Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Last World Series Moment at Yankee Stadium

This Week in Baseball just gave highlights of the great moments at Yankee Stadium, including the Aaron Boone home run that sent the Yanks to the World Series in 2003. The program did NOT present any highlights of that Series. But we Marlins fans have etched in our memories that final play in that World Series, Josh Beckett celebrating, thrusting his arms skyward.

Managers and outfielders and relievers

1 -- How many times have you seen lineups like the Marlins have been posting recently in which the outfielders hit sixth, seventh and eighth. It happened several times before the arrival of the fabulous Maybin.
2 -- I am going to look back, when I have time, to see how many games Fredi-Pinto lost us after we acquired Rhodes, a solid left hand reliever, and still Pinto was sent out there for continuing disaster.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Rose colored glasses

The Marlins have 12 games left. The Mets have 12 games left, and the Phils have 11 games left.  The Marlins are 5 games behind the Phils and Mets in the loss column. There's a distinct possibility that the wildcard could come from the East, especially if the Marlins take at least one of the next two from the Astros, and the Brewers continue in free fall.

Next week, while the Marlins are playing the Reds and Nats, the Mets will be facing the Cubs. The Cubs have the best record in the NL. The Phillies face the Marlins this weekend, and then play the Braves and Nats. 

So, the Marlins still have a shot, especially if the wildcard comes from the East. Assume they take 1 of the remaining two against the Astros, 2 out of 3 against the Phils (gotta figure they'll lose to Moyer), win the makeup game with Cincy, and take 3 from the Nats. At the same time, the Mets drop another game to the Nats,  2 of 3 to the Cubbies, 2 of 3 in Atlanta. When the Marlins arrive at Shea, they are 1 game behind the Mets in the loss column, with 3 to play. Imagine the pressure on the Mets, and the memories of last year. . .

Obviously, everything has to break right for the Marlins. What's changed has been the central division. Houston's lost 3 in a row, and the BrewCrew 5 in a row. Both teams have games left against the Reds and Pirates, and they don't play each other. The Cards have the same record the Marlins have, but they have 4 left against the DBacks,who are still in it, barely, in the West, plus 3 against the Cubs. Make them a longer shot than the long shot Marlins.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Marlins Outfield?

Trivia question: when was the last time that a team had each of their infielders with more home runs than any outfielder?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Where Are They From?

When I go to games with Orlando, he wants to know where players are from, particularly Hispanic players. For years, I bought the Baseball Register and took it to games, and it listed birthplacees. Alas, the Register appears to have disappeared with sale of its publisher, The Sporting News. I now have a Bill James Handbook, but it's intended mainly for fantasy leagues, I think, and doesn't list hometowns. Anyway, here are the hometowns of some players we saw in the 16-14 slugfest:

Martin M. Prado – First base –
Born in Maracay, Venezuela.
Lives in Maracay.

Yunel Escobar -- shortstop
Born in Havana, Cuba.
Attended Matires de Barbados school in Havana.
Resides in Miami, FL

Ruben A. Gotay – pinch hitter
Birthplace: Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico
Graduated from Dr. Santiago Veue Calzada High School in Fajardo, Puerto Rico. Attended Indian Hills Community College in Centerville, Iowa.

Omar Rafael Infante – third base
Born in Puerto la Cruz, Venezuela
Resides in Guanta, Venezuela.

Jorge Dandys Julio – relief pitcher
Born in Caracas, Venezuela
Attended Fundacion Bolivariana school in Caracas,

Gregor M. Blanco – pinch hitter
Born in Caracas, Venezuela
Resides in Cua, VZ.

Julian Tavarez
Born in Santiago, Dominican Republic
Attended Santiago public schools.

Michael Vela Gonzalez – relief pitcher
Born in Robstown, Texas
Graduate of Harvest Christian Academy in Pasadena, TX... Played one year of baseball at San Jacinto (TX) Junior College in Houston.
Resides in Deer Park, TX

And one Marlin we were discussing:

Jeremy Ryan Hermida
Born in Atlanta, GA
Attended Wheeler High School (GA), where Baseball America rated him as the top pure hitter out of high school his senior season and the fourth-best position player overall in the 2002 draft.

We were discussing whether Hermida speaks Spanish. My guess is that he doesn't.


Here's the second graf of ESPN's game story about the Marlin's victory this afternoon over the Braves

Fewer than 600 people were in Dolphin Stadium's bright orange and aqua seats for the first pitch, leaving most of them to reflect the afternoon sun. While the official attendance, based on tickets sold, was 11,211, the ballpark was so quiet that home-plate chatter could be heard.

