LEAVE MIGGIE ALONE

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Miguel Cabrera IS the Marlins. Yeah, he might be a little tubby, but it doesn’t stop him from producing 30+ HR and 100+ RBI every season. Not to mention a four-time All Star by the age of 24!

Trading Miggie will ruin the team dynamics. Miggie, along with D-Train, is one of the emotional leaders of the young squad. Miggie’s always there to take off a teammate’s helmet after they come back from hitting a homer. After two years of adjusting to each other and the big leagues, this Marlins team could very well be ready to contend in 2008….BUT NOT WITHOUT MIGGIE!
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But here’s what we should also worry about: What will Miggie’s departure do to Alfredo Amezaga? It would DEVASTATE him. You can kiss goodbye the obligatory Amezaga dance after every Cabrera homer. Alfredo and Miggie go together like macaroni and cheese.

Larry Beinfest, I know you felt really popular at the GM meetings. Jeffrey Loria, I know you love alienating Marlins fans by trading the best players. But if you want better ballpark attendance in 2008: LEAVE MIGGIE ALONE. At least until he’s a free agent.

Not a Happy Fan

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Listen up, boys. I’m only gonna say this once. I love you guys, but I am really aggravated with you right now. Day after day, I tell myself, “They’ll break out of it today.” And of course, you always seem to find new ways to lose every day.

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Wipe that smile off your face, Alfredo! This is serious. You and I both know you guys are talented and have the potential to make it to the postseason. But LOSING EIGHT IN A ROW? You’re becoming the joke of the National League, just like the Devil Rays are the joke of the American League!

The worst part is, you could have won most of these games you dropped, but sloppy defense in late innings has blown it.

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AHEM, HANLEY! Yesterday you made some great plays and even started two double plays, but then with two outs in the seventh, you threw the ball away when you had plenty of time! You are in the running for the NL Batting title, but you lead NL shortstops in errors.

In fact, you all blow away all of MLB with errors. Is this what you want to be known for? Youth and inexperience is becoming less and less of an excuse every day.

I rode for eight hours on a Greyhound bus to share a hotel bed with my dad for three nights to watch you guys lose to the freaking Giants. And you finally had a respectable crowd Saturday night of over 48,000 and you couldn’t give them a reason to come back and see you after Bonds flew back to San Francisco.

Come on, guys. Focus. You went on two nine-game winning streaks last year and you can do it again…even without Joe Girardi. Make me proud…I forgot how that feels ☹

Fish End Road Trip From **** With a Win

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At least the Marlins can return to South Florida with a little bit of dignity. At least four of the losses in the six-game skid were games the Fish should have won and let slip away due to bad pitching and even worse defense. Two of those ended in walk-offs. It was absolutely gut-wrenching to watch, especially the games dropped in San Francisco in front of the national media (though they weren’t really paying attention to the actual game. When Barry wasn’t up, all the ESPN commentators did was talk about Barry and show footage of Barry).

Bats broke to and fro on Sunday afternoon, and somehow the Fishies were able to hold on to their 8-5 lead. As embarrassing as this road trip was, let’s see what positives we can take from it:

Mitre

Sergio Mitre and Dontrelle Willis redeemed themselves from abysmal outings in Arizona with good starts San Francisco. In addition, they were both able to contain Barry Bonds. D-Train struck him out, while Mitre got him to roll over twice. Both popped him up, though the infield seemed to let the ball drop Sunday, and the scorers ruled it an infield single for Bonds, who was probably pissed he had to run the bases.

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Hermida Hot: Jeremy’s been swinging a hot bat in the month of July and is riding a six-game hitting streak, hitting in each game of the nightmare road trip. It’s good to see Hermida contributing offensively, swinging the bat like we know he can. He just really needs to get it together in right field. If he can get his defense on par with his hitting, he’ll be a star.

Oh, baby! Mike Jacobs got a call during Saturday’s game that his wife was about to go into labor a month early with their twins. Our first baseman high-tailed it back to South Florida after the game to witness the birth of his twin girls. He’s not the only new Marlins daddy — D-Train’s wife gave birth to their first child, Adriana, at the beginning of the season. It has been a theory of mine that Dontrelle’s pitching woes may have something to do with the lack of sleep he must be getting taking care of his newborn every night. Now Jake will have sleepless nights of diaper-changing as well…this could possibly have a negative effect on his game. Let’s hope not.

Operation Desert Shame Complete

Olsen_2Scotty’s expression pretty much says it all.

