On this date

Friday, April 29, 2011

Via Baseball Nation:
...23 years ago, the Baltimore Orioles won their first game of the season. The next time your team has a bad day, think about the 1988 Baltimore Orioles. Yeesh.
Then-play-by-play announcer Joe Angel proclaimed after that game, a 9-0 victory over the White Sox, "The Orioles are in the win column" (with a huge emphasis on "win"). He would bring that sendoff with him to Miami, saying it after every Marlins win (with "Marlins" in place of "Orioles," obviously) while he called games on radio for the team, beginning with the Inaugural Game of 1993.

You can thank the historically bad 1988 Orioles for one of Marlins fans' favorite turns of phrase. Angel is back with the Orioles, and he's taken his call with him, but Marlins fans will always cherish the call as their own.


Off-Day Guide: April 28th

Thursday, April 28, 2011


NFL Draft 1st Round (ESPN or NFL Network, 8:00pm-God knows when, ET): See your favorite team pass on future playmakers and draft injury-prone linemen. Or they might take one of the six quarterbacks that belong in the 5th round.
Spaceballs: The Movie (VH1 Classic, 8:00-10:00pm ET): A Mel Brooks classic.
NBC Comedy Lineup (NBC, 8:00-11:00pm ET): New episodes of Community, The Office, Parks and Recreation, and 30 Rock. Bonus rerun of The Office too because The Paul Reiser show was thankfully cancelled.

Book (from Dave)

Patton Oswalt's Zombie Spaceship Wasteland is a must for fans of his nerdy and irreverent standup. The book is equal parts memoir and commentary, and reads as if he had interspersed sections of his journal with his creative writing folder. The second chapter, "Punch-Up Notes," left me in tears from laughing so hard at the fictional movie script for which he writes notes.


Today's bonus is a beer recommendation. Recently I had the Colette, by Great Divide Brewing. It's delicious. It's a Belgian Saison style brew, perfect for the summer months as it gets warmer very hot outside. Unlike traditional saisons that had very low alcohol content, this checks in at 7.3% which will help you get through the NFL Draft if you choose to follow.

Also, Dave recommends the new Tune-Yards album. You can check out a music video by them at this link.


Hard Times

The New York Mets Could Lose $70 Million This Season As Team Debt Soars To $625 Million:

About $100 million of the additional liabilities includes money they Mets still owe to former players. This includes Bobby Bonilla, who is still owed $1.2 million per year through 2035 and Bret Saberhagen, who will receive $250,000 a year through 2029.


Um, gross.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

FYI: Ted's birthday is in June HINT HINT (click on image to enlarge).
Looking for the perfect gift for your Marlins-obsessed loved one? Marlins outfielder Logan Morrison has just the one-of-a-kind piece of memorabilia for you: the hard cast he just had removed from his left foot, signed by every member of the team.
Read the whole thing here. Between this and his mastery of Twitter, I think it's safe to call LoMo an innovator.


Reminder: baseball players are not normally paragons of style

Via SB Nation, Ricky Nolasco was sporting a new haircut last night:

I know what you're thinking, this is clearly Charlie Sheen's doing:

But it was probably Chris Coghlan's idea:

It could be worse, we could be subjected to a reprise of Hanley Ramirez' jheri curl:


Early Returns

Monday, April 25, 2011

We are a good twenty games into the 2011 season, which is as good a time as any to give an early assessment of the Marlins' performance, focusing on a few key areas that had been question marks before the season. Ted and I will examine two aspects of the Marlins' results in 2011, and (in a bit of arbitrary fun) decide whether to buy or sell each component.

Chris Coghlan As A Centerfielder

The Diehards were in a very vocal group against the idea of playing Coghlan in CF before the season. The team insisted that his athleticism, instincts, and the fact he picked up left field so quickly were reasons why he'd swim rather than sink at this new position. Naysayers like us cited his injury concerns (coming off knee surgery) and that playing centerfield requires more learning and is more difficult than the corner outfield positions as reasons it was a bad idea.

So far he has looked pretty good. He hasn't made any errors or had any gaffes. The in-depth numbers (albeit a ridiculously small sample size) also suggest he has been very solid. His UZR ranks in the top third of centerfielders. The downside is his arm strength, or lack thereof.

Ted's Decision: I admit I was wrong and will buy Coghlan as an average centerfielder. He seems to get good reads on balls and has decent enough speed that he can track a lot them down. He's like the anti-Cameron Maybin. He will continue to make some diving catches a la Jim Edmonds because I still don't believe he has above-average range. His arm strength is what worries me most, but we'll have to live with that. We won a world series with Juan Pierre's rag arm in center, so it can't be that bad.

