Mark Your Calendars

Thursday, June 30, 2011

via the AP

The Marlins will open their new $515 million ballpark against the St. Louis Cardinals on April 4, a person familiar with next season's draft schedule told The Associated Press.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity Thursday because Major League Baseball does not plan to announce the schedule, which is still preliminary, until September.
April 4th is a Wednesday, FYI. You can expect at least one half of the diehards to be in attendance.


Fortunes Changing?

Probably not.

But the team did have a double dose of positives yesterday. First, word circulated that Josh Johnson's visit to Dr. James Andrews showed no structural damage to his injured shoulder.He is back on a no-throwing program for another 10 days but speculation is that he could return in August.

Plus, the Marlins got something called a "win" last night. Pitcher Ricky Nolasco used the superb strategy as to not allow the other team to score any runs (Although my money would be on the Marlins to be the eventual team to lose a game 0 - -1). Last night's triumph pushed the team's record this month to a robust 4-23.


Just Shoot Me Now Please

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Johnson may have hit another bump in the road to recovery from his right shoulder injury, experiencing stiffness in his recovering throwing shoulder. He will have his shoulder examined by renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews on Wednesday.

Marlins President of Baseball Operations Larry Beinfest told the Miami Herald this week, "He threw a [bullpen session] on Friday and reported a little bit more stiffness and just didn't feel right," leading to the decision to take another look at the shoulder.
The worst seven words in baseball are "to be examined by Dr. James Andrews."

UPDATE: Step away from the ledge everyone.
An MRI and examination found no structural damage in Johnson's right shoulder. He will not resume his throwing program for at least 10 days.

Johnson also received a cortisone shot. More important, he was told that "there's nothing that should prevent him from throwing again this year," according to a person close to JJ.


Off-Day Guide: June 27th

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Marlins are 3,000 miles away in the Bay Area. Honestly, I'd wish they were even further away. Alas, here are some things to do while they enjoy a day off.


7pm, ESPN2, MLB: Cincinnati Reds at Tampa Bay Rays
8pm, ESPN, College World Series Finals Game 1: Florida Gators vs South Carolina Gamecocks
8:00pm, FX, Superbad: Solid comedy movie

Dave's Book Recommendation

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

It's got everything: science, race, incest, capitalism, and dialects.


More #MarlinsMovies

Everyone's favorite hashtag game is reborn:


Abbreviated Week In Review

It says something about the Marlins, that on a Monday morning, when I reach for my phone and pull up the Sunday MLB scores and then a recap of the Fish game, and learn the team lost their 13th consecutive one-run game, in extras, on a wild pitch, while attempting to issue an intentional walk, and

No reaction.

Seriously, it's gotten to that point where even losing in a completely new and awful way never before imagined elicits no special response from myself other than, "huh, well that's unfortunate." On a side note, I guess last night's game is the karmic turnaround for the famous Miguel Cabrera game winning hit on an intentional-walk pitch game.

The Marlins actually did win twice this week, so that's an improvement over the previous few. Today they're off then take on Oakland and Texas on the road for three games a piece.


Our NL All-Star Selections

Sunday, June 26, 2011

As a member of the Baseball Bloggers Association, we've been asked to make an all-star ballot to submit. Other blogs/chapters will be doing the same and soon the BBA will reveal their selections for the 2011 All-Star Game. Below is our National League ballot.

Catcher: Brian McCann, Atlanta.
McCann has been an ironman behind the plate, racking up the most games played and plate appearances. And his production is leads the league too. He's hitting .300 with 13 home runs and sports a lofty 2.8 WAR

First Base: Prince Fielder, Milwaukee. The big vegetarian is at it again. Production in all aspects of hitting. He's tied for the NL lead in home runs with 21, hitting .306 with a .428 OBP

Second Base: Rickie Weeks, Milwaukee. We'll make it an all-Brewers right side of the infield. Rickie has 13 home runs and is slugging .505

Shortstop: Jose Reyes, New York. Pains us to do it, but Jose is having an incredible year and tied for the league lead with a 4.3 WAR. He's second in the league with 27 stolen bases.

Third Base: Chase Headley, San Diego. This was probably the toughest to call. Many good candidates but no true superstar. Chase gets the nod for having the second best batting average among third basemen (behind Greg Dobbs!) and leads in weighted runs created.

Outfield: Matt Kemp, Los Angeles. The lone bright spot for the Dodgers this year, Matt is also tied for the league in home runs and has hit .329 and stolen 21 bases.

