Checking In

Monday, May 31, 2010

Looks like I picked a good week to go on vacation and not pay attention to baseball. Remember the other day when Ted was all conflicted about watching Roy Halladay's perfect game? Yeah, well the Marlins have given the pitching rubber from that game to Halladay, and will display home plate in the new stadium. Shouldn't we save the historic displays for the moments when the Marlins were not being historically dominated? Also, if you want a ticket stub from Saturday night's game, you can buy unused tickets from that game at face value from the Marlins. I'll let you provide the punch line.

And finally, back when the Marlins dumped Matt Lindstrom, who'd have thought that we would one day regret it? Chipper Jones, that's who:

If the Marlins had kept Matt Lindstrom [10 for 11 on saves for Houston] to go with Leo Nuñez [9 for 11], it would make for a dominant end of the bullpen. Nuñez has made great strides and has dominant stuff, but he has to settle down and not get into predictable.


Week In Review

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Overview: It was a disappointing week as the Marlins dropped two of three to both the Braves and the Phillies
Positives: The starting pitching has been great, notching five quality starts. Anibal Sanchez has looked terrific and Josh Johnson has of course been the boss. Not only have they usually been keeping the team in the game but they have lessened the load on the bullpen
Negatives: Bad news, bullpen still not very good despite the lower load. Also both lefties in the pen are now gone. Dan Meyer was DFA'd and Renyel Pinto was placed on the DL to to soreness in Marlins fans hearts his hip. Also, besides being perfect game'd by Doc, the offense has remained dormant. Mike Stanton where are you?
Line of the Week: Going a little out of the box, but to illustrate how good Anibal Sanchez has been, below are his stats from the month of May

6 GS, 4-0, 1.93 ERA, 35 K's

Highlight of the Week: Dan Uggla made a weird tough play when he threw out Ryan Howard from in the hole of short right field.
Looking Ahead: The Fish start a four game series here against the Brewers tomorrow afternoon. On the weekend they will play three in New York against the Mets.


How Am I Supposed To Feel About This?

Saturday, May 29, 2010

27 up. 27 down. Perfect game for Roy Halladay. Do I cheer? Do I throw things in frustration? What is the appropriate reaction? I guess I'll say a huge congratulations. His performance was a masterpiece. But, If not for a bonehead Cameron Maybin misplay, he'd be taking that perfect game into the 10th inning, maybe further and the Marlins would have a chance to win. Tough loss.


Off Day TV Guide

Monday, May 24, 2010

Your late, or just in time guide:
  • 7:05pm EDT, MLB Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays (ESPN2): A pretty good matchup actually. Boston has picked it up a bit and Tampa still holds the majors best record
  • 8:00pm EDT, 24: Series Finale (FOX): This is what I'll be watching. It's actually convenient this fell on a Marlins off day.
  • 8:00pm EDT, River Monsters: Unhooked (Animal Planet): I've seen some of the normal episodes of this show (I'm not sure what the "unhooked" means for tonight). It's pretty crazy though. If you like nature things or crazy animals, this is for you.
For the book recommendation, Dave once again suggests Are We Winning, the newest book from Will Leitch.


Week In Review

AP Photo/John Smierciak via

We'll abbreviate things this week, since I'm in a hurry (Sorry!).

Overview: After splitting two-game sets with Arizona and St. Louis, the Marlins dropped two of three to the White Sox.
Positives: Are you aware that Cody Ross is tied for 7th in the NL with 51 hits? I wasn't, not that the stat tells us much.
Negatives: Everyone was mad at Hanley Ramirez for some reason, I'm not sure what it was though, since it got so little media coverage...

Line of the Week: Josh Johnson has won six straight decisions since losing on Opening Day. He's currently sporting a 2.79 FIP with 1.9 Wins Above Replacement (or a 2.43 ERA and 1.03 for those of you who dislike the Sabrmetric stats). Here is his combined line in two starts this week against the Diamondbacks and White Sox:
13IP, 8H, 0R, 4BB, 9K (all on Tuesday), 197 pitches,
Highlight of the Week: Dan Uggla has homered in 6 of his past 10 games to grab a share of the NL home run lead (tied with Kelly Johnson). Here is a tater tot from Tuesday's game against Arizona to one of the deepest parts of Sun Life Stadium.
Looking Ahead: After a day off today, the Marlins host Atlanta for three games followed by a three-game set with Philadelphia. Both series could give the Marlins a lift in the standings, with the team currently sitting a half game behind the Braves and four games behind the Phillies.

