Week In Review

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Overview: The Marlins dropped two of three to the Nationals but swept the Mariners for a 4-2 home stand.
Positives: The bats have mostly woken up and the starting pitching has been very nice. The Fish were able to win two close ballgames against Seattle. Giancarlo Stanton, M.D. remains piping hot to start the season.
Negatives: Mike Dunn is still doing Mike Dunn things. The bullpen as a whole leaves some to be desired, but if they didn't, what fun would that be?
Line of the Week: Henderson Alvarez's start on Saturday night,, an efficient 90 pitch complete game shutout, was arguable as good as his no-hitter last September.

W, CG, 9 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 BB, 4 K

Internet MVP of the Week: This super #TURNT fan who wasted no time hopping into the Clevelander pool to retrieve Marcell Ozuna's home run ball. That's good hustle.

 Highlight of the Week: Nothing makes us feel more happy in the pants than a #WALKOFFMONSTERDONGGRANDSLAM

Looking Ahead: Miami travels to Atlanta for three and to New York for a weekend series with the Mets.

FYI: I (Ted) will be attending Tuesday night's ballgame, a Jose Fernandez start, at Turner Field. If any Atlanta/South-based Marlins fans are going, tweet @tedhill or @MarlinsDiehards. I'll buy you a beer and we can share Quilvio Veras stories.


Off-Day Guide

Thursday, April 17, 2014

What to do while you're dreaming of a competent bullpen...

  • Bad Boys, ESPN, 7pm: The newest 30 for 30 documentary, about the late-80s Detroit Pistons. 
  • NHL Playoffs: Chicago at St. Louis, 7pm, NBCSports: if you're into that sort of thing...
  • Community/Parks and Rec, NBC, 8pm: Season finale for Community, which has been stellar in Dan Harmon's return from exile. 
  • NCIS, CBS, 9pm: Watch it, then you'll have something to talk about with your parents (for once)!
  • Scandal, ABC, 9pm: Watch it, then you'll have something to talk about with your boring friends!

Since the Marlins will host Seattle over the weekend, take a gander at Where'd You Go, Bernadette, the second novel from Maria Semple. Set in my adopted home, it is a fun read about a Seattle transplant who gets progressively unhinged as the plot develops. It is worth your time, and if you've lived in Seattle you'll find the sections where the main character complains about her home to be very true to life. Semple used to write for Arrested Development, and her comedic chops are strong.


The Jonah Keri podcast made its triumphant return this week, now part of Grantland's podcast lineup. Listen to it here, and try not to get the best theme song in podcasting stuck in your head.


Giancarlo Stanton Came to Fornicate

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Marlins took an eight-game losing streak into Tuesdsay night's game against the Nationals, and with Stephen Strasburg taking the hill against the Marlins it looked like that 8 could turn into a 9 by night's end.

Then Sr. #Monsterdong took the bull by the horns and unleashed some hot sex on Marlins Park:

It was Stanton's fifth home run of the season, going 457 feet to one of the deepest parts of Marlins Park. According to ESPN Stats & Info, Stanton has 3 of the 4 longest home runs of the young season. It was also the longest home run Strasburg has given up.

Stanton is off to a very hot start (5 HR, 21 RBI, .635 slugging%), and it is as if he knows 2014 is the year he will either secure a long-term contract offer from the Marlins or be traded to the highest bidder. Stanton is letting everyone in baseball know just how valuable he is.

Honorable mention goes to Tom Koehler, who stranded one hit and five walks over seven scoreless innings. His inside pitch to Ian Desmond in the fourth inning very nearly started something, as Desmond took offense and precipitated a little argument with Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Sadly, it turned out to be one of those benches-emptying stand-around affairs

Jose Fernandez will take the hill tonight as the Marlins attempt a series win.


Let's Just Keep Thinking About That First Week

Monday, April 14, 2014

Hey, remember when the Marlins steamrolled Colorado and San Diego en route to a 5-2 record to start the season?

That was awesome.

Two straight series sweeps at Washington and Philadelphia, and the Fish are right back where everyone expected them to be:

The Marlins' poor play prompted this exchange between your fearless bloggers:

But hey, at least we can watch this #Monsterdong over and over until we forget about last week:


The Marmolcoaster Claims its First Victim of 2014

Thursday, April 10, 2014

That victim: what would have been the Marlins' sixth win of the season. Nursing a one-run lead in the eighth, Marmol served this up to Jayson Werth with the bases loaded...