Outfield: Matt Holiday, St. Louis. Holliday has missed some time this year but still has more than 50 games under his belt and his hitting .335 with 9 home runs. Amongst outfielders he is second in weighted runs created, trailing only Matt Kemp.

Outfield: Ryan Bruan, Milwaukee. Another Brewers power hitter for the lineup. Braun is doing it all again this year hitting over .300 with 15 home runs and 16 stolen bases.

Starting Pitcher, Roy Halladay, Philadelphia. Is there any other pitcher you'd want? Doc is a horse on the mound once again leading the league in innings pitched. He sports a 2.51 ERA and also leads the league in strikeouts.



Saturday, June 25, 2011

Cracks Discovered In New Marlins Stadium Garages

"Hundreds" of cracks have been discovered in beams supporting the exterior walls of four parking garages being built adjacent to the new Marlins stadium, according to the Miami Herald.

Discovered in March during an inspection, the cracks occured because the architectural firm Leo A. Daly "miscalculated some of the load," City of Miami project manager Robert Fenton told the paper.

The City of Miami, who is paying $75 million to build the garages, is contractually required to have the garages ready a month before the Fish begin play next April.

But the cracks must be repaired, a possible $1 million task that falls to the Omaha-based Daly firm. A vice president at the company confirmed to the Herald that the firm accepts responsibility, but noted that a subcontractor had worked on the design of the beams in question.

Fenton estimates that repairs -- which involve boring into the beams to insert more rebar -- will push the five- and six-story structures' completion to December.


An unfounded rumor

Thursday, June 23, 2011

According to my sources, Jim Riggleman resigned as Nationals manager so he could start a chillwave band with Edwin Rodriguez. Their EP, Playing Smart, will be released under the name Scapegoats. It is due out later this year on Hardly Art.


Off-Day Guide: June 23

The Marlins are traveling to Seattle for a home series against the Mariners starting tomorrow (we're serious, the Marlins were pre-empted by a U2 concert at Sun Life Stadium). Plenty to do tonight, even without a game.


NBA Draft (ESPN, 7:00): I'm not a draft-hater, but I just can't watch. I get bored quickly.
A League of Their Own (AMC, 8:00): Ladies playing baseball! Tom Hanks! Obligatory swing dancing scene!
NBC Comedy reruns (NBC, 8:00): Parks and Rec is showing the spectacular "Ron & Tammy: Part Two," while Community is airing the wonderful bottle episode "Cooperative Calligraphy."
Mahler Symphony 1 (PBS, 10:00): Michael Tilson Thomas conducts the San Francisco Symphony. If you're not hip to Mahler, I have no use for you.
Futurama (Comedy Central, 10:00): I have not caught up with the show since Comedy Central started airing new episodes. Perhaps I'll start tonight.
Louie (10:30, fx): Season premier of one of my favorite shows on television. Louis CK is a comedic genius, and the first season of Louie did not disappoint. Preceded by Wilfred, a new show I'll be checking out.


I'm reading Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything, which is a great read if you like to marvel at science-y stuff. Bryson as always keeps his narrative fresh and interesting.


Ted and I are both loving the new Bon Iver album, save for the last track, which channels Bruce Hornsby c. 1987. Here's Bon Iver playing Holocene, on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon the other day (it's my favorite track from the album):



Minor Technicalities

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

From the Sun-Sentinel:
According to a team source present at the time, Logan Morrison ripped Ramirez for arriving so much later than everyone else. He also told him that's why he was batting .200. Approached about the incident, Morrison said it was a clubhouse matter and would not discuss it.
Two things:
  1. It's on slightly surprising LoMo did not mention this on Twitter today.
  2. Actually, Ramirez is hitting .200 because his BABIP is over 100 points below career average and line drive % is at a career low. Unless his tardiness has had an affect on his luck, I'm gonna go ahead and call that a correlation.
On a related note, praise Buddha at least the Marlins are interesting this week.


Managing LoMo and HanRam

Baller. via SCWS
Day 1, and Trader Jack is already disrupting the daily routine:
Jack McKeon wasted no time sending a message to his team on the first day as interim manager. He benched starting shortstop Hanley Ramirez for the team's game against the Angels Monday night.

The reason? Ramirez showed up to the clubhouse late on Monday afternoon, missing a 3:30 pm team meeting called by McKeon, according to the Palm Beach Post.
This might not be a big deal in the long run, but it bears noting that unlike with the past two managers (Fredi and Edwin), McKeon is firmly entrenched in the Jeff Loria Golden Circle. Hanley can't reasonably expect Loria to take his side in a dispute with the manager this time. Surely, there is more to come.

