In news that almost seems made up, but is in no way surprising with this team, the Florida Marlins will soon become the Miami Marlins, but their website won’t, because it belongs to some fisherman and the team doesn’t plan on buying the domain name from him. You got all that? Here, let me break it down for you…
Way back when the Marlins were winning their first World Series, some guy named Guido Blanco – which, to my surprise, wasn’t already the name of a Jersey Shore character – purchased a domain name for a charter-fishing company he planned on running. That domain? MiamiMarlins.com. Fourteen years later, Guido’s charter-fishing dreams may’ve never come to fruition, but he still holds on to that domain name. A domain name that leads you to this page.
And why is all of this important? Take it away, Matt Brooks:
According to MLB.com spokesman Matthew Gould, the league and the Marlins have no plans to acquire the site from Blanco, which would make them the only team in the league not to own the rights to its team name domain.
Because Guido Blanco is a terrorist, obviously, and the Miami Marlins do not negotiate with terrorists. Sorry, Guido. Them’s the rules.
We’ll continue to update you on this ongoing saga…
Besides the fact that Ozzie Guillen can’t win games if Josh Johnson is hurt and Hanley Ramirez is slumping, he’s probably not going to come here for the kind of money the Marlins generally like to spend on a manager. We’re talking about an organization that decided it couldn’t afford players – PLAYERS!!! – as valuable as Miguel Cabrera orJosh Beckett. Those are guys who actually take the field and contribute to winning ballgames. We’re really supposed to expect them to overspend on a guy whose job basically boils down to sitting in the dugout, offering quality soundbites, and occasionally pulling a double switch?
I’m not buying. And there’s zero chance the Marlins are, either.
Man, I’d hate to be that guy right about now.
But, now that Ozzie is officially here and somehow successfully tiptoed his way through a minefield of tampering charges in his introductory press conference, let’s discuss what this means for the future of the team.
My initial reaction to the signing wasn’t to be overly excited or the least bit angry, which is strange, because I’m usually that guy when this kind of news hits. No, if I had to pinpoint my emotional reaction, I guess I’d describe it as 73% apathetic, 21% intrigued and 6% hungry. What? I hadn’t eaten all day. But, I suppose that makes sense, considering my belief that a manager’s influence on a baseball game is right up there with the hitting coach and the peanut vendor.
First things first, though; in no way does this move make the on-field product any better. Like, at all. We can debate this if you’d like, but I don’t care to this morning and you’d lose, anyway, so just trust me on this. Maybe it makes their sound bites more entertaining, but that’s about it. And, as we saw with Jack McKeon this year, that shtick tends to wear thin once your winning percentage dips below .500.
But, if I’m of the opinion that a manager makes little to no difference in the outcome of a baseball game, then clearly I’m upset that the Marlins would spend roughly $3 million per year at that position for the next four years, right? Surprisingly, no.
With a new stadium and a retractable roof just one year away, there were only two things the Marlins needed to do in order to begin their successful rebranding of the team: post a respectable record and not be completely inept. Whoops! After an abysmal season that saw key players get injured and/or forget how to swing a bat, the Marlins needed something – ANYTHING – buzz worthy if they planned on keeping the fans happy. People always say that winning is the ultimate aphrodisiac for a fanbase, but when those wins are few and far between, you need to do something else. Obviously, a 43-22 record will do a lot to move tickets, but failing that, so will Super Saturday and Bark at the Park. You need to generate interest somehow and that’s what the Marlins did by inking Ozzie to a four-year deal. He’s a fiery manager who’s about as Miami as you can get without hiring the old Spanish woman who sells shrimp on the side of the road in Miami Lakes. Die-hard fans might see through the move, but I don’t imagine it was made for them. They were coming, anyway. This move affects the fringe fan. The one who needs a reason to come to the park, other than the thrill of a baseball game.
Need more evidence of this? 30,000 people showed up to yesterday’s game because it was the final game played in a stadium nobody likes and there were some old players hanging around. The team isn’t being contracted. They aren’t moving to another state. They’re moving 36 minutes away. That was enough reason to fill the lower bowl and open sections that were previously closed. The moral of the story: people are stupid. And by bringing in a big name manager, the Marlins are sort of preying on that.