Bullpen Improvement

Sunday's blown save aside, Florida's bullpen has been surprisingly effective in April. The Marlins lead the NL in bullpen ERA (1.79, they're also fifth in FIP at 3.18) and have converted 6 of 7 save opportunities (though some of those have been of the three-run variety). 83.6% of their runners inherited have been stranded on base, only trailing Houston's 89.0%. Combined, the bullpen has 0.8 WAR, putting them in a four-team tie for eighth place.

But the bullpen has thrown only a bit more than 60 innings thus far, and only three relievers have even thrown 10 innings themselves, so it's still a bit too early to draw any conclusions. The relievers' BABIP is .217, one of the lowest in baseball, and the bullpen's 7.25 K/9 is not stellar. In other words, they could be getting lucky.

Like Emiilio Bonifacio, the entire bullpen can probably expect a reversion to the mean at some point. Hopefully their reversion is nowhere near as bad as Bonifacio's will be.

Dave's Decision: I am selling half my shares in the bullpen to lock in a decent profit, and holding onto the remaining shares for about a month, whereupon I'll probably end up selling the rest before the bottom drops out.


The question of depth is prevalent in all Marlins seasons but even more so this one. The teams minor league system is pretty depleted after having recently promoted many highly touted prospects like Mike Stanton and Logan Morrison. There simply aren't any resources for either improving the club midseason or having good cover options in case of injuries.

So far the injury bug has hit the team quite a bit. Mike Stanton missed some time with a hamstring strain. He's still not 100%. Hanley Ramirez missed a couple games. The real blow came last week when Logan Morrison went down. He will miss 2-4 weeks (if we're lucky) with a strained arch in his foot.

Ted's Decision: I do buy that it is a problem. LoMo's injury means we are seeing Emilio Bonifacio play every day and even though that has worked out thus far, it will have bad consequences in the near future.

Power Outage

We all worried the Marlins would have a difficult time replacing Dan Uggla, but he bat is not the only one missing thus far. Hanley Ramirez has started the year in a slump, slashing .194/.315/.258 with no home runs and only 4 extra-base hits (all doubles). As a team, the Marlins are scoring 4.21 runs a game, with 0.68 home runs and 4.47 doubles per game, compared to 4.43 runs, 0.94 home runs, and 1.81 doubles per game in 2010. The team as a whole is still lacking in power, for the most part.

In Hanley's case, Marlins fans only need to hope for a reversion to the mean. His contact rate is marginally lower (77.3% compared to 83.0% career), his K% is slightly below average (16.% compared to 18% career), and his line-drive % is a little low (13.8% compared to 18.0% career), but the main culprit seems to be his .231 BABIP (compared to .344 career). He'll break his home run drought, and that BABIP (largely a function of luck) will bounce back.

As for Uggla's bat, his gap had been filled surprisingly enough by Logan Morrison early on. LoMo slashed .327/.424/.636 before injuring his foot last week, with 4 home runs, 5 doubles, and 10 walks. Uggla's career slash line, for comparison, is .252/.336/.457. Marlin Maniac pointed out last week that LoMo "is no Mike Stanton by any mean," and I'm inclined to agree. He won't quite make up for Uggla, but he'll still improve on his 2010 numbers (as will Mike Stanton, who only got a half-season of experience in 2010 and is off to a slow start in 2011), so the Marlins will maybe come closer to replicating Uggla's offensive production than most people predicted before the season.

Dave's Decision: I rate the Marlins at Accumulate (but not Buy). Their performance will improve a good amount in the long term, but it won't take off completely.

Buy or Sell the Marlins Playoff Chances

Dave: I'm upping the Marlins from Sell to Neutral. I remain skeptical that everything will turn out peaches, but I think the likelihood is higher than I estimated at the beginning of the year. I'll allow myself to get a little more hopeful.

Ted: I agree with Dave. I don't want to get too excited, but it'd be too over-the-top to be a Debbie-Downer ultra-pessimist about the team now. They have been racking up wins without even looking too hot (outside of the pitching staff).


Week in Review

Sunday, April 24, 2011

via SCWS
Overview: The Marlins swept the Pirates and took two of three from the Rockies in the weekend series.

Positives: Florida's starting pitchers had no-hit bids make it past 5 innings not one but three times, twice by Josh Johnson. As a team, the Marlins only gave up 12 runs in 6 games this week, changing their run differential from -6 to +14.

