It looks like the Marlins are hoping he can be a situational lefty out of the bullpen next year, though that is just a guess on my part.Red Sox blog Over the Monster wrote of Richardson, "Richardson wasn't likely to crack the bullpen out of spring training, and probably didn't have much beyond a middle/long relief ceiling." Of course, we would take any effective bullpen arm we can get, so if this gamble pays off, all the better it only cost the Marlins Miller.

We would not even be mentioning this trade were it not for the fact that the Marlins acquired Miller in the Miguel Cabrera/Dontrelle Willis trade with the Tigers in the winter of 2007. Miller never lived up to the hype surrounding him as a first-round pick out of UNC, posting a career ERA of 5.84 thus far and spending most of 2010 in the minors. Truthfully, it looks like the Marlins gave up on Miller about a year after Marlins fans did. That's the breaks with high profile prospects, though. Sometimes Harold Baines yields Sammy Sosa, other times Jay Buhner yields Ken Phelps.


Let's all wring our hands about Uggla leaving now so we can get it out of the way...

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Marlins have offered Dan Uggla a 4-year, $48 million contract extension, and Uggla is passing, according to Ken Rosenthal:

The Marlins' frustration with their inability to lock up Uggla is understandable; they offered him the highest average annual salary in club history. A fifth-year vesting option could bridge the gap — if he indeed wants to stay. If not, he potentially could enter the market next offseason as the only second baseman with five 30-homer seasons.

Advanced metrics portray Uggla as a below-average defender at second, but his offensive consistency is remarkable. He's hit between 27 and 33 homers in each of his five seasons with the Marlins, with an OPS that was never above .877 and never below .805.
Ken neglected to mention that Uggla is on the wrong side of 30, and it is far from a foregone conclusion that he can keep up his amazing offensive numbers in two years, much less five. Craig at Fish Stripes thinks Uggla's rebuffing of the offer has more than a little to do with is not entirely unrelated to the Cody Ross waiver claim, but I am not so sure. I think he and his agent sincerely think they can get more money on the open market, and are using that to squeeze a few extra bucks out of the Marlins (as is their right). It's only November, this story is far from over.

If Uggla declines to sign a deal this offseason, the Marlins will likely take him to arbitration for the final year of his contract. He earned $7.8 million in 2010, and could make even more next year. If no deal is done and Uggla does go to arbitration, he almost immediately becomes one of the biggest potential midseason trade chips in baseball should the Marlins struggle in 2011.


End of Season Awards

Our end-of-year awards are long overdue, as filling out our BBA ballots took a lot more time than expected. But enough with the excuses, on with the awards...

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: This is a tough call, since the Marlins' trio of impact rookies (Mike Stanton, Gaby Sanchez, and Logan Morrison) were all closely watched in Spring Training. I will give the nod to Sanchez, since we all assumed he was merely keeping the first base spot warm for Morrison when he won the job out of Spring Training. But to his credit, he posted a respectable .273/.341/.448 slash line with 19 home runs and 2.4 WAR over the year, and convinced the team to convert Morrison into a corner outfielder.

Jorge Julio Award
, given to the new addition to team who completely flopped: Nate Robertson. The Marlins acquired Robertson from the Tigers at the end of Spring Training, hoping the lefty could be a reliable back of rotation starter for 2010. It didn't work out, as Robertson posted a 3.59 BB/9 and 5.47 ERA over 100 innings, and the Marlins released him in late July. He wasn't terrible, but since he was one of a scant few offseason acquisitons, he was bad enough to join Emilio Bonifacio in the Jorge Julio club. On the plus side, Detroit paid most of his salary.

Darren Daulton Deadline Dandy, given to the best midseason acquisition: Nobody. Sure, the Marlins received Evan Reed and Omar Poveda in the Jorge Cantu trade, but both stayed in the minors after the trade, and the Marlins were clearly sellers in 2010. As such, the DDDD will be vacant this year. We'll give an honorable mention to Giants playoff hero Cody Ross, but giving him the award outright would only add insult to injury to some jilted Marlins fans, and I don't want to ruffle any feathers.

Next Member of the Marlins Diaspora, self explanatory: Dan Uggla. Sure we gave him this award last year. Why should that stop us from doing it again? We all love Uggla, but the dude is on the wrong side of age 30, and signing him to a long-term deal could leave the Marlins with an albatross of a contract in 2012 and beyond. I know the team is currently in contract discussions with Uggla, but as with last winter's Josh Johnson sweepstakes, I'll believe a long-term Uggla deal when I see it.

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: Chris Coghlan, who tore the meniscus in his left knee while giving Uncle Wes Helms a shaving cream pie after a walkoff hit. This injury will live on in infamy.

On with some other, more generic awards...

MVP: Uggla. With 5.1 WAR this year, Uggla clearly outperformed everyone on the team this year. He also became the first second basemen to slug 30 home runs in four consecutive years and 25 home runs in five straight years. The man earned his $7.8 million salary and then some in 2010.

Best Pitcher: Josh Johnson. Speaking of earning his pay this year, Johnson again put up stellar numbers for the Fish (6.3 WAR, 2.30 ERA, 9.1 K/9 in 28 starts and 180+ innings). His 11-6 record would have been even better had the bullpen not blown so many saves in his starts this year, and he had some Cy Young consideration until he was shut down in September due to nagging back and shoulder issues.

Biggest Surprise: Alex Sanabia. The 22-year-old got called up in June to bolster the struggling rotation, and performed admirably in his 12 starts and 3 relief appearances, throwing 72.1 innings and posting a FIP of 3.65 and ERA of 3.73. His 1.99 BB/9 rate is a little troubling, but he appears to be a strong candidate for the rotation in 2011.

