Expectations and the Miami MarlinsBy
We all have them about pretty much every detail of our lives. Big expectations, small expectations, some we’re aware of and some we have without knowing it.
We expect to wake up every morning, we expect the sky to be blue, we expect work or school to suck and we expect life to continue when it does. Reasonable expectations.
I expect to write a snappy article that makes no sense when I start writing and somehow manages to conclude in a witty fashion. Another reasonable expectation.
However, like many expectations, including my expectation of myself, not all expectations are met every time.
With this in mind I give you the 32-30 Miami Marlins, a team who is just 1-7 in their last 8 games and have not lived up to their overall expectations as a unit.
And with all the lofty expectations that fans and media have for this team, mostly because of the big name acquisitions they had in the off-season, the blame does not and should not fall on those stars.
The Marlins are a team filled with enormous potential and big named superstars but are ultimately being held back by role players underperforming against expectations.
Last week members of the front office and manager Ozzie Guillen met to discuss which player to demote to make room for Austin Kearns, and while Bryan Peterson was the one chosen, Guillen admitted that there were upwards of seven names discussed.
And therein lies the problem.
Pete Rose once said “”Baseball is a team game, but nine men who reach their individual goals make a nice team.”
He’s right. Baseball is unique in that it is a team game based on individual play and a game where teamwork is nearly nonexistent.
So when a group, even a small group (let’s say seven, as Ozzie did), of players are falling short of their individual goals it hurts the unit as a whole perhaps more than the rest of the team can make up for.
The names that jump out at me have to be Logan Morrison, Chris Cohglan, John Buck, and Brett Hayes.
Morrison has surprised me in his poor offensive output thus far this season. I expected the departure of Jack McKeon to help clear his head but we have yet to really see him play particularly well since about Mid-May.
Coghlan on the other hand, who has been on a downslide for the better part of the past three seasons, had little to no expectations and has lived up to them swimmingly posting a batting average of .146 and a WAR of -.9, fifth worst among ALL players to have even 1 PA as a LF.
Neither John Buck nor Brett Hayes have been particularly good this season, but Buck has been especially bad posting a line of only .167/.301/.285, a far cry from his career year in 2010 while with the Blue Jays.
It is in these last seven losses that the deficiencies of these four players have been highlighted and, in my estimation, are the biggest reasons for the team’s lack of success.
The four combine to go 8-55 with 32 runners left on base in the team’s last seven losses, three of which by 2 runs or less. Morrison has been just 5-20, Buck an awful 2-15, Coghlan an even worse 0-13, and Hayes rounds up the foursome having gone 1-7 in that time.
This is more than a team can overcome, in my opinion, even from the bottom third of a lineup. At some point, someone other than Reyes, Ramirez, Infante, and Stanton has to step up offensively.
Expectations for this team will remain high, as they should. And the expectations for even the non-star players need to stay high in order for this team to escape one of the deepest, toughest divisions in baseball.
Marlin fans and management can only hope that the players in place are good enough to meet these expectations, because a failure to do so could mean disaster for the team.