McKeon said he didn't know where he would put Ramirez in the lineup once he is back in it. But McKeon said he likes having Logan Morrison hit second and Gaby Sanchez third.

"He's the type of guy that gets a base on balls," McKeon said of Morrison. "I like having two pretty good hitters up there in the first inning."

Finally, turns out Chris Coghlan has been sucking because he's injured:
Former leadoff hitter and center fielder Chris Coghlan, who was supposed to be on his way to Triple A New Orleans, is now on the disabled list with left knee inflammation after his option was voided because of the injury.
This is the same knee he injured last year in that walkoff celebration. Someday, pro athletes will realize hiding injuries is a dumb move which only hurts their team. Until then, I will continue to think most pro athletes are dim.


That Didn't Take Long

Monday, June 20, 2011

Juan C. Rodriguez:

McKeon says he didn't start Hanley because he didn't like the way he was running Sunday.
I'm sure Hanley Ramirez will react to his benching in a calm and measured way, and this will be but a footnote in the coda to McKeon's coaching career. Nothing to see here, move along now...


Trader Jack is Back

It is officially official:
McKeon made no promises in this afternoon's press conference, but acknowledged that the Marlins have enough talent to compete for a playoff spot. "There is enough talent in that room to maybe play in October," he said.

He did warn, "I'm not a miracle worker," though. With the Marlins sitting 12.5 games behind the first-place Philadelphia Phillies (and 7.5 games back in the NL Wild Card Standings), the team would have to finish the season 58-22 to win 90 games and reasonably expect to be in the playoff hunt.
The odds are slim, but at the very least, McKeon keeps things interesting for the rest of us. Plus, maybe LoMo teaches the old man how to use Twitter.


The Time Trader Jack Swindled a 12-year-old Hammer

Via Baseball Nation comes a tale of Jack McKeon's interactions with a young Hammer, who A's owner Charlie Finley took under his wing in the 1970s. It's great because it elucidates the bizarre nature of Finley's ownership ("little Hammer was the owner's West Coast eyes and ears, picking up the telephone to update Finley with game action and the goings-on in the Oakland clubhouse.") and McKeon's willingness to fuck with Hammer for the hell of it:
"We used to sit up in Charlie's office and guess the attendance. I'd bet him a few bucks,'' McKeon says. "But I happened to know how to get in touch with the attendance guys. I'd call down and say 'what's it look like tonight?'

"The closest one wins, so I used to take Hammer to the cleaners.''
That's some bad foreshadowing for Hammer, btw.


Week in Review: Remain Calm! All is Well!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

0 wins, 7 losses, 1 manager resignation. This has been your week in review.

On to more pressing matters.

Should Jack McKeon manage the Marlins for the remainder of 2011? He's Loria's first choice. I won't mind having him around at all, least of which for his balls-crazy stories about carrying a pistol in his pocket while coaching third base in the minors and whatnot. But I don't expect him to turn things around, and neither should you.


Edwin's statement

via Tim Reynolds:

This morning I offered my resignation to Larry Beinfest and the Marlins, and they accepted. I am grateful for the opportunity the Marlins gave me to manage at this level. It was a very hard decision for me to make, with the positive way the organization is moving; a new ballpark next season and the young core of players that this team has. I can’t say enough about the effort that this staff and these players have put into this season. I could tell that they continued to give 100% effort each and every day on the field. I wish this organization, staff and players nothing but success in their futures.
This only strengthens my assumption that Edwin asked (or was asked) to resign as an alternative to being fired. He offers no reason, not even the "spend more time with my family" facade.


Congrats Edwin!

Well that Hanley Ramirez endorsement turned out swimmingly for Edwin Rodriguez. E-Rod is out, and according to the beat writers on Twitter, the decision was Edwin's. Which could be true (because who wants to stick around for his team's tribute to the 1899 Cleveland Spiders?), but it doesn't pass the smell test.

Having seen the shitstorm that erupted when the team fired hitting coach John Mallee, do you really think Loria would summarily fire Edwin Rodriguez without at least asking him to fall on the sword himself? Regardless of what you think about Loria, the organization has been good to Rodriguez, giving him a chance to manage a big league club after promoting him 3 times in the farm system (from hitting coach at AA Carolina to manager in the Gulf Coast League, A Greensboro, and AAA New Orleans).

I know very little about Rodriguez personally, but if he felt any sense of loyalty to the organization (whether they deserve it or not), it doesn't seem out of the question that he would resign in exchange for a severance package. The move inoculates Loria from criticism (he'll get trashed, but no more so than he is already), and he'll protect his players from feelings of guilt for his exit.