We'll have your Off Day TV Guide up this afternoon.


The Good Old Days

Sunday, May 23, 2010

During the 1993, 1994, and 1995 seasons, our family shared a block of season tickets with a few other families we knew through our youth baseball league. During the Marlins' infant stages, we went to roughly 25 or so games a year. As you should know, the team was pretty bad during that stretch (combined record those seasons: 182-238). During one stretch when it seemed like the Fish lost every game we attended, they finally came through for a victory in our presence. When we reached our car in the parking lot, jubilant due to our good fortune, the first song on the radio was Tom Petty's Even the Losers. It was the perfect song for the moment, thanks to its refrain (Even the losers get lucky sometimes) and the fact that all four of us are huge Tom Petty fans. From that point on, we dubbed it the Marlins theme song. Every time I hear it, I laugh a little inside.


Well Done, Onion

Thursday, May 20, 2010

From The Onion:

Historic Seat-Covering Tarp To Be Part Of New Marlins Stadium

Miami—In honor of the team's storied past, the Florida Marlins announced at a press conference Tuesday that their new stadium would prominently feature the seat-covering tarp that has remained a constant during their 18 years at Sun Life Stadium. "We can't imagine a Marlins game that isn't played in front of an unbroken sea of smooth, empty teal," team president David Samson said as a screen behind him displayed a computer-generated animation of the giant tarp being lowered onto 9,000 empty seats in a new stadium. "That old tarp has been gloriously unfurled for 18 opening days and two World Series, and we're not going to just abandon it. Besides, the new facility will have 37,000 seats, so I'm pretty sure we'll find a use for it." Samson assured fans the ballpark would also feature modern amenities such as sleeker, more modern tarps to cover the entire upper deck and the Marlins' dugout.

To quote Dave Barry, "This would be funnier to those of us who live in Miami if we weren't building an expensive new baseball stadium for the benefit of a zillionaire team owner and his multimillionaire players even though the vast majority of us never go to actually watch them."


The Horror!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Did you hear? Franchise player Hanley Ramirez was dogging it last night, slowly jogging after an errant ball that he had inadvertantly kicked into foul territory, allowing two runs to score (Here's the video). Hanley was benched by manager Fredi Gonzalez after the inning was over, but boy are people pissed. Hanley is now an "embarrassment" who might not "have enough heart to play this game the way it should be played every day."

I'm not going to defend Hanley, but I will say if you think the team would be better off with a replacement-level player, kindly never talk to me so I will not be forced to wrangle with the faulty logic which underlies your opinions. I don't think anyone is terribly surprised to see him loaf at this point, and if forced to choose between Hanley or no Hanley, I will pick Hanley every time.

UPDATE: Now Hanley's just being a dick. Joe Capozzi has the full transcript. It will be a fun summer in the Marlins clubhouse...

Follow-up: Michael at Marlin Maniac asks an important question: Do the rest of the Marlins really need Hanley to lead by example? And he even gives us a plug to boot... Also, as always, Joe Posnanski has wisdom to shed. I like how he was able to criticize Hanley's loafing without getting sanctimonious. Every time I get mad that Skip Bayless exists, I am comforted by knowing that Posnanski provides an essential cosmic counterbalance.


Week In Review

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Overview: The Marlins won two of three in Chicago before an emphatic four game sweep of the Mets for a much needed 6-1 week.
Positives: Winning. The club was really struggling (especially scoring runs) and needed a big week. Finally, they jump-started the offense scoring 24 runs over the last three games. Chris Coghlan and Cameron Maybin must have finally started hearing Mike Stanton's footsteps as they've both stepped it up. Also the starting pitchers have done a good job of getting deep into games and giving the club great chances to win.
Negatives: Not too much to gripe about. Sunday's bullpen effort wasn't that great, but that's about it.
Line of the Week: Time to reward Gaby Sanchez. He had another great series against the Mets

9-17, 2. RBI, 6, R, 2 2B, 1 HR

Highlight of the Week: The Marlins had three nice outfield assists this weekend, but only one nailed a runner at the plate. Cody Ross denies Ike Davis.
Looking Ahead: The Marlins have a busy week. The wrap up the homestand with two against Arizona. Then they go on the road for two with the Cardinals and three in Chicago to face the White Sox


Marlins Sweep Mets

Cue the dancing robots:


Early Follow Friday

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Earlier today I posted an update via Twitter:

No need to elaborate on that really. Our thoughts could conveniently be told in under 140 characters.

