Monday, September 29, 2014

2014 Looking Back

Summary -- All we need is a catcher, first baseman, second baseman and third baseman and we've got a chance for the playoffs next year.

    Let me start by saying that I (and folks like me) are one reason why the Marlins are cheapskates when it comes to spending money on ballplayers.
    A lot of us don't like to spend money on the Marlins. This year, I attended 11 games (seeing nine wins, two losses), and to do this I spent a mere $10 on average per game. Four games I attended for free (three as an old fart on free senior Thursdays and one on a free group ticket a buddy got). Another game I got in for $8 -- a fellow had a bunch of Chevron deals.
    Compare that with five out-of-town ballparks I visited -- San Francisco, Oakland, St. Louis, Kansas City, Atlanta -- where I paid an average of $31 a ticket, topped by $49 to see the Cards, a team that sells out often as it draws fans from hundreds of miles around. (Which comes first? Chicken or egg? Great attendance/teams consistently in the playoffs.)
    The upshot is that not only do the Marlins have poor attendance (1.7 million for 2014, according to Baseball, ahead of only the White Sox, Rays and Indians), but they don't get much income from those tickets they do sell.
    That's why (according to ESPN) the Marlins paid a mere $46.4 million in salaries. Only the Astros were lower.
    Now, having said that, let me look at the 2014 team, which did an astonishing job considering they lost their star pitcher in mid-season and their star hitter with several weeks left -- 15 wins better than last year and out of last place for the first time since 2010. They were a lot more fun to watch, compared to last year's stultifying 100-loss season.

Read more here:

    This team prospered because of the young outfielders and the bullpen, but it's a long way from a playoff contention.
    1 -- Salty -- our catcher was paid $6 million this year, $7 million next year, $8 million in 2016, according to For this we got .220 batting average, .362 slugging and pretty poor defense. This guy doesn't get us to the playoffs. I'm hoping Realmuto develops quickly.
    2 -- Heath Bell -- our poorest performer. Well, actually, he's long gone, but he continued to cost $4 million this year -- third highest salary on the team.
    3 -- Furcal -- $3.5 million for nothing. Maybe it was worth a shot, but it certainly didn't work out.
    4 -- McGehee -- .287 BA and led the team in hits. Probably better than we might have expected,  and cheap at $1.1 million. BUT ... he's our third baseman and cleanup hitter, had only four HR and .357 slugging. Marlins need  lot more power out of this position to get to playoffs.
    5 -- Jones -- 13 errors at first base (Salty had 15 btw). Batting .246 with 15 HR and slugging of .411. There are not championship numbers. He cost $2.7 million this year, $5 million next year. Does that make him the next Heath Bell?

Well, I haven't tackled starting pitching, but we'll just go with this. I think Yogi said it: "You can't have too much pitching."

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