• Photo by Flickr user afagen
    Wes Helms
  • Veteran Leadership: Marlins Re-Sign Wes Helms

  • The Florida Marlins are bringing back Wes Helms with a 2-year deal:

    Helms reaffirmed his desire to stay with the team on Friday when he agreed to terms on a two-year, $1.9 million contract. The 32-year-old, who batted .243 with five home runs and 31 RBIs in 132 games this past year, will make $950,000 in both 2009 and ’10.

    Wes didn’t put up stellar numbers but was a reliable veteran who has been nothing but a positive influence on the club. The 2-year commitment suggests the Loria and Beinfest are starting to think long-term, not just building small and cheap for 1-year at a time.

    This move happened a couple of day after the Fish outrighted Alejandro De Aza, Lee Gardner, Henry Owens and Doug Waechter to the Minors.

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  • Photo by Flickr user ricsae
    PPS (ricsae)
  • 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.

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  • In Beinfest We Trust

  • Florida Marlins Authentic Dontrelle Willis Alternate Home JerseyI’ve been thinking about trust lately.

    It all started when I read Ethan Skolnick’s commentary on trusting South Florida General Managers. He correctly points out that South Florida fans can trust Larry Beinfest of the Florida Marlins and Pat Riley of the Miami Heat no matter what they do, while being very suspicious of anything coming out of the Dolphins and Panthers organizations. Larry may have screwed up the Jorge Julio trade, but we give him a pass because Byung-Hyun Kim has done well and Armando Benitez had a few good outings (and a few terrible ones too).

    Trust is very important these days as we read that Dontrelle Willis is the subject of many trade rumors.

    I personally would prefer if the Marlins kept Dontrelle. He is a great guy, a pretty good pitcher, and will probably earn less next year. Keeping him tells the average fan and the media that the Fish are committed to winning and we’re just one ballpark away from spending money like the Yankees spend on bad pitchers. But I also trust that Beinfest will make the right choice if he goes the other way. I will be the first person to say one or all of the following:

    • Dontrelle is nothing more than a 4th starter but teams will pay us like he is a number 1 starter
    • Once we get over the injuries, we already have 4 top notch young pitchers
    • We desperately needed a new [center fielder]/[catcher]/[closer]
    • Wow, we just acquired the best young talent in baseball
    • This season is doomed, lets build up for next year
    • We just freed up money to [sign Miguel Cabrera]/[bring in a top free agent next year]/[close the gap on the ballpark funds]

    No matter what, we trust Larry.

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