What was interesting, was a retweet from none other than:

Fredi Gonzalez. Well, a budding humorist posing as Fredi Gonzalez. Click here to pull up his timeline. The Fake Fredi account is just over a day old and it seems half of the updates revolve around Renyel Pinto. Now that we certainly approve of. Well done mystery microblogger. We'll be following you closely.



Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Cody Ross stole home last night against the Cubs in a double-steal with Cameron Maybin. Watch the video here. It was a well-designed gamble, as Tommy Hutton explains on the replay. According to the Sun-Sentinel, it was the ninth steal of home plate in Marlins history. My, question, though, is whether this was the first double-steal of home plate in team history. Anyone have any idea?


Week In Review

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Overview: After getting swept by the Giants, the Marlins dropped two of three to the Nationals.
Positives: There was not much to like this week.
Negatives: As discussed earlier this week, Chris Coghlan and Cameron Maybin have failed to solidify themselves this year so far. Opposing starters this week gave up 11 runs and 31 hits while striking out 39 over 39 and 2/3 innings.
Line of the Week:Chris Volstad did not have his best stuff Friday night, but it will have to do for this week.
7 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2BB, 4K, 1HR
Highlight of the Week: I bring you the rarest of creatures: a Dan Uggla Web Gem.
Looking Ahead: The Marlins will play three games in Chicago starting tomorrow, followed by a four-game set at home against the Mets.


Retiring Numbers

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Camden Yards via wallyg's flickrstream

Playing in their 18th season of baseball, the Marlins have accumulated some history, but have yet to commemorate some historic milestones.1 At some point in the not too distant future the Marlins will have to retire a number (The team retired the number 5 for Carl Barger on Opening Day 1993, but that doesn't really count since it was for a nonplayer). Who will the first former Marlin to receive that distinction? Some thoughts below, in order of likelihood.

Gary Sheffield (not playing, but not officially retired): Sheffield was a mainstay for the first 5 years of the team's existence, holds some team single-season records, started for the 1997 World Series club, and could end up in the Hall of Fame. He's probably the most deserving member of this list at the moment.
Mike Lowell (currently playing for Boston): Lowell was a key member of the infield core from 2000 to 2005, starting for the 2003 World Series club. He is currently the Marlins career home run leader, and wins sentimentality points for having grown up in South Florida.
Jeff Conine (retired): Despite his status as Mr. Marlin, Conine's career stats are not the kind that normally get your number retired. However, his status as a team icon, role in both World Series teams, and current role as a special instructor in the Marlins organization might make up for his stats. He also has the complication of wearing two numbers during his time with the club.

You'll notice I did not list anyone unlikely to retire soon. My guess is that someone's number will be retired shortly after the new stadium opens in 2012. It's a wild guess, but a necessary one for the purposes of this exercise.

1For our purposes here, historic milestones include (but are not limited to): anniversaries of championships, retired numbers, and breaking of team/league records. In short, these are the things that remind us this team has been around for awhile. They are the edifice of permanence.


Loria Speaks

Friday, May 7, 2010

Jeffrey Loria came to DC for the Marlins' series against the Nationals this weekend, and was asked if he was getting frustrated with Fredi Gonzalez again (via Fish Tank):
But there’s been speculation of Fredi being in the hot seat.
Oh, please. Stop with that. Where do you get that from? Fredi and I are just fine. Fredi and the Marlins are just fine. Enough already. Stop. Please stop.
I'll believe it when I see it. Having been through the Nick Saban experience, I put little faith in most statements...

(Image via Joe Rimkus/Miami Herald)


Ruh Roh

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Joe Frisaro speculates today in a blog post that everyone's favorite whipping boy, Emilio Bonifacio, could be making a return to the leadoff spot if Chris Coghlan or Cameron Maybin cannot boost their OBPs in the near future. Obviously, Ted and I think this is a HORRIBLE idea. Boni may be fast, but he is not a major league hitter. In 78 plate appearances through 19 games at AAA-New Orleans this year, Boni has 19 strikeouts to 3 walks with a line of .257/.286/.351. To sum it up in three words: Do not want.

