Mike Stanton is good at baseball

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

  1. Those are some sweet stirrups on Mets reliever DJ Carrasco
  2. Mike Stanton can't be human. He is a robot sent from the future to save humanity via the long ball.
UPDATE: For some reason MLB's embed of Stanton's home run isn't working right now. Watch the video here.


The MDH Short List of New Manager Candidates

Yesterday, Dave wrote about the ongoing reports of Ozzie Guillen and the increasing likelihood the Marlins will try to pry him away from the White Sox to manage the team in 2012. As we've stated many times, our position is to not hire a manager at all. But with very unlikely, here is the official Marlins Diehards short list for managerial candidates in 2012.

Ozzie Guillen

While Dave and I don't believe in managers, if the Marlins are going to be dumb enough to waste money and/or give away prospect(s) for someone (they will!), why not Ozzie? Even when the Fish are 10+ games under .500 in late August there should be plenty to write about. Bonus: He'll probably redecorate the clubhouse and dugout and line it with scented candles.

Wally Backman

You may have seen me mention Wally on Twitter a few times. He's best known for his priceless YouTube clips of some ejections while he managed the South Georgia Peanuts, which you can see here and here (audio NSFW). He'd be just as entertaining as Ozzie methinks, plus the team can get such great motivational speeches like the following

The seats in the first few rows behind the home dugout will sell out quickly.

Billy the Marlin

A mascot has not been a manager since Don Zimmer left the Cubs in 1991. Billy has no experience but scouts tell me his always-chipper attitude (seen at right) is infectious and builds great team unity. Downside: With a face like that, we'll probably never see him ejected.


The great SCWS had a take on the whole situation this morning for Marlins Daily and wrote
Seriously, just stop the charade and bring Jack back. Or at the very least, hire a blogger. We come fairly cheap.
Normally, I'd offer mine or David's services, but Dave just moved to Seattle and honestly, I couldn't last a week as a big league manager before falling asleep in the dugout during a game or leaving to the clubhouse in the 6th inning to play dominoes.

On second thought, what if they hired a team of bloggers?
  • Marlin Maniac: Stats guru, will make all baseball decisions
  • Dave: Book expert, great to have as a bullpen coach
  • Myself: Chief Beer/Food Officer, ensures a good postgame spread, keeps morale high
  • SCWS: Player development, i.e. postgame trips to Tootsie's
Stadium Giveaway

First 500 (if that many) fans to the game are entered in a drawing. One lucky winner will receive the managing gig for that night only. Prize also includes an oversized official uniform, yours to keep, plus any drugs or prostitutes you're able to score from players.

Your move Marlins.


Fish Still Enamored With Ozzie

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

This is becoming entirely too predictable:
There have been at least two known heated blowups between Guillen and Williams, according to sources. But even more significant is the recent talk in baseball circles that the White Sox have been getting a feel for managerial candidates. Sources said that also included renewing talks with the Florida Marlins about compensation for Guillen with the team set to open its new stadium next season.
Loria likes Ozzie, and so does Jack McKeon, who has Loria's ear. The Marlins will keep inquiring as to Guillen's availability unless they can lure a better manager to Miami this winter. Thankfully, the team showed the restraint last year to not give up Mike Stanton or Logan Morrison (depending on the report) for Guillen. There is no way any manager is worth as many wins per year as either of those two.

And because it is one of my favorite MDH posts, I will once again link to my suggestion: Don't hire a manager.


That's How You Corral a Mantis

Take note, Logan. When it comes to handling a mantis, you must take initiative and control the situation, like Brayan Pena did last night. That way, you don't end up looking ridiculous:

h/t: BLS


Mets fans are the worst, am I right?

Monday, August 29, 2011

From PBP's Joe Capozzi:
Lots of empty seats at Citi Field 10 minutes before start of #Mets #Marlins
I'm sure we'll be seeing blog posts about how awful Mets fans are (and maybe even a few questioning their very existence) any second now...

Just wait...

I swear it'll happen...