Biggest Disappointment: The bullpen. Certainly our expectations for this collection of journeymen and iffy prospects were not that high, but when the bullpen blows 25 saves (most in the NL, second only to Baltimore overall), I can't help but be disappointed. As Michael Jong at Marlin Maniac pointed out early this year, the Marlins have long utilized a bullpen strategy of assembling a collection of high-risk high-reward free agents and prospects and hoping for the best. This year it didn't work, but that probably will not lead to a change in strategy (only a higher payroll could change things). Marlins fans have to hope the bullpen regresses back towards the mean in 2011, or things could get ugly.


Q: How do you make someone in his mid-twenties feel old?

Sunday, November 7, 2010


His age (tomorrow): 21



Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Via Sports Pickle/Vin Scully Is My Homeboy:

When I get a Joe Angel tattoo, it will read, "And the Marlins are in the win column!"


Everything's Coming Up Edwin!

The Marlins have removed the interim from Edwin Rodriguez' title, naming him manager for the 2011 season. I have nothing to add, as the move seemed inevitable after the team was once again rebuffed by Bobby Valentine. Congrats to Edwin, but don't get too comfortable, since you still work for Steinbrenner 2.0.


Programming Note

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

El Niño

It is officially the offseason, so posting will be light around here for the next four months. We'll pop in from time to time when necessary. In the meantime, there's always the Dolphins and Heat (note, if the Fins Nation dudes start a Marlins blog, I will retire). I've yet to receive a phone call from David Samson about my application to be the next Marlins manager, but I'm sure I'll be hearing from him any day now...


BBA Award Roundup

Monday, November 1, 2010

The BBA announced this year's crop of awards winners over the past few weeks (see my ballots here, here, here, and here). In most cases, Ted and I ended up voting with the crowd, so in this case I will praise the wisdom of crowds. Onto the NL winners...

Connie Mack Award

  1. Bud Black, San Diego (9) 53
  2. Dusty Baker, Cincinnati (7) 51
  3. Bobby Cox, Atlanta (2) 33
  4. Bruce Bochy, San Francisco (3) 29
  5. Charlie Manuel, Philadelphia (1) 27
  6. Brad Mills, Houston 3
  7. Mike Quade, Chicago 2
We might have mentioned this one or two times, but we are not very enthusiastic about giving managers credit for anything. So we didn't vote in this one. Sue us.

Willie Mays Award
  1. Buster Posey, San Francisco (15) 103
  2. Jason Heyward, Atlanta (10) 86
  3. Jaime Garcia, St. Louis 20
  4. Starlin Castro, Chicago 7
  5. Ike Davis, New York 7
  6. Gaby Sanchez, Florida (1) 6
  7. Tyler Colvin, Chicago 2
  8. Mike Stanton, Florida 2
  9. Neil Walker, Pittsburgh 2
I'm baffled that Gaby got a first place vote, but not so much that I'm willing to look up the culprit. We liked Heyward, but Posey was a fine choice. We weren't alone in our choice, though.

Goose Gossage Award
  1. Brian Wilson, San Francisco (17) 104
  2. Heath Bell, San Diego (2) 52
  3. Carlos Marmol, Chicago (5) 41
  4. Billy Wagner, Atlanta 19
  5. Arthur Rhodes, Cincinnati (1) 5
  6. Hong-Chih Kuo, Los Angeles 2
  7. Matt Belisle, Colorado 1
  8. Jonny Venters, Atlanta 1
Apparently, Ted and I were the only bloggers enamored with Venters, though plenty shared our appreciation of Certified Ninja Brian Wilson.

Walter Johnson Award
  1. Roy Halladay, Philadelphia (19) 133
  2. Adam Wainwright, St. Louis 66
  3. Ubaldo Jimenez, Colorado 52
  4. Josh Johnson, Florida 43
  5. Tim Hudson, Atlanta 16
  6. Tim Lincecum, San Francisco 7
  7. Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles 2
  8. Mat Latos, San Diego 2
  9. Heath Bell, San Diego 1
  10. Yovani Gallardo, Milwaukee 1
Halladay was the unanimous choice among the NL bloggers, and deservedly so. Our guy Josh Johnson pulled in a respectable fourth-place finish, not bad for a guy on a team no one watches, amirite?

Stan Musial Award
  1. Joey Votto, Cincinnati (16) 252
  2. Albert Pujols, St. Louis (3) 197
  3. Carlos Gonzalez, Colorado (1) 118
  4. Roy Halladay, Philadelphia (1) 101
  5. Adrian Gonzalez, San Diego 98
  6. Troy Tulowitski, Colorado 98
  7. Ryan Zimmerman, Washington 93
  8. Matt Holliday, St. Louis 84
  9. Aubrey Huff, San Francisco 32
  10. Adam Wainwright, St. Louis 17
  11. Ubaldo Jimenez, Colorado 16
  12. Josh Johnson, Florida 16
  13. Dan Uggla, Florida 16
  14. Jayson Werth, Philadelphia 16
  15. Ryan Braun, Milwaukee 13
  16. Prince Fielder, Milwaukee 10
  17. Ryan Howard, Philadelphia 9
  18. Martin Prado, Atlanta 7
  19. Jason Heyward, Atlanta 6
  20. Rickie Weeks, Milwaukee 5
  21. David Wright, New York 5
  22. Adam Dunn, Washington 4
  23. Kelly Johnson, Arizona 4
  24. Andres Torres, San Francisco 1
Our 1-2 choice of Votto-Pujols was popular, though we apparently undervalued Carlos Gonzalez. We didn't include pitchers on our ballot, because we're the kind of people who prefer to keep pitching and non-pitching awards separate.

The BBA also gave awards for the American League, but we don't have voting rights for AL awards, so we'll just link to the results here. At some point, we will post our Marlins awards. I promise...