The more I think about it, I am inclined to believe Rodriguez resigned so his players, many of which he coached in the minors and doubtless feel a great affinity toward him, would not feel like he was axed for their own struggles. When Logan Morrison criticized ownership for firing hitting coach John Mallee, he said Mallee's dismissal was "definitely [the players'] fault and it starts with me." Methinks Rodriguez wanted to circumvent the self-assignment of blame that would surely come with his firing. As with so many disputes involving Jeffrey Loria, it is the other party that comes out looking noble, while Loria just cements his legacy as George Steinbrenner with Less Money.™

While we're on the subject of managers, now is as good a time as any to repost our Don't Hire a Manager piece from last year. I still stand by it, unless Loria wants to hire me.


So Long Edwin

Losing can be really tough on a person, especially managers. And after losing 18 out of the last 19 games (through no fault of his own), Edwin Rodriguez has resigned as manager of the Marlins. Can't blame him. He was a long shot to manage any longer than this year and with the team mired in the worst month in franchise history, he'd had enough. Brandon Hyde takes over as interim manager. More later.


Weekend Roundup

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Some Marlins pieces I wrote for NBC Miami this week:

Marlins Reliever Spooked at 'Haunted' Hotel:

"Currently crapping my pants... Can't sleep... My room is def haunted," he tweeted late last night.
'He' being Steve Cishek. This isn't the first time a Marlin has freaked out over a ghost. As if a ghost would waste time with Steve Cishek while he could be haunting Emilio Bonifacio (little-known fact: ghosts hate Bonifacio, too).

Hanley Says E-Rod Shouldn't Be Fired:
Hanley Ramirez loves Edwin Rodriguez, and he doesn't care if the whole world knows it.

Having seen his teammate Logan Morrison reprimanded for endorsing hitting coach John Mallee after he was fired, Ramirez did the only logical thing: sing the manager's praises before owner Jeffrey Loria gets the chance to fire him for the team's poor performance in June.

Ramirez told this week he is behind Rodriguez all the way. "I'm on his side," Ramirez said. "I've got his back, till the death, man."
It's adorable that Ramirez thinks Jeff Loria listens to anyone but the voices in his head (also his wife - how else do you explain The Cookbook?).

Marlins Tell LoMo to Go Easy on Loria:
LoMo said Loria also spoke to him about his comments, but "He's not really mad."
Riiiiight. On a related note, Yahoo's Jeff Passan basically called Loria an amalgam of Josef Stalin and Inspector Clouseau this week, and that sounds about right to me (even if he used Henry VIII as the analog, which is puzzling, since divorcing your wife and firing a coach are not nearly on the same plane).

And from friend-of-the-Diehards Janie, Chris Coghlan Demoted to Triple-A:
"He took it hard. He knows he belongs here. Just having a bad start," general manager Edwin Rodriguez said. "What we've seen from Chris Coghlan, he's going to be the first one to tell you that's not him swinging the bat."
Yes, that's not Chris Coghlan, it's Ben Grieve 2.0. Someone get him back on Twitter, the distraction clearly correlated to his not sucking.

Then there's the whole Johnson to the 60-day DL story. It figures that of the two team cornerstones to get injured in May, the one playing like ass came off the DL on day 16, while the other languishes in LoMo's zoo (or wherever the hell he lives). Sigh...


This Day in History

Friday, June 17, 2011

Today is Ted's birthday.

My favorite memory of his birthday: In 1994, when the Marlins played the Mets at home on June 17. Our parents split season tickets with two other families from 1993 to 1995. Needless to say whenever the Marlins had a home game on Ted's birthday (or Dad's or Mom's), we selected that game in the annual ticket draft (it was always the first pick made after opening day was off the board). So on that Friday night, we trucked up to Joe Robbie (which was actually called Joe Robbie at the time), and took in a game.

I don't remember the game at all, but I do remember watching OJ Simpson evade LA police in his Ford Bronco on the stadium's jumbotron. It was by far Ted's strangest birthday.

Plus, the Marlins won that night. Greg Colbrunn and Kurt Abbot hit home runs that night. Robb Nen pitched a five-out save, the term "Alfonseca-save" wasn't even an abstraction, and Leo Nunez was a child. It was a simpler time, then.


Samson will not like that one bit

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Perhaps you noticed a Logan Morrison tweet quoting Pedro Cerrano during Florida's loss to the Phillies this afternoon:

via Philliedelphia
How could this be? Did LoMo pull an Ochocinco and tweet during a game?

Apparently not.