Why do I feel like Linus Van Pelt waiting for the Great Pumpkin all of a sudden?
via Pleated Jeans


Update: Marlins sans Hanley Still Suck

Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald has the update:
Ramirez was hitting just .243, nearly 100 points lower than his league-leading .342 average in 2009, when he landed on the disabled list for the second time this season. Despite his off season, the Marlins have tanked in his absence.

The Marlins are 50-39 in games Ramirez has started and an abysmal 9-33 when his name has not appeared on the lineup card. 
With Hanley, the Marlins are a bubble team; without, they are the 1962 Mets. Think of how wide the disparity might be if Hanley were playing to his usual standards (1899 Cleveland Spiders, anyone?).

Hanley's absence is not the only reason for the Marlins' struggles (Josh Johnson's injury is also quite significant, as the Marlins haven't even been able to come up with a consistent replacement; instead they have trotted out a panoply of replacement-level starters). Nonetheless, next time you find yourself arguing with some mouth-breather who wants the Marlins to trade Ramirez, you've got the perfect rebuttal.


Week In Review

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Lots of this, this weekend.

Overview: The Marlins lost two of three against the Reds then swept the Phillies. It was a one game series, I don't care.
Positives: More rainouts means less losses, at least for now. Also there's a five game series against the Mets coming up and Hanley Ramirez should be back on Wednesday.
Negatives: Same as always really. Another derailment of the LeoCoaster to boot.
Line of the Week: Greg Dobbs with an improbably four0hit game Firday night.

4-5, 2 2B, 1 R, 1 RBI

Highlight of the Week: A John Buck opposite field grand slam, even though it was a true Citizenz Bank home run (short)

Looking Ahead: Busy week as the Fish will play five in four days against the Mets, then come home for three with the Phillies.


Off-Day Guide: August 25

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Hurricane Irene gives us a surprise off-day. Here's what you can watch/read/do:

8:00 (NBC): Community. It's a rerun, but a good one: the fake clip episode. This was one of my top three episodes from season 2. Here's a Slate essay about it.
8:00 (ESPN2): Little League World Series, if that's your thing. ESPN has a Redskins/Ravens preseason game at the same time.
9:00 (Travel): Man vs. Food in Miami. "The host tries to devour a 48-ounce steak in less than 20 minutes at Shula's Steak House in Miami." I could think of ten better places to go in Miami, and I'm sure you guys can as well... 
9:00 (USA): Burn Notice. Does anyone watch this show? Should I?
10:00 (FX): Wilfred/Louie. Loving both of these shows for different reasons. The Louie episode is one hour.

Book rec: The 50th anniversary of the publication of Catch-22 just passed, and there have been a swarm of excellent essays about Heller's seminal novel in recent weeks (my favorite is from Ron Rosenbaum at Slate - I know, two Slate links in one post, I don't care). I read this one in undergrad, and it is usually in my top 5 novels list (my top 5/10 lists constantly change). It is hilarious and poignant, and everyone should read it, so get on it.

Culture: Hurricane Irene will not be making landfall in Florida most likely, but that shouldn't stop you from throwing a hurricane party. Since you'll be getting wasted, you should probably go ahead and take Friday off from work as well.


LoMo Goes PoMo

Still no update on the origins of his H2R Boombah shirt, but the PBP has some choice commentary on his ten-day timeout in New Orleans from the man himself:
When asked if he has talked to anybody in the organization since the demotion, Morrison said, "I haven't talked to anybody. I didn't really care."

When asked why he believes he was send down, Morrison said, "I have no idea."

When asked how he will change, Morrison said, "I'll be the same person."

When asked what was accomplished by him being in New Orleans for 10 days, Morrison said, "I don’t know."

When asked to describe his relationship with the organization, Morrison said, "I'm the baseball player and they provide the uniform."
Those are the words of a man who knows he should just say nothing, but really wants to make his empty statement pack a punch. Who knew Morrison was so into postmodern theory?

Also, I didn't know LoMo was a Seinfeld fan...



Image via BLS
Marlins Can't Get 500 People To Watch Them:
Ever attend or watch a Marlins game on TV and wonder what the discrepancy between the announced crowd and the actual crowd is?

One fan decided to do just that while attending the first leg of today's Marlins double-header against the Cincinnati Reds at Sun Life Stadium.