This Happened

Friday, October 29, 2010

Buried in this item on Ozzie Guillen's fractious relationship with the White Sox front office was this tidbit:
According to major-league sources, Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria was intent on making Guillen his next manager. Talks, sources say, progressed to the point that there was discussion of executing a trade that would send Guillen, who has a year left on his contract, to the Marlins for 20-year-old outfielder Mike Stanton, who hit 22 home runs and knocked in 59 runs in just 100 games as a rookie this season.
Not surprisingly, there's a little bit of frustration among Marlins fans floating around Twitter this morning. If this trade actually happened, I'm fairly certain I would have been irate. We all know my feelings about managers, trading a franchise outfielder for one is just plain stupid. But as Marlins fans, we should all know by now that no player, save for Hanley Ramirez and Josh Johnson, is safe from trade discussions, no matter how ludicrous. However, just because a discussion happens does not mean a trade is imminent. Dan Uggla has been thisclose to being traded for the past three seasons, and he's still around. Indeed, when I read this story, my first reaction was surprise at Loria's restraint. This seems like exactly the kind of ill-informed move a would-be Steinbrenner would make.

I quickly dismissed the report on Twitter this morning, whereupon I was met with skepticism. But really, we root for a team that disappoints us often. Let's reserve our anger for the bad trades that do happen, for the sake of our sanity if nothing else.

UPDATE: The Marlins are denying everything, as we'd expect.


Stan Musial Award

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

One last BBA vote, this time for the Stan Musial Award, given to the best player in each league. As with our other ballots, we are only voting for the NL award. We are supposed to select ten nominees, which seems excessive to me, but I don't make the rules. On to the ballot.
  1. Joey Votto, Cincinnati
  2. Albert Pujols, St. Louis
  3. Adrian Gonzalez, San Diego
  4. Ryan Zimmerman, Washington
  5. Jason Heyward, Atlanta
  6. Matt Holliday, St. Louis
  7. Kelly Johnson, Arizona
  8. Dan Uggla, Florida
  9. Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado
  10. Rickie Weeks, Milwaukee
It was a tough choice between Votto and Pujols, but Votto's slight edge in WAR (via Fangraphs) gives him the edge. Votto was a bit luckier this year, with a .361 BABIP compared to Pujols' .297, but his defense was superior to Pujols (according to UZR/150, 2.2 for Votto versus 1.1 for Pujols). Apart from those two stats and Pujols' lower K/9, their numbers are practically identical (click to enlarge images):


There Will Be No World Series TV Guide This Year

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Last year's World Series participants, the Yankees and Phillies, had the decency to bow out to the Rangers and Giants respectively, sparing us Marlins fans the indignity of watching (or not) two hated teams in the World Series. In fact, this will be one of the first World Series to capture my full attention in a while. Both teams feature some former Marlin favorites, including Jorge Cantu, Edgar Renteria, and NLCS MVP Cody "Co-dy Co-dy" Ross. Throw in two bona fide aces (Cliff Lee of the Rangers and Tim Lincecum of the Giants), each team's tortured history (the Giants haven't won a World Series since the heyday of Willie Mays, while the Rangers had not won a playoff series until this year), and Certified Ninja Brian Wilson, and you've got yourself a Series.

UPDATE: Also, celebrity fans! Okay, Jesse Thorn is not actually a celebrity, but he beats George W. Bush.


Media Criticism, A Play In Four Acts

Saturday, October 23, 2010




Literary Excerpt

Friday, October 22, 2010

From After You Hit a Home Run: A Guide For Major League Baseball Players:

7. Run slowly, very slowly to second. Raise your hands in the air to make the crowd cheer louder. Fist pump! Monster face! Gorilla gallop! Back flip! (Kidding, you're not in that kind of shape.) It's like you are the only player who has ever hit one out of the park! 
Read the full piece here.


Walter Johnson Award

Happy Friday everyone. It is time for another postseason awards ballot as part of our duties to the BBA. Today's ballot is for the Walter Johnson Award, which if you couldn't tell is given to the best pitcher in each league.

Dave and I tried very hard to justify giving Josh Johnson a first place vote. The numbers (in many areas) gave us a solid case. Of course we know JJ did win the ERA title with a 2.30 mark. If you delve into the more advanced stats, courtesy of FanGraphs, there's even more of a case to be made. In the illustrious WAR category, JJ's 6.3 trailed only Roy Hallday (6.6). He also finished with a high BABIP of .308% and a FIP of 2.41 (lead the NL) which highlights the fact the defense behind him didn't do him any favors. Combine that with the weak run support and diabolical bullpen and he finished with just 11 wins.

But that's not the reason he didn't receive our first place vote. Ultimately it came down to the fact Josh Johnson only threw 183 2/3 innings, and Roy Halladay was able to put up very similar numbers while logging a massive 250 2/3 IP. This is the Walter Johnson Award after all, named after a player he threw 300+ innings in nine consecutive years (different era, I know). So Doc gets the nod. The full ballot:

  1. Roy Halladay
  2. Josh Johnson
  3. Adam Wainwright
  4. Tim Lincecum
  5. Yovani Gallardo
UPDATE: Marlin Maniac's ballot


    Brian Wilson: The Bill Lee of Our Generation

    Thursday, October 21, 2010

    Brian Wilson is my new favorite non-Marlin baseball player not named Ichiro or Torii Hunter:

    Best part, watching Jim Rome squirm when he tries to cut to commercial as Wilson commences with his cell phone gag.

    Via TSOYA


    Apropos of Nothing

    Wednesday, October 20, 2010

    Via @si_vault. Stay classy, Marlins fans. Also, stay pithy.



    Tuesday, October 19, 2010

    Round 3 of the BBA postseason awards is upon us (we skipped Round 1 - manager of the year, because we are both lazy and indifferent toward managers). Today we vote for the Goose Gossage Award, given to the top relief pitcher. Needless to say, there will not be any Marlins anywhere near this award, lest they give up a game-tying home run to the trophy in a simulated scrimmage. Below is the ballot.

