WARNING: This gif may make you cry

Monday, April 29, 2013

Sr. Monsterdong left Monday night's game with a leg owie, and now the Diehards haz a sad:

The team is calling the injury a right hamstring straing. More to come, obviously.


Return of the #Monsterdong

Sunday, April 28, 2013

It took 24 games for us to get the first #Monsterdong of 2013, but Giancarlo Stanton made it count:

Made all the better by Dave Van Horne's call. Good choice, MLB.com video intern! 

Stanton did not take long to hit his second #Monsterdong, doing so in the first inning of Sunday's series finale with the Cubs. We can bear the intense suckitude of the 2013 Marlins so long as it is served with a heaping side of Stanton homers. 


Hope Your Week Was Better Than This Guy's...

Friday, April 26, 2013

What's the only thing worse than getting arrested for cocaine trafficking? If you answered "Getting arrested for cocaine trafficking while sporting a Florida Marlins face tattoo," then YOU'RE CORRECT!

Via Miami New Times
Normally I feel a tinge of guilt when reading the New Times' Mugshot Friday post, but not this time!

From the arrest report:
Arrested: 4/23Charges: Cocaine Trafficking, Drug and Firearm Possession
As an aside, from now on when I hear someone complain about the demise of the old Marlins logo, my retort will always be: "If you like it so much, where's your face tattoo????"


Jeffrey Loria is Still the Worst

We like to call Jeffrey Loria "George Steinbrenner with Less Money," and his latest move is pure Stein:
Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria personally mandated the lineup card change that flip-flopped starting pitchers Jose Fernandez and Ricky Nolasco in a doubleheader Tuesday and left Marlins players furious with his continued meddling, three sources with knowledge of the situation told Yahoo! Sports.

Loria insisted Fernandez, the team's prized 20-year-old rookie, pitch in the first half of the doubleheader at frigid Target Field instead of the scheduled Nolasco because the day game was expected to be warmer. The temperature at Fernandez's first pitch (38 degrees) was actually colder than at the beginning of Nolasco's start (42 degrees).
Nevermind the fact that the difference between 38 degrees and 42 degrees to someone who has lived below the 30th parallel all his life isn't even noticeable, it's as if Loria wants Redmond to fail. We're not huge proponents of team chemistry, but forcing your rookie manager to break protocol and give a 20-year-old rookie privilege over a veteran and staff ace is not exactly a great clubhouse move.

Indeed, if Loria was truly concerned about Fernandez' arm in the cold Minnesota weather (a legitimate concern), he should have asked Redmond to skip his start. The Marlins would have had to call someone up from the minors to pitch for him, but that happens often for double-headers. Instead, he gets to read another round of press about what a terrible owner he is. Nice move, Jeff!

UPDATE: Loria says he didn't do it.
"I had nothing to do with the decision," Loria told FOXSports.com on Friday. "I was informed of the decision by the baseball department. I told them it was their call.

"I don't make decisions on who to pitch and when, how to go about it — that's not my role. Sometimes they call me and tell me what they're doing. But I don't call them up and say, 'This is what is going to happen.' That's not true."
Loria could certainly be telling the truth, but his past actions have not exactly made him a trustworthy character. Certainly there will be more to follow.


Series Recap: ALL OF THE L's

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Overview: The Marlins lost three of four in Cincinnati.
Positives: The Miami Heat playoff run starts in two hours.
Negatives: It's hard to overstate how poor the Fish have been this year. They've yet to win back to back games and less than a month into the campaign, they're already eleven games under .500. And you know what the worst part of all is? I never learned to read. We still has no MONSTERDONGZ. :(
Line of the Week: [vacant]
Highlight of the Week: Placido Polanco made a nifty scoop and throw to end a Reds threat. 
Looking Ahead: The team takes a brief trip to Minnesota for two against the Twins.


Series Recap: Offense Awakens (One Night Only)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Overview: The Marlins dropped two of three games to the Washington Nationals.
Positives: Miami exploded for 8 runs on Tuesday, they can score! And Alex Sanabia pitched well! For one night, everything was okay. Giancarlo Stanton missed the entire series, but he is set to return Thursday.
Negatives: Sure the Marlins combined for four runs during the other two games, but at least they won one game, right?
Line of the Series: Speaking of Sanabia, here's his line from Tuesday:
6 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 0.231 WPA

Highlight of the Series: Adeiny Hechevarria lit up the home run sculpture for the first time this season.
Up Next: Miami hosts Cincinnati for four games beginning Thursday night.