Twitter user @790Justin took a headcount at the first pitch of Wednesday's first game at 4:10 and tweeted the result: "Unofficial count of 347 at Sun Life for first pitch...myself included! Counted by hand. Still not the smallest crowd I've seen here."
Click through for my ace Strip Club With Stanton reference (blogger unity and all).

This story has already gotten a lot of play in the blogosphere, but to be fair, the afternoon double-header was announced the night before, and the game was moved because of a fucking hurricane. I'm letting my fellow South Floridians off the hook since they had bigger fish to fry Wednesday. Someone's got to...


Pics or it didn't happen

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

From Joe Frisaro:

Logan Morrison, sporting a Hanley Ramirez t-shirt, stood at his locker on Wednesday afternoon talking about being glad to be back.
Later on:
Morrison says he wore the Hanley Ramirez "H2R Boombah" t-shirt because it was in his locker.
For those who find Affliction shirts to be too subtle, via boombah.com
Frisaro was too busy talking to LoMo about actual baseball stuff as opposed to this interesting sartorial choice, but it nonetheless raises a big question. Did Hanley leave this shirt in LoMo's locker as a not-too-subtle reminder of whose team this is? If so, I applaud Hanley for his big-swinging-dickishness.

I like Morrison, but he needs to learn an important lesson: until you win a batting title and sign an expensive contract, you will not have immunity from putting your own foot in your mouth. It's not a particularly reassuring lesson for Marlins fans (who wish Hanley too would just shut up and play baseball sometimes), but the sometimes-socially-unaware Morrison needs to know the ropes. Hanley Ramirez, of all people, is in the perfect position to let him know. Hopefully Morrison absorbs the lesson I'm projecting here.

UPDATE: LoMo hit a home run in his return. I wonder if he's superstitious enough to wear that ugly shirt again on Friday just in case...


The LoMo Returneth

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Your Florida Marlins: Still mediocre, but now slightly more entertaining.

Apparently, it only took Morrison ten days to remember how to hit...


Off-Day Guide: August 22

Monday, August 22, 2011

First: a rant. Having moved to Seattle this month, I had to contact Comcast to get my cable and internet set up. I ordered my service on August 5, and today (hopefully), I will finally have my cable and internet set up, following 2 SEPARATE incidents in which Comcast failed to notify my that something was wrong with my order. Only when I contacted support myself did I find out about these snags. If I hadn't taken the trouble to contact them, I would probably still be in the dark.

Hey Comcast, it makes NO SENSE whatsoever that you would fail to follow up with a guy WHO WANTS TO GIVE YOU MONEY EVERY MONTH for cable and internet.

On top of that, when you call Comcast's 800 number and navigate the phone tree so that you can speak to a live person, their phone system usually hangs up on you. I am not the only person who has noticed it. This proves my theory on corporate customer service: If you have to produce and air TV ads touting your commitment to customer service, then your support team probably blows.

The saddest part? Because I can't live without college football, and don't care to try my hand at navigating another media company with poor customer service (DirecTV), I am stuck with Comcast. America: the leader in world capitalism that also props up some of the least efficient government-supported monopolies in the history of mankind.
Rant over. At least I don't have to watch the Marlins tonight, amirite?!?!

8:00 (ESPN): Monday Night Football, Bears at Giants. Fake football, real concussions.
8:00 (ESPN): Little League World Series. If you really need to watch baseball tonight, this will have to do. If you don't feel icky about ESPN making money off the dreams of children and their helicopter parents, that is...
9:00 (Travel): Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations. Bourdain goes to the Kurdish regions of Iraq and Turkey. This has to be his most dangerous trip yet, no?
9:00 (Comedy Central): It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Four episodes, including the sublime "The Gang Hits the Road."

Book rec: I went to Portland this weekend, and it goes without saying I visited Powell's Books (or as nerds like me call it, church). Among my haul was a copy of Michael Lewis' seminal Liar's Poker, a wonderful look inside the world of Wall Street bond traders. As with all his other work, it is an engrossing read full of great stories and sharp insights.

Culture: I saw 30 Minutes or Less yesterday. It is a fantastic caper/buddy comedy, well acted and sharply written. Jesse Eisenberg is the only star of the movie that is not a comedian, but he is regardless a skilled comic actor who holds his own alongside Aziz Ansari, Nick Swardson, and Danny McBride. Definitely worth your time.