McPherson started at 3rd, went 0 for 2 with 2 walks; Andrew  Miller pitched a scoreless inning in relief.

Just Another 16-14 Tuesday Night Game

Orlando and I were in our usual Section 102, row 4, seats 1 and 2, out in left field behind the bull pen. My guess is there were maybe 5,000 people in the ballpark. (The official attendance was 14,000, but that's a joke.) There were so few people there that, sitting in left field, we could hear hecklers in the right field stands. Braves fans used to turn out for their team, but the Braves are so miserable that there were only some die-hards. After a 3-1 first inning, I told Orlando that this might be a 9-8 kind of game. I was wrong.
In the second, we moved over to Section 101, right next to the ultra-expensive Founder Club seats. And then the fun began. There was a super-Braves fan in the first row, Braves cap, blue and red Braves jersey, and right behind us two women, a middle-aged mother and grown daughter. They began heckling the Braves fan, and he responded. This was all done in Cuban Spanish. I couldn't understand most of it. At one point I thought the mom yelled, "Oye, flaca!" which would have been a supreme insult, but Orlando said they must have said something else. The guy at one point yelled back, "No habla basura" -- don't talk trash -- and the women kept at it. ... right in front of us were two Orthodox boys -- maybe 16, 18, with the yarmulke caps and strings hanging from their pockets, and they sat a few seats away from each other, maybe the better to catch foul balls. One did catch a T-shirt thrown by a Mermaid in an unusually skimpy bikini. Just to our right was another couple, middle-aged, who didn't say a word the whole game, not even until each other, until Jorge Julio came to the mound for the Braves, whereupon the woman said she hoped he gave up some homers. "He OWES us," she said. Does he ever. The weather was pleasant, not too hot, not humid. I had some beers, and the runs kept coming, and coming, and coming. Hanley and Cantu both had great opportunities to blow the game open, but they didn't. In the later innings, the mom suggested that Mr. Braves fan was being paid by Havana, which IS a supreme insult, and she made derogatory references about rafters, all of which Orlando translated for me later. Mr. Braves fan denied he was being paid by Havana. We were down 10-3 at one point, came back to 10-9. And then it was back and forth. In the top of the ninth, we were tied 14-14, and then -- hello, deja vu! -- our new closer didn't close, and we lost. Last week, there was heartbreak at those damn closer losses, but we're out of it now, and this was comedy, not heartbreak. It was great entertainment for our 2-1 Herald Tuesday discount tickets, 11.50 each. The Cuban ladies left before the end, which left Mr. Braves fan turning around and yelling triumphantly in Spanish at no one in particular. I went home knowing I'd had a good time.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Call Ups

Miller, Carroll,  Andino,  McPherson, and De La Cruz. These are players who can help the team now, so they haven't given up all hope yet.  
No callups from Carolina. Looks like the big boppers from AA will get their calls next week, after their post season is complete. Maybin had a monster day on Sunday--2 for 3 with 3 walks and 5 runs scored. 

It also looks like they may be using Ryan Tucker as a closer in AA. He is another possibility for nest year.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Marlins in August

They started out the month in contention -- and they ended the month as a sad also-ran. In between, they went 11-17. They started the month 1.5 games out, finished 7 out. Who's responsible? Lots of people. Here are the August splits (using

Of the 16 NL teams:

Runs – 15
Batting average – 15 .234
Hits –16
Doubles – 3
Home Runs – 12 – 22
Total Bases – 15
Slugging 14 –
OPS – 14
Strike Outs – 1

ERA – 6th (4.06)
Runs – 10
Walks – 8
Blown saves – 4 (tie)
Save Percentage 14 (55 percent)

Hermida -- .192-1 HR 8 RBI
Willingham -- .210 – 2 – 11
Uggla -- .217 – 2 – 8
Cantu -- .223 – 3 – 10
Jacobs -- .223 – 5 – 16
Cody – .278 – 3 – 9
Hanley -- .295 – 3 – 11
Baker -- .318 – 2 – 9

Pinto – 25.07
Gregg – 10.13
Olsen – 5.55
Sanchez – 4.71
Volstad – 3.74
Lindstrom – 3.18
Nolasco – 2.72
Nelson – 2.53
Johnson – 2.38
Kensing – 1.23
Hendrickson – 0.66
Rhodes – 0.00