"You Mean We're Allowed to Do That?"

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Via Fish@Bat
In the 8th home game of the 2013 season, the Miami Marlins hit their first home run of the season at Marlins Park. Finally, that ugly beauty in centerfield blew its majestic wad, and for a brief moment all was right in Marlinworld.

Thanks, Adeiny. We're totally going to learn your name. You earned it, buddy!


Series Recap: Phillies

Monday, April 15, 2013

Overview: The Marlins lost two of three to the Phillies at home.
Positives: They won a game, something they've only done one other time this year. Jose Fernandez once again dazzled on the mound and even gave himself the lead withi an RBI single
Negatives: The Fish are still woeful at the plate. They've scored one or zero runs in seven of their twelve games and could only muster four in this three game set. The team also blew chances in each of the losses. Giving up the lead in a tie game in the last inning.
Line of the Week: Fernandez's six shutout innings.

ND, 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 5K, 0.353 WPA

Highlight of the Week: Should celebrate each win like it's the last, because it may be. Chris Coghlan's walk-off single.

Looking Ahead: The Marlins stay home for three with the Nationals then head to Cincinnati for four.


Good Fastball, Can't Dress Himself

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Jose Fernandez can pitch, but he still has not mastered the art of putting on a jacket:

At least the Marlins are finding new ways to embarrass themselves...

gif via HBT


Off-Day Guide: April 11

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Note: We're reprising the off-day guide this season. Every day/night the Marlins are off, we'll give you TV and reading recommendations. Enjoy!

7:30 (NBCSN): Penguins at Lightning. JUST KIDDING, hockey is dumb.
8:00 (NBC): Community/Parks and Rec/The Office. The likely final season of Community has been pretty meh, but it's still one of the best comedies on network TV (and we'll watch anything with Alison Brie and/or Donald Glover). Same goes for The Office (another show making its swan song), but there's no assailing Parks and Rec.
8:00 (TNT): Knicks at Bulls. The Miami Heat will probably play one of these teams in the playoffs, so you can get some early scouting in. Followed by Thunder at Warriors at 10:30 for the west coasters and night owls.

Something from my Netflix streaming queue: The Long Goodbye (dir. Robert Altman) is one of the major influences on The Big Lebowski. Elliot Gould's Phillip Marlowe is a proto-Lebowski, stumbling his way into solving a murder while interacting with a host of oddballs in 1974 LA. Been meaning to rewatch this one, Gould cracks wise with a subtle sarcasm that always satisfies.

Book rec: If you have not read Nate Silver's The Signal and the Noise yet, stop what you're doing and get this book ASAP. A fantastic read throughout, with diversions into baseball stats, earthquake predictions, and gambling on basketball.


Series Recap: Are We Having Fun Yet?

Overview: The Marlins were swept by Atlanta in the first home series of the season, dropping their record to 1-8.
Positives: ????
Negatives: The Marlins were shutout twice, bringing them up to four shutouts in the first nine games; apparently there's an attendance problem?
Line of the Series: Kevin Slowey pitched a good game on Monday, but since his teammates could only muster 2 hits, he got charged with a 2-0 loss:
7 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 0.438 WPA

Highlight of the Series: Kudos to the fan that snuck a raccoon into Marlins Park.

Looking Ahead: The Marlins are off Thursday, then host the Phillies over the weekend.


Help Us, Barack Obama, You're Our Only Hope

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Sure, the president has a flagging economy, belligerent North Korea, and other pressing issues to deal with, but that hasn't stopped a Marlins fan from petitioning the Obama administration to do something about Jeffrey Loria.

A petition was posted at WhiteHouse.gov Monday asking the President to champion legislation forcing teams that take public funds to build a stadium or arena to meet minimum payroll requirements or else be forced to sell the team.

The petition was written by the same dudes who got kicked out of Marlins Park last night. They have their own website, too: Rage Against the Marlins.

Problem 1: minimum payroll hardly guarantees a team will be competitive. (Exhibits A and B, the 2012 Marlins and Mets, who spent a combined $211 million in player salaries and lost 93 and 88 games, respectively)

Problem 2: This petition is one of the worst pieces of writing I've ever seen. The body, which is comprised of only two sentences, is below:
We call upon congress to create legislation that requires any major league sports franchise that operates within the United States, who take public tax money to help build a stadium or arena, must maintain a competitive payroll at all times, of at least 90% of the entire leagues average opening day payroll for the previous five years, for the first ten years after taking said money, and the failure to do so would invoke proceedings upon which the governing body of the league, in which the franchise in question resides, would be forced to immediately buy said franchise for fair market value, and the ownership group in question would be forced to sell it to them without dispute.