But really, who could have predicted such a thing?



Exclusive Interview with Marlins Park Manager of Turfgrass Science

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

You may have heard that the Marlins have installed new grass in the Marlins Park outfield before the season. Marlins Diehards got an exclusive interview with the team's in-house turfgrass scientist, who created the new hybrid during the offseason. Watch it below:

The Marlins are on the road this week, but they return home on April 14 for a three-game set against the Nats. In the meantime, Carl will be getting stoned to the bejeezus and enjoying his magnificent creation.


Off-Day Guide: April 7th, 2014

Monday, April 7, 2014

First day without a Marlins game to tune into, here are some suggestions to pass the time this evening.

  • MLB: Rangers at Red Sox, ESPN, 7:00pm: It's baseball but the slate is pretty bare. There are a few other snoozers if you have MLB.TV.
  • NCAA Basketball: Kentucky vs Connecticut, CBS, 9:00pm: If you follow Dave or I on Twitter you know we aren't big on college hoops, but it is a game for all the marbles, one shining moment, etc. I'm rooting for UConn as they allowed me to drop a somewhat obscure movie line on Saturday.
  • Anything on HBOGo: Find your friend's or parents' login information if you need to but there's just a wealth of quality content. I'd recommend starting with Game of Thrones. As for me, I'm going to watch the premier of this new comedy, Silicon Valley, by the creator of Office Space. (Dave recommends Veep as well).

You may have heard the Marlins broadcast team mention on Sunday's telecast, we all should pick up and read Up, Up, and Away, Jonah Keri's new book about the Expos. Baseball in Montreal really was/is a unique story that we at MDH can appreciate, plus there are Marlins tie-ins, obviously. The title alone should make you buy it. It should come as no surprise that David Samson and Jeffrey Loria declined to be interviewed for the making of the work.


Probably a good time to do your taxes if you haven't already. If you have, just start computing how many Marlins tickets you can buy with your refund.


We Sense a Branding Opportunity

You see T+A, we see $$$ (also T+A)
This weekend we learned via Deadspin that the Kansas City Royals are now selling souvenir bottles of water from the iconic Kaufmann Stadium fountain:

click to embiggen
Sure, as Deadspin's Samer Kalaf points out, this is a waste of $19.99 for the fans, but if people are willing to pay money for this bauble, why wouldn't the Royals give them what they want?

This obviously got us thinking about the Marlins. There are so many things Jeffrey Loria and Co. could be selling from the Marlins Park waste bins. Some suggestions from the Diehards:
  • Spent water from the aquarium behind home plate and the Clevelander pool (if you want to be a total copycat)
  • Dead aquarium fish (we're not saying you should kill fish for the purpose of commerce, but all those fish will die someday, and when that happens, sell!)
  • Paint chips gleaned from the Clevelander body-painted dancers
  • Dead lightbulbs from the centerfield home run sculpture
  • Giancarlo Stanton's used Gatorade cups (we'd pay top $ in hopes of harvesting enough DNA to build an army of Giancarlo clones)
That's just the tip of the iceberg, though. Tweet us your ideas.


Series Review: Fish on a Roll

Overview: The Marlins took two of three from the San Diego Padres to improve to 5-2 after the first week.
Positives: Giancarlo Stanton (notoriously a slow starter) has already bested the best April of his career in the first week alone. He has two home runs and 12 RBI (two of which came in March, but whatevs). Miami leads MLB in runs per game, doubly shocking considering how bad last year's squad was at simply getting on base. Even the Godfather has taken notice of the Marlins:

This will only lead to more calls for Micky Arison to buy the Marlins, but we still believe that won't happen anytime soon.
Negatives: We're not going to spoil our fun with some #SmallSampleSizeTheater observations (though we will probably write a post all about it later this week). Let's enjoy this good fortune while it's still early April.
Line of the Series: We were planning to give the nod to Nate Eovaldi for his 8-strikeout day on Sunday, until he gave up a decisive pinch-hit three-run home run to Alexi Amarista in the seventh inning. Instead, we'll give the nod to Jose Fernandez' excellent Saturday outing:

6.2 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 8 K, 2 BB, 0.386 WPA

Highlight of the Series:
If you thought we would choose anything else, you don't know us. Our reaction at the time:
It was the longest home run in the brief history of Marlins Park. Just monumental.
Looking Ahead: The Marlins have Monday off, then face their first real test of the season with a three-game set at Washington.