    1. Brian Wilson, San Francisco
    2. Heath Bell, San Diego
    3. Jonny Venters, Atlanta
    Wilson's numbers carried the day, as the righty posted 48 saves (if you're into that sort of thing) with a 2.7 WAR (second only to Carlos Marmol, who for the record notched just over 6 BB/9, disqualifying him for the Goose Gossage Award in our eyes). Bell's numbers were very close, but as with the Willie Mays Award, WAR breaks the tie. Finally, Venters is not a classic Goose Gossage candidate, since he is not a closer. But, his K/9 and FIP are only marginally worse than teammate Billy Wagner, whose absurdly low .265 BABIP suggests he had a very lucky year. Venters' 1.7 WAR is nothing to dismiss for a setup man, as well.

    See also:
    Michael Jong's ballot
    Willie Mays ballot


    Reality Sinks In

    Monday, October 18, 2010

    After reading Ted's appreciation of Cody Ross yesterday, I woke up this morning with an inclination to write a post which effectively throws a bucket of cold water on the Bring Back Cody contingent. Then I logged in to my RSS reader and saw that Michael Jong wrote that very post at Marlin Maniac, and did a way better job than I would have.

    That error cost the Marlins little ultimately. Sure, we probably could have gotten a menial prospect or two, certainly more than what we received from the Texas Rangers for Jorge Cantu, but the team wasn't going to get a whole lot for Ross without possibly paying the remainder of his salary.
    I would add that the Marlins outfield is already full, with Chris Coghlan, Cameron Maybin, Mike Stanton, and Logan Morrison currently on the roster (Morrison Coghlan will probably get moved to the infield next year). Throw in super late-inning defensive replacement Brett Carroll and whichever scrap heap veteran the Marlins pick up in the offseason, and there's little room for an outfielder with average defense who OPS+ed 93 in 2010 while earning $4.5 million. Nostalgia is expensive in baseball, and rarely worth the cost.


    Come Back Cody

    Sunday, October 17, 2010

    We couldn't allow Bosh and The Boss to coexist in the same city?

    By now we're all aware of the Cody Ross story, placed on waivers in August, and claimed by the Giants solely to block the Padres from acquiring him. The Marlins let him go for free causing much outrage towards management, justifiably. Sure, they were going to non-tender him after this season and say their goodbyes, but letting him go for midseason, for free, to a team that didn't plan on using him,was no way to treat a fan favorite and consistent producer.

    Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal writes:
    Ross, 29, figured he had been traded. When he found out later that he was let go on a waiver claim — let go for nothing but a savings of $1.1 million — he became, in his own words, “bitter and upset.”

    “A slap in the face,” Ross called it as he walked out of Citizens Bank Park on a cool October evening.

    Suffice it to say, Ross is getting the last laugh.

    Laughing because last night he's starting in game one of the NLCS. If that wasn't good enough, he goes out and hits two home runs off Roy Halladay to propel the Giants to victory. Yup, that's the Cody we miss.

    It is bittersweet for me and many Marlins fans I'm sure. We're very happy for Cody and wish him the best. The downside is that his great postseason performances are showing the entire baseball world what fools we are. Also it has basically erased any chance the Marlins could swoop in and reacquire him. Well let's be honest, there probably isn't any circumstance the Fish would try to bring him back. They are content with taking all their young talent and making them play left field for the first time ever (see Coghlan, Chris and Morrison, Logan).

    Let's not dwell on that. Instead let's reminisce why Cody was and is so great.
    • Youthful enthusiasm
    • Tough as nails
    • Great nickname (Toy Cannon, or anything involving "Boss")
    • Easily chant-able name (CO-DY, CO-DY!)
    • Consistent producer at the plate
    • Can play all three outfield positions, above average
    • This incredible walk-off home run in 2008 (Warning: clip surprisingly features too much cowbell)
    Cheers, Cody. Keep beating the Phillies and win a ring so when you come back to deliver a right hook to Loria's face, he can get an "SF" imprinted on his forehead.


    BBA Willie Mays Award

    Thursday, October 14, 2010

    [Note: Ted and I are members of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance, and along with Michael Jong of Marlin Maniac we comprise the Florida/Miami chapter of the BBA. As BBA members, we have been asked to vote for the BBA's end-of-year awards through our blog. This is our ballot for the NL Willie Mays Award, given to the best rookie.]

    This year's NL rookies were a veritable bumper crop, with much hype heading into the season. All three of our vote-getters were heralded heading into Spring Training, and all three have so far lived up to expectations. Here's our ballot:

    1. Jason Heyward, OF, Atlanta
    2. Buster Posey, C, San Francisco
    3. Mike Stanton, OF, Florida
    If you were to go purely on WAR (which isn't an unreasonable move), Heyward wins in a landslide, with 5.0 WAR compared to Posey's 3.9 and Stanton's 2.7 (and Marlins fans clamoring for Gaby Sanchez, please note that his WAR came in at 2.4 despite playing in 51 more games than Stanton, who also out-OPSed Sanchez .833 to .789). Posey did equaled Heyward's 18 home runs in 180 fewer plate appearances, but Heyward had a way better OBP (mostly because he walked at over twice the rate of Posey). And believe me, Ted and I did not like having to choose between a Brave and a Seminole.

    You can read Michael's ballot at Marlin Maniac.



    Via Deadspin, Texas Ranger (and former Met) Jeff Francoeur's thoughts on facing the Yankees in the ALCS:

    I always wanted to know what it was like to play meaningful baseball in New York and I'm going to have the opportunity.

    If I ever ran into Francoeur at a bar, I wouldn't buy him a beer, since he's a millionaire athlete and not in need of a free drink from a stranger. I would gladly let him buy me a drink though. I'd hook him up with the woman who lives in the apartment above me, too, because I'm a magnanimous dude.

