We’ve Made the Imaginary A-Rod Top-10 List

I know this will never happen, but it’s cool to read this kind of stuff:

Florida has been trying to get a new ballpark for years, and A-Rod – a Miami boy – would be the biggest chip yet. Imagine a lineup topped by these four: Hanley Ramirez, Dan Uggla, Miguel Cabrera, A-Rod. Wow.

Why not? The Marlins are worth $244 million. And even if owner Jeffrey Loria profited $43.3 million last season, according to Forbes – 58 percent more than the next-best team – he has never shown any desire to spend it. Loria makes Scrooge look like a reckless spender.

Can you imagine if Forbes is actually right about the $43.3 Million? A few years like that and the Fish could easily pay their share of the stadium funds which, according to Miami-Dade officials, is one of the few remaining hurdles.

The Marlins are Everywhere

The baseball season just ended and already the Marlins are making news across the league:

  • Congratulations to Mike Lowell, Josh Beckett, Julian Tavarez, Dave Magadan, and Gary Tuck for winning the World Series with the Boston Red Sox. Extra credit to Mike for being named the World Series MVP (although we all know that had Boston lost that game, Josh would have won the next one and ended up with another MVP). Asked about his two rings, Mike said:

    “I think with the Marlins no one expected us to do this and I think with the Red Sox people expect you to win and I think both are very satisfying.”

  • Welcome back Joe Girardi. You have just been named the manager of the New York Yankees. Lets hope you know how to behave with your new owner because the younger Steinbrenners seem as feisty as their father.
  • Speaking of the Yankees, greetings to A-Rod, who is now a free agent and some are reporting that the Marlins may make a run at him (unlikely since he’ll get a long-term deal somewhere else) and that the Yankees may try to replace him with Miguel Cabrera (maybe, but hopefully no).
  • See you later to Armando Benitez who filed for free agency and will now have to beg someone else to pitch for them.
  • Hello to Yorvit Torrealba who joins the growing list of catchers who are rumored to be talking to the Marlins He handled the Rockies pitching staff very well.
  • Farewell to Edgar Renteria who heads over to the the American League, joining Dave Dombrowski‘s project to rebuild the 1997 Florida Marlins (plus Pudge). No word on yet on whether they can convince Ed Vosberg to come out of retirement.

Rumor Central: A-Rod, Posada, Floyd, Lo Duca Like the Marlins

And this weeks list of players who maybe but really aren’t coming to the Marlins are:

  • Alex Rodriguez: The biggest prize in baseball is very expensive and some guy at CNN/Money makes a good financial argument (but not a realistic one).
  • Cliff Floyd: He’s likely to retire but would love to play for the Fish at $3MM per year (but Cody Ross gives you the same numbers for 1/10th of the price).
  • Jorge Posada: The Marlins need a catcher but this one is going to get a huge offer from the Yankees.
  • Paul Lo Duca: Catcher, again, but his health may not be worth the financial risk.

Is it Time to Ax Kranitz?

We’re probably going to get nailed for this one, but we’re going to throw it out there: the Florida Marlins should fire Rick Kranitz.

Yes, he was Baseball America’s Major League Coach of the Year last season leading 4 rookies to win 10+ games. And yes, we’re a bunch of fans who aren’t there every day and have never played the game.

But, there is something wrong with the pitching staff. Despite our defense and despite our strikeouts, it’s the pitching that has let the team down this year. Here are some of the talking points:

  • Injuries: You can’t always blame a coach for injuries but someone has to ask why Kranitz didn’t stand up for his pitcher (Josh Johnson) and tell Joe Girardi that JJ cannot return to a game after a 70 minute rain delay. We will never know if that was the main cause of JJ’s injury but it’s clear the front office thinks so. Similarly, he missed Anibal Sanchez hiding his injury. I don’t know if it’s tough to identify that problem, but clearly the pitcher didn’t have a good trusting relationship with his coach. Toss in Logan Kensing and Carlos Martinez and the bottom line is that four of his pitchers needed Tommy John surgery. That’s just way too much.
  • Successes: It seems to me like none of the projects thrown at Kranitz really succeeded this year. We cannot point to a rookie who has really impressed us. Rick VandenHurk has ups and downs and masks brilliance with explosive innings where he stops pitching and starts throwing. Neither Jorge Julio (who is doing well in Colorado) nor Armando Benitez succeeded in reviving their careers with the Marlins.
  • Dontrelle: Dontrelle Willis is a mess right now. His delivery is problematic and he is more erratic than ever. Kranitz may have tinkered too much with both the physical delivery and with the strategy (cutting his pitches). Like many of our pitchers these days, Dontrelle keeps falling behind guys and getting into high-pitch jams.
  • The 5th-Inning Wall: If you’ve watched the fish this year, you probably know that by the time our starter hits the 5th inning he’s either close to 100 pitches or on the verge of blowing the game open. Some crude math shows that our starters account for 59% of innings pitched this season. That means that in a 9-inning game, our pitchers last an average of 5-1/3 innings. In each of the last two years, our starters accounted for over 70% of innings pitched (6-1/3 innings).

This is just one man’s opinion.

Reconsidering the Marlins Defensive Alignment

Hanley RamirezA note in the Miami Herald suggests that the Marlins organization has considered moving Hanley Ramirez to centerfield but, for now, will keep him at shortstop. Hanley has probably committed a few too many errors this year. The team, though, cites Alex Gonzalez as an example of a previous young shortstop who had a few too many errors in his early years but ultimately ended up as a top-notch defensive presence.

I have to admit that sitting through Marlins games recently, I thought quite a bit about where to position players and I suggest that down the road the Marlins consider playing Hanley at third base and moving Miguel Cabrera to first base. This will allow Alfredo Amezaga or Robert Andino to takeover shortstop and provide better defense.

I vote that we save Hanley’s body for the long-term because he is clearly a special talent.