That's Sr. Giancarlo #Monsterdong to You

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Mike Stanton is now going by Giancarlo Stanton. Fine by us. Giancarlo is a much more melodic name to scream out in the throes of a masturbatory session home run blast.


Enough With the Puns

At least SI didn't try to invent a hashtag on this cover...

Cover via (duh)


Hanley's Impending Rebound

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Today at the Herald, Clark Spencer makes a good point, followed by a nonsensical point. First:
Ozzie Guillen has said repeatedly not to expect defensive wizardry from the former shortstop but never fails to add that Ramirez should at least be adequate. ... I think the bigger question mark is his bat.
No arguments here. Ramirez was not exactly Gold Glove-caliber at shortstop (his career UZR per 150 games is -10.2 - meaning his defense is well below average). Moving to third base will require him to cover less ground, and he should see fewer balls hit his way, and thus have fewer chances to screw up.

Then Spencer follows up with a laughable assertion that will likely be repeated if and when Ramirez' offensive production rebounds in 2012:
It's possible the attention he must now devote to learning his new position will remove some of the pressure off him at the plate.
Let's just get this out of the way: If Ramirez hits .300 coming off last year's abominable .243 performance, it will have almost nothing to do with a move to third base. We hate to keep bringing this up, but Ramirez struggled in 2011 mostly due to bad luck. His strikeout rate (17.1%) was a point above his career average, and his walk rate (11.4%) was almost 2 points higher than normal, so the problem was not plate discipline (indeed he swung at the same percentage of pitches inside and outside the strike zone as he has during his career).

The biggest statistical anomaly from Hanley's 2011 season (besides the batting average) is his batting average on balls in play (BABIP). Hanley's career average BABIP is .339; in 2011 his BABIP dipped to .275 from .327 the year before. Since hitters have little control over the location of their batted balls (apart from pulling vs. opposite field), this stat is largely a measure of luck, and one that can deviate significantly from year to year.

Bill James projects Ramirez' BABIP to bounce this season, up .331 (via Fangraphs). Coinciding with that is a jump in batting average to .298. So if Ramirez' hitting numbers rebound this season, ignore all arguments centered around his move to third base "taking pressure off" him. If Hanley succeeds in 2012, it will be because his luck has evened out, as it tends to do.


Loria the Eternal Optimist

Monday, February 27, 2012

Jeffrey Loria gave his thoughts on the Miami Marlins as the team opened Spring Training, and guess what? He thinks they should make the playoffs. Just like he did last year.

Last year Loria said the team could win 90 games. The Marlins ended up losing 90 games. This year he says the Marlins are better than the 2003 version that won the World Series. Hopefully this year's team won't accomplish the opposite of Loria's prediction (What would the opposite of winning the World Series be? A gambling scandal that results in lifetime bans for a chunk of the team?)

Also, Hanley Ramirez was asked by Jon Heyman how he would fare at third base this season. Hanley's response: "Great ... the best." Our response to his response:

Loria image via. Is there a less flattering photo of Loria on the Interwebs? I can't find one.
Hanley photo via Martha Stewart. Yes, that Martha Stewart.


A Note on Hanley in Spring Training

Friday, February 24, 2012

Everyone has been saying nice things about Hanley Ramirez this week. He told the assembled media at Marlins Spring Training that he's totally happy to play third base, and Ozzie Guillen said of his ornery star: "He seems like he's a happy man. I think playing third base is going to be easy for him." And to top it off, he's even playing video games with Jose Reyes!

Everything seems downright peachy, but that shouldn't surprise savvy Marlins fans such as our readership (You guys are smart! And probably decent-looking!). This is at least the third spring in a row that Ramirez has promised a hassle-free season. Last year i wrote a piece for NBCMiami titled "Hanley Ramirez is Ready to Lead, and This Time He Means It." We all know how that turned out. In that very article I pointed out that (essentially) the same promise was made in 2010 (that time around, no less than Uncle Wes Helms said Hanley "looks like a guy that wants to [lead]").

Spring Training promises are like assholes: every ballplayer has one, some have warts. No one should be disappointed if anyone in the Marlins' clubhouse feuds with Ramirez over anything, be it a perceived lack of effort or double-dipping in the guac from the postgame spread.

I spend a fair amount of time defending Ramirez on Twitter (someone has to do it), but in this instance, I'm going to side with his critics and say I'll believe he's turned over a new leaf when I see it.

To be fair, the Marlins' appear to be taking a different approach with Ramirez this spring. Sure, they forced a move to third base, but Guillen has made a subtle managerial move. He has placed the burden of potential disappointment on himself, and has only asked Ramirez to play hard. Comparing Ramirez to LeBron James (in that both are blamed individually when their teams lose), Guillen said, "From now on, every time the Marlins lose it’s Oswaldo Guillen’s fault. It’s not the fault of any of the players."