Yep, ol' LoMo done got hacked. And this time, it's not just a convenient cover-up. That's LoMo's story and he's sticking to it.
The worst part: it kinda proves David Samson right.

Hey, at least we have something to distract us from all the losing, though.


An uplifting message from Billy the Marlin

The Fish were blanked by Cliff Lee today. Time to take our losses to Tampa.


If you missed yesterday's two games...

Here's all you really need to know

In game one Elih Villanueva was routed. In game two the Marlins were actually one out away from defeating Roy Halladay (again!) until the LeoCoaster crashed and burned.


One good way to slow down the Phillies

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Gif courtesy of Dan McQuade


Something New for your RSS Reader

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

ESPN's SweetSpot blog network finally has a Marlins blog, written by the inimitable Dave Gershman. Ted and I both look forward to making Marlins Daily a part of our well-balanced breakfasts.

It’s my pleasure to welcome you to ESPN's newest Sweetspot Blog, Marlins Daily! I founded Marlins Daily in hopes of creating a prominent base and readership of a team that lacks just that. The Marlins are a club I sincerely covet, and I'm extremely excited and thankful to have been given the opportunity to run such a blog for the Network. I’m hopeful that you, the readers, have as much fun reading Marlins Daily as I have writing it. Much of what you'll see will be sabermetric, general, and graphical analysis, as well as previews, recaps, prospect coverage, and more. My intentions are to suit the readers while providing a sabermetric edge and maybe teach you a thing or two.
Welcome to the diaspora, Dave!


Worst. Week. Ever. (Again!)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Edwin shouldn't be feeling too comfortable.

The Marlins wrapped up another one-win week yesterday. They have now fallen all the way back to .500 (32-32) after once being as much as 10 games over (30-20). Injuries have really hurt the teams as Josh Johnson is still out. Leo Nunez has been nursing a sore back. Having Hanley Ramirez on the disabled list has meant loads of playing time for Emilio Bonifacio and Ozzie Martinez, which hasn't fared too well. He should be back on Tuesday though.

The schedule doesn't let up this week. After tonight's finale with the Diamondbacks, the team heads to Philadelphia for four games in three days, then on to Tampa for a weekend series with the Rays.


More Realignment/Expanded Playoffs Speculation

Sunday, June 12, 2011

A little while ago, Dave and I touched on the rumors of Major League Baseball expanding the playoffs starting next year. Little did we know that's only part of what's being discussed between the MLB and the Players Association. Buster Olney of ESPN has discovered the following:

A simple form of realignment being seriously considered has been raised in the labor talks between Major League Baseball and the players' association, according to four sources: two leagues of 15 teams, rather than the current structure of 16 teams in the National League and 14 in the American League.
I mentioned on Twitter that at first glance, I can't say that I'm opposed to this. Perhaps it's because of my slight obsessive compulsive tendencies, but having one league of 16 teams, and the other with only 14 has always seemed odd (not to mention there are divisions with either 4, 5, or 6 teams). I know there are good reasons why that's the way it is, but it still seems off.

The main argument against this move would be scheduling ("and of course baseball purity!" - Bob Costas). With an odd number of teams in each league, there would have to be at least one interleague series going on at all times. I don't mind that at all. Interleague play has already lost just about all of it's luster. Having it year round, instead of only the couple weeks in May and June which aren't celebrated anymore is more than okay. As Rob Neyer succinctly puts it:
Baseball won't be any less entertaining if the Astros switch to the American League. Baseball won't be any less entertaining if there's an interleague game every day of the season. Baseball won't be any less entertaining if the divisions are eliminated, with the top five teams in each league qualifying for the postseason tournament.
The last sentence brings us to the next point supposedly being discussed. Rather than balancing out the leagues and divisions (15 teams per league, 5 divisions of 3 teams each), they would do away with divisions altogether and just have a 15 team league (I'd assume with a close-to, if not completely balanced schedule).

I'm actually wildly in favor of this, although realize that it's highly unlikely of coming to fruition. The divisions as they are now are pretty lopsided. Everyone knows the winner of the NL Central usually isn't great. Everyone knows the East has the AL's best two, sometimes three teams. You could argue it's cyclical but that's just making an excuse. A more balanced schedule would help, but you could never guarantee that the four or five best teams from each league will make the playoffs.

The main argument against this realignment that will be probably cited most is that the elimination of divisions hurts some of the great rivalries (Yankees-Red Sox, Cubs-Cardinals, Dodgers-Giants). I disagree. The rivalries have been around much longer than divisions and would survive fine without them. With the wild card and expanded playoffs, winning your division has become less important. Regular season Yankees-Red Sox matchups have little significance now because they'll probably both be in the playoffs. Plus, if they played only 10-12 times per year, instead of the current 18, it just may make those games more intriguing. Rivalries aren't truly formed in the regular season anyway. All great rivalry moments come from the postseason or with the postseason on the line.