Negatives: Logan Morrison was placed on the 15-day DL with a strained foot (now in a cast), making room in the lineup for (blerg) Emilio Bonifacio. Hanley Ramirez and Mike Stanton have both struggled thus far this season. Stanton's main problem has been his penchant for striking out (35% K%), while Ramirez has been hampered by an infinitesimal .231 BABIP. What does the Marlins bullpen do a day after getting some favorable pub? Blow a 2-run lead and spoil Josh Johnson's chance at a win on Sunday. Luckily for the Fish, Stanton bailed them out with a three-run home run that surely would have made Earl Weaver smile had he seen it. Get your freak-show mojo away from our left-fielder!.

Line of the Week: He had the Line of the Week last week as well, but you can't say Josh Johnson hasn't earned the honor for a second straight week. His combined line this week in two starts:

14 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 15 K, .579 WPA

Highlight of the Week: I was ready to give Scott Cousins the honor for his first career home run, a grand slam on Thursday night. But then Mike Stanton hit this bonerific three-run blast in the bottom of the eighth inning Sunday, so let's call it a tie.

Looking Ahead: The Marlins finish the homestand with a three-game set against the Dodgers starting tomorrow, then play three in Cincinnati this weekend.


And you are?

Saturday, April 23, 2011


Just signed with the Florida Marlins


By the way, we're on Facebook now

Like us! Our skewed sense of self-worth depends on it!


Lights Out

By now you've read about Anibal Sanchez' near no-hitter last night. His stat-line:

9.0 IP, 1 R (0 ER), 1 H, 3 BB, 9 K, .315 WPA

Had Dexter Fowler's 9th inning broken-bat single not made it through the infield, it would have been the 25th no-hitter in MLB history in which the losing team scored a run (out of 270 total). Here's the highlight reel. I don't have too much to add, but Joe Frisaro's recap for MLB.com has some good quotes:
"Everything was working today," said Sanchez, whose fastball had life at 94-95 mph. "In my last start, I saw my velocity was good. I know I am throwing harder than last year. I'm feeling it right now. I'm using my breaking ball for strikeouts."

"I was swinging at bad pitches and had fouled one ball back in four [plate appearances]," Fowler said. "He had some good stuff tonight. I got some good wood on it. I would say that was my best swing but he blew my bat up."

"Anibal has a very strong mental approach for the game," [Edwin] Rodriguez said. "It takes mental toughness to keep the composure, and he did. He was kind of effectively wild today."


Discusion re: Expanded Playoffs

Friday, April 22, 2011

On Thursday, Commissioner Bud Selig all but confirmed the expansion of the MLB playoffs in the near future.

"I would say we're moving to expanding the playoffs, but there's a myriad of details to work out," Selig said Thursday at his annual meeting with the Associated Press Sports Editors. "Ten is a fair number."

After the GMs and owners met this past November there seemed to be universal agreement that two more Wild Card teams should be added to the playoff mix, making it 10 out of the 30 MLB teams qualifying for the postseason. But the length of the first round -- whether it be a single play-in game or a best-of-three series -- and how to fit it into the schedule is still to be determined.

Okay Dave, point blank, are you for or against a fifth playoff team in each league?

Dave: I'm for it, for two reasons:
  1. More playoff teams leads to a less predictable and more exciting playoffs (there is the notion of diminished returns here, going from 4 to 5 teams creates more of a benefit than going from 7 to 8 teams).
  2. Having 2 Wild Card teams lets MLB give the division winners a first-round bye, creating a bonus for winning your division that doesn't really exist in the current playoff format. I think a best-of-three series in the first round between the two Wild Card teams (with the winner advancing to the four-team bracket) would work well without watering down the playoffs as a whole.
To me, this seems like a no-brainer.

Ted: I have to admit I have been against it in the past, but now that it's arriving I don't mind it too much. I do like the idea of making the odds longer for wild card teams advancing (even though that'll hurt the Marlins because we never win divisions!). Having to go through a one or three game playoff should force the winner to have used their best starting pitchers which puts them at a disadvantage for the next series. It also creates an advantage for the "1-seed they will be facing." I think it not only adds excitement to the playoffs, but more so to the regular season. Their should be more vigorous races for playoff spots now that you have a distinct advantage the higher seed you get. My question is, how logistically possible is it to have a three game series?

Dave: If you don't mind the World Series ending in early November, this is not a problem. This doesn't apply with me. MLB moved up the start of the regular season a few days, so that buys some extra time. The new Wild Card round would have to be a 3-game series.