A prime example would be Jeff Loria & the way he has swindled the tax payers of Dade County for his benefit only.
So much bad grammar going on here: failing to capitalize Congress, missing apostrophes, the fact that the first paragraph is one humongous run-on sentence, and the silly use of the legal "said" to make it look like a more intelligent sentence than it actually is.

Not to worry, though, this petition has only 76 of the 100,000 signatures needed to elicit a response from the White House.

If Marlins fans really want Loria to sell the Marlins, their best shot at making it happen is by not spending a single dime on the team (tickets, merch, etc.) and hoping Loria's losses pile up enough to make it worth his while to sell. Any thought that a sitting President will force someone to sell his or her own business is pure fantasy.


Free the Marlins Park 5 or 6

The "F JEFF" shirt also comes in handy during Dolphins season...
Via the PBP, these dudes were ejected from Marlins Park last night, WE WONDER WHY????

It's pretty adorable when they see Dave Hyde and get all excited, though.

They technically weren't ejected for protesting, but for refusing to show ID when approached by police in the stadium. Quoth David Samson, "It's a pretty simple thing: When police ask for ID and you don't show it, that's it. No other questions are asked. You are escorted."

If you think these guys didn't want to get ejected from Marlins Park, then you're just plain naive, and we have no use for you.

Also, when their photo was tweeted on Monday night, we made a joke about the fact that they paid for tickets to their own protest, thus enriching Jeffrey Loria in the process. According to the Post, they scalped tickets and parked in someone's yard near the stadium, not giving Loria a dime (Someone else gave Loria money for their tickets before they bought them, but let's not split hairs here). THAT'S GOOD PROTESTIN'. The Diehards approve.


Series Recap: The Squeakquel

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Overview: The Marlins won on Friday, then drop Saturday and Sunday against the Mets.
Positives: The Marlins can in fact score 7 runs in one game, and Alex Sanabia can in fact throw 6 scoreless innings.
Negatives: Two days after notching an Alfonseca save, Steve Cishek went full Kevin Gregg on Sunday (WPA of .820 in his blown save), Hermida's Island lives (Marlins stranded 12 runners on Sunday, going 2-14 with RISP), still no first #Monsterdong of the year :(.
Line of the Series: Before Cishek ruined the day, 21-year-old rookie Jose Fernandez did something no Marlin rookie had ever done in his first start: strike out 8.
5 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K
Highlight of the Series:
Looking Ahead: The Marlins' home opener is Monday, starting a three-game set against the Braves.


Marlins at Mets: Mini Preview

Friday, April 5, 2013

We were asked by Mets Menu if we wanted to answer some questions about the first Marlins-Mets series this year. I did the dirty work and gave some responses that you can find at the link below.


I hate to sound so pessimistic (or do I?) but it's been a rough go for the Fish thus far. If you follow our Twitter feed you've seen the commentary about the team's dire play amongst us, other Marlins bloggers and even the beat writers at times. Let's hope the club breaks out in New York, beating the Mets is always great.


Series Recap: #MarlinsStreak 3

Overview: The Marlins were swept in DC, losing 2-0, 3-0 and 6-1 to the Nationals
Positives: The starting pitching wasn't too bad. Ricky Nolasco and Kevin Slowey had decent outings despite the low inning total. LeBlanc wasn't awful. Despite all the jokes, the Fish were in every game and just need to string a few hits together and perhaps they may take a lead sometime soon. 
Negatives: Where do we begin? The first two days at the plate were awful (0 R, 7 H). In the finale they managed eight hits, but also stranded eight and scored just a run. Have your pick of the lot of which hitter is struggling, they all look pretty uncomfortable. As mentioned earlier, the team pitching was good (3.38 ERA) but they allowed Bryce Harper to go off. And the defense fell apart in game three. There's also the matter that the club doesn't have a first baseman. The win column seems like an unreachable enchanted land.
Line of the Series: Error 404 Not Found
Highlight of the Series: Placido Polanco made a nice catch in foul territory reaching into the seats.
Looking Ahead: The Fish visit New York for three against the Mets.


Marlins Park Visitor's Guide

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Yours truly contributed to the latest blogger series for Big League Stew. This time around we were asked to provide ten tips to optimize your next trip to Marlins Park. Read the whole thing here.

