Week In Review

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Overview: Sweep the Nats. Barely avoid getting swept in Atlanta. 4-2 week.
Positives: An above .500 week, always nice. The sweep in D.C. propelled the Marlins out of the cellar. Sunday's win also meant the Fish dealt the Braves their 10,000th loss in franchise history.
Negatives: Emilio Bonifacio's unlikely 26-game hitting streak was snapped on Friday.

Also, hate to beat a dead horse, but the Marlins erred by not moving Leo Nunez or anybody else at the trading deadline. I've touched on it before so I'll try to keep it brief. Leo is not an elite closer. In fact, in his Marlins tenure he has just about the same save percentage as one Kevin Gregg (83% to 82% in favor of Leo). Looking at WPA/LI (explanation here), it's 1.9 to 1.3 in favor of Gregg. I will admit though by the end of Gregg's tenure he was trending downward, and I wouldn't say the same about Leo. Point is though, is he a guy you want to be paying $5+ million for? No. The club should have moved him and received a decent prospect or two to help stock our barren minor league system.

Line of the Week: Big night for Greg Dobbs on Tuesday

3-5, HR, 2 R, 5 RBI

Highlight of the Week: An unlikely outside the park home run for Emilio Bonifacio today.
Looking Ahead: The Fish head up to New York for three with the Mets before returning home for four against the Cardinals.



Friday, July 29, 2011

I didn't even know Miami had a baseball team!!!1!
Is Dwyane Wade a fashion icon? I don't know, but he's sure as hell the only celebrity I've ever seen wearing a Marlins hat. So at least he can claim to have an individual style...

But curve your brim, Dwyane. You look like a clueless little-leaguer with that flat brim.

Image via SB Nation


JJ gone for year, the Diehards has a sad

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Double Turds:

What once seemed like a minor issue with his throwing shoulder has ballooned into a season-ending injury for Marlins pitcher Josh Johnson.

SI.com reported last night that JJ is expected to miss the rest of the season, citing unnamed sources.
Our reaction:


Hanley Don't Play That

You knew Hanley Ramirez wouldn't keep quiet about Jeff Conine's criticism forever...

Reacting to some disparaging comments Conine made on The Dan LeBatard Show on 790-The Ticket last week, Ramirez called Conine "chicken" and vowed to replace him in the title of "Mr. Marlin."

"I think he wants to be Mr. Marlin forever," Ramirez said to the Miami Herald. "It won't happen. I'm coming, baby. I think I'm going to be Mr. Marlin. That's my goal now. I wasn't thinking about that (before Conine's comments)."

Last week after complaining to LeBatard "I think there are some nights where he doesn't try as hard as he should," Conine said he would trade Ramirez.

Ramirez didn't appreciate Conine taking his complaints to the media.

"If he's got a problem, just come over and talk to me like a man," Ramirez told the Herald. "Don't be a chicken, talking on the (radio), because whatever you say is going to stay out there."
Doubtless there are plenty among our readers who will take Conine's side on this one, and I don't blame you if you do. But you have to admit, there is no better put-down to a former player than to tell him that you will supplant him and steal his nickname. Hanley's VORJ (value over replacement jerk) is sky high.

As for Conine, clearly he has little to lose at this point (I'm not exactly sure what he does as assistant to David Samson), but the last guy to feud with Hanley was Fredi Gonzalez, and we all know how that turned out. What I'm saying is, Jeff Conine will be the next manager of the Chicago White Sox.



Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Not trading Nunez if possible is silly


LeoCoaster To Remain In Operation

Just yesterday I laid out the case for trading Leo Nunez. About twenty-four hours later it appears the team has gone the other way.

Ken Rosenthal, Fox Sports

remain on hold, unlikely to trade even Nunez with new park looming. If anything, may want to extend A. Sanchez.

Scott Miller, CBS Sports
Believe it: looking to add, not subtract, with new ballpark next year. Unlikely to deal closer L Nunez source reiterates.

Again, I don't quite understand it. But for now let's just enjoy the rides and always remember to wear your seat belt.


