Marlins Sell Out a Game!*

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Can't win 'em all...


Prepare Yoenis*

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

It is official, Yoenis Cespedes is now a free agent. The Marlins will make a strong push to sign the Cuban defector, regardless of the fact that he has faced MLB-quality pitching only sporadically in his professional career. One has to expect they have the inside track, thanks to the money they are willing to throw around and the fact that any Cuban player will be automatically revered in South Florida.

Rumors circled today that Cespedes doesn't really want to play for the Marlins, but beat writer Joe Frisaro talked to his sources, who basically refuted that idea. It's up to you to decide which hearsay to believe; both are equally likely in my opinion.

If the Marlins do sign Cespedes, they will have to figure out where to put him. Frisaro thinks he could start the year in Double-A or Triple-A. Considering the fact that he has played almost his entire career in the Cuba (which is no longer the hotbed of talent it was even a decade ago), this makes sense. The guy could probably use a little bit of seasoning before being exposed to the Halladays and Strasburgs of the NL.

But when he gets up to the big leauges, where do they put him? He is probably athletic enough to play centerfield, but may be better suited to the corner outfield spots in the long term. Only problem there is that both of those are occupied by Mike Stanton and Logan Morrison. LoMo could be moved back to first base, but then where does Gaby Sanchez go? This is a good problem to have, but a problem nonetheless (and one that could lead to another vacuum in centerfield).

Nonetheless, the Marlins still have to actually sign Cespedes, so we can wait to cross that bridge when we actually get there.

*Ted gets all the credit for this pun. You should probably know by now that it's pronounced "yo-AY-nis."


Did our magical week together mean NOTHING to you?!?!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Mike Piazza wants a Mets hat on his Hall of Fame plaque (provided the BBWAA doesn't Bagwell him and tie up his potential induction because of PED hysteria):
When asked what hat he wants to wear if elected to the Hall of Fame, he responded: "It's gotta be the Mets. No question."
We, of course, have an alternate suggestion:

It would be the ultimate troll move, which means it must be done. The Hall of Fame has the final say on a player's plaque hatwear. We can only hope Hall of Fame officials find this idea as funny as we do...



Saturday, January 21, 2012

Looks like SB Nation's Al Yellon is feeling a bit cranky today...
The Miami Marlins aren't a baseball team, they're a lounge act. 
And they're not one of the nightclub acts you line up to see. No, they're a faded 1970s lounge act, long after the genre lost its popularity, with a singer wearing an orange sequined jacket, singing Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby songs off-key while the lone waitress, whose hair long ago ceased to be blonde but has been frosted that way anyway, serves drinks to fifty-something men who are trying to pretend they don't have combovers. 
This is all to preface this post, which I freely admit is going to be full of unreasonable dislike of the team from Miami. I can't stand the Marlins or anything they represent.
There's more. It's a bit of a train wreck. He rehashes the same criticisms of the Marlins you've heard before: Loria and Samson are jerks, the new logo and centerfield display are ugly, and no one goes to their games. The Pullitzer committee has surely taken notice of the fine work put into Yellon's tirade. At least when Jeff Sullivan criticizes the Marlins, he tries to be funny.

This is just kinda sad. If only Loria and Samson would get off his lawn, he'd probably stop yelling.

Image via.


Admit it, you felt a thrill when this happened

Friday, January 20, 2012

Everyone's favorite baseball owner nearly died at the hands of LeBron James last night. Surely you've already seen the video above, so let's skip the recap and go straight to the jokes!

LeBron says he wants a hat. Loria gave Hanley Ramirez a horifically blingy chain for winning a batting title. LeBron basically saved Loria's life. That is worth at least a gauche crown or two.

Also: Shoulda been you, Samson. Shoulda been you...

Unrelated: I was looking for something in my NBCMiami archive (seriously, I needed to find a link for another story, I was not reading my own stuff and marveling at my pithiness, I swear), and I found this gem: No one invited Chris Volstad to the Marlins' uniform unveiling, he thinks that means he's on the outs in Miami. Read that one right on the money, Chris! Good job.

Finally, in burying the lede: Ted and I are of course going to redesign our banner since it no longer makes sense. But we're both kinda busy, so we haven't had time to dick around in Photoshop. Perhaps you can help! We've got some ideas we want to play with, but would be open to input and will give you a certain amount of creative autonomy. We won't pay you, but Ted may buy you a beer sometime, and we'd proclaim you to be the finest gentleman (or gentlewoman) in all the land using our lightly-read Marlins blog as a trumpet. Hit one of us on Twitter or Facebook if you're interested.


Best Photo Ever?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Submitted without comment:

Amy K. Nelson's photo So, this might break Twitter...#twoguysonetub @peteypipes @lomomarlins
Amy K. Nelson on WhoSay
Yes, that's Bryan Petersen and Logan Morrison. 

Good heavens, this team will be fun to cover.


Marlins Will Pursue Cespedes

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Yoennis Cespedes is still waiting for MLB to grant him free agency, but the Miami Marlins are poised to make a run for the Cuban centerfielder when he becomes available:
"We think he should be nowhere except Miami," Samson said of Cespedes. "It just makes perfect sense for him to be here ... we have a perfect position for him to play, and it would be great."

He thinks the Marlins could indeed sign him. "I feel pretty good" about that possibility.
Earlier reports indicated that Cespedes could command a $60 million deal, but's Joe Frisaro is hearing his deal will more likely be in the 4-year, $30ish million range. This puts him within Miami's budget, and considering the team's glaring need at centerfield, the Marlins would be foolish not to try and sign him.