Another Brief Week In Review

"It's getting embarrassing."

So says our skipper Jack McKeon. Trader Jack used the wrong tense though. It's gotten embarrassing.

Overview: Six losses and just one win, we've seen our fair share of these this season.
Positives: [looks over box scores from last seven games] [20 minutes elapses] Nope.
Negatives: The team is in the cellar and there isn't much hope on the horizon. JJ is out for the year and speculation is that Hanley won't come back either. The Fish have struggled to beat teams over .500 and a glance at the schedule induces:

Line of the Week: Mike Stanton had a nice week.

6-21, 2, 2B, 4 HR, 4 BB

Highlight of the Week: Stanton, with his longest #Monsterdong of the year

Looking Ahead: A day off then three home games against the Reds. This weekend they will get swept travel to Philadelphia.



Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Tonight Ricky Nolasco drew even with Dontrelle Willis in the Marlins record books by striking out out his 757th batter. That's where the good news ends. In true Marlins fashion Ricky's achievement (and half that really, because he was only two short entering tonight) was overshadowed by another club record he earned.

Coolest. Ballpark. Ever.
Worst. Start. Ever.

Nolasco allowed a five-spot in the first. He nearly escaped with just a 2-0 deficit, but Mike Cameron misplayed a ball in centerfield (yet not poorly enough to be an error) which allowed a bases clearing double. After a scoreless second in which the Rockies were too busy playing Candyland in the dugout, they put up a six-bomb in the third, punctuated by a three run homer by Carlos Gonzalez. 11 runs, all earned.

A search of the Baseball Reference play index indicates that no Marlins starting pitcher has ever given up 11 ER, let alone in 3 IP or less. Ricky bravely went where no Marlins (even scrubs like Ryan Bowen, Jack Armstrong, Dennis Springer, Carl Pavano) have ever gone.



Important Announcement

Not pictured: Erections of Marlins fans
I know some Marlins fans (but not the sophisticated, capable-of-nuance readership of this blog) care about "chemistry," "class," "playing the game the 'right' way" and other such buzzwords, so I pass on this news from Joe Frisaro. Mike Stanton: not a punk, like some other dude on the team who we won't mention specifically but his name rhyme with Manly..
In his second year and his first full big league season, Stanton doesn't feel he has enough time in the game to do anything to draw additional attention to himself.

So when he unloads on his big blasts, he simply drops the bat and runs. On those shots he isn't sure have a chance, he is hustling, just in case the ball doesn't clear the fence.

What would it take for Stanton to "pimp" a home run?

"If they threw at me, for no reason," he said. "Or to intimidate me or whatever, then I will. If I'm upset about something."

Another time he would show more excitement is if it is a walk-off homer.

"Other than that, there is no need to," he said.
So there you go, Mike Stanton is the anti-Hanley. And his Twitter is super boring, so he's also the anti-LoMo while we're at it. Glad we've sorted that out.


It wasn't Twitter

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Angry Twitter Bird is nobody's scapegoat
John Buck says he and other teammates warned Logan Morrison that he was expending too much energy on Twitter:
On Monday, catcher John Buck told the Miami Herald he and "several" other veterans on the team advised LoMo to spend a little less time coming up with witty remarks on the social media service and more time focusing on baseball.

"He's an awesome dude, a great teammate and a great person," Buck said, but he had become known too much for his social media presence, and not enough for his baseball skills.

"Just don't let it be the main focus of who you are, because you're a pretty dang good baseball player. That, for him, I think that should be good enough. And the other good stuff coming out of him, being who he is, should be icing on the cake. It shouldn't be flip-flopped, which I think it has become."
As you might expect, I don't think Twitter is to blame for LoMo's decline at the plate:
But Buck and his teammates (he did not specify to the Herald which teammates had joined him in warning LoMo about the perils of Twitter) seem to be missing an important point when it comes to Twitter: that it is possible to use the service without it becoming a "distraction."