Trader Jack Don't Care

From Businessweek:

When he told his players they couldn't hang out in the clubhouse during games, they knew he was serious; in 2003, McKeon locked the clubhouse doors and required players to hand him bathroom passes when they couldn't hold it in any longer. He may be the only 80-year-old man who is willing and able to go three hours without peeing.
"I used to be a very strong disciplinarian," says McKeon, sitting in the Oakland Coliseum one recent afternoon as his players take batting practice. "Then I decided to back off a little bit. I don't use the hearing aids because I don't want to see a lot of things, and I don't want to hear a lot of things."
We've got another month or two before the media (outside Miami) loses interest in McKeon. Until then, I will enjoy the quotes.

h/t Fish Stripes


Off-Day Guide: July 25th

Monday, July 25, 2011

8:00pm, MLB: Pirates at Braves, ESPN: It's baseball
8:00pm, Stepbrothers, FX: A recent classic with Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly
8:00pm, Man vs Wild, Discovery: Back to back episodes
8:00pm, Python Hunters, Nat Geo Wild: These snake gurus hunt and capture the crazy Burmese pythons that are prevalent in the Everglades

Now here's Dave with a book recommendation.

I picked up a copy of Hitch-22: A Memoir, by Christopher Hitchens for my flight to Seattle next week (read some excerpts Slate ran last year here). If you are not already in the thrall of Hitchens, then this book may not be for you. But if you fancy Hitchens' verbose wit and share his militant atheism, this book will be catnip for you.

Bonus Cultural Content:

Jesse Thorn interviewed Jeff Garlin for The Sound of Young America last week. Curb Your Enthusiasm fans (and fans of funny stuff in general) are urged to check it out.

The Sound of Young America


Request: Trade The LeoCoaster

We're in the last week until the trade deadline (Sunday at 4:00pm) and with that, the Diehards would like to express our stance that the Marlins should absolutely trade Leo Nunez. It can be broken down thusly:

  1. The Marlins aren't winning anything this year. They're 16 games back in the division (not to mention, still rooted in the cellar) and 10 back in the wild card (with 7 teams in their way). If you're like me and fancy the "Get to 90 wins" mantra, the Fish would need to close the season going 41-19. Not happening.
  2. Leo Nunez will not be with the team next year. There's always a chance, but why would the Marlins would pay a non-elite closer somewhere in the range of $5 million? The club's pen has struggled at times, but there are promising young arms and the team would much rather spend that kind of money finding the next 10 Emilio Bonifacios.
  3. No one trades for relievers in the offseason (except us!). If the Fish try to ship off the LeoCoaster in the winter, we shouldn't expect a good haul. However, many teams that are in contention in July get the false notion that they are one strong bullpen arm away from perhaps winning the World Series. because of that, they're willing to let go of solid prospects or major league ready players (Adrian Gonzalez!).
Your move Marlins front office. I look forward to you asking Edward Mierda Mujica to stay awake until the 9th inning or later and ask him to get three outs.


Week in Review

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Overview: The Marlins took a makeup game in New York against the Mets, then got swept by the Padres, then took two of three against the Mets. The biggest problem this week was too few games against the Mets.
Positives: Edward Mujica is well rested. Emilio Bonifacio is batting .293 and in the midst of a 23-game hit streak, and now is precisely the time to sell him high.
Negatives: Chris has a LOLsad. Niner has gone rogue.
Line of the Week:Gaby Sanchez had a productive night on Saturday:

3-4, 2 HR, 2B, 4 RBI, .342 WPA

Highlight of the Week: Another week, another Mike Stanton #Monsterdong. It is my new religion.
Looking Ahead: Off day Monday, then three-game sets in Washington and Atlanta.


Cameron Maybin

A few months ago someone agreed to occasionally guest post for us here, and I'm just going to bait that person right now.
Cameron Maybin thus far in 2011:

.279/.334/.416, 3.2 WAR

Not a bad slash line, but not great. And the advanced numbers suggest he still has terrible plate discipline and might be getting lucky this year:

7.7 BB%, 22.5 K%, .352 BABIP

I'm still not upset the Marlins traded him, even if they got hosed (the players they got in return have a combined 0.6WAR: 0.5 for Edward Mujica, 0.1 for Ryan Webb).