The regular season ends on September 28. That means the playoffs can start on a Friday September 30, with the schedule sorting out thusly:
  • 9/30-10/3: Wild card round (best of 3)
  • 10/5-11: LDS (best of 5)
  • 10/13-21: LCS (best of 7)
  • 10/23-31: World Series
This has a potential World Series Game 7 scheduled for the last night of October, but that is using the tightest scheduling possible (only 1 off-day between series, one off-day for every travel day). It seems MLB would have to maneuver the schedule to end the regular season earlier, or am I missing something?

Ted: They could, but you're forgetting an important component, TV time slots! Condensing the schedule like this would mean some games would have to be on at the same time as others in the division series. I guess the added round would recoup that ad revenue lost but it'd still be something that would need studying. I prefer the three game series, because a one game playoff is pretty silly. Yes, it's exciting, but it needs to be remotely fair as well. Now here's another question, how do you handle the home field advantage for the new wild card round? All three games at the higher seeded team's park?

Dave: I think they can work around the LDS scheduling by staggering off-days and stacking games like they normally do, but regardless MLB would likely need an extra day or two in the schedule to minimize simultaneous games. More than likely, MLB may have to do something to make the regular season end sooner. They could cut the season back to 154 games (which wouldn't be terrible) or resume scheduling regular season double-headers (which would be awesome). Both methods would cut into revenue (though the double-headers would have less of an impact than cutting out 8 games).

As for home-field advantage, I think your plan is wisest. A three-game series is too short to use multiple sites, and it does give the higher-seeded team a reward for winning more regular season games.

I think we've got the rough outlines done, now the question becomes, how will MLB screw this up? You know they will bungle at least one part of this process. My guess: they make this extra Wild Card round a one-game playoff. It's the easiest solution, since it doesn't overextend the postseason. But it also deprives us of 2 to 4 extra playoff games, so of course I am opposed.

Ted: I don't see anyway they would change the amount of regular season games, too much money to be lost and the added playoff wouldn't cover that. Doubleheaders are cool, but also a logistical nightmare. Scheduling some seems out of the question. They would have to move up the start of the season to the last few days of March. I'm not against that, but it does pose some problem for cold weather cities. Not like we haven't dealt with that before though.

I do think you are dead-on about MLB bungling this and making it a do or die one game playoff. It'd wouldn't be the end of the world (it'd be pretty exciting for fans) but it would be a bit unfair. By the way, I wonder what Bob Costas thinks about all of this?


Not to beat a dead horse...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

But Emilio Bonifacio's BABIP heading into tonight's game: .462(!). If only his K% weren't 20%...

As if it needed repeating, this dude cannot outperform his history for long. DFATMFA*

Hopefully the Marlins don't get carried away and sit Scott Cousins this weekend. Either way, Logan Morrison's injury deprives Florida of their best hitter so far this season (.327/.424/.636). The Marlins will suffer regardless of who takes his place in left field.

*DFA the motherfucker already


Miami: Lisfranc Capital Of The World

November 15th, 2009: Ronnie Brown of The Miami Dolphins, stepped on, surgery, missed remainder of the season.

November 20th, 2010: Udonis Haslem of the Miami Heat, stepped on, Lisfranc fracture, surgery, missing in action since.

April 20th, 2011: Logan Morrison, stepped on, Lisfranc sprain, projected out two to four weeks.

Diehards reaction?

Important to note LoMo's injury is a sprain and not a fracture. Otherwise we'd be looking at timetables similar to Brown and Haslem. Tip of the cap to LoMo for painting pinstripes on it. Only thing better would have been to do full stirrups.

I threw this out on Twitter but will mention again, LoMo, you are cordially invited to take in a Marlins game in the fish tank seats with myself, SCWS, and anyone who wishes to join. Ball is in your court.


The Hits Keep Coming

Via @si_vault:

How bad is the Mets season so far? Fans are wearing bags on their heads after 18 games.


It could be worse, Mets fans. Your team could be taken over by MLB. We all know how well it went the last time MLB took control of a team...


Bonifacio: Don't Get Carried Away

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Heading into tonight's game against Pittsburgh Emilio Bonifacio was sporting an impressive (for him) slash line of .345/.387/.414. And what did he do tonight? go 2-4 and drive in a run. Not only that, he scored from second base on an infield single by Chris Coghlan (watch the play here - and notice that Bonifacio was sent home by third-base coach Joe Espada. The Marlins really do believe in the whole "his speed helps us wins games" crap). I've only seen that done in a beer-league kickball game. The Marlins have gotten just about as much as they could out of everyone's least favorite super-utility man. He's even made 2 outfield assists.