Personally, I view the Ozzie Guillen signing as a peace offering of sorts. A front office that fans don’t trust extending an olive branch to a fanbase that the front office doesn’t trust. “See? We spent money on one part of the team. Show us that you’ll come to the park and we’ll begin spending money elsewhere.” It’s sort of like a silly hostage negotiation. Will it work? Is that even the intention? I don’t know, but I have a hard time believing that a team notorious for underspending would waste $12 million on a manager and not even consider upgrading the talent on the field, considerably.
I guess that when it comes down to it, I don’t love the Ozzie Guillen move, but I don’t hate it either. I just understand it. Or I think I do, at least. Or maybe I’m just tired of thinking of this ownership group as slimy and I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt for once.
It really doesn’t matter. I’m saving the majority of my outrage for the unveiling of the new logo on November 11th, anyway.
(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Over the course of just two years, the Florida Marlins fanbase has grown increasingly frustrated with the man entrusted with coming out of the bullpen and pitching his way to heart-palpatating saves on a nightly basis. The problem? We’ve all been screaming the wrong name.
Juan Carlos Oviedo.
If you’re scoring at home, that’s now three Marlins who play under assumed names. The only difference, of course, is that Justis Morrison and Giancarlo Cruz Michael Stanton weren’t sent back to the Dominican Republic this week. Leo Nunez, on the other hand…
According to the report, Nunez’s real name is Juan Carlos Oviedo. Oviedo is said to be 29 years old, a year older than his listed birthdate of Aug. 14, 1983 in the Marlins’ media guide.
It is not known whether the U.S. Immigration uncovered his assumed identity or whether he will be able to re-enter the country if he is cleared.
Dominican players lying about names and ages is nothing new, as most of us already know – and if you didn’t, Bobby Valentine does an excellent job of explaining – so this story isn’t as crazy as it sounds. It’s only ridiculous because it’s the Marlins, and after an epic June collapse, an Edwin resignation, the hiring of an octogenarian, Hanleygate, LoMogate and Logogate, it was hard to imagine anything even more ridiculous happening to the team team this season. But, of course, this is the Marlins, so something else did happen. Juan Carlos Oviedo happened.
RIP Leo Nunez.
Is this abomination the new logo for your 2012 Miami Marlins? Ted Hill of Marlins Die Hards stumbled across this last night, multiple unnamed sources began confirming it, blogs ran with it and, well, now here we are, staring at this godawful thing and wondering how we’ve arrived at this point. (It should be noted that according to at least one person on the site where this originated, the font on top might just be for t-shirts and probably isn’t the Marlins ripping off the Giants.)
But, maybe that’s just my artistic background judging too harshly. What say you, Marlins fans? What do you think of the logo that may or may not be sitting on Mike Stanton’s cap next year? Like it? Love it? Kill it with fire?
Let your voice be heard in the comments section down below…
• With Hanley out, someone has to make the errors. Clowns all across America breathe a sigh of relief whenever they see Steve Cishek step up to their dunk tank. Unfortunately, the guy running the ring toss game three booths over always winds up getting hit in the head somehow.
• September 3rd seems like so long ago. It’s been almost 16 full days since Mike Stanton has murdered a baseball, giving Marlins fans exactly zero reasons to watch whatever it is they’re doing out there. Unless you’re Donnie Murphy‘s mom. In which case, you’re probably watching. But, I can’t even say that with 100% certainty.
• Don’t worry, it’s okay to giggle. On Sunday, Florida put their Hand up against Washington’s Wang. Just eleven days earlier, Hand and Dickey got together. Shoot! Missed the elusive Brad Hand Joke Trifecta by one stinkin’ Nate Adcock reference!