Cameron Maybin is not Adrian Gonzalez.


You're Going to New Orleans!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

In one of the least surprising demotions ever, Chris Volstad has been optioned to New Orleans (Again!). Home run hitters all across the National League mourn the loss. No word yet on who/what will replace his spot in the rotation.


Mr. Marlin on Sr. Nohustle

Dan LeBatard Show: Would you trade [Hanley Ramirez], if it were up to you?

Conine: If it were up to me, probably.
In other news, Jeff Conine should never ever be a GM.


You're forgetting something

Friday, July 22, 2011

From the Miami Herald's Barry Jackson:

Fans seldom have a voice in teams' decisions. But in building their new ballpark, the Marlins have decided to use least seven fan suggestions.
One suggestion they did not use:
Every ballpark has a stadium organist, but these unsung heroes of the stadium experience are often relegated to bland-sounding electric synthesizers. We think it would be awesome to see a real live (and quite loud) pipe organ just above the centerfield wall of the new ballpark. I think this beats almost any centerfield surprise that Loria is thinking of (except maybe the alligators). Sure it may cost a lot to just to keep the thing in tune... but who cares? Awesomeness trumps all in this case, I think.
It's not too late to make this happen. I maintain it would be awesome.

At least they'll be serving Cuban coffee at the new ballpark, though.


Kevin Durant: Nats Fan?

Via Ball Don't Lie, check out Kevin Durant's mosaic of chest and stomach tattoos:

One of them sticks out to me:

As Ball Don't Lie points out, that Nats logo was not on his stomach as recently as early June. If Durant never wins an NBA title, we'll know why...


A story about Brandon Inge

Thursday, July 21, 2011

One day in college (ca. 2005), Roommate 1 (a Tigers fan) was following a gamecast of a Tigers game on ESPN.com or something. Later that day, I asked him if Detroit won (because I was such a compassionate roommate). He told me the Tigers did, and Brandon Inge hit a home run (or did something else good, I can't remember).

Except he pronounced it ING.

So I replied, "You mean Brandon INJ?"

Then in the other room, Roommate 2 (not a Tigers fan) started laughing vengefully. Hours earlier, he had looked over Roommate 1's shoulder at the gamecast, and said "Inge's having a good game."

Except he pronounced it ING-ay.

Roommmate 1 of course gave him shit for pronouncing his name wrong.

Now the Marlins might sign Inge.


The tarp is going after the campers you guys!

Video by @joecapMARLINS


Never change Jack, never change.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

No, I'm not talking about his unorthodox managing, such as bunting in the eighth inning of a 3-0 game, or removing Randy Choate in the middle of a 2-0 count, but rather about the things an 80 year old thinks and says.

McKeon said it was his first trip to Citi Field, which opened in 2009, and he liked the ballpark more than the Mets' previous home, Shea Stadium. "The clubhouse is just a little bit better. I don't see any rats running around," said McKeon, holding a cigar in his fingers as he sat in the dugout. "I guess they probably get an A-rating from the health department. I don't know what the old place got."


You may not get many more rides on the Leocoaster

Monday, July 18, 2011

Another NBCMiami piece today, this time on potential trade deals:
With a playoff appearance looking more and more remote, the Florida Marlins are reportedly considering trading a few of their pitchers before the July 31 trade deadline.

According to CBSSports.com, the Fish are amenable to dealing starter Javier Vazquez and relievers Leo Nunez and Randy Choate.
Nunez will get $5+ million in arbitration this winter, and that's a lot to pay for a middling closer. Ted and I are of the same opinion on closers: There are usually 2 or 3 in all of baseball worth their weight in gold (think Mariano Rivera or John Smoltz in his brief closer stint), and the rest are interchangeable (SCWS thinks so, too). The Marlins (wisely) won't pay for Leo next year, so they may as well try to get something for him now.

