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


      © Blogger template The Professional Template II by 2009

    Back to TOP