Cespedes is largely unproven. He clearly has the tools to succeed in the majors, but his past performance is not the greatest sample - a handful of international games and play in the Cuban league. But $30 million is not a terrible gamble for an athletic guy who can hit for average and power.


Miami Marlins Upping the Crazy

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

According to just about every baseball beat writer, the Marlins are close to a deal with the Cubs for Carlos Zambrano1. As of this moment, it appears that the Marlins would be giving up Chris Volstad. Also of note, the Cubs would be responsible for all of Zambrano's contract, save for around $3 million.

This is awesome2. We'll get to the baseball aspect in a moment, but from a pure blogging and entertainment perspective this move is great. Big Z is well known for his rabid emotional outbursts, both good and bad. You can bet Ozzie Guillen will try to reign him in and focus on the good energy, but there should certainly be some explosions that will provide real entertainment value.

From a baseball sense, meh? I like the move. It was hard to expect anything out of Chris Volstad anymore, so that's not a loss. In fact, some are suggesting a parade just for being able to unload him. What does Carlos bring to the table? Well, he still has stuff. He does walk a lot of guys and give up the long ball (gee that does sound like Volstad, ugh), but he possesses a live fastball and movement on all of his pitches. He should be able to eat innings (pun intended) and maybe rack up 10 wins. Actually if you are a fan of Bill James projections, he has Zambrano going 10-10 with a 3.89 ERA in 181 IP in 2012. I'd do cartwheels if he can match that. Carlos probably would as well, except I doubt he can perform a proper cartwheel. Maybe he'll celebrate with a beer chug3.

1I was away from Twitter for most of the day, so I don't know who had it first. Was it Ken Rosenthal? Fuck it, my money is on Ken's bowtie breaking the news.
2Unless you are a water/Gatorade cooler. If you are, then you may want to find a safe house and lay low.
3Beer chug is much better idea.


Someone had to say it

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Food for thought

Negative effects of highly dispersed pay are even seen in professional sports. Studies of baseball teams are especially interesting because, of all major professional sports, baseball calls for the least coordination among team members. But baseball still requires some cooperation—for example, between pitchers and catchers, and among infielders. And although individuals hit the ball, teammates can help one another improve their skills and break out of slumps. Notre Dame's Matt Bloom did a careful study of over 1,500 professional baseball players from 29 teams, spanning an eight-year period, which showed that players on teams with greater dispersion in pay had lower winning percentages, gate receipts, and media income. 
-from Pfeffer and Sutton, "Evidence Based Management," Harvard Business Review, January 2006.


Prepare to have your mind blown

While weighing in a Fish Stripes' best third-baseman in Marlins history poll, I discovered the following about inaugural Marlins third-baseman Dave Magadan (via Baseball Reference):
June 27, 1993: Traded by the Florida Marlins to the Seattle Mariners for Henry Cotto and Jeff Darwin.
November 9, 1993: Traded by the Seattle Mariners to the Florida Marlins for Jeff Darwin and cash.
Traded twice in the same year, for the same player, by the same teams. I'm not sure that's ever happened before or since, but you'll have to ask Tim Kurkjian for verification on that one.

Also, according to B-R, Magadan's closest comparable is another former Marlins, Jim Eisenreich. So there's that.

Image via Marlin Maniac


A Very Short Chat with Jesse Thorn

Monday, January 2, 2012

Something different to kick of 2012. My favorite public radio show, The Sound of Young America, relaunches this week as Bullseye. To promote the new show, creator and host Jesse Thorn (America's radio sweetheart) promised to accept any interview request, so we took him up on that offer. We briefly discussed baseball (of course).

Both times the Marlins won the World Series, they ended up beating the Giants in the NLDS. Which of those Marlins teams ('97 and '03) irritated you more as a Giants fan?

One of my closest friends, a San Franciscan, became a baseball fan the year the Marlins joined MLB. I was 11, he was 10. He picked Jeff Conine as his favorite player, and the Marlins as his favorite team. I never heard the end of those two series.

I will say that I've never had anything against the Marlins, and the 2003 edition even had the cool addition of Dontrelle Willis, a Bay Area guy my age who'd played against my friends in Little League and gone to high school with a good college buddy of mine. Still, I thought that was the Giants' year. And the stupid MARLINS messed it up. So I'm going 2003.

Which baseball player or manager (alive or dead) would you most like to appear as a guest on Bullseye? My choice: Earl Weaver

I was just thinking that I'd love to have Bill Veeck on the show sometime, were he not dead, but he never played or managed, so I suppose he doesn't count. I did have his son Mike on once, many years ago. A couple of the folks I'd most like to have on have been on: most notably Bill "Spaceman" Lee, whose autobiography The Wrong Stuff was almost certainly too influential on me as a child.

It's often hard to tell who in baseball is genuinely funny or eccentric, and who is just eccentric compared to baseball players, who seem to be the most boring people in the world. Only in baseball can you find black guys whose only hobbies are hunting and golf.

Earl Weaver's not a bad choice. I read his great book "Weaver on Strategy" as a kid, and loved it. I might choose the man who inspired Weaver, though, Branch Rickey. There'd be a lot to talk about.

Great choices all, and now Ted and I know who to recruit for social chair when we start our Earl Weaver Appreciation Society. The fact that he has actually read Earl Weaver makes him the most qualified cultural Sherpa on public radio.

Here's Bullseye's social media particulars, and a link to the show's podcast in iTunes. Below, the promo for Episode 1, which airs this week. Also, links to Jesse's interviews with Bill James and Mike Veeck. Bullseye is not carried by any public radio stations in Florida, so by all means, pester your station into carrying it.

Image via GQ


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