People expect professional athletes to take a monastic approach to their sport. Only complete devotion to improving themselves is enough to satisfy the fans. And athletes, coaches, and front offices for the most part share this belief. If one player struggles (as Morrison has since early June), all of a sudden the hour or so a day he spends on Twitter signifies an unacceptable work ethic.

But when LoMo was tearing the cover off the ball in April and May, no one seemed to think that Twitter was preventing him from becoming a better baseball player.

To put it another way, if instead of tweeting, Morrison spent most of his time learning to speak Spanish and reading the complete works of Hemingway, would his teammates say "don't let it be the main focus of who you are"?

The point is not that Twitter is as worthwhile a hobby as learning another language, but that neither are detrimental to one's skill at baseball. To cite either as a cause of Morrison's declining batting average is beyond ridiculous.


The most Marlins loss of the season

@robneyer: McKeon takes out his closer, brings in the lefty specialist, Giambi crushes a 1-and-2 pitch for a line-drive, three-run, walk-off job. Wow.

The Leocoaster strikes again, and wastes a genuine (if Coors Field assisted) #Monsterdong!



Shortest Week in Review in MDH History

Monday, August 15, 2011

One win. Five Losses. No Lomo. Picture below echos our feelings on the Marlins current state of affairs.

More on LoMo in a bit.


No LoMo?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

By now you've probably heard the Marlins have demoted Logan Morrison to Triple-A, ostensibly for both his struggles at the plate and his big mouth (and it didn't help that he missed a meet-and-greet with season ticket holders). I haven't fully digested the story yet, I was at a wedding last night (which is to say I was quite drunk - Russian weddings are ridiculously awesome). But needless to say, we'll have more on this later. Lots of stuff to unpack here.

But as for my initial reaction, I can't say that anything this team does surprises me anymore. And if you're going to be as outspoken as LoMo is, you damn sure better back it up with solid play. Playing the game the right way means little if the result is a. 240 batting average.

More to come later.


What to do about Hanley? Nothing.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

via NBCMiami
The Marlins have placed Hanley Ramirez on the 15-day disabled list due to the shoulder injury he sustained while hustling last week, and Logan Morrison is frustrated with Hanley yet again. This is not exactly the take-away from our last post I had in mind:
When asked by the Sun-Sentinel whether Ramirez could become a veteran anchor, Morrison replied, "I guess, but he's not there every game. It's 162 games. It's not a 100-game season."
He preceded that sentence with "What we don't have is experience and a veteran who is in the lineup every day that can be an anchor for us. We don't have it."

First of all, getting injured twice in one season is not poor leadership, it's bad luck. And if the Marlins need anything, it is better players around Ramirez himself (keep in mind this team has trotted out Omar Infante all season and had to resort to starting Mike Cameron when Chris Coghlan got injured - not that he was setting the world on fire before his injury). Take away Ramirez, Morrison, Gaby Sanchez and Mike Stanton, and the Marlins lineup is the opposite of imposing. Greg Dobbs, Mike Cameron, and Emilio Bonifacio may be nice dudes who try hard, but they are not everyday starters on most MLB teams.

Regardless, the biggest victim of Hanley's yearlong slump has been Hanley himself. His perceived "lack of effort" was more bearable when his batting average was north of .300. Now that he's underperforming Bonifacio (!), not so much.

UPDATE: Late last night Morrison disputed his quote in the Sun-Sentinel, tweeting, "funny how u left the part out about how unfortunate it is that he was hurt and that he could be an anchor if he was healthy." But as I mentioned at NBCMiami, "Replying 'I guess' when asked whether Ramirez could be a veteran anchor is hardly a rousing endorsement of his teammate." Expecting the media to be tactful for you is beyond naive, something Morrison could have learned from sharing a clubhouse with Ramirez for two seasons.


Trade the bum!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Marlins have lost five in a row. Do you want to know who's not at fault? Hanley Ramirez:
Going into Monday’s game against the Braves, they were 5-20 in games in which Ramirez did not start as opposed to 50-39 when he did.
With Monday's loss, that's now 5-21 without Ramirez starting. Small sample size, I know, but keep that stat in mind the next time you hear someone complaining about Hanley for any reason. He's way below his yearly WAR pace (1.3 so far this year, compared to 29.9 in five previous seasons, according to Fangraphs), but let's not pretend to like seeing him replaced by a platoon of Emilio Bonifacio and Alfredo Amezaga.