Thanks again to 'Duk at BLS for the invitation.


"People will look back in two years from now and say, 'They did the right thing,' period."

Jeff Loria is still defending Fire Sale III: Full Throttle:
"It's the beginning of a new era for us and it's exciting," he said.

The Marlins fielded an Opening Day lineup on Monday that featured only one position player from Opening Day 2012, when the team christened its new stadium with a roster full of high-priced stars. But Loria once again said the trades of last year, which sent Hanley Ramirez, Josh Johnson, Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle (and others) away in exchange for prospects and role players was necessary for the team to compete.

"People will look back in two years from now and say, 'They did the right thing,' period," he said. "Give these guys a chance. Give us a chance. Watch them mature because they’re quality."
The big problem with Loria's assumption is that there is no such thing as a sure-fire prospect in Major League Baseball. A look at the Marlins' past top prospects provides ample evidence to that effect. Consider some of the "future All-Stars" the Marlins have drafted in the first round:
  • Jeremy Hermida (career OPS+: 96)
  • Matt Dominguez (written off when the team discovered he can't hit)
  • Chris Coghlan (won Rookie of the Year, the OBP fell to .335 to .296 to .212)
  • Chris Volstad (shudders)
The last time the Marlins traded a perenial All Star for some prospects, the result was three lackluster seasons out of Cameron Maybin and Andrew Miller (both of whom were high first-round picks).

Maybe Adeiny Hechavarria, Rob Brantly, Henderson Alvarez, Nate Eovaldi, Rob Brantly, Jake Marisnick, Justin Nicolino, et al will turn out to be a core that can augment Giancarlo Stanton and help the Marlins compete for pennants in 2015 and beyond, but the odds of so many prospects panning out are quite low.


Misadventures of the Tangerine Troops: An Entire Podium

Three medal winners in just the second game of the season!

Gold: If you've been following the team and/or our Twitter account, you know the Marlins offensive ineptitude knows no bounds. Still without a run for the season, they squandered perhaps their best chance yet in fine fashion.

Still a 0-0 game, the Fish led off the top of the 5th with a double by Ruggiano and oddly enough a walk by Miguel Olivo. Miami's Win Expectancy was up to 62.1%.

Then this...

The double play bad enough (a -.134 WPA and the Marlins would strand Ruggiano at third), Kotchman, who may only be on the team due to spring injuries, injures himself in an embarrassing tumble over the bag. He left the game and is day to day.

Silver: The next inning, Kevin Slowey's otherwise brilliant outing was spoiled when he allowed a home run to opposing pitcher Gio Gonzalez.

Bronze: Donovan Solano goes full-Uggla and allows a ball through his legs to lead off the seventh. That runner would later score to put the game out of reach at 2-0.

Fish try to avoid the sweep score runs today at 4:05pm ET.


No One Wants to See the Marlins: the Data

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Via Deadspin comes some cool visualizations of MLB ticket prices from Quartz (a digital business publication). We recommend you read the full piece, but we'll call out a few data points that will be no surprise to Marlins fans. In 2012 (which was the third-best season in terms of attendance in team history), the Marlins played just one game in which tickets sold for over $100 on average (the first game at Marlins Park). Most games were below the median ticket price ($39.69).
(click to embiggen)
Also unsurprisingly, the Marlins had a generally negative effect on secondary market ticket prices last season (though tickets to away games were 15% more expensive than home tickets):
(click to embiggen)
The only road games where tickets were significantly more expensive than the average home Marlins game came against teams with strong attendance numbers (St. Louis, Philadelphia) and/or teams in pennant races at the time (Tampa, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh). In other words, people weren't going to see the Marlins.

And this was during a season when the Marlins received a ton of notoriety. Surely the numbers will be even worse in 2013...


Pizza > Marlins Tickets?

On Tuesday some humorless bore accused us of being bad fans on Twitter, which is pretty funny in light of this:

We would have totally taken the tickets, for the record (even though we apparently hate the team?). Jeffrey Loria might not change his ways even though he has to know exactly how much South Floridians hate him at the moment. But at least he has to deal with the humiliation (and more importantly, the enormous expense) of being a sports owner whose city has abandoned him.

I bet someone at Little Caesar's is super pumped for the free publicity, though.

s/o to Big League Stew


Loss Number One In The Books

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Yesterday the air was crisp, energy high, good vibes flowing and Juan Pierre lead off the season with a single. The Marlins Win Expectancy was at 53.6% and they should have quite right there because it would never get any higher. They lost 2-0 to the Nationals.