Alas, all these suggestions I'd still say are a long shot to occur, mainly because getting a team to switch leagues is a tough proposition. There's also still an amazingly huge population of baseball purists that think anything like this will ruin the game. I suspect for now, it will have to remain an intriguing idea.


Not to be a dick...

Saturday, June 11, 2011

but this is quite possibly the most egregiously terrible Bleacher Report story ever:

Florida Marlins: Can Logan Morrison Win NL Rookie of the Year?

With seven home runs and 21 RBI, along with a .289 batting average, can Logan Morrison make a push for NL Rookie of the Year?
Spoiler Alert: no.

In case the story gets taken down by B/R editorial (click to enlarge).
Via MLB:
A player shall be considered a rookie unless, during a previous season or seasons, he has (a) exceeded 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched in the Major Leagues; or (b) accumulated more than 45 days on the active roster of a Major League club or clubs during the period of 25-player limit (excluding time in the military service and time on the disabled list).
Whenever you see an ill-informed piece on Bleacher Report (that ends sentences in prepositions), think to yourself, Venture capitalists have invested $10.5 million in this company. The site gets huge ad buys from major consumer products brands. And artistic endeavors like this are nonprofits with an audience of 50. We're like them little bitches on the chessboard.


Marlins in Disarray

Friday, June 10, 2011

At NBCMiami:

Marlins outfielder Logan Morrison asserted what many Marlins fans were thinking when the team fired hitting coach John Mallee this week: team owner Jeffrey Loria made the decision to fire Mallee, and for he did so for reasons not entirely baseball-related.
Kudos to LoMo for delicately accusing Loria of scapegoating the hitting coach. It's a bullshit power move not intended to "light a fire under the players" or some other nonsensical justification, but to remind everyone who is in charge.

Even Edwin Rodriguez knows what is going on:
But manager Edwin Rodriguez understands exactly what is going on, though. He says all baseball coaches know that they are "just passing through," acknowledging that Loria can't exactly fire his players. "If we keep losing, I don't know what's going to happen," he added.
Not that he should be in the dark. The same exact move got him his job as manager last year when Loria canned Fredi Gonzalez.

Meanwhile, the Marlins lost another game last night. Surely new hitting coach Eduardo Perez (career OPS+: 97) can teach them situational hitting!

Additional reading: Marlin Maniac hits it out of the park. SWCS, too.


Catching Up

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Last night, Hand did his job, but didn't receive any support, which left everyone unfulfilled.

There's been quite a lot of Marlins news in the past couple days, besides losing their sixth game in a row last night. But at least the Miami Heat are on the verge of winning the NBA Finals.

Hanley Ramirez was placed on the disabled list Sunday evening. He's been out with a back injury but still having him on the active roster even though he couldn't play has really limited the Marlins options late in games. It's okay though, not like they've played five one-run games in the last week that need lots of maneuvering by the manager. Anyway, the team does feel he will be ready to return on the day he's first eligible, which is Tuesday June 14th, just in time to start a four game set against the Phillies. Never have I been so eager to get a .210 hitter back in the lineup.

Taking Hanley's spot on the roster is pitcher Brad Hand (pictured above) who last night made the start in place of still on the DL Josh Johnson. He performed more than admirably, going six innings and allowing only one hit. Unfortunately for Brad, the hit was a home run, and he didn't receive the Florida Marlins Handbook before the game and realize his team is in no way obliged to score any runs for him. Thus he lost the game 1-0. Still though, you have to be encouraged. He will get at least one more start before Josh Johnson is back so we'll see if he can duplicate his success and hopefully take Javier Vazquez's roster spot.

The MLB draft was on Monday night. It's on TV and I watched a bit. It's amusing to me the differences between the MLB and NFL drafts. You draft a guy in the first round of the NFL draft and you think next year he should be a big contributor. In the MLB draft, teams draft guys I've literally never heard of and the hope is that in three to four years they make the team.

The Marlins selected pitcher Jose Fernandez with the 14th overall pick. If you haven't read by now, he's an amazing story. He's from Cuba and survived a four defection attempts, with one resulting in him returning to Cuba and being put in jail for a year. He finally made it to the USA in 2008 and has been pitching for a Tampa high school. And during this year's state title game he broke an opposing players METAL bat. Sweet, this dude will be like the pitcher's version of Mike Stanton!