• Oh, you thought I was done? If the Brad Hand jokes weren’t enough, Tuesday night’s game is going to be Star Wars Night at Sun Life Stadium. So, you know, head out to the ballpark if think you might want to get yourself a little Han Solo action…
Sometimes, even when stupid people say stupid things, those stupid thing get trumped by someone else saying something even stupider. Take yesterday, for example, when Jack McKeon, David Samson and Dan Le Batard all combined to have the stupidest conversation known to man.
Each week, Samson joins Dan on his radio show to chat about baseball, movies and other various things that make David Samson sound especially creepy. Yesterday, during the interview, Dan read McKeon’s comments about Ricky Nolasco aloud. Comments Samson apparently hadn’t heard yet.
“I guess that’s why you’re 10-11 or 11-10 or whatever,” McKeons said of Nolasco, who fell to 10-11 with Wednesday’s loss. “That’s why you’re not a 20-game winner. You’ve got to concentrate. You’ve got to make pitches. Sooner or later, you’re in the big leagues four or five years, you got to be better than that.”
“You can’t let .220 hitters take care of you all the time,” said McKeon, referring to Gonzalez, a .238 hitter. “With two strikes with Gonzo, throw the ball a foot outside or a foot over his head and he’ll swing at it. He was going to trick him, I guess. You throw him that soft stuff and he’s going to hit it, but we keep giving it to him.”
What happened next was as puzzling as McKeon’s commets were stupid. (I don’t have the exact exchange handy, but as soon as the podcast goes up, I’ll link it for you.) After reading the comments and asking for his thoughts, Samson angrily said something along the lines of, “Well, that’s not going to help his trade value any.” And then went into full-on damage control mode, spinning the comments and saying all of the right things, as if this were something that needed spinning.
How many GMs were sitting by their radio, putting the finishing touches on a deal for Ricky Nolasco, only to hear a 400-year-old manager who nobody takes seriously, say exactly what the season’s box scores already say about Nolasco, and think to himself, “WAIT! WHAT AM I DOING?!?”
This whole thing was a non-issue. Were Jack’s comments dumb? Obviously. When aren’t his comments dumb? But, what exactly do you expect from Jack McKeon? This is what he’s been doing all season. It isn’t like he mentioned an undisclosed injury or hinted that Nolasco is a nightmare for pitching coaches to work with. He said that sometimes Ricky’s pretty bad. This isn’t top-secret information and I’m pretty sure David Samson knows that McKeon’s outburst should have zero impact on potential trades this offseason. If he doesn’t, then the organization has bigger problems than an old man with a broken filter.
The person I’m most disappointed in, though, is Le Batard. Dan would never be considered a dumb person, and this is usually the kind of thought process where his brilliance shines through… So why wasn’t he able to sniff out something so obvious? Why didn’t he point out how benign McKeon’s comments actually were? Why would he even bring up something so meaningless in the first place, when his show purports to be above typical sports talk radio sensationalism?
Jack saying what he said was idiotic at best, since nothing good can come of it, but the reactions of both David Samson and Dan Le Batard were equally as stupid. Of course, if there’s one thing we’ve learned about the Florida Marlins organization this year, it’s that they seem to do an exceptional job of manufacturing in-house controversy.
At least they’re good at something, I suppose.
What you missed this weekend while trying to figure out who throws a shoe. Honestly…
• Oh, so that’s what that looks like! Huh. For the first time in what feels like forever, the Marlins found themselves on the better side of a lopsided score. Two Omar Infante home runs (!!!) and a nine-run third inning (!!!!!!) will do that for a struggling ball club. Other things that will do that for a struggling ball club? Playing the Pirates.
• And when I think about you, I touch myself. On Saturday, the domination of Pittsburgh continued as Anibal Sanchez held
The Divinyls the Pirates to just one hit. Ooooh. OOOOOOOOH. OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHH!!!! I DOOOOOON’T WANT AAAAAAANYBODY ELSE– Okay I’ll stop now.
• He gets it. Then he doesn’t. Then he gets it again. I think. Maybe. By the end of this article, you get the feeling that Terence Moore isn’t really sure what he believes about baseball anymore:
Blame it on injuries and average talent.
You can’t blame it on McKeon.