  • Accustomed to watching the Fish leave the population of small islands on the base paths in recent years, they only stranded three.
  • All jokes aside, Ricky Nolasco had a good outing. His home runs allowed were only solo shots and if not for the Marlins trailing, he could have gone another inning or two, his pitch count was good.
  • No errors.
  • I learned the names and faces of some of the new guys (work in progress).
  • Only four men reached base for the Marlins, just one of them getting to second (or third) base and exactly zero of them reached the promised land that is home plate.
  • Meanwhile Ricky Nolasco hung a couple pitches to Bryce Harper and showed him the way all around the bases to said promised land resulting in the only runs in the ballgame.
  • But seriously, that offense, tons o' ground ball outs and looking silly against Stephen Strasburg.
All in all, a frustrating opening day L. The live-tweet game was fun though.


Live Tweetin' Opening Day

Monday, April 1, 2013

Do it: @MarlinsDiehards


2013 Macropreview

Ready or not, baseball season is back, and Marlins fans are feeling justifiably meh about the start of what should be a down year. Out are Johnson, Reyes, Buehrle, et al; in are a bunch of guys whose names we still haven't learned.

As we do every season, we've combed the web for as many preseason projections as we could find, and averaged them together to find the consensus opinion on the team heading into the season. Unsurprisingly, the baseball world takes a dim view of the 2013 Marlins (who may as well be called Giancarlo Stanton and the Eight Dwarves...). The Marlins are projected to finish 69-93, the exact same record the team put up in its dismal 2012 season. Only one projection had them out of the NL East basement, with win totals ranging from 64.5 to 76. Below are the projections:

Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria has essentially already proven himself correct when he asserted that the Marlins can at least repeat the results of last year's team (which had a payroll above $90 million) on a shoestring budget. And even if he is wrong, and the Marlins win 55 or 60 games, last place is still last place. This season could go down as his most effective (if self-defeating) troll job EVER (and that's including his trade of the Expos fanchise for the Marlins in 2002).

As for the upcoming season, Michael Jong described the Marlins' prospects best at Fish Stripes (his emphases):
As a group, this stripped-down version of the Marlins is expected to be as good as the 2012 Marlins were. Of course, this does not mean that this group is as talented as the 2012 Marlins, who were expected to play a lot better than they actually did. ... In a way, owner Jeffrey Loria was right about not paying for a losing team, but the question was whether that losing team [he expected if the 2012 club remained intact] was really going to be present given their expected regression back up towards their mean.
We'll be here all season as usual, sharing in the ups and (mostly) downs, looking for that sliver of absurdity that makes it fun to be a Marlins fan even in the worst of times. We're happy that you'll join us for another ride.


Ten Very Specific Predictions for 2013

11. Mike Redmond has no idea what he's getting into...
  1. Marlins fans will be all:
  2. But Jeffrey Loria will be all:
  3. Giancarlo Stanton will not be traded in 2013, nor will the Marlins offer him a contract extension. In fact, nothing much at all will happen with regards to Stanton's long-term future, and it will drive us absolutely nuts.
  4. Ricky Nolasco, however, will be traded in July, but we'll all be glad that we never again have to figure out if he'll actually ever be a top pitcher.
  5. Logan Morrison, frustrated that no one even pays attention to his Twitter account any more, will tweet a photo of Jeffrey Loria's money pit, then claim his account got hacked.
  6. Placido Polanco will take to standing in front of the pitching machines in the Marlins Park workout facilities, getting pelted in the chest pitch after pitch, just to "feel something again, you know?"
  7. Juan Pierre will steal 40 bases and hit .290, but walk just 20 times and get caught stealing 20 times.
  8. Justin Ruggiano don't "got this." .260/.300/.420, 1.7 WAR (equal to 2 Juan Pierres or a quarter Giancarlo Stanton)
  9. Someone tries to vandalize the home run sculpture using accumulated ketchup and mustard packets from stadium concession stands. No one notices that the sculpture is covered in ketchup and mustard for a few hours, until it is overrun with fire ants. But before anything can be done about it, the ants will have built a colony on the structure, leaving the team with two choices: leave it or burn it to the ground. Not wanting to draw too much attention to what would be a fantastic metaphor for the last decade of Marlins history, the team opts against the latter choice.
  10. 66-96, 5th in NL East (obvi), Marlins Park draws a shade under a million fans (or 12,000 per game).


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