He also nixed the idea of moving Hanley back to shortstop in the event of a Reyes injury. "I won't play with Hanley's mind," he said this week (emphasis added). "It's going to be hard for him to move to shortstop, and then when Reyes is ready, back to third base. Then we're abusing this kid and we don't respect him."

In other words, Guillen is mindful of not asking Ramirez to do too much. There are other guys on the team who can lead. Ramirez is only being asked to play, and play hard at that. Sometimes you must accept what you cannot change.


Children of the Marlins Diaspora: 16

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Edgar Renteria, SS

Played for Marlins: 1996-1998
Other Teams: St. Louis, Boston, Atlanta, Detroit, San Francisco, Cincinnati
Marlins fans know him because: Edgar signed with the Fish as a free agent when he was 16. In 1996 he made it to the show and had a solid freshman campaign, finishing second in the Rookie of the year. 1997 is the year everyone remembers though. His numbers tailed off from the previous year, but he was very clutch and had a number of game winning hits/RBIs. Most importantly, he ended the World Series with a walkoff single in extra innings of game seven. He stayed with the team in that awful 1998 year and was the team's lone representative in the all-star game.
Everyone else knows him because: Good baseball fans will remember most for the 1997 heroics. Others may remember a unique fact about him; He was the final batter of two different world series, one on the winning end, and one on the losing end (He made the last out in 2006). More recently, he had another moment of World Series glory, a three run homer in the seventh inning of game five in 2010, to propel the Giants over the Rangers.
Best Marlins moment: Do we really have to explain? Look at the picture. Better yet, see the video below:

Why now? Reportedly, Renteria is going to retire after not being offered any major league deals this offseason.


Old Habits Die Hard

If you thought the Marlins free spending ways would mean their penny-pinching habits of the past would die out, think again.

The club's handling of guys with less than three years of service time is perturbing both their players and the Major League Baseball Players’ Association alike, according to a report on Fox Sports. Per the new collective bargaining agreement, the major league minimum salary is increasing from $414,000 to $480,000. The Marlins aren't required to pay their 0-3 players a dime more, but here’s the issue: Someone like Gaby Sanchez with more than two years of service time might be making the same salary as the considerably less accomplished Jose Ceda, who has logged 96 days.

Most teams have a pay scale for their non arbitration-eligible players. They give raises from one year to the next based on everything from awards won (Rookie of the Year, Silver Slugger, Player of the Week, Rookie of the Month, etc.) to service time accumulated. The Marlins are widely considered to have one of, if not the worst, scales out there.
This is both mind-bogglingly stupid and pretty hilarious. A team that re-signed a middling reliever who is languishing in the Domincan Republic with visa/identity issues to a $6 million deal doesn't want to give a few young players a raise of only tens of thousands of dollars. It is disturbing and pathetic, but really not all that surprising that the team wouldn't operate in good faith with guys like Gaby Sanchez, who was an All-Star and posted a 2.9 WAR last year. It's a wonder anyone would ever want to play here.

This is also coming off the heels of the Marlins recent arbitration cases (mainly, two losses against Anibal Sanchez and Emilio Bonifacio) where they went to court over small differences in salary offers. In Bonifacio's case, he got the $2.2 million he wanted instead of the $1.95 the Marlins were offering. Playing hardball for the last $250,000, after committing over $140 million in the winter? Soooooo Marlins.


We are officially too interested in the discarded hair of Marlins stars

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Josh Johnson has shorn his curly locks to comply with team policy, but unlike Jose Reyes' discarded dreadlocks, JJ's hair is not valuable enough to auction off on eBay. Instead, he has donated it to Locks of Love, a very worthy charity.

Our alternative suggestion: Bake the hair into some brownies and make Ricky Nolasco eat them. Perhaps there will be enough residual mojo left in the clippings to help turn around Nolasco's recent regression.

Image via.


It begins


BREAKING: Third baseman takes grounders

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Ah, Spring Training, when the mere fact that Hanley Ramirez is taking grounders at third qualifies as news...

Video via


Oz and the Spaceman

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Via the Palm Beach Post, Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen and famed baseball eccentric Bill "Spaceman" Lee are friends (of sorts), dating back to their time on Los Tiburones de La Guaira of the Venezuelan league in the early eighties. Lee was a big influence on the then-17-year-old Guillen:
"When you grow up with players like that who have so much fun and love the game the way he did," Guillen said, "I'm not going to say he was the biggest reason I have fun in the game, but he's got something to do with it.'"
Click through for the full story, including the time Lee went AWOL from the team for a week or so to live in the Amazon with an indigenous tribe. Great reporting by Joe Capozzi of the PBP.