All of this is to say: the Marlins need to trade Bonifacio now when his value is highest. Let's be serious for a moment. In 956 career PAs, his slash line is 254/.309/.320. He was projected as a .316-.320 OBP guy before the season (with a 20+% K rate) and is solely the beneficiary of a small sample size at this point (37 PAs as of tonight). @Rizzmiggizz told us recently he saw the phrase "Bona fide or Bonifacio" in an ESPN.com fantasy baseball article. He is the literal embodiment of the harshness of a reversion to the mean. We know how the story of Emilio Bonifacio ends in 2011: heartbreak.

It is too late to sell him high (Washington did that when they shipped him to Florida for Scott Olsen and Josh Willingham - and that was all they could get). But, they can sell him for dimes instead of pennies. This is what Marlins fans are resigned to, hoping the team can fool some other dumb team before Bonifacio's other shoe drops. That and hoping no one gets a black eye when it does drop.

See also: When I said the same thing more facetiously last year.

Finally, nice to see the good Ricky Nolasco showed up this evening.


What You Missed Last Night

Last night the Marlins opened up their home stand in front of tens of thousands of fans. There was no local television coverage. I don't know what the Pirates local TV ratings are but it's likely this will end up as the least watched game in MLB in 2011. So what did we miss? Pretty much the usual.

  • Josh Johnson pitched his second gem in a row. He went seven innings and didn't allow a run. This time though he allowed two hits and the first one came in the fourth inning, so he's really regressing. But not enough to stop another SCWS creepy photoshop.
  • Omar Infante went 0-4, dropping his batting average to .206. Somehow he remains handcuffed to the two-spot in the order.
  • Emilio Bonifacio started. \reads box score \sees he had three hits I'm sorry but I'm going to need to see some visual evidence before believing that.
  • Logan Morrison left the game with a strained arch in his left foot. Reports say he'll be fine but he might miss a game or two.
  • Marlins win 6-0. Carry on.


Submitted Without Comment

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Off Day Guide: April 18

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Marlins are off, clearing your viewing schedule for tonight's Heat playoff tilt.


  • NBA Playoffs, Sixers at Heat, Game 2 (7pm, TNT): You don't really think Dwyane Wade will miss a playoff game because of a migraine, do you?
  • Dancing With the Stars (8pm, ABC): There's a good chance your mom loves this show. 
  • Chuck (8pm, NBC): This show is supposed to have a cult following, but I've never met anyone who watches it, and I have a lot of nerdy friends. I call bullshit on the secret society of Chuck watchers. Chuck is the Michael Bolton of NBC shows.
  • It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (9pm, Comedy Central): The 9:00 episode (Dennis Reynolds: An Erotic Life), features surprisingly hilarious cameos from Sinbad and Rob Thomas. Ted and I watched a lot of Sinbad standup specials on Comedy Central in the mid-1990s. We both kinda miss him.
Book Recommendation

I'm about halfway through Michael Chabon's The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, and it has been a pretty good read so far. Chabon turns many a pretty phrase, and his depiction of that post-college pause, when grads are just shuffling through life before beginning their next phase, hits home with me at least. There is a 2007 film adaptation available on DVD, but you should probably avoid it, as it stars Nick Nolte.


The indie-pop band Cults have been darlings of the blog world for awhile, and their debut album finally drops on June 7. I'm quite looking forward to it. Last week they debuted a video for the opening track of the album, Abducted (below). For now you can sample their work at Hype Machine, and also check out their 2010 Daytrotter session.

Also, here's their video for Go Outside:


Week in Review

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Someone's competing for @BoobiesNStanton's affection...
Overview: The Marlins took two of three in Atlanta the split a rainout-shortened weekend series in Philadelphia.

Positives: Josh Johnson is on a roll to start the season, his early stats are phenomenal. More surprising has been the bullpen, which leads the majors in ERA (1.89) and have a 2.0 K/BB (36/18). Logan Morrison has been on a tear to start the year, with a slash line of .320/.424/.660 in 59 PAs.

Negatives: Ted pointed out that the Marlins have resembled the Dolphins on Sunday: always losing. They are trying a bit too hard to make us forget about the lockout. Emilio Bonifacio somehow has 28 PAs in 14 games. Javier Vazquez is not looking hot so far (14 runs, 11 earned in 13.1 innings, 11 BB, 6 K). Omar Infante has been perfectly fine so far, but his Sunday was pretty disappointing, posting a -.351 WPA (win probability added) in the loss.

Line of the Week: Josh Johnson's line from Wednesday:
7.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 9 K

Highlight of the Week: Greg Dobbs wins the week for his bases-loaded 2 RBI single on Friday night that gave the Fish the lead for good.