Take That Uggla!

Monday, August 8, 2011

From Twitter via @Marlinsdoit


Week in Review

Overview: Feast and famine. The Marlins swept the Mets in an abbreviated series (bringing them back to .500 for the first time since my early 20s), then dropped four in a row against the Cardinals.
Positives: Alfredo Amezega is back, making him the Eddie House (i.e. high-five specialist) of the Marlins. Emilio Bonifacio won NL Player of the Month for July. I'm still wrapping my head around that.
Negatives: Now we know why Hanley usually doesn't hustle. The four-game sweep at the hands of the Cardinals puts Florida out of playoff contention, 10 games behind Wild Card leader Atlanta with eight weeks to go.
Line of the Week: Leo Nunez had a line Monday night that would make Antonio Alfonseca blush (he got the win, of course):

1.0 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 1 K, -0.421 WPA
Highlight of the Week: Mike Stanton extra-innings grand slam. Need we say more?
Looking Ahead: The Marlins host the Braves and Giants for three games apiece, with an off-day in between series.


Yes, Please!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Mike Stanton could be offered a Hanley-like extension sometime in the not-too-distant future:

The Marlins have been having preliminary internal talks about a possible long-term contract for the 21-year-old right fielder.

The team hasn't come up with anything specific in terms of money and years, according to a person familiar with the situation, who said an offer probably wouldn't be made until next year.
Needless to say, the Marlins would be wise to lock up Stanton soon. He won't be arbitration-eligible until after the 2013 season, but if he gets an offer that moves his payday up a year or two and gives him peace of mind that he will be set for life, the Fish could get Stanton at a relative discount for the next few years (as they are with Hanley Ramirez and Josh Johnson and the Rays are getting with Evan Longoria).

This can't happen soon enough. It will be a great day for the franchise if and when Sr. #Monsterdong signs a long-term deal with the Marlins.


One Marlins fan's genesis story

Thursday, August 4, 2011

New Marlin Maniac contributor James Etzbach (@ManofTeal on Twitter) writes a tale about the birth of his Marlins fandom today, and you should all read it. Have any of you painted your car Marlins teal to express your fandom? I think not. Bravo, James.


Words cannot convey my shock

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Emilio Bonifacio: NL Player of the Month for July.

I am befuddled. He deserves congratulations, but I'm going to be that guy and point out that his BABIP is still 40 points above his career average (.373 vs. .333) and he still strikes out 19.6% of the time. He has upped his walk rate to 10.6% from 8.5% in 2010 and 6.7% in 2009, which is a relief.

But yeah, congrats Boni. You had a great month, and even I have to tip my cap.


See What Hapens?

Hanley Ramirez is totally never hustling again:

It's a lot harder to hurt yourself when you're loafing. See what you've done, Jeff Conine?

SCWS has the best take (at Marlins Daily):
A few weeks ago, Hanley would have turned around and jogged after that pop-up, letting it drop in for an uncontested single. There was no way he was getting to it anyway, so he'd have just let Logan Morrison pick it up, shrugged and walked back to his position, ready to half-heartedly chase after the next ball that might seem just a bit out of his reach.
gif via SB Nation


I'm a baaaad man

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Mike Pelfrey, via BLS:

I think Major League Baseball might want to find a way to get him out of the game, because he's going to hurt somebody.
Perhaps Jason Isringhausen (-0.4 WAR in 2011) should be the dude out of baseball, since he suffers from the delusion that one should pitch to Giancarlo Cruz Stanton...


Silly Mets...

Monday, August 1, 2011

Marlins lead 3-1, bottom of the ninth, 2 outs, one pitch away from a ho-hum victory over the Mets:

L Duda homered to center, A Pagan scored.

Leo Nunez's winter trade value plummets, much like the riders of the proverbial LeoCoaster toward a ravine.

Top of the 10th, score still tied:

M Stanton homered to left center, G Sanchez, H Ramirez and D Wise scored.

#MONSTERDONG sits at bottom of ravine, saves everyone from imminent death.


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