Sunday, May 31, 2015

Dee Gordon -- Just Askin'

He leads the league in batting average, he leads the league in hits -- and stolen bases. Batting behind him is the top RBI hitter. Yet he's tied for 22nd in runs scored. Why is that? And is that a major problem in Marlins' lack of run production?

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Why Redmond Had to be Fired, Part II

1 -- He couldn't get anything out of Mike Morse, who will cost Loria $16 million over two years.
2 -- He failed to inspire Saltalamacchia, who is getting paid $7 million this year to play for the Dbacks.
3 -- He also failed to inspire Mat Latos (1-4, 6.12) ERA, getting $9.4 million this year and then becomes a free agent next year. Meanwhile, James DeSclafani is 3-4 3.41 with Reds and doesn't become a free-agent until 2021.

Naturally, Redmond had to go as Loria brought in someone from the front office who had helped make these brilliant deals and will know how to get the most out of the team -- and improve that key cost-wins ratio.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Best Analysis Yet

Michael Jong at has the best analysis I've seen about what's wrong with Marlins: Most stunning accusation is that they have barely gotten started with sabermetrics, one of two "non-believer" teams in MLB. Add a mercurial owner and you see why Astros, Cubs, Pirates (and I might add Royals) are surging in long-term rebuilding programs while the Marlins have a glum, under-performing clubhouse.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

How Expensive It Is

          Stat of the day: The Marlins right now are spending $4.7 million for each of the wins they have gotten this season, according to This could be seen as a basic measure of how smart management is.
          At this point in season, 11 teams are smarter than the Marlins' management: Among others the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cards are spending less per win than the Marlins.
          Smartest team? You probably guessed it: The Houston Astros, spending $2.3 million per win.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Ozzie -- Better than A-Rod

       You thought my suggesting Ozzie was silly, well, Buster Olney, senior writer at ESPN Magazine says Jennings be dumped in favor of ... Alex Rodriquez. We are getting close to '62 Mets buffoon status here.
         Writes Olney (available through, subscription required for full article): "As the old saying goes, the only sure things in life are death, taxes and a new Miami manager."

    Saturday, May 23, 2015

    Ozzie! Ozzie! Ozzie!

           OK, I'm ready for a change -- a big change in the Marlins.
           After starting his career with five straight losses, manager Dan Jennings is a joke. The team hates him -- and hates the front office that he sprang from. Even the good guys on the team -- the ones who always show up for charity events -- skipped the Marlins Fish n Chips fund raiser Thursday. That certainly sent a message.
         I woke up in the middle of the night with an easy answer: Ozzie Guillen. First of all, he's still under contract to the Marlins, so I'm figuring he wouldn't cost anything. Loria could just call him up and say be at the ballpark Saturday night (Sunday afternoon at the latest). We all know Loria's a cheapskate (despite the Stanton signing) so that Guillen's price tag would appeal to him.
        Now, longtime Marlins observers may say, "But Guillen won't let Loria tell him what to do, and Loria likes to tell managers what to do."
        Exactly! We fans sure don't want a manager listening to Loria.
         Let's look at the career numbers:
        Ozzie Guillen -- 747 wins as a manager, twice AL manager of the year, brought the ChiSox their first World Series victory in almost a century.
        Jennings -- zero wins as manager.
        What's more, Ozzie has the experience backed by playing 1993 ML games. Jennings' ML experience: Zero.
        Jennings was supposed to provoke a spark in a team that was considered  good but uninspired. So first thing he did was to call his good buddy Bill Parcells, a football has-been who messed up the Dolphins and then ran away. What'd Parcells suggest? Block better at the line of scrimmage? And then Jennings goofed on a reliever match-up and explained he had gone with  his "gut" -- based on what experience? Nada. Friday night, he brings in the struggling Cishek in a crucial situation and the crowd (smarter than the manager) boos.
        Rather than responding to a fired-up new manager, the players are reacting like rebellious, sullen school boys who can't seem to put one foot in front of the other. Or a ball out of a glove. On Thursday afternoon, when a bunch of us went to the old-farts-get-in-free game, we saw several stupid plays in which sure outs turned to hits because the fielders couldn't get the balls out of their gloves. That's not the inspiration that Jennings was supposed to fire up in his players.
        I'd give Guillen the chance to pick his own staff -- including a pitching coach.  Chuck Hernandez certainly has been getting the least out of a staff that was supposed to be pretty good. Actually, I'd be happy for Ozzie to replace the front office staff too -- all of them -- but that's probably allowing a bit too much fantasy in my thinking.
        At first, I was going to suggest that Ozzie not be allowed to talk to reporters about anything other than baseball. But on second thought, let motor mouth go to work -- on Fidel, Venezuela or anything else he wants. That would take some of the limelight off the players, who could use a (comic?) break for a bit. 

    Saturday, May 16, 2015

    The Bullpen

    Are the Marlins getting their advice from Dave Dombrowski and the Tigers? Just askin'

    Wednesday, May 13, 2015

    Our Closer and the Infamous Miggy trade

             Let's hope this is the low-point of the Marlins' season. Two blown saves -- after starting pitchers do a great jobs and the hitters give you enough runs for a win -- are a real kick in the gut. And so it's natural that the team follows that up with a complete collapse in a 11-1 loss, saving the heartbreak of another blown save.
             Friends have been calling for Cishek replacements, with a heavy dose of sarcasm. One suggests we pick up Kevin Gregg, who reportedly was just released by the Reds. I suggested Heath Bell, who retired this spring after being released by Nats. Another buddy asks: "Is Ugueth Urbina out of jail yet?" (Yes, released in 2012, according to the NYT after serving five years for setting workers afire, but he hasn't pitched since 2005.)
              This brings me back to the trade that will live in infamy: Miggy to Detroit. One of the washouts the Tigers sent us was Andrew Miller. We dumped him to the Boston Red Sox in 2010 for Dustin Richardson.
               Well, guess what: Miller (with proper coaching?) is now a super-star closer with the Yankees -- 13 saves so far this year, with a 0.00 ERA. Somebody -- not the Marlins -- had the bright idea of converting him from a starter to a reliever.
               And what about Richardson? Well, the Marlins quickly dumped Richardson without compensation. And where is he now? He signed as a free-agent this spring with the Dodgers -- having never made it to the Big Leagues. So we could probably pick him up for a song.

    Tuesday, May 12, 2015

    Blown saves

    As the great Yogi Berra once said: "It's deja vu all over again."

    Monday, May 11, 2015


                   Well, for several days I've been thinking of posting a smart-ass follow up to my post on firing the pitching coach: Basically, as soon as I wrote that post, the Marlins started pitching started turning itself around. After a start of a season that was truly miserable, the starters went through a stretch of 7-10 days of ERA below 2. And -- ahem! -- I was going to take credit for this by lighting a fire under Chuck Hernandez, who must have read my posting and decided he needed to fire up the pitchers.
                  Well ... ... Sunday afternoon, after Latos had another good outing, I was writing the post in my head when in comes Cishek to blow it all away. As of Monday morning, the Marlins have 3 saves in 10 opportunities -- the worst ratio in the Majors.
                  Pitching remains such a mystery.
                  Latos btw is now 1-3 with an ERA of 4.72 but is on an upswing. DeSclafani is 2-3 with ERA of 2.50 in Cincinnati.