He is strategically sound, too. Among his first moves after taking over the Marlins this summer was to put struggling star Hanley Ramirez in the cleanup spot. Ramirez was hitting .198 at the time. From there, he soared at the plate — until he got hurt.
Ace pitcher Josh Johnson also injured his shoulder, and that was in early May. Like Ramirez, Johnson is out for the season. If you add their aches and pains to a bunch of other Marlins — along with the fact that these aren’t the Marlins of Gary Sheffield, Kevin Brown and Bobby Bonilla — McKeon didn’t have a chance of making this work.
In other words, when players are performing poorly, it isn’t the managers fault, because the players stink. But, when players are playing to their potential, that’s all on the manager, because he totally made that happen. Unless the players stink and/or are injured. Then there’s only so much the manager can do. Obviously.
Yeah, I’m confused, too. Hold me.
If you’ve been paying attention to the news cycle – and I know you have, because you’re reading an ESPN-affiliated Marlins blog that’s almost impossible to find unless you actively went searching for it, which means you really care to know stuff about the team – then you know the Marlins have resumed talks with the White Sox about possibly making Ozzie Guillen the manager heading into the new stadium. To which I would say…
That’s crazy talk.
A little over a year ago, the fine gentlemen at Marlins Diehards summed it up pretty perfectly in just one paragraph:
Managers in baseball are worth only a few wins (or losses) a year, so why bother with the whole charade? Let Wes Helms take the lineup card to the home plate umpire before every game, and pitching coach Randy St. Clair can handle pitching changes. Whoever the new bench coach is can take care of pinch hitters and defensive substitutions, and just like that, the Marlins have cut $650,000 (Fredi Gonzalez’ salary) from their payroll (Mr. Loria can send me a ten percent commission for the savings).
While Wes Helms is no longer around to handle lineup card duties, I’m fairly certain Greg Dobbs can handle the task with relative ease. As for the rest of it, yes. Just, yes.
Besides the fact that Ozzie Guillen can’t win games if Josh Johnson is hurt and Hanley Ramirez is slumping, he’s probably not going to come here for the kind of money the Marlins generally like to spend on a manager. We’re talking about an organization that decided it couldn’t afford players – PLAYERS!!! – as valuable as Miguel Cabrera or Josh Beckett. Those are guys who actually take the field and contribute to winning ballgames. We’re really supposed to expect them to overspend on a guy whose job basically boils down to sitting in the dugout, offering quality soundbites, and occasionally pulling a double switch?
What you missed this weekend while you were playing your annual game of VMA Award Outfit or Last Minute Halloween Costume…
• Sweep! Sweep! Sweep! The Marlins went to Philadelphia for a four-game series and left without a single loss. They also left with just one win, though, as the other three games were postponed.
It’s late August, which means that there are only a handful of fanbases left with any kind of playoff aspirations. Some of them are getting ready for a deep run and others are deluding themselves into thinking they can make up seven games in the last month to somehow steal the Wild Card. Meanwhile, the rest of us are left trying to convince ourselves that there’s still a meaningful reason to watch the team we love. The problem is, there isn’t one. It’s easier to justify suffering through the last four games of a miserable football season because you only get to watch 16 of them per year. But, when you’ve already sat through 77 losses, there’s really no need to subject yourself to 25 more. Sure, you may love the sport, but what if the current season isn’t loving you back? What, exactly, is a fan of a team like the Astros or Marlins to do? Allow me to help…
Root against the Red Sox. I don’t care how sweet a person you are, one of the great joys of being a sports fan is being able to display an irrational hatred toward a team with which you have absolutely no connection. And, really, what better team to direct that inexplicable venom toward than the one with the most insufferable fanbase in all of sports? Over time, hating Boston slowly became the new hating New York and, if you’re smart, you’ll do your best to get in on this before we all decide to hate Chicago or some other random city. Believe me, it’s happening as I type this and once it’s over, you’ll never have the opportunity to bask in Bill Simmons’ misery ever again. Now, does that sound like something you’ll want to have missed out on?