    In related news, Business Insider Sports has a slideshow up today of The Only 10 People That Can Fix The Mets. To which I reply, why would anyone want to do that? Marlins assistant GM Dan Jennings is on the list, and he is rumored to be a candidate for the Met's GM job. Wait for greener pastures, Dan. Trust me on this one.


    Bobby Cox: Plagiarist

    Wednesday, October 13, 2010

    Bobby Cox, today on the firing of Fredi Gonzalez:

    It was sort of like a George Steinbrenner move – let's get rid of somebody just to get rid of somebody. That was the case down there.
    Me, in March before the firing even happened:
    That's Jeffrey Loria, George Steinbrenner with less money.
    QUIT STEALING MY MATERIAL, COX. I will not go down easily in a fight.


    No Surprise Here

    Fredi Gonzalez has been hired as the Braves' new manager and will be introduced at a news conference Thursday, two people familiar with the negotiations confirmed.
    Via the AJC. I wish Fredi the best of luck, and congratulate him on landing a job with a team whose owner doesn't  fancy himself to be the next George Steinbrenner.


    Strikeout Kings

    Monday, October 11, 2010

    Via Mike Pesca, here is a list of pitchers who have struck out three batters on nine pitches in one inning. When I clicked the link, I had a hunch the Marlins would show up in the victim column a few times. I was right.

    In 2004, LaTroy Hawkins struck out Jeff Conine, Juan Encarnacion, and Alex Gonzalez to close out a 5-2 Cubs victory. In 2008, Felix Hernandez K'ed Jeremy Hermida, Jorge Cantu, and Mike Jacobs in the fourth inning of a 5-4 Mariners triumph. And in 2009, AJ Burnett punched out Josh Johnson, Chris Coghlan, and Emilio Bonifacio (of course) in the third-inning of a Yankees loss.

    No Marlins pitcher has accomplished this feat. Now Josh Johnson and Ricky Nolasco have something to shoot for.



    I could have sworn that Jeffrey Loria's power-trip tendencies scared him off for good, but Joe Capozzi wrote over the weekend that Bobby Valentine has once again emerged as a strong candidate for the Marlins' managerial position. As with earlier this summer, when Valentine was thisclose to taking the job after Fredi Gonzalez was fired, the major stumbling block appears to be Valentine's wish for some control over personnel decisions. Personally, I doubt Valentine would be given any kind of personnel control if hired, but that is merely a hunch. Anyway, I tried real hard to care about this story, but I think by now we all know my position on managers.


    Somehow This Doesn't Worry Me

    Tuesday, October 5, 2010

    Via Cameron:

    We won't be reporting on every little rumor that hits my Twitter feed this fall and winter, but I had to laugh when I realized that the Marlins' most attractive "free agents" (though they're not actually free agents) are in the front office.

    Also, the Mets front office could be staffed with Beinfest, Hill, and Jesus, and they still won't win a World Series.


    For the record

    Monday, October 4, 2010

    After it was over, after the Marlins closed out an unfulfilling season and the grounds crew at Sun Life Stadium began prepping the diamond for the Dolphins' Monday night game, second baseman Dan Uggla handed Edwin Rodriguez a personalized bat on which he signed his name and wrote the following: "You're an amazing manager and an even better man."
    The season is over, and it remains to be seen whether interim manager Edwin Rodriguez will retain his job, sans interim. While I harbor no ill will toward the man, I would still like to see the Marlins' brain trust be bold and decline to hire a manager for the 2011 season. At the very least, it would be an interesting experiment, turning the Marlins into an MLB Hamsterdam.


    Your Marlins Diaspora Guide to the 2010 Playoffs

    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:

    Minnesota Twins: Carl Pavano, P
    New York Yankees: AJ Burnett, P; Sergio Mitre, P; Joe Girardi, MGR
    Tampa Bay Rays: none
    Texas Rangers: Jorge Cantu, 1B; Darren Oliver, P; Matt Treanor, C

    Atlanta Braves: Alex Gonzalez, SS; Derrek Lee, 1B
    Cincinnati Reds: Arthur Rhodes, P
    Philadelphia Phillies: Ross Gload, IF; Paul Hoover, C
    San Francisco Giants: Guillermo Mota, P; Edgar Rentaria, SS; Cody Ross, OF

    Looks like we'll have plenty of former fan favorites to cheer in the playoffs, notably Cantu, Ross, Rentaria, and Lee. Of course, I'm most inclined to root for the Rays despite their dearth of former Marlins. Best of luck to all the children of the Marlins diaspora in the 2010 playoffs.


    Week In Review

    Sunday, October 3, 2010

    One final metaphor of how the season went

    Overview: The Marlins were swept by the Braves, then took three of four from the Pirates to finish the season 80-82.
    Positives: The season is over. The team finished ahead of the Mets in the final standings.
    Negatives: The season is over. The team finished below the Braves and Phillies.
    Line of the Week: The Diehards' official man-crush Mike Stanton had a big night on Thursday.

    3-5, 2 R, 5 RBI, 1 HR

    Highlight of the Week: Wes Helms made a terrific catch while diving over and behind the rolled up tarp today. Hat tip to manager Edwin Rodriguez for getting ejected in perhaps is last game in charge.
    Looking Ahead: That's it. This week we'll have the Marlins Diaspora guide to the playoffs and a season in review post. Stay tuned.


    Looks about right

    Saturday, October 2, 2010

    The view from the press box five minutes before last night's meaningless Marlins-Pirates tussle:

    Photo via Joe Capozzi's Twitter


    Maybin Will Be Okay

    Wednesday, September 29, 2010

    Following his tumble into the outfield wall in Atlanta, we were fearing the worst for Cameron Maybin, who had to be carted off the field. However, X-rays taken after the incident came back negative, and Maybin could even play in the final weekend of the season should he choose to. From Joe Frisaro's recap:
    "My left leg and my lower back are pretty sore," Maybin said. "It could have been a lot worse. Nothing broke. I was just in pain. I'll be all right. Just a lot of pain right now." 
    Moral of the story: Don't mess with the Twitter bird.