Vazquez is an interesting case due to his no-trade clause. But he's on a one-year deal, so it makes little sense to keep him if the Marlins can't make a run at the playoffs. Finding a taker for Vazquez could be difficult, but the Tigers once traded John Smoltz for Doyle Alexander, so anything is possible.

I think the Marlins should hold on to Choate, though. He is only due $1.5 million in 2012, and he has been quite effective against lefties this year (facing 57 left-handed hitters in 2011, he has allowed only 5 hits and 1 walk, striking out 23). Unless someone blows them away with an offer, it would be wise to keep him.

Only slightly-related, but interesting nonetheless: Choate and Vazquez were traded for each other in 2003 when the Yankees sent Choate, Nick Johnson and Juan Rivera to Montreal for Javy.

One other thing:
Starters Josh Johnson, Ricky Nolasco and Anibal Sanchez are off the table, though, as the Marlins want to "build around" the trio as they move into their new stadium next season.
I would not have been surprised if Sanchez were dealt this year, but apparently the team wants to pay for his services over the next few years. Considering his injury history though, the Marlins might be declining to sell Sanchez when his value is highest. Here's hoping that doesn't turn out to be a mistake.

Speaking of selling high, remember when everyone was mad about the Marlins trading Dan Uggla? As of July 17, he's slashing .189/.264/.366, good for an OPS+ of 72. And the Braves have him for four more years. At least he makes up for it with his -1.2 defensive WAR, amirite?


Mujica Caught Mid-Nap

Edward Mujica is George Costanza:

Marlins reliever Edward Mujica apparently couldn't stand the tedium during Saturday afternoon's tussle with the Chicago Cubs. He was caught resting his eyes in the second inning. "It's part of my routine," he joked after the game.

"It wasn't even five minutes," Mujica said of the nap. "I closed my eyes and I looked over and, 'That's it.' They got me right there."
Video of Mujica's nap is here. Bob Brenly needs to cut Mujica some slack. Watching the Marlins is not exactly a life-affirming and energizing experience these days.


Week In Review

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Don't you wish every week featured games only against the Cubs?

Overview: The Marlins won three out of four in Chicago.
Positives: Scheduling. The Marlins played have played eight games in a row against bottom feeders Chicgao and Houston and won seven. Hanley Ramirez is hitting very well as is Mike Stanton. Even Bonifacio has a nice hit streak going.
Negatives: The lone loss of the week was a tough one. The two runs allowed scored on a dropped fly ball. In the ninth inning Hanley was thrown out at second, killing a potential rally.
Line of the Week: A three-run homer kind of ruined the line, but Javy Vazquez gets the nod because who thoguht he could have a 10 strikeout, no walks game?

W, 7 IP, 3 ER, 4 H, 10 K, 0 BB

Highlight of the Week: Mr. #MONSTERDONG had quite an afternoon in Chicago on Saturday. Two dongs. Four RBIs.
Looking Ahead: The Marlins soft patch in the schedule continues with a makeup game against the Mets in New York tomorrow. Then they come home for three against the Padres then the Mets.


The Leocoaster Meets MarmLOL

Friday, July 15, 2011

Carlos Marmol enters the ninth inning with a 2-0 lead, and fails to record an out:

Marmol's ERA for the evening: infinite. His WPA: -.810 (!!). It was the most beautiful Jorge Julio save not created by the OG. Leo enters the bottom of the ninth with a 4-run lead, but even he has to concede defeat on this occasion. It is like the Grateful Dead opening for the Dark Star Orchestra, the imitator following the master.