The action on the filed resumes tonight at 7:10pm against the Braves and Derek Lowe. Taking the mound for the Fish will be Pretty Ricky or LOLasco, hopefully the former.


Worst. Week. Ever.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Overview: The Marlins lost two of three in Arizona and have lost three straight to the Brewers.
Positives: [sits on hands] [whistles] Hey tomorrow is the MLB draft [fartsound]
Negatives: The Marlins are simply having a rough time. Already without their ace Josh Johnson, the team's main offensive weapon Hanley Ramirez has been sitting out since injuring his back last Sunday. With him out of the lineup the team has gone 1-5 due in large part to lack of clutch hitting. The team has left 29 men on base in the last three games. The team has lost four in a row, and all have been those crucial one-run games Edwin Rodriguez loves! The Law of averages sucks.
Line of the Week: The lone win of the week came in large part to Anibal Sanchez, who won his 4th game in May.

W, 8 IP, 2 R, 6 H, 8 K, 1 BB

Highlight of the Week: Logan Morrison gets the nod for a nifty catch in left field Saturday night, and thankfully he wasn't hurt.
Looking Ahead: The home stand continues with one more game against the Brewers before facing the Braves and Diamondbacks.


Pay no attention to D-Roves

Way to be topical, D-Roves!
Three things about Marlins fan jokes:
  1. They are fair game. Every fan base does things deserving of ridicule, even the pious Midwesterners that go to Cardinals games. Some fanbases get more than most (and perhaps that is true of the Marlins), but so be it.
  2. Regardless of whether you're one of those Marlins fans who are the exception to the rule (and most of us are not, be real here - I haven't been to a game since 2006), enjoy the secret little world of Marlins fandom we've got going. It's easier to enjoy the anonymity now that we can all talk to each other on Twitter.
  3. If you are going to make fun of Marlins fans, BE FUNNY. That means no Madoff jokes when the subject is 2 years past its funny expiration date.



I was attending the roller derby last night, so I completely missed the Marlins hashtag game that broke out on Twitter. Take a look at all the #marlinsmovies our Twitter pals came up with:


Posey Posey Posey

We're considering renaming the blog to Our Bay Area Cousins, covering only the Scott Cousins-Buster Posey imbroglio.

Posey released a statement yesterday, which basically screams "I don't want to deal with any of this right now."

I appreciate the continued support of Giants fans and others as I begin the process of working my way back. But in no way do I condone threats of any kind against Scott Cousins or his family.

As I said last week, I'm not out to vilify Scott. I appreciate that he made the effort to reach out to me on the night of the play, but I was in no physical condition to talk to anyone. I have not been back with the team since that night, so I haven't even been aware of any other messages he's left for me. We all need to move on, so it isn't necessary to have a conversation with him at this point.

My only focus right now is looking forward, getting healthy and returning to catching for the Giants.
Meanwhile, legendary catcher Johnny Bench decided to give his two cents, and he says Posey, not Cousins, is to blame for Posey's injury:
When I heard about the injury, I was anxious to see how this happened. Buster put himself in such a bad position.
Bench is not really helping here (indeed, he's basically blaming the victim, which makes no one feel any better about the incident). He went on to explain that he teaches young catchers "to stay away from the plate when you don't have the ball," in order to induce a slide out of the runner. "And if you have the runner on the ground, there's less chance of any severe collision," he concluded. He also likened Posey's positioning to "a disabled car in the middle of a four-lane highway. You’re just going to get smacked." Sound advice, if delivered in a tone-deaf manner.

As for Posey, he could have been more magnanimous, but I understand he's frustrated and wants to move on. Surely someone in the Giants' media relations department will arrange a meeting between Posey and Cousins at some point so the two can shake hands and call it a day. But hopefully for now Posey's statement will put an end to the controversy.

On the other hand, at least this dustup inspired another great t-shirt from Strip Club With Stanton:

Keep up the good work, SCWS!


Giants and Cousins release statements on Posey fallout

Saturday, June 4, 2011


I hope and believe that Mr. Sabean's comments were made in the heat of the moment and are based more on his fondness for Buster Posey than on any animosity towards me. This situation is still an open wound for many, including myself. As I have stated previously, nobody outside of Buster feels worse about his injury than I do. I have reached out to Buster to let him know how badly I feel about his being injured during our collision at home plate.