Looking Ahead: The Marlins have Monday off, then start a nine-game homestand with series against the Pirates and Rockies.


From Barry Jackson's Sunday notes column for the Herald:

Mets third baseman David Wright echoes sentiments of Marlins opponents: "They've done a phenomenal job putting that bullpen together. They have some power arms and give you so many different looks." The Mets' Scott Hairston said, "Ryan Webb has closer stuff."
The early success of the bullpen has me confused. I want to enjoy it, but I'm so accustomed to the other shoe dropping that I can't let my guard down. Is 45 2/3 innings a big enough sample size? Probably not, alas.


Bat LoMo Second. Now.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

From Joe Capozzi's latest notes column:
With the top of the batting order struggling, manager Edwin Rodriguez isn't ruling out moving Morrison higher in the lineup one day. But it's too early to make any changes now.
Edwin Rodriguez told Capozzi, "I would like to keep him in the run-producing position because he's such a good hitter and he hits righties (.333) or lefties (.313) very well."

Let me be completely clear here. Morrison should be hitting leadoff or second. He leads the team on OBP so far this year (.440), but that is over too small a sample size (50 plate appearances, though in another week or so...) to draw any conclusions. However, over 337 career PAs his OBP is .398, and he is projected to get on base at a .381 clip by Fangraphs.

Current number-2 hitter Omar Infante has a career .318 OBP (in 2866 career PAs). Over the course of a season, he is not the Marlins' optimal number 2 hitter. Fangraphs projects a .336 OBP for Infante in 2011.

Rodriguez wants Morrison in a run-producing position, but batting him behind sluggers Hanley Ramirez and Mike Stanton seems a tad like putting the cart in front of the horse. I want as many baserunners as possible during Ramirez and Stanton PAs, and that means putting LoMo at the top of the order along with Chris Coghlan (the other non-Ramirez non-Stanton Marlin high-OBP guy on the team).

When examining optimal lineups before the season started, Michael of Marlin Maniac suggested LoMo should hit second against RHPs, but fifth (behind Stanton) against LHPs (though he did leave the option to bat him third against lefties). I'll defer to his numbers, since he has more statistical acumen than I do, but suffice it to say, the Marlin with the best OBP should be getting the most PAs he can, and batting Morrison fifth or sixth leaves runs on the table over the course of a season.

Michael said it best about Infante hitting second: "He simply is not good enough to hit at the top of the order, where he would only be taking plate appearances away from more talented hitters like Morrison." (emphasis added).

Hopefully Rodriguez wises up and shuffles the order soon. But considering his adherence to the sunk-cost fallacy vis-a-vis Emilio Bonifacio, I'm not exactly optimistic.


The clunkiest description of a milestone I've ever read

Johnson - who struck out nine and walked three - is the first pitcher with multiple April no-hit bids of at least six innings since Derek Lowe did it in 2002.
-Joe Capozzi, PBP

I liked this one better, from the Sun-Sentinel's Juan C. Rodriguez:
Johnson, who's now starting to implement a curveball into an already devastating fastball-slider-change repertoire, threw first-pitch strikes to just 12 of 26 batters and fell behind 2-0 five times. All but five of the 22 outs he recorded were via strikeouts or groundouts.
As good as Johnson's line was last night (see below), he was the first to admit he didn't have his best stuff, saying, "I actually felt better my last two starts than I did tonight. I couldn't really find a rhythm. I was kind of here and there. I felt like I was effectively wild at times. All of a sudden in the sixth inning I figured things out and things started clicking."

Pity the rest of the National League if he successfully implements his curveball into his already-devastating repertoire.

Johnson's line: 7.1 IP, 1 H, 3 BB, 0 ER, 9 K, 109 pitches

See also: SWWS' pictographic summation.


Children of the Marlins Diaspora 15

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Dan Uggla, 2B

Played for Marlins: 2006-2010
Other teams: Atlanta (2011-present)
Marlins fans know him because: Uggla is in many ways the ultimate Marlin, since he was poached from the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 2006 Rule 5 Draft. Arizona did not see the need to protect him, and he went on to become one of the best hitters in Marlins history. The only two-time winner of the Marlins Diehards Next Member of the Marlins Diaspora award, Uggla holds the team records for both home runs and strikeouts. He was a two-time All Star and fan favorite for his power and counterbalance in the clubhouse, often at odds with Hanley Ramirez whenever Hanley was accused of lacking hustle. Every home run he ever hit for the Marlins was punctuated with a call of "and his name is Dan Uggla," from Rich Waltz and Tommy Hutton, which got old after a year or so. He had the gall to turn down a 4-year, $48 million contract extension from the club this winter, which resulted in his trade to Atlanta. Not to beat a dead horse, but I still don't regret the Marlins trading him. He will almost certainly not be worth $12 million a year when he is 34.
Everyone else knows him because: Uggla is the only 2B in MLB history to hit 30 home runs in four straight seasons and 25 home runs in five straight, but he will forever be known as the guy who committed 3 errors (including 2 on consecutive playable balls) in the 2008 All-Star Game.
Best Marlins moment: For me, it has to be the All-Star Game performance. It sums up the Marlins existence so nicely. No matter how many things they do right, they really only get attention for their missteps.


