Where Are They Now: Luis Castillo Joining Mets

Long-time Marlins second baseman Luis Castillo is making his way back to the NL East as the Twins just traded him to the Mets for minor leaguers. Luis was one of the longest tenured Marlins and played on both the 1997 (although he was demoted long before the playoffs) and the 2003< championship teams. He still holds numerous team records. It was a busy day in our division as the Braves closed in on slugger Mark Teixeira in exchange for Jarrod Saltalamacchia and three minor leaguers while the Phillies acquired pitcher Kyle Lohse. So far, nothing from the Fish.

Trades I Can Live With

A brief paragraph in the Palm Beach Post suggests the Marlins are looking at some trades:

One baseball source said the Marlins are telling teams that catcher Miguel Olivo, right-hander Byung-Hyun Kim and relief pitcher Armando Benitez are available. The team does not plan to trade Dontrelle Willis, the source said.

This is one Marlins fan who hopes we can get some value for all these guys. Olivo‘s catching and handling of the pitchers has been pretty weak this season and Benitez has been shaky at best. We’ll probably miss BK Kim because we don’t have that many healthy starting pitchers left. Lets hope we can convince a team to give up some decent minor-league talent.

Bill Robinson Passes Away

Former Marlins hitting coach Bill Robinson has passed away. Robinson was on the Marlins staff for four years, including the 2003 World Series championship team.

“The entire Florida Marlins organization is deeply saddened and shocked by the sudden loss of Bill Robinson,” Marlins president David Samson said. “Not only was he a big part of the Florida Marlins 2003 World Series championship, he was a huge part of the entire Major League Baseball family. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Mary, and his entire family.”

754

Barry Bonds hit his 754th career home run tonight off Marlins rookie Rick VandenHurk. This photo actually captures that pitch just before Bonds swung at it and hit it to left center. No matter what you think of Bonds, and I have some strong views on him, this moment was very exciting.

Fish fans — if you’re at AT&T park this weekend, stop by section 102. We are the guys in the Fish@Bat shirts.

The Never Ending Injury

Just when we thought Josh Johnson was on his way back, he experiences another setback (how many setbacks is that?)

Johnson threw three good innings for Jupiter last night but woke up this morning with arm stiffness. As a result, the team is sending him to visit baseball’s favorite chop-shop — Dr. James Andrews. Since we’re in late July, ligament replacement surgery will knock him out until the 2009 season.

I think we all hoped the young Marlins rotation will turn out like the young guys in the early 2000s who ended up winning the 2003 World Series. Now they’re looking more and more like that young Cubs rotation with Wood and Prior.

Lets recap:

  • Dontrelle Willis – Can’t find the strike zone
  • Scott Olsen – Jail bait
  • Josh Johnson – See y’all in 2009
  • Anibal Sanchez – What me injured? Yes
  • Ricky Nolasco – Last seen on the back of a milk carton
  • Sergio Mitre – One out of six ain’t bad

Coupon for Marlins Merchandise at MLB.com

Since we want to cover everything Marlins-related, we figured it would be helpful to pass along a coupon for Florida Marlins gear at the Major League Baseball store.

From now until the trading deadline (July 31, 2007) you can get 15% off orders of $125 or more at MLB.com. To redeem this coupon, you’ll need to click here and enter SHOPJULY at checkout. This coupon applies to all MLB merchandise. If you haven’t grabbed the latest Dontrelle Willis bobblehead or a Marlins hardhat, now is your chance.

Link:  15% off orders of $125 or more at the MLB store. To redeem, click here and enter SHOPJULY at checkout (expires 7/31/07).

Balking the Week Away (July 16-22, 2007)

Great American Products Florida Marlins Hip FlaskIt was a crazy week in Marlins-ville and here are some of the the more memorable events:

Worst-Owner-EVER? No, Maybe One of the Best

A recent Sports Illustrated survey of 464 Major League Baseball players named Florida Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria as the second worst owner in baseball after Royal’s owner David Glass and along side the owners of the Devil Rays and Orioles. I suspect this has more to do with reputation than anything else. Continue reading Worst-Owner-EVER? No, Maybe One of the Best

SI Tells Everyone What We Already Know

Florida Marlins Authentic Miguel Cabrera Road JerseyNice article about Miguel Cabrera in Sports Illustrated. Niceties include:

Through Monday, Cabrera was batting .325 with 66 RBIs. He’s slugging about .600, which would be a career high, and leads all National League third baseman in home runs. And he’s done it playing in a pitcher’s park, where the cavernous dimensions can be daunting.

And there’s of course a dose of reality:

His future in Florida will continue to be an issue, with Cabrera in line to surpass $10 million as early as next season. The Marlins’ payroll is a little more than $30 million.

Link:  Sports Illustrated: ‘He’s pretty incredible’

Announcing the Florida Marlins Wiki

This is a Wiki for all Marlins fans to aggregate the collective history of the Florida Marlins including players, games, trades, and everything else under the Dolphin Stadium sun. You can access the Wiki directly at http://wiki.fishatbat.com or simply search in the Wiki form above.

Please help us build this Wiki by contributing your knowledge and insight into the Florida Marlins. Since we just debuted this Wiki, expect to see some style changes and bugs over the upcoming days as we fine tune the product.

Thanks,

The Fish@Bat Team

2012 Update: We’ve decided to shutdown the Marlins Wiki. There are too many sources today that already provide the same data without us having to maintain it. Thanks to everyone for your contributions over the years.

Olsen Loses $4,000; Will He Ever Learn?

Rockem Sockem RobotsLooks like Scott Olsen is back to his old tricks.

The Marlins have suspended Olsen 2 games for what’s officially being called “insubordination and conduct detrimental to the team”. What actually happened is that he got into a fight with Sergio Mitre after he was pulled from yesterday’s game. Maybe he was upset that Mitre knows how to get ground ball outs and not walk batters.

Olsen will not miss his next start on Wednesday and only loses about $4,000 in salary. This is probably a good thing because Olsen is a bit of a head case mentality and maybe he will feel like he has something to prove.

He is lucky that we traded away Randy Messenger.

Considering that Pesky Home Record

Fine win today for the Florida Marlins against the Washington Nationals — great pitching and timely home runs will do the trick.

When we look at the Marlins today and consider all the bad things that have happened (injuries to pitching staff, strikeouts, errors, all those games Jorge Julio blew) the one stat that stands out is the poor home record (18-26). If the Fish had a decent wining home record, combined with the winning road record (25-22), they would be fighting for first place in the NL East.

So why have we failed? I think it comes down to two things — pitching and defense.

Historically, the Marlins have had good home records even in the worst of years. That has to do with the constant focus on pitching and defense. Starting with the second generation of the Marlins (around 1996), the team has always tried to have a strong defensive presence in the infield while sending out good pitchers. Dombrowski and Beinfest have both done great work bringing in talented arms throughout the years (think of the rotations in 1997, 2003, and 2006) and keeping a solid infield (think of the gold-glove caliber infield for most of this century).

Now, Joe Robbie/Pro Player/Dolphin Stadium is a pitchers park. Humid summer air combined with the a good infield, scoreboard in left, deep gaps, and the Bermuda Triangle means fewer home runs and quick outs on ground balls.

The 2007 Marlins are a great offensive team. They have power and speed in various positions. But they also have a crippled pitching staff and the defense has been horrible. So now, instead of us beating offensive teams in our defensive park with pitchers and defense, we are the offensive team without pitching and defense in a pitchers park.

This all brings us back to today’s win. Serio Mitre had 17 groundball outs and the Marlins showed some solid defense. The result? a 5-2 win.