Bonus content: Jesse Thorn interviewed Lee AND Will Carroll for an episode of The Sound of Young America. Material from the podcast WILL be included on the next quiz, so give it a listen!

More Bill Lee stuff: Deadspin reprinted an extended interview Lee gave High Times in 1980. Obviously, this is worth your time.

Photo via



Thursday, February 16, 2012

Gary Carter has succumbed to the brain tumors that has afflicted him for the past two years. Besides being one of the few people associated with the Mets franchise we could actually stomach, he was one of the voices of our childhood, as part of the original Marlins TV broadcast team alongside Jay Randolph. The affably long-winded yang to Randolph's buttoned-down yin, The Kid will be missed.

UPDATE: Watch this video of Carter's last at bat, an RBI double in front of the home crowd for Les Expos. We fucking DARE YOU not to get all teary. Go ahead.


What Could Have Been

Shoe Gallery has been tweeting photos of some reimagined Miami Marlins hats that will have those of us who don't like the team's new color scheme (which is to say nearly all of us) crying in disappointment. Take one look at the Dolphins-themed hat to the left or the UM-themed hat below and tell us the new unis would not have looked a thousand times better with either of these color schemes.

There is also a teal and black cap here, for those of you who pine for a return to the halcyon days of teal. Ted and I had argued in favor of a Dolphins- or Canes-centric color scheme, and these photos confirm our suspicion that either would have looked dope.

Vote with your pocketbooks and buy these hats. Here's Shoe Gallery's Yelp page.

Big h/t to @BoobiesNStanton


JJ Back on Track?

Josh Johnson spoke with the media this week (see below), saying he is now up to throwing three days a week with no ill effects on the right shoulder that sidelined him for much of last season. This is obviously great news, since we all know how quickly the Marlins unraveled when they had to start one of a handful of quad-A types in Johnson's place after his injury.


Oh no, LoMo

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Marlins have shown once again that when it comes to tone-deaf PR, they are second to none in MLB. Logan Morrison has long wanted to wear the number 5 to honor his late father, Tom. Tom Morrison's favorite player was George Brett, who also wore the number 5. In LoMo's words, Tom "told me to model my game" after Brett when he was learning the game.

But the Marlins retired the number 5 before they had ever played a game in order to honor Carl Barger, the team's first president who died suddenly during the 1992 winter meetings. But having made a convenient shift to the "Miami Marlins" this winter, the team felt justified enough to ignore former  owner Wayne Huizenga's promise that "No other Florida Marlin will ever wear No. 5."

The Barger family, as you may imagine, is not happy. The team didn't even bother to contact them, and their promise to honor Barger with a plaque at the new stadium is hugely incommensurate with the un-retiring of number 5. Making this all the more laughable is that the team claims it tried for months in vain to contact the Barbers, but it took the Palm Beach Post 5 minutes to find their number.

The move makes more sense when you consider what Morrison gets out of the deal. No other Marlin has been as big a thorn in the side of management over the past year as Morrison. Giving him an opportunity to honor his late father will surely improve his opinion of the front office. And while Carl Barger was a close personal friend of Huizenga, he had no connection whatsoever to Jeffrey Loria. The team will once again have egg on its face, but if doing so allows them to more effectively manage one of their budding stars, then the tradeoff is worth it.

This is not to say the Marlins are justified. A retired number for a dead executive strikes me as a tad cheesy, but a promise is a promise, and there are plenty of ways for Morrison to honor his dad that don't involve the Marlins breaking this promise. While the team is being less than moral here, they are clearly getting some benefit from the move, one which (to them) outweighs the cost of the bad PR.


Get Excited

Monday, February 13, 2012

Not a new story, but a few Marlins have already reported to Spring Training camp in Jupiter, even though pitchers and catchers don't report until February 22. Images via the Palm Beach Post.

JJ drinks with his left arm so he doesn't strain his pitching shoulder.
More photos after the jump...


Cespedes is a No-Go

Yoenis Cespedes is not walking through that door...

The Cuban defector has spurned the Miami Marlins in favor of the Oakland Athletics, signing a 4-year deal worth $36 million.
So much for a LoMo-Cespedes-Sr. #MONSTERDONG outfield troika. Cespedes' agent was reportedly asking for either a 4- or 10-year deal, as opposed to the 5-6-year deals other teams were offered. This makes a lot of sense. A 4-year deal allows Cespedes to become a free agent at age 30, when he is much more marketable to MLB teams than he would be at 32.