Frisaro does note that this is but one possibility, as the Marlins are also considering batting Gaby Sanchez leadoff, promoting Bryan Petersen, or promoting Mike Stanton in June which allows the team to push his arbitration back another year. All of which seem preferable to reviving the Emilio Bonifacio Experiment.1 Let's just hope either Cogz or Maybin put it together so it doesn't come to this. It's not noon yet, and already I need a drink just thinking about it...

1Worst band name ever.


Of Course

The terror suspect's most obvious nods to Western culture were a well-worn Mets cap and a can of Axe body spray - a favorite of teenage boys.
via Josh Levin


Scapegoat Alert

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Just when he was getting hot at the plate, Hanley Ramirez awoke to find his three cars, a Mercedes-Benz convertible, a Benz SUV, and a Cadillac Escalade, vandalized in his Weston driveway. According to the Miami New Times, H2R's cars were keyed and their right rear tail lights were smashed. Who could have done such a thing? Gus Garcia-Roberts at the New Times already made the obvious Dan Uggla references (he could have left some low-hanging fruit for us), but now that we know what might be plaguing Hanley's mind, I think we'll all know what to blame if his sudden offensive surge drops off. Damn kids with their vandalism...


Must Read

As Marlins fans, we all have a special place in our hearts for Steve Bartman. We know he did not really cause the Cubs to lose the 2003 NLCS, and deep down, I think we all feel sorry for the guy. Today at Deadspin, Will Leitch's latest book is excerpted, and Leitch captures the tragedy of the Bartman play better than anyone. It is truly a haunting piece, wonderfully written and immediately relatable for a diehard fan of any team. Go read it, you'll be glad you did.


Off Day TV Guide

Monday, May 3, 2010

Last year, we gave you some alternative TV options during the World Series. We figured we might as well revive the feature for off days during the regular season. So here's your first installment of the Off-Day TV Guide
  • 7:05pm EDT MLB, Angels at Red Sox (ESPN): Boston is climbing back towards .500% and yes I get great joy out of typing that. Reasons for watching? Perhaps Jeremy Hermida will play?
  • 8:00pm EDT NBA Playoffs, Celtics at Cavaliers (TNT): If you're a Heat fan, you probably can't stomach this one, but if your a casual sports/NBA fan, this is your classic "two teams that don't like each other, tough battle." Only Cleveland has LeBron James, so it's not that tough for them.
  • 8:00 EDT Teen Mom (MTV): Also known as "Why Abstinence-Only Education is a Horrible, Horrible Idea." I don't think you should watch this show, I just wanted to make that point.
  • 9:00 EDT American Experience: Roads To Memphis (PBS): A thorough account of the events that lead to the Martin Luther King assassination.
Or you could do what I'll probably do and just watch MLB Tonight on MLBN. I love nights when my blood pressure isn't raised significantly via the Renyel Pinto Flow Chart. As for the book recommendation, Dave suggests Tom Wolfe's debut novel, Bonfire of the Vanities:
Apparently, this was made into a movie starring Tom Hanks and Bruce Willis. You probably should not watch it.


Week In Review

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Overview: The Marlins had a .500% week, dropping two of three against the Padres but taking the weekend series against the Nationals.
Positives: Hanley Ramirez has heated up with a 9-22 week with 4 homers to keep the offense rolling. The starting pitching has been a bit up and down, but the club notched two complete games this week. Especially nice was Chris Volstad's gem, his best outing this season by far.
Negatives: Overall the team has struggled. They lost three consecutive series and then dropped the opening game to Scott Olsen and the Nats which dropped them under .500%. Nate Robertson started on three days rest on Wednesday and it didn't work out.
Line of the Week: Josh Johnson clinched the honor early in the week with his epic effort in the series opener against San Diego.

CG, 9 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 12 K's
3-4, 3 RBI

Highlight of the Week: Clay Hensley pitched three scoreless innings in relief on Friday and struck out seven.
Looking Ahead: After a day off tomorrow, the Fish wrap up the home stand with three against Giants. On the weekend they will face off with the Nationals again in Washington.

Lastly, as you probably have heard/read by now. After Clay Hensley's stellar outing on Friday, he learned his father passed away. He has been placed on bereavement leave. Thoughts and payers to him and his family.


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