Pure Hubris

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Deadspin list of 100 Worst Baseball Players of All Time (Part 1/Part 2) is well worth your time, but it is shockingly bereft of Marlins (seriously, no Orestes Destrade, Miguel Olivo, or Emilio Bonifacio?). Maybe this offseason Ted and I will make a list of the 10 worst Marlins of all time, but in the meantime, there's always Julian Tavarez:
53. Julian Tavarez, 1993-2009 (Giants/Cardinals/Indians/Red Sox/Pirates/Rockies/Nationals/Braves/Cubs/Marlins/Brewers)
Many players with reputations for lousy personalities make up for it by winning the respect of their teammates. Julian Tavarez, who was in all fairness a pretty average pitcher, did not pursue this option. Instead, he became notorious for throwing fastballs at his former teammates after somebody—usually Tavarez, who played on ten teams—changed franchises. Tavarez called San Francisco Giants fans "a bunch of assholes and faggots." He got into fights, multiple ones during Spring Trainings, even. He broke things in dugouts and bullpens. Once, while playing for the Red Sox, Tavarez fielded a slow grounder up the line and rolled the ball to first baseman Kevin Youkilis. "Because I want to," he said.
Oh Julian, no one held a grudge like you did. Not even Jose Mesa (who famously plunked Omar Vizquel nearly every time he faced him after Vizquel trashed him in his book for blowing a save in game 7 of the 1997 World Series while both played for the Indians).


Dear Miami New Times

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Thanks for linking to our post about potential new Miami Marlins uniforms! But maybe next time you link to us, you could mention us by name.


The only All-Star Game recap you need

Gaby Sanchez (PH-DH): popped out to second for A Ethier in the 7th

Glad I didn't stay up to watch that...

Photo via LA Times


Week In Review

Sunday, July 10, 2011

No comment

Positives: The Marlins lost two to the Phillies, but then reeled off five straight wins (one Philly, four Houston) to close the first half of the season at 43-48. The bats have awoken (Hanley finally, credit to Bonifacio too) and the starting staff has performed admirably as of late.
Negatives: Despite the win streak, the team enters the break in last place and 10 1/2 games out of a playoff spot. Likely out of contention some names are already being trotted out as trade candidates (Ricky Nolasco, Anibal Sanchez, Leo Nunez, Randy Choate)
Line of the Week: In his first game as a father, the aforementioned Emilio Bonifacio had a day.

3-3, 1 BB, 3 SB, .233 WPA

Highlight of the Week: As i said simply in a tweet Wednesday night: #MONSTERWALKOFFDONG

Looking Ahead: All-Star break this week. Watch Gaby (hopefully) play Tuesday Night. Marlins resume play Thursday with four games in Chicago against the Cubs.


Of note

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Marlins recalled RHP Chris Hatcher from AA Jacksonville today. From Joe Capozzi:

Hatcher will be the first catcher-turned-pitcher in the majors since Art Doll of the Boston Braves.

Art, nicknamed "Moose," made his debut in 1935 and played three games as a catcher. He returned in 1936 and lost his only start as a pitcher. He made three more appearances in 1938, all in relief.
When life gives you a surplus of middling receivers, make middle relievers...


Week in Review

Monday, July 4, 2011

Summary: The Marlins took two of three from the A's and Rangers, their first series victories in (what seems like) forever.
Positives: Hey, they're winning again! That alone is sufficient.
Negatives: Anibal Sanchez probably should have been on the NL All-Star team, but I can't get too mad about it. Think of it as the universe getting even with the Marlins for all those years their lone (required) representative was far from worthy (I'm looking at you, Ryan Dempster). Also, Emilio Bonifacio can't spell his teammate's (very common) name. Don't worry, though, it's not like he wears his name on the back of his jersey every night or anything...
Line of the Week: Hanley Ramirez had perhaps his best hitting performance of the season on Saturday night in Texas:

3-5, 2 HR, 5 RBI, .238 WPA
Highlight of the Week: Logan Morrison hit a no-doubter on Saturday night that might have been enough to make Jack McKeon get off his back for tweeting too much. Ah, the elderly...
Looking Ahead: The Fish kick off a three-game set at home against the Phillies tonight, then host the Astros for four games.


Don't Buy! Don't Buy! Don't Buy!

Marlins record under Edwin Rodriguez: 32-39
Marlins record under Brandon Hyde: 0-1
Marlins record under Jack McKeon: 6-6


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