“Greed is Good” by David Samson

David Samson’s speech to the Beacon Council, as reported by Miami Today should not be a surprise to Marlins fans. When given a chance to combine Samson with truth, you know it’s going to come out harsh, blunt and pompous but still the truth. Timing is also bad – there’s goodwill for the Marlins right now, something that Loria, Samson, and the Marlins have, undeservedly in our opinion, never really enjoyed. Save this speech for your memoirs or after you’ve left baseball.

Now, if you actually take a look at his words, they merely reflections of truths we already know. Let’s take a look: Continue reading ““Greed is Good” by David Samson”

About that Halladay Perfect Game

If Cameron Maybin doesn’t drop that ball, does this game end up in extra innings?

Looking beyond Halladay’s perfect game, another strong performance for Josh Johnson as we count down to next weekend, when we have a new 20-year old outfielder to provide some spark.

About the Hanley Situation

Seems like everyone has something to day about the Hanley Ramirez situation. Majority of views so far are critical of Hanley, probably because the video evidence doesn’t look good (appears as if he ran to the ball, kicked it, then jogged). Even Hanley essentially admitted it in his public rant:

Did you give less than 100 percent effort?
Ramirez: I don’t know. It looked like it. The example starts with me. If you don’t hustle, hopefully, he does it with everybody. That’s OK. He doesn’t understand that. He never played in the big leagues. That’s OK. That’s fine. That’s an example and it starts with me and let’s see how far it can go.

Even some grown ups who have played the game – Al Leiter, Barry Larkin and Wes Helms – have criticized Hanley for his behavior. Dan Uggla expressed his frustrations last year.

So where do we go from here? It’s going to take two things: diplomacy and maturity. Loria/Beinfest/Hill have to get involved and resolve this behind the scenes. Fredi cannot back off, he’s the Manager and cannot lose his team (managers are replaceable). In fact, he’s already presenting this as something Hanley has to resolve with his teammates, not the coaches. But none of this will work unless Hanley steps up and addresses the situation, even if it means that he has to swallow his pride. The sooner he gets there, the sooner we can get back to covering baseball and turning this season into something special.

Note: Fredi could have done a better job keeping a lid on this situation. He’s already said too much to the Media and in many ways, it’s forcing Hanley to say the things he is as a way to protect his ego.

Deadspin Never Paid Attention to Fish, Assumes They Don’t Exist

In its Spring Training baseball preview, Deadspin has decided to take shots at every team and of course the Marlins were fish in a barrel. Will Leitch looks at some of the best players in team history and suggests that he doesn’t remember them as Marlins.

Here are the five humans who have started the most games on the mound for the Marlins, in order: Willis, A.J. Burnett, Brad Penny, Ryan Dempster, Pat Rapp.

When you conjure up images of those players, not a single one of them is wearing a Marlins uniform. (With the possible exception of Pat Rapp, whom I’m impressed you remember at all.) The only Florida Marlin historical figure — as historical as anything that started in 1993 can be — who comes to my mind is Jeff Conine, for some reason. Maybe that weird mascot. Actually, it’s just the Manatees. In case you forgot what state the Marlins play in.

Continue reading “Deadspin Never Paid Attention to Fish, Assumes They Don’t Exist”

SI Hacks Continue to Push Loria Urban Legend

I’ve always thought that Jeffrey Loria‘s bad reputation in the media was highlight exaggerated. Therefore, I’m not surprised to read that Sports Illustrated just named him as one of the 5 worst owners in MLB. Here is what they had to say:

Despite the best efforts of another crop of youngsters, Loria may be running a second franchise into the ground. The art dealer turned a nation of fans against him with his first team, the Expos, before forcing their move from Montreal and selling them back to Major League Baseball. He then took control of the Marlins and watched his exciting team shock the Yankees in the 2003 World Series and then became Miami fans’ worst nightmare: the second coming of Wayne Huizenga. The Marlins slowly have been rebuilding themselves with more young talent, despite the lowest cash outlay provided by any owner, and could be turning a corner soon. That is, until Hanley Ramírez and Dan Uggla are shown the door like Josh Beckett, Derrek Lee and Miguel Cabrera.