Series Review

Thursday, April 3, 2014

We are back, baby!

Overview: The Fish have started brightly, winning three of four at home against the Rockies.
Positives: The bats have turned up in a big way. Miami scored ten in the opener and plated eight in the finale. Even the middle games had the team scoring more than the two or fewer we saw so often last year (47% of games, according to the TV broadcast). The bullpen is also off to a nice start. Steve Cishek saved two games, upping his streak to 31 opportunities converted in a row, plus the Carlos Marmol Express has made two stops without derailing.
Negatives: The lone loss of the series did see the some fielding woes rear their ugly head. Henderson Alvarez had a bit of a rough outing.
Line of the Series: The nod goes to Jose Fernandez, who dazzled in his six innings.

W, 6 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 9 K

Highlight of the Series: There were other candidates, but did you really think we'd choose something other than the first #MONSTERDONG of the 2014 campaign?
Looking Ahead: The club stays home for a three game set with the Padres. Jose Fernandez pitches Saturday night, so don't miss it.


We Would Have Gone With "Expert"

Jeffrey Loria's Wikipedia page got a little bit of an upgrade recently (h/t this guy):

It's still up there at the time of this writing, but we suspect some Wiki editor will spot it and remove it soon. Still, it kinda makes us wish Loria was on LinkedIn. We'd endorse him for so many things:

  • Fire sales (obvi)
  • Swindling local and state politicians
  • Hiring despots
  • PR disasters
  • Killing the dreams of children
If you have any others, tweet 'em at us with @MarlinsDiehards #JeffreyLoriaLinkedInEndorsements


The First #Monsterdong of 2014

The Marlins may have lost their first game of the 2014 season on Wednesday, but they also got their first home run from Giancarlo Stanton, on a frozen rope into the bullpen:

Plus, he almost killed Mike Dunn:
"I kind of glanced, and was like, 'Ahhh.' I went back and looked at the home run this morning. If I didn't move, I think it would have hit me. It would have been really close to hitting me if I didn't move."
Good times.


Jose Fernandez Practices What He Preaches

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Hey, remember last year when the #Barves got in a tizzy because Jose Fernandez dared to have fun after hitting his first major league home run? We're sure there were plenty of wet blankets who thought at the time, Let's see how Cuban Jesus reacts when someone shows him up with a home run trot. Then on Opening Day, this happened:

That was Carlos Gonzalez hitting a tape-measure shot off Fernandez in the sixth inning. Below is Gonzalez' reaction after the game:
"It was fun. It was nothing like he was mad at me. We have a really good relationship," Gonzalez said. "When he gets you out, he lets you know. So why not do the same thing when you get him?"
And indeed, Fernandez "yelled good-natured barbs at Gonzalez from the dugout" after he was pulled from the game.

Fernandez told the Miami Herald Tuesday:
"We were just joking around," Fernandez explained Tuesday of the stare down he gave Gonzalez as he rounded first and the subsequent good-natured barbs they yelled at each other from the dugout. "I told him, 'I don't know what I'm going to throw you next time.' He's like 'Don't even talk about it you struck out everybody.' We talked after the game. No big deal."
So it's nice to know that Jose is still approaching his job like the game it is.


Well That Went Well (Except for the One Thing)

Jose Fernandez tied a franchise record by striking out nine opposing batters on Opening Day, something only Josh Beckett had done before (in 2004). But when we think back on 2014 Opening Day years from now, our first thought will probably be about Jose's mom and abuela laughing at his weak third-inning groundout: 

click to embiggen, via
It was a good first start for the reigning Rookie of the Year, however. Here's his line in the Marlins' 10-1 win over Colorado:

6.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 9 K, 0.262 WPA

Last Miami did not score their tenth run of the season until Game 5. This can mean only one thing, as Ted texted me after the game: the Marlins will probably be shut out over the next 3 games.


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