Plus, the A's will pay him $12 [ed.: Math!] $9 million a year, while the Marlins were offering $6 million per year.

So you know who'll be patrolling centerfield on Opening Day (provided Chris Coghlan doesn't suddenly become a serviceable baseball player by then)...

/starts drinking


Site Redesign

As mentioned before, we at Marlins Diehards believe this site should reflect the status of the actual Marlins franchise. Because three months have elapsed since the unveiling of the garish new logos and uniforms (they haven't been redone, much to the displeasure of whoever created, we figured we better get with the times.

For the extraordinary site banner, we owe all graphic design credit to the inimitable @adamsmoot. We paid a great fee for his services* and recommend him if you need any, and I mean any, graphic design work.

Marlins pitchers and catchers report in nine days!!!

*Two beers, we still owe him


Hanley Responde

Friday, February 10, 2012


Yoenis Has Landed

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Judging from his wardrobe, we think Cespedes will fit in here just fine.
Yoenis Cespedes is in Miami, and will meet with the Marlins tomorrow. Presumably, Loria's brain trust will give him the Joe's/Versailles/New Stadium tour that they gave Reyes, Pujols, Bell, et al in December. But wait, there's more!
According to an American League source from a club that's been monitoring his free agency, the Marlins likely will be his future employer.
Seriously, why wouldn't a Cuban defector want to play for a team in Miami that is on the upswing and willing to pay a high price for his services? At this point, I'd be more surprised if he signed with anyone but the Marlins...

Photo via


Act Now! Supplies Limited!

Monday, February 6, 2012

New Marlins SS Jose Reyes had to cut off his dreadlocks to comply with the team's (dumb) personal grooming rule (Related: he, Heath Bell and Mark Buehrle all got Brazilian waxes last week as per a lesser-known provision in the same rule). Because no piece of baseball ephemera can't be auctioned off, the remnants of his dreads are being auctioned off on eBay by the Make a Wish Foundation.

Sadly, there is no photo of the hair on the auction listing (which frankly makes me question the authenticity of the posting. Bring forth the dreadlocks!). Luckily, the Sun Sentinel got a fantastic "After" photo: 

As of this writing, the latest bid (the 41st!) is $6,010.66. According to the listing, Reyes' last haircut came in 2007. The haircut was broadcast by MLB Network, which we would have mentioned last week if we weren't busy pretending that personal boundaries still exist in our society. Video below...

Photo via


Anibal Wins Arbitration

Anibal Sanchez got his arbitration hearing Monday, and he won big. The arbiter ruled in favor of Sanchez, awarding him with the $8 million he was demanding (the Marlins had offered $6.9 million). It is the largest award ever given to a pitcher in arbitration. Sanchez will be a free agent after the 2012 season, meaning unless he lays an egg this year, he could demand upwards of $10 million a year for his next contract.

No word on whether Anibal was carried out of court after the arbitration ruling
Sanchez has averaged roughly 4 WAR a season over the past two seasons. He made $5 million total during that time, which is a bargain for 8 WAR. If he can keep up his WAR pace in 2011, then the $8 million will be surely worth it.


Welcome to Baseball Season

Last night, the curtain closed on football season. The Giants triumphed by kicking an oblong ball through a giant "H" when Ahmad Bradhsaw took a dump on the goal line the Patriots were unable to answer.

Now onwards to baseball season! I don't recall whether Dave has mentioned this or not, but we are  actually getting ready for the new season, and that includes some slight design changes to the blog. We promise it won't be outlandish as the team's actual uniforms or the monstrosity in center field, but the blog should reflect the look of the team in some capacity. Look for that in the coming weeks

Another announcement, We've often suggested following Dave and/or me on Twitter to get updates on the blog and Marlins commentary. We now have a sole twitter account for that purpose: @MarlinsDiehards. Try to hack us, the password totally isn't "Conine4life."

16 days til pitchers and catchers report (!!!)

Photo via


It's... kinda awesome?

Friday, February 3, 2012

I know all the cool kids hate it (Sample: "There it sits proudly like a giant middle-finger to good taste."), but I kinda like the ugly beauty thing the Marlins are doing with the centerfield structure. It's hideous, but in a way that is pitch-perfect. And for real, we're talking about a baseball stadium here, not a government building (okay, the government is basically paying for most of it, but still...).

If this is the Marlins' way of making their stadium stand out, then that's cool with me. It's not as awesome as the flagpole in centerfield and train in Minute Maid Park, but it'll do.

Besides, what about Miami screams good taste anyway? Are we worried that the centerfield structure will soil the reputation of Miami International Airport?


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