    Image via


    Angry Twitter Bird Strikes Again

    Tuesday, September 28, 2010

    Marlins centerfielder Cameron Maybin joined Twitter last week. In the seventh inning of tonight's game against the Braves, Maybin injured his leg leaping against the wall on a Brooks Conrad triple. He had to be carted off the field and may have broken his leg.

    We're wishing Maybin a speedy and full recovery, but also warning Mike Stanton (@mikestanton27) one more time: avoid the Twitter, for your safety. Seriously hoping we can finish the final five games this season quietly and without incident.

    UPDATE: But we could think of a few people on the team who should join Twitter.


    Meet the Mets

    Via Jorge Sedano:



    Blog Famous

    Many thanks to 'Duk at Big League Stew for allowing me to write the Stew's Marlins 2010 retrospective. Read it here. I'd have liked a more fun trip down memory lane, but thems the breaks.



    Insert double rainbow reference here. If only MLB allowed video embeds...

    Watch the play here, as both Gaby Sanchez and Dan Uggla allow a Brian McCann groundball to slip through their legs before Mike Stanton picks it up. This season can't end soon enough, folks.


    Heads Up

    Sunday, September 26, 2010


    UPDATE: Crap.


    I Will Not Embed the Song, I Promise

    Wednesday, September 22, 2010

    Scott Stapp on recording Marlins Will Soar:

    I had some trepidation in the beginning. Is this going to be cheesy? Or what's this going to be? What made all of that go away was in talking with [Marlins President David Samson] and the folks in the Marlins organization. I didn't want to get paid. I said I want my son and my nephew to be able to be batboys. You make that happen and give me some season tickets and I'll be happy. That was the deal, man. I gave it my best shot, and I've seen a lot of the comments. It is what it is. I'm proud of what I did and why I did it.
    I'm going to go on and keep pretending it never happened.


    Week In Review

    Sunday, September 19, 2010

     How come so few of you joined Ted at the ballpark today?

    Overview: After being swept by the Phillies, the Marlins allowed themselves to be degraded by the Cubs for three games.
    Positives: The Dolphins are 2-0. I only have to write two more Weeks in Review after this week.
    Negatives: The Marlins are now officially out of playoff contention. All other negatives seem inconsequential now.
    Line of the Week: Logan Morrison has been performing admirably, and clearly deserves a full year at the Major League level in 2011. His stats this week:
    8-22, 2 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 6 R, 6 BB, 2 RBI

    Highlight of the Week: Cameron Maybin made a sweet catch against the wall this afternoon, then flipped to Logan Morrison to hold the runner on first. Solid fundamentals, in this case.
    Looking Ahead: After making up a rainout with St. Louis on Monday and hosting a two-game set with the Mets, the Marlins travel to Milwaukee for four games against Los Cerveceros.

    Photo via Ted's BlackBerry.



    Thursday, September 16, 2010

    It was only a matter of time before someone channeled the uproar over the Marlins' financial documents into an apathetic fashion statement.

    There's more here. Now you know. Which is worse, my own ennui about the whole thing or this attempt to make a few bucks off of the fans' outrage without really doing anything to the source of that outrage. I'll leave that question to the philosophers...


    So, um, yeah...

    Wednesday, September 15, 2010

    Via BLS:

    Surely this makes up for the Marlins "snubbing/disrespecting" Cox.


    His name remains Dan Uggla

    Tuesday, September 14, 2010

    Being an adolescent franchise, the Marlins have to stretch to get their names, and the names of their players, into the record books. So it is fitting that Dan Uggla made history last night, becoming the first second baseman to record four straight 30-home run seasons (while also becoming the first second basemen to homer 30 times in four nonconsecutive seasons to boot). In some ways, it is not much of an accomplishment. Plenty of non-second basemen have equaled this feat. But as Marlins fans, we have to celebrate any achievement of immortality, no matter how trivial.

    Up on baseball's Mount Olympus, the pantheon of legends is virtually bereft of Marlins, and those who are there, like Gary Sheffield and maybe one day Miguel Cabrera, only spent a tiny portion of their careers in a Marlins uniform. In a game which fetishizes history to an excessive degree, it takes time for expansion teams like the Marlins or Rays to develop their own legacies worthy of other, more established franchises. Indeed, even when one of the expansion teams wins a World Series (or two, in the cases of the Marlins and Toronto Blue Jays), it is treated largely as a footnote or aberration unless that team continues to succeed over multiple seasons.

    This is all to say that, despite the seemingly inconsequential nature of his record (though really, hitting 30 home runs four times is exceedingly difficult no matter the context), we should take this opportunity to celebrate Dan Uggla, who may not be with the Marlins much longer, but who brought much joy to the few of us who could stomach to watch the Marlins over the past four years. Thanks, Dan.


    JJ Exits

    Monday, September 13, 2010

    The Marlins are shelving Josh Johnson for the remainder of the season. Not surprising, since the Fish are 7 games out of the Wild Card with only 20 games left in the season. As Michael pointed out at Marlin Maniac the other day, the risk wasn't worth it, as the Marlins will be paying him many dollars for the 2011-2013 seasons. Letting him pitch his four remaining starts with lingering elbow and shoulder pain is not smart, no matter which way you slice it. The Marlins have officially thrown in the towel on the 2010 season, not that I blame them for doing so now.


