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Good Vibes For The Marlins

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Here's a switch: It's good vibes for the Marlins
COMMENTARY / JEFF MILLER

Not to brag or anything, but you're about to read an amazing column.

This will be a 100 percent positive account on the Marlins, 800 words of nothing but Skittles and ice cream on the franchise so many of us generally treat like tainted pork.

If not now, when? They have four consecutive victories. They just opened a 13-game homestand, the longest of the season. They have gone two weeks without firing anyone or losing a starting pitcher to a strained, sprained and maimed something or other.

Besides, this was Memorial Day, the unofficial start to a fresh, new summer, and there were enough things already being barbecued without also torching our baseball team.

So we won't mention the standings, where the Marlins remain as buried as Abraham Lincoln. We also will avoid the front office, which still operates with the subtlety and compassion of an electric chair. We won't even bring up the crowd, which was roughly the size of your graduating class.

Sure, the Marlins are being managed by someone still so unfamiliar with his new surroundings that Monday he had to ask for directions to the dugout. But we're not going to pick on Jack McKeon, either.

No, this is all sunshine, all day, smiles and back pats 24/7. This is Mike Lowell and his 16 home runs, Alex Gonzalez and his .331 average, Braden Looper and his 7-of-8 save proficiency.

This is Carl Pavano carving up Montreal in 92 pitches and two hours, a performance so tidy and smothering the Expos were all but shrink-wrapped. This is Juan Encarnaci?n tumbling over the waist-high wall in right field, not catching the ball but also not falling into the hot tub or going face-first into a nearby trash can. Two weeks ago, Encarnaci?n lands in water or waste, guaranteed.

''This game is so much about confidence, even for a team like the Yankees,'' catcher Mike Redmond said. ``When you have nine confident players out there it makes a difference. And we're confident right now.''

This assuredly is not Chad Allen and his everyman face. Allen, an outfielder who joined the Marlins on their last trip, was stopped while attempting to enter his home stadium for this game because he had nothing that identified him as a player. Pitcher Tommy Phelps vouched for him.

''I guess,'' Allen said, ``I'll be sneaking in for a while.''

The save was the first of Phelps' career and will go well with the ball and lineup card he has from his first career victory. After more than 10 years in the minors, Phelps earned the win Friday in Cincinnati.

He made an emergency start for an ailing Brad Penny a day before he was scheduled to make a fill-in start for an injured Josh Beckett. Phelps' wife, Cassie, even was in attendance but only because she had an unused plane ticket to cash in and Cincinnati was the cheapest destination they could find.

``I was sitting in the dugout in the ninth inning with Looper pitching thinking, `I can't believe there are only two outs to go, Phelps said. ``I couldn't wait to run on the field and give everyone five.''

See, positive stuff. Just like Dontrelle Willis on Sunday. The rookie pitched eight shutout innings in beating the Reds. Afterward, he had phone conversations with his girlfriend, his mom and his best friend.

''I'm kind of the calm one in the group,'' Willis said. ``They were more excited than me. I had to keep everything cool.''

That's what the Marlins are forced to do today, stifle the excitement over their play. McKeon called Pavano ''very efficient'' and ''absolutely outstanding.'' He also announced he would stick with his current lineup because he wants to ``ride the hot guys.''

Typically, riding the Marlins has meant riding them from the bleachers with chants of the anatomically impossible. But not now, not today, because this is all about the up, up, up. This is feel-good copy on a franchise that's often cuddly like a chain saw.

So embrace this 5-1 victory and Brian Banks' home run and another game without an error. We're openly reveling in all things black and teal today. What the heck, Go Fish.

There it is -- a completely positive Marlins column. Not a sour word in the bunch. Nothing about fired managers or mascots, nothing about hot dog-inspired chaos, nothing about the pitching coach urging the owner to stuff it.

Hope you enjoyed it and remember it in the future. Because there are still four months left in this baseball season, and the Marlins probably won't win 114 in a row.
 

Fish Fillet

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It's pretty sad when this tongue-in-cheek column full of backhanded compliments is considered positive.
 

Ramp

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more crap

I love the parts when he says things like, "I am going to positive, i wont talk about how this team sucks"

I hate the Herald
 

Marlins2003

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more crap

I love the parts when he says things like, "I am going to positive, i wont talk about how this team sucks"

I hate the Herald
Gee, you're surprised?

Part way through spring training, just after the infamous LeBatard column and just before FanFest I cancelled my Herald subscription and bought Marlins tickets, just my way of protesting their coverage.

I despise the Herald and I loathe Richard Bush, the Herald's Sports Editor. He is morally corrupt, without any sense of fairplay and seemingly obsessed with destroying the Marlins. I don;t know if it is Knight Ridder's policy, local management's decision or his, but it clear that the paper has decided it is in their selfish best interest to keep down the team.
 

Fish Fillet

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Hey, it pays to be overly negative if you are the Herald. Just look at the scoop they got on the Torgorg firing and Arnsberg-gate. In an attempt to appease a critical Herald sports desk the Marlins gave them a little phone call to tell them about the firing before it happened. It's pretty easy to imagine Loria riding shotgun in Sampson's SUV on the way over to Arnsberg's place, phone to his ear, dropping the scoop to Bush, Le Retard or one of the other minions of the Herald.

Remember Torborg's quote? How he just couldn't figure out why/how the Herald called him for reaction to the temination just minutes after they dropped the hammer.

You're right, the Herald is a rag, and thier poor, self-interterested and biased sports reporting reaches far beyond the scope of the Marlins.
 

Hotcorner

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lol, I figured you all would get a kick out of it... :shifty
 

jonnylons

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Hot Corner, I am glad you posted this. Usually I do this because it makes me so pi$$ed. The Herald is terrible, and I am surprised to see Fish Fillet, a guy I assume is anti-Loria, would support such a view that we share. Because if the Herald has a slant, then why would you find yourself in agreement with them but despise their reporting? Hmm...curious...
 

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