I can’t really say much about the D-Backs series because it’s just too
painful to relive right now.  I’m still healing from last night.  Why,
Armando, why? I haven’t been this angry with a Marlins reliever
since…Jorge Julio’s reign of terror a few months ago. 

Maybe they were still mad about getting no-hit by Anibal Sanchez last year. If so, they got revenge four times over.

What could possibly be worse than getting swept by Arizona?                                        
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How about the possibility of the Marlins pitching staff surrendering home runs No. 754, 755 and 756 to Barry "I Didn’t-Do-It-But-I’m-Twice-As-Big As-I-Was-My-Rookie-Season" Bonds?

Worst-case scenario: Bonds breaks Hank Aaron’s record against a Marlins pitcher and the Giants win the series.

But what if Barry hit some home runs and it had no effect on the outcome of the game?  Would that be so bad? 

I’d be all for Barry getting it over with this weekend ONLY IF the Marlins end up winning.  Let’s face facts, the people who are occupying the seats at AT&T Park aren’t paying who-knows-what to watch the Giants play good baseball.  They’re totally aloof during the ballgame, and snap out of it four or five times when Barry steps in the batters’ box.  They really wouldn’t care if the Giants lost just as long as they witnessed a historic home run.

So bring it on, Barry.  You’ll probably end up sitting a game or two out anyway.

D-nied

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Dontrelle and the Fish couldn’t hold on to their lead over the D-Backs after a promising start. The Marlins put up two runs before Willis even took the mound. D-Train seemed to be on the track to win, but one swing of Orlando Hudson’s bat in the third tied the game up.

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Dontrelle regrouped the next few innings and got some help from Mike Jacobs, who smacked a 426-foot solo shot to right-center in the top of the sixth. But it all went to **** in the bottom of the sixth, and a couple of well-placed (or well-blooped) hits gave the D-Backs the lead, and they won, 4-3.

Putting Todd Linden in the lineup in place of Jeremy Hermida was a huge mistake. The switch-hitter earned himself a Golden Sombrero — striking out four times LOOKING. Hermida’s numbers show that the lefty actually hits much better aginst lefties, and would have had a better chance of success against the soft-tossing lefty, Doug Davis.

And Miguel Cabrera went 2-for-4, extending his hitting streak to 13 games. Miggie gave himself another excuse to not hustle down the first baseline when he fouled a ball off his left foot.

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What to expect tonight: Amezaga will hold down the fort at short and the leadoff spot again in place of Hanley, who rejoined the club in the middle of last night’s game after staying behind in Miami for further evaluation. He’s still listed as day-to-day and could possibly start Wednesday night.

Sergio Mitre will square off against our old friend LIVAN HERNANDEZ. This should be a great pitcher’s duel, and you should watch this game instead of the Braves-Giants. Barry Who?

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chillin with Miggie before the game. Thanks for hooking us up with those great seats, Dad. Can you do it again when summer classes end? Pleeeease.

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Matt Treanor was shocked that I wasn’t in middle school…and that I followed the team…very nice guy, though.

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One day I am going to have Craig Minervini’s job ;)

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Hanley in pain! NOOOO! It’ll be okay. I promise.

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Defensive substitution: Alfredo Amezaga replaces Hanley Ramirez at shortstop.

This is what I saw at the top of the second inning on MLB Gameday (Neither Gainesville cable nor MLB.TV would let me watch my boys today, so Gameday was my unfortunate last resort). I started FREAKING OUT that Hanley had pulled his hammy again. Gameday doesn’t provide injury information, so that was my first thought. But I eventually got word that he dislocated his shoulder. It’s not serious, and our beloved reigning Rookie of the Year is “day-to-day.”

Fredi’s not going to start him in Arizona Monday night. That’s fine. Amezaga can play shortstop with his eyes closed, and there’s no need to make a roster move for a center fielder now that Cody Ross has been activated from the DL. But I don’t expect to see Hanley confined to the dugout all night. We’ve seen this before…

Not too long ago, well, two weeks ago, Hanley left a game in San Diego early with a hamstring injury and was available to pinch-hit the following day. And when he was called upon, he crushed an 0-2 curveball from GREG MADDUX into the left-field stands at spacious Petco Park. Not only did it help the Marlins win the game, it was a bold statement that NOTHING IS GOING TO STOP HANLEY RAMIREZ FROM BEING HANLEY RAMIREZ.

So let’s try not to worry too much about this Hanley injury…although this time it’s the shoulder…okay, I’m not going to even THINK about Hanley’s sweet swing being affected by this….bad thoughts….oh no…bad thoughts….

HANLEY IS GOING TO BE FINE AND BACK TO HIS HANLEY SELF VERY SOON.

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