=It is clear that the SI team just phoned this one in. After all why do any research and thinking when you have this urban legend about Mr. Loria. While he didn’t make the best moves in Montreal, he was, in the end, nothing more than a caretaker for a dying franchise. His time with the Marlins has been a mix — a couple of fire sales on one hand, but a championship and a new ballpark on the other. We can debate his decision to keep a low payroll for most of his tenure but it is the results on the field and talent today that matter. Despite not being a serious contender since winning it all in 2003, the team still outperforms many MLB teams over this period.

Today, the Fish are looking at a new ballpark which secures their existence in South Florida for the long run. Hanley Ramirez is locked up for the next 6-years of his potential Hall of Fame career. Larry Beinfest and Mike Hill continue to run and excellent front office which has built a nice core of young players that allows the Fish to compete. Yes, we will miss Josh Beckett, Derrek Lee and Miguel Cabrera but no team (other than the Yankees, perhaps) could have kept all these guys. In fact, in baseball, you can be good one day and terrible the other. See Dontrelle Willis. And SI, since you liked ripping Dan Uggla for his All-Star errors, but now elevate him to a star, I will point out his sub .200 average today.

I’m not elevating Mr. Loria on a pedestal. He, like every MLB owner, has made mistakes and clearly he hasn’t spent as much money as everyone would like him to spend. But his performance as the owner of the Marlins has been a successful one. He has a championship, a great front office, a new ballpark and talent for the future. It’s something very few teams have today.

Joe Robbie, Pro Player, Dolphin, now LandShark?

It’s only been one month since April Fools Day but Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is on the verge of making what would have been a bad joke into reality.

Sometime next week, it’s expected that Dolphin Stadium, home of our Florida Marlins, will be renamed LandShark Stadium after LandShark Lager. This one-year experiment will ensure that Joe Robbie Stadium will, once again, have no established name or identity. To make things worse, Ross’s motivation is that he wants to give the Stadium a Margaritaville feel, since, as we all know, South Floridians are all parrots, coconuts and Jimmy Buffet.

Is there any way we can accelerate the construction of the new ballpark? This is seriously embarrassing.

Fredi Gets an Extension

Just before the first team workout, the Marlins have announced that they’ve extended Fredi Gonzalez’s deal through the 2011 seasons. The next 3 seasons, hopefully leading to the first season in the new ballpark, will require stability and growth as payroll will probably remain low. Despite some criticism, Fredi has done a good job with a young team and, most importantly, does not yell at the owner in the middle of games.

Insight Into the Olsen/Hammer Deal

Mike Berardino of the Sun-Sentinel provides some thoughts and insights on the Olsen/Hammer deal:

About that payroll dump so far:

the Fish have removed roughly $7 million from their books for 2009.

On what we got in return:

In return, they have brought in a cheap young setup man (Leo Nunez), a light-hitting second baseman with Gold Glove potential (Emilio Bonifacio) and a couple of decent low-level prospects who just finished their first full pro seasons (RHP P.J. Dean and IF Jake Smolinski).

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Marlins Wrap Up 3rd Best Season in Franchise History

For all the ups and downs of the 2008 season, the Florida Marlins posted a record of 84-77, the third best record in franchise history. The team posted incredible offensive numbers lead by the historic home run power from all four of the starting infielders. As we start looking forward to a busy off-season and hopefully a successful 2009, here are some thoughts, observations, and links: Continue reading “Marlins Wrap Up 3rd Best Season in Franchise History”

Looking Back: Predictions from the Geniuses at ESPN

I’ve always thought ESPN was full of itself and overly obsessed with their own importance and insight, so I was very excited to look back at their predictions for the 2008 Florida Marlins. Now, I know that the Marlins performed better than we expected (81 wins with 6 games to go) but ESPN’s predictions were so dire that I want us all to read and laugh.

First, here is the view from Bob Klapisch:

The bigger problem is the bottom half of the batting order, which is filled with question marks and experiments. It’s no stretch projecting the Marlins in the last third of the NL in runs scored. (Bob Klapisch)

Next, let’s see the actual win/loss projections:

  • Jayson Stark: 70-92, 5th in NL East
  • Tim Kurkjian: 64-98, 5th in NL East
  • Buster Olney: 68-94, 5th in NL East
  • Keith Law: 68-94, 5th in NL East
  • Steve Phillips: 66-96, 5th in NL East

You have to give Jayson Stark some credit. He’s only off by 11+ wins.

Continue reading “Looking Back: Predictions from the Geniuses at ESPN”