    Week In Review

    Sunday, September 12, 2010

    Overview: The Marlins lost three of four in Philadelphia but won all three this weekend in Washington D.C. The team is now 73-69 but remains nine games out of first place and eight and a half games out of the wild card.
    Positives: The Marlins and Nationals played a series (with Nyjer Morgan) and didn't have any incidents. The weekend sweep also ensure the Fish finish with a dominating 13-5 season series record over the Nats. Mike Stanton came out of his slump and has hit the 20 home run mark.
    Negatives: It sucks losing to Philly.
    Line of the Week: Adalberto Mendez silenced the Phillies bats for six innings in his major league debut and collected the win.

    W, 6 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 2 BB, 6 K's

    Highlight of the Week: Screw it, we'll pile on Nyjer Morgan. He was caught stealing on a perfect throw by catcher Brad Davis. Tip of the cap to Mike Stanton for hitting two homers today.
    Looking Ahead: The Marlins come home for three games each with the Phillies and Cubs.


    Off-Day TV Guide: September 9

    Thursday, September 9, 2010

    Another Thursday off-day coinciding with football. It's one of the few consolations us Marlins fans have at the moment...
    • 7:30 pm EDT NCAA FB Auburn at Miss St (ESPN): Hopefully better than their 2008 contest, in which Auburn prevailed by a score of 3-2.
    • 8:30 pm EDT NFL Minnesota at New Orleans (NBC): I hope Favre fails in entertaining fashion. 
    Tonight's book recommendation is The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine, by Michael Lewis. I'm totally late to the party on this, but it is essential reading if you want to know about the events leading up to the Crash of 2008 and the bursting of the housing bubble. Lewis is a wonderful writer, and the story is impeccably reported and explained well enough that a financial novice can understand the construction of a synthetic CDO. Pair the book with The Giant Pool of Money, the fantastic episode of This American Life which traces the origins of the housing bubble.


    The Curse

    Sunday, September 5, 2010

    A quick look at the Marlins Twitter Directory informs me that there are 5 Marlins on Twitter at the moment:
    1. Chris Coghlan: Out for the season after injuring himself while giving Wes Helms a shaving cream pie after a walk-off base hit.
    2. John Baker: Out for the season, just underwent Tommy John surgery.
    3. Brett Hayes: Out for the season after separating his shoulder on a play at the plate this week.
    4. Logan Morrison: Almost died at the hands of an Emilio Bonifacio foul ball this afternoon
    5. Mike Stanton: Healthy so far.
    Mike, please do Marlins fans a favor and deactivate your Twitter account now. It's only a matter of time before the Twitter curse catches up.


    Week In Review

    Overview: The Marlins won two of three from both the Nationals and the Braves.
    Positives: See above. Also, the Fish provided the baseball world some great theater with a bench clearing brawl on Wednesday night. Gaby Sanchez' clothesline takedown of Nyjer Morgan is an internet classic now.
    Negatives: The Marlins have been very unlucky with injuries. Ricky Nolasco is being shut down for the rest of the season. Donnie Murphy dislocated his wrist and is also done. John Baker underwent Tommy John surgery. Logan Morrison was hit in the face with a foul ball while he was in the on-deck circle and his status is in question. Also, the downside to the brawl are a number of suspensions (Volstad, Sanabia, Sanchez) that are currently being appealed.
    Line of the Week: With a solid weekend series, Logan Morrison has raised his batting average over .300%

    3 games, 6-12, 2 doubles, 3 triples, 2 RBI's

    Highlight of the Week: Cameron Maybin made two great plays: A diving catch on Saturday night, and a grand slam-robbing over the fence grab this afternoon.
    Looking Ahead: The Marlins/Zephyrs/Suns travel to Philadelphia for four games, including a double-header tomorrow. On the weekend they will travel to Washington.


    Who Cares?

    Today at Big League Stew, 'Duk asks why the Marlins are declining to honor longtime Braves manager Bobby Cox in his final appearance in South Florida before his retirement at the end of the season. The conventional wisdom seems to be that this snub is Jeffrey Loria's revenge for Cox's critical comments on the firing of Fredi Gonzalez. That could very well be true, but I am still left wondering why the Marlins are obligated to honor the retirement of someone else's manager. In other words, if Cox had not made any disparaging comments towards Loria earlier this summer, would the decision not to honor Cox be questioned so skeptically?

    As this week's brawl with the Nationals showed us yet again, baseball is full of obscure and tricky unwritten rules that make little sense outside the context of baseball (I don't think we'll be seeing a Bobby Bowden tribute at Florida Field anytime soon). Bobby Cox should be proud of his illustrious tenure with the Braves, to be sure, but I don't think every team in the National League is required to shower him with praise on his way out (even if most chose to do it anyway). I hate to rain on a Loria-hating parade (I really do), but the only crime I see hear is Loria's apparent justification for "snubbing" Cox. He should snub because it's not the Marlins' responsibility to give a formal farewell to Cox, not because Loria is a petty jerk.


    Off-Day TV Guide: September 2nd

    Thursday, September 2, 2010

    Ah, the rare Thursday off-night, when there is actually worthwhile television programming (to quote the overrated 20th century philosopher Garfield, Mondays blow).
    • 7:30 pm EDT NCAA FB Florida A&M at Miami ( This is what Ted and I will be watching, as it is all about the U.
    • 8 pm EDT Tosh.0 (Comedy Central): Back to back episodes. This show doesn't quite make the level of appointment television, but I always end up watching if I stumble upon it while channel surfing.
    • 8:30 pm EDT NCAA FB Pitt at Utah (VS.): If you can't get ESPN3 and really need football, this will do. It should be a good matchup, and hey, Wannstache!
    • 9 pm EDT County Jail: Miami (Discovery): It's a rerun, but if it has Miami in it, it can't be that bad, right?
    • 10 pm EDT Jersey Shore (MTV): If you like it, that's cool. Just don't expect me to care.
    Tonight's book recommendation is the Football Outsiders 2010 Almanac. As you may have gathered by my attitude around here lately, the baseball season has been a bit of a drag for me as of late, so I am eagerly awaiting the kickoff of college football season tonight and the NFL next week. Anything to distract me from the disappointment of the Marlins this year, right?