I do believe, however, that the play was clean and totally within the rules of the game. Explaining over and over that I would never intentionally hurt another player for any reason won't change the minds of those who doubt my sincerity or intent. I have a responsibility to myself, my teammates, and my organization to play the game hard. This is what has gotten me to the big leagues, and hopefully this is what will keep me here.
San Francisco:
This is a very emotional time for the Giants organization and our fans. We lost for the season one of our best players to a serious injury and we are doing everything we can to support Buster Posey through this very difficult time. We appreciate Scott Cousins' outreach to Buster Posey and to the Giants organization.

Brian Sabean's comments yesterday were said out of frustration and out of true concern for Buster and were not meant to vilify Scott Cousins. Brian has been in contact with Florida Marlins General Manager Larry Beinfest to clarify his comments and to assure him that there is no ill-will toward the player. He has also reached out to Scott Cousins directly...

We intend to move beyond conversations about last week's incident and focus our attention on Buster's full recovery and on defending our World Series title.
Echoing Janie, that didn't sound like much of an apology (In Rumsfeldian terms, it is the quintessential non-apology apology). I take the Giants on their implication that Sabean apologized to Cousins and Beinfest directly. Hopefully this issue will be fully resolved by the time the Marlins and Giants next play each other in August (though I have my doubts).

I still think baseball needs to address the rule which allows runners to plow into catchers (and catchers to block a runner's path to the plate), so I hope this round of statements will allow both teams to put the specific incident behind them and advocate for a rule change. Not that MLB will necessarily make a logical and needed change...


LoMo Speaks

Friday, June 3, 2011

On Brian Sabean's dickbaggery:

First of all, it's wildly unprofessional for him to make any comment on the situation.  When has he played in the big leagues?  When has he played in the minor leagues?  Correct me if I'm wrong but he's never been in a situation like that.  It's terrible.  Why would you wish anything like that on anybody? … He's taking this very hard without the comments that [Sabean]'s made.  He's getting death threats from people.  This is his hometown, San Francisco.  He's worried about his family and his friends that are there.  And now he's going to make comments like that?  It's ignorant, it's inappropriate and he has no idea what the hell he's talking about.
Sadly, this story is far from over. Not that anything that happens from now on will un-injure Buster Posey.


Marlins in violation of the MLB debt service rules

I have no idea what this means. Not literally, I understand what a debt limit is, but whether that will lead to sanctions or penalties is anyone's guess at this point.

Under the debt service rule, Selig is authorized to impose whatever remedial measures he sees fit. The rule lists 16 possible actions Selig could take, among them an order that a team raise equity, a requirement that all team expenditures be approved by his office and the suspension of the team owner.


Sabean wants to be clear: He hates Scott Cousins' guts

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Brian Sabean on Scott Cousins:

Why not be hard-nosed? If I never hear from Cousins again or he never plays another game in the big leagues, I think we'll all be happy. ... (Cousins) chose to be a hero in my mind, and if that's his flash of fame, that's as good as it's going to get, pal. We'll have a long memory. You can't be that out-and-out overly aggressive. I'll put it as politically as I can state it: There's no love lost and there shouldn't be.
Two things:
  1. I hope you guys love talking about the unwritten rules of baseball, because I bet it comes up next time the Giants play the Marlins.
  2. "There's no love lost" never made sense as a phrase to me. There shouldn't have been any love to begin with, right?
Actually, third thing: Posey will not magically heal if the Giants were to initiate a passive-aggressive/regular aggressive fight to the death with Cousins. Sabean understands that he's losing sympathy right? Or does being a dick make you a great leader? I can't keep track.


What Else Can Be Said?

Here's Dave's latest for, taking a look at even more quotes and thoughts from the Giants about the Cousins-Posey collision.

My take? First of all, I'm amazed this issue is still being discussed. Now I do think the rule needs to be looked at, and I'm in favor of some changes, but to still be debating dirty vs clean or whether a Giants pitcher should throw a dart aimed at Cousins temple the next time he bats is crazy.

Anyway, the rule. Why can you truck an unprotected catcher into next week, but must slide at other bases? And why is that catcher allowed to obstruct the path to the base unlike any other fielders/bases? The common answer seems to be, "well, that's just the way it's always been." That's a stupid reason for doing anything. Plays at the plate are super exciting, of course, but they can still produce that level of awesome without bone jarring collisions. Examples? The famous Sid Bream chug and slide to win the 1992 NLCS, and more recently the Omar Infante magic slide (also seen in 2003 World Series by Alex Gonzalez).

Seems an easy change to make, no? Well, this is MLB remember, and they care about purity! They don't want evil robots to take over the game and start making calls, so they barely have any instant replay. Changing rules is rare occurrence and my guess is this whole issue will blow over and nothing will change.


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