Off-Day Guide: April 11

Monday, April 11, 2011

It's Monday and the team has another off-day. They are in Atlanta and busy meeting up with old friends. As for what fans should do, here are tonight's suggestions.


  • Tampa Bay Rays at Boston Red Sox (7pm ET, ESPN): This matchup looked much better in January.
  • Miami Heat at Atlanta Hawks (7pm ET, SunSports): Probably the best entertainment value, and an important game for the Heat as they try to hold on to the #2-seed.
  • Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations (7pm ET, Travel Channel): My good buddy Alex is always talking about this show. Now would be a good time to catch up since it's a marathon on tonight.
Book Recomendation (By Dave)

I read Michael Lewis' The Blind Side last week. There is no better nonfiction writer in America than Lewis, his skill at weaving together so many disparate threads into a compelling narrative is unparalleled, and his reporting chops are equally strong. Needless to say, I won't be seeing the movie.


This week's bonus recommendation is to travel. Of course it's a bit late to do it tonight, but perhaps plan some travel or a mini-vacation for a later date. Dave just went to Seattle to do some prep for his move in the fall and to see some family and I was jealous. Traveling is simply awesome, save for any logistical troubles like plane delays. Bonus points if you can afford to travel abroad!


Week In Review

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Overview: The Marlins took two of three from both the Nationals and the Astros. They are now 5-4 on the season.
Positives: Winning series are always nice. Gaby Sanchez has continued his nice start and LoMo has also done well at the plate. Finally, the bullpen has been unusually reliable thus far.
Negatives: The Fish had a chance to sweep both series and were unable to do so. The series finale against the Nats with JJ on the mound was especially frustrating. And the fact of the matter is that the team opened up with nine games against three of the NL's worst teams and could only muster five wins.
Line of the Week: Tough one to choose, but we will give it Greg Dobbs for week as a whole. He's been solid thus far as a lefty pinch hitter and performed admirably in ghis spot start Saturday night

5-9, 1 HR, 3 RBI

Highlight of the Week: A number of good plays in the outfield to choose from this week. We will go with Chris Coghlan's nifty grab in centerfield Thursday night.
Looking Ahead: The club is off tomorrow, then will continue the road trip with three in both Atlanta and Philadelphia.


Can A Certain Someone Accidently Miss The Team Bus?

Friday, April 8, 2011

This man went 2-13 with four strikeouts (and of course no walks) in three starts in the Nationals series.

This man hit .297 last September and has been strapped down to the bench except for one start. It was against a knuckleballer. That's not nice. Free Scott Cousins.

That is of course unless the man below has regenerated his hamstring and is ready to go.


Off-Day Guide: April 4

Monday, April 4, 2011

It's the first day off day of the season and holy crap do we need it! I couldn't even bear to watch Sunday's game past the third inning. That was terrible. You know the drill. We'll give you TV and book recommendations, but this year we'll throw in a culture recommendation as well, either an event going on in South Florida or some music to check out while the Marlins are off. We want you guys to be well-read, culturally literate, and totally informed. We're trying to cultivate the most interesting readership on the web, and we will do our part, goddamn it.

  • Twins at Yankees (7 pm, ESPN): It's baseball, which makes it better than most anything else on at 7 on a Monday.
  • Dancing With the Stars (8pm, ABC): I'm not sure who's on this year. Actually, skip it, this show is garbage. We want better for you.
  • Ken Burns' The Civil War, Parts 2 and 3 (8pm, PBS): Ignore everything Shelby Foote says, since his books have no footnotes. That's all you need to know about Shelby Foote.
  • Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (8pm, CNBC): I've been meaning to watch this.
  • It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (9pm, Comedy Central): One of the best shows at the moment. "The Gang Gets Stranded in the Woods" is showing at 10 (with cameos from Chase Utley and Ryan Howard), and it is one of the best episodes of the series.
  • NCAA Championship Game (9pm, CBS): You're bracket is fucked already, so why bother?
Today's book recommendation is The Age of the Infovore, by Tyler Cowen. Ted got me this for my birthday, and I think it's one of the best gifts he's ever given me. Broadly speaking, it is an exploration of culture and how people think in the information age, but that only scratches the surface. Speaking of Ted here he is with the bonus recommendation.