    Didn't Think Last Night's Brawl Could Get Any Better?

    You were wrong!

    God damn, now I want to clothesline someone! 

    Domo arigato to Rizzmiggizz



    Better video here. Somewhere, fellow University of Miami alum Lamar Thomas is smiling at Gaby Sanchez' clothesline of Nyjer Morgan.

    UPDATE: Adam Smoot may know where Sanchez learned his technique:

    Also, haters gonna hate.


    Week In Review

    Monday, August 30, 2010


    Overview: The Marlins took two of three from the Mets before dropping two of three to the Braves.
    Positives: The Marlins are making money, though most of the profits are (allegedly) going toward debt reduction and new stadium construction. The team may be on the outside looking in on a playoff spot but Marlins Diehards has acquired the Photoshop wizardry of Adam Smoot, formerly of Bright Orange Seats (RIP).
    Negatives: John Baker's rehab stint did not go so well, so it looks like he will be on the shelf until 2011. Josh Johnson can't buy a break, as the bullpen blew a save and Johnson win for the seventh time of the season on Sunday. If the bullpen had preserved five of those seven leads, JJ would be 16-5 on the year, giving him a leg up on the Cy Young (not to mention the pennant race). The bullpen has blow 23 saves this year, the most in MLB.
    Line of the Week: Chris Volstad turned in his second best outing of 2010 on Friday against the Braves, helped by 14 grounders and 21 strikes-looking:
    8.0 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 109 pitches

    Highlight of the Week: Not that I'm trying to rub it in, but this is the main reason the Marlins are likely out of the playoff hunt.
    Looking Ahead:  The Fish play three at home against Washington followed by three against Atlanta, with an off day on Thursday. College football starts Thursday, and I for one am thankful for that. Not that we won't be here to share in the misery through October 3rd...

    Image via Palm Beach Post


    Easy Hanley

    Hanley Ramirez had to leave yesterday's games due to a touch of the dizzies, which means I get to post one of my favorite Arrested Development clips:


    Marlins Comment On Financial Statements

    Sunday, August 29, 2010

    "Financial statements of the team were recently released and hey look at that new stadium that will open soon!"


    Marlins Diehards Exclusive

    Thursday, August 26, 2010

    So that's what they've been doing with the extra money...

    Special thanks to Smoot


    Some Final Thoughts on the Marlins' Finances

    Wednesday, August 25, 2010

    It seems like everyone in South Florida is mad that the Marlins (a business franchise) are making profits while doing everything in their power to minimize costs (including player salaries) during a historic economic downturn. You know things are turned upside down when Craig of FishStripes is forced to defend Jeffrey Loria (sorry dude). I'm already tired of the uproar, so I'm going to just post some bullet points and call it a day.

    • We have only seen financial documents for 2008 and 2009. According to Jeff Loria (whose words should be accompanied by many grains of salt), the team accrued a lot of debt between 2002 and 2005, when their Opening Day payrolls totaled $41 million, $45 million, $42 million, and $60 million, respectively (with much of that money deferred in the cases of high-salary guys like Pudge Rodriguez). Additionally, the team is also deducting some expenses for the new stadium, as Craig pointed out yesterday. When (if) the Marlins' revenue streams move towards the top half of Major League Baseball, they won't have to cut back after an extended period of (relative) overspending, but that is not the case now (as Maury Brown pointed out, the Marlins receive twice as much money from revenue sharing as they do from ticket sales and broadcasting rights).
    • David Samson told Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post that MLB "will seek legal recourse to find the source" who leaked the financial documents to Deadspin. This is dumb, and the only reason MLB should do this is if they think it will prevent more documents from being leaked. It might stop this particular source, but leaks happen, and MLB would be better served by getting in front of the story and contending with the documents head on, rather than trying to unscramble this egg.
    • Now the wizards who run the Miami city and county governments are mad that they didn't get to review the Marlins books before approving the massive public-private financing plan for the new stadium. I am of the Carl Hiaasen line of thinking concerning Miami politicians, i.e. they are all shady crooks who aren't all that concerned about the public good. This sounds like a bunch of lamenting that they were out-crooked by Loria and Samson, to which I say bummer. The exception in this case is Miami-Dade County Commissioner Carlos Gimenez, who demanded that the Marlins make their books available to lawmakers and voted against stadium funding when the Marlins refused.
    • Greg Cote is mad. But then again, he's also the guy who publicly lambasted Norman Braman's attempts to foil the financing plan that paid for the bulk of the stadium costs (I would link his column here, but the Miami Herald does not make much of its archives available on the web). The lesson for the rest of us: ignore most sportswriters when it comes to politics, economics, and the public good.
    • If you, as a fan, are mad that you are spending your own money on tickets and merchandise, and that the proceeds from those spending dollars are not going towards something useful, then stop buying tickets and merchandise. It's that simple. Jeff Loria does not care about your complaints on Twitter.
    • One question for the fans: Knowing what we do about the way Loria and company sold the Expos to MLB to finance the purchase of the Marlins, should we be surprised at any level of malfeasance by the Marlins ownership? It's not like we all thought Loria was George Bailey. As the old adage goes, fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.
    • As for my own feelings, I no longer live in South Florida, so my tax dollars are not going towards the new stadium, and I haven't attended a Marlins game since I left Miami in 2006. For that reason, it's difficult for me to get too exercised about the team fleecing the city and county, though I can certainly sympathize with those who do. Frankly, my political anger right now is reserved for Ken Cuccinelli, who thinks John Ashcroft is a good role model for Attorneys General.
    Okay, we're all done with that for now.


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