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.

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”

BREAKING: Judge Sides With Marlins on Ballpark Purpose

An encouraging development:

Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Jeri Beth Cohen ruled Tuesday that building a ballpark for the Florida Marlins serves a public purpose — a significant victory for the team and local government in their quest to bring a new stadium to South Florida.

This was one of two issues left in this wasteful lawsuit. Now, the Judge is withholding ruling on the final issue until the Florida Supreme Court reviews the issue of diverting funds from their original purpose.

Update: Greg Cote gets it right.

Johnson Throws a Gem!

Josh Johnson was incredible tonight, throwing the Marlins second complete game of the season holding the Braves to one run and striking out eight. I know the Fish have a long way to go to catchup to the Phillies and we’ve all heard about the 18 arbitration eligible players but when you look at Johnson, Ricky Nolasco, Anibal Sanchez, Chris Volstad, Scott Olsen and even Andrew Miller you have to believe that this team is going to do really well very soon.

Much Needed Day Off

The Marlins have another day off today — perhaps a chance for the Marlins offense to regroup. Thankfully, Ricky Nolasco saved the team on Sunday (on the mound and at the plate).