Tonight's bonus suggestion is to go to Mexican Monday at one of Flanigan's many South Florida locations. If you follow me on Twitter, you know the deal already. With your first pitcher of beer or soda you get a free plate of nachos, and it's a generous portion. When I go with my buddy Alex, it's pretty much all we get. Also, except for the Coconut Grove location, they still have all night happy hour. All single servings of alcoholic drinks are half off after 9pm. If you don't live in South Florida, then perhaps throw on a sombrero and make yourself a nice nacho plate.


John Buck's Catcher Helmet

In addition to the usual Opening Day bells and whistles, we got our first glimpse of new Marlins catcher John Buck's catcher's mask this weekend. I love it, it's elegantly designed and not too complex (so you can see it pretty clearly on television). It's positively Guy Harvey-esque.

As more catchers opt for the hockey-style mask over the traditional mask, we'll begin seeing more elaborate designs like the one on Buck's mask. Buck's design strikes the right balance; it's got enough going on to catch your eye, but not so much that it becomes an amorphous blob on TV. His mask was the only thing not painful to watch during Sunday's game.


Week In Review

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Overview: The Marlins opened up the season by dropping two of three to the Mets.
Positives: Offseason acquisition John Buck immediately endeared himself to the home fans with a grand slam on opening night to highlight a solid first weekend. Gaby Sanchez is also off to a nice start at the plate and hit cleanup Saturday and Sunday. Josh Johnson and Ricky Nolasco both pitched well in their debuts.
Negatives: The team very much resembled last year's edition. Sloppy fielding, unreliable bullpen and mostly non-clutch hitting were rampant this weekend. That lead to one close game going the wrong way and the team's first non-competitive game on Sunday. And that's not to mention that both Mike Stanton and Donnie Murphy got dinged up and missed a game or two. I will weep under my bed until Stanton returns. Hopefully they'll be back on Tuesday.
Line of the Week: The first start in the Javier Vasquez era made Dave and other Marlins fans long for the Nate Robertson era. Javy got off to a rough start.

L, 2 1/3 IP, 6 H, 7 R, 4, ER, 5 BB, 1 K, 2 HR

Highlight of the Week: John Buck got the first runs of the season on the board with a big grand slam, becoming the fourth Marlin to slam on an opening day. Great opposite field shot.
Looking Ahead: The Fish will take a day off and lick their wounds. Then the Nats come in to town for three before the team leaves to Houston for the weekend.


New Stadiums Can't Fix Everything

Saturday, April 2, 2011

You can have the nicest stadium in America, but you are not immune from poor attendance. Especially if the product on the field disappoints and the surrounding population is still in shock from deindustrialization and the aftermath of the housing bubble.

SB Nation says it best, simply: The Cleveland Indians Once Sold Out 455 Consecutive Games


Dominguez Fractures Elbow

Friday, April 1, 2011

This will put a damper on Opening Day, but the top prospect in the Marlins' farm system, Matt Dominguez, was hit by a pitch on his left elbow, fracturing the elbow. He will miss 6-8 weeks.

Hopefully this isn't too much of a setback for Dominguez...


Ted's Preview

I was going to do my official team preview in one tweet under 140 characters. Let's face it, there's been enough content here and throughout the interwebs that we know what this year's team is about. Plus, as you saw in the Macropreview, everyone has basically the same projection for the team. Instead, I'll make it a few sentences and finish around 140 words. For a longer look on the team outlook this year, check out Dave's preview for NBC Miami. My abridged view starts now.

Different names, same results. Basically that's how most feel and I'm not too different. I like the change in mentality; getting on base, station-to-station baseball, improved bullpen. Except I'm not convinced on that last part. Time will tell, but the only way to convince me the bullpen is improved is to see it. I do agree with the notion this team could make the playoffs however. The key is that this team has zero depth and can't absorb any injuries to big players. They also need almost everyone to perform at or above their ceiling, considering there really aren't any avenues for personnel improvements during the year. If not, then we'll have to grin and bear it as the Marlins Mediocrity March continues. Enjoy the season everybody.


Here we go

Opening day is finally here. Let's get this day started right, with some Mets griping from Chris Rock...

"My team has no money, Dave. ...Second base is a manhole cover Dave, for the whole year!" <3 u Chris.

Via BLS.


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