What's new

PB Post

Fish Fillet

Muckdog
Joined
May 22, 2003
Messages
2,186
Reaction score
0
Marlins sound like they're sellers


By Greg Stoda, Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, June 18, 2003



Jack McKeon understands a thing or two about working the baseball market.

Not for nothin' was he known as "Trader Jack" during his tenure as San Diego's general manager, after all.

But a Tuesday afternoon conversation in the Pro Player Stadium office where McKeon works these days as Marlins manager was more than a little revealing about what he doesn't understand about the very near future of his team.

McKeon: "You gotta figure out if you're a buyer or a seller this time of year."

Question: "What are the Marlins?"

McKeon: "I don't know. It's not my call."

No, it's not.

But the call team owner Jeffrey Loria and/or team President David Samson should make, and soon, is that they're going to do everything possible to keep these Marlins mostly intact. They should, at the very least, put out the word these Marlins aren't going to be sold off as summertime pieces to scavengers on the hunt.

It would have been nice had Loria-Samson done such a thing after last season -- their first in charge of things -- because how would a gone, gone, gone left-to-right outfield of Kevin Millar, Preston Wilson and Cliff Floyd look as a backdrop to the third-to-first Florida infield of Mike Lowell, Alex Gonzalez, Luis Castillo and Derrek Lee?

There's no need to rework that plowed ground, though.

The present point, however modest, is that the Marlins have a nice little thing going for themselves despite the unattractiveness of Tuesday night's 5-0 loss to New York in the Mets' home away from home (see: crowd noise).

Nevertheless, this slightest hint of South Florida baseball promise deserves nourishment.

The Marlins still are 15-9 in the past month or so, and feature rookie pitcher Dontrelle Willis as the toast of moment. Lowell might be the best third baseman in the business, and Gonzalez is having an All-Star caliber season.

No, the playoffs aren't going to happen.

Neither, in all probability, is a winning record going to happen.

But there has been a certain feistiness to the Marlins as they have muddled along without injured ace pitcher A.J. Burnett.

Willis, with other infirmities decimating the starting rotation, showed up to provide gobs of fun with a 6-1 record in eight starts and 51 2/3 innings. But who knows how many of Willis' teammates, who have been demonstrative in their enjoyment of the 21-year-old's happy act, are going to be around much longer?

Lowell, who is earning $3.7 million this season and is due for arbitration at its conclusion, is the Marlin most frequently mentioned as not long for the uniform. And, sure, he allows himself time to consider what it might be like playing for, say, the Chicago Cubs in front of big crowds every day during a pennant race.

"The competitor in you wants to be in that kind of situation," Lowell said. "That's why we're playing. But the competitor in me wants to be part of making (the Marlins) successful, too. It's not something I let myself think about too much, because it's out of my hands."

But the departure of the 29-year-old Lowell, who graduated high school from Coral Gables and college from Florida International, would swing a wrecking ball into the re-demolition of a franchise already imploded once in the aftermath of its 1997 World Series championship.

Anything approaching that kind of razing would obliterate whatever fragile faith in the Marlins still exists among their fans.

So why didn't Samson, when asked directly about the immediate future of some core Marlins, say something to reassure that small yet determined and deserving group?

Instead, he said: "It's not a fair question right now. We've given (General Manager Admin Beinfest) no mandate to go in any direction."

That's a hard sell to a consumer group tired of broken promises and dreams. That group will expect the worst reading Samson's words, because the worst is what it has been used to getting for too many years. The Marlins need to advertise optimism and hope where there has been pessimism and doubt, but either can't or won't allow themselves to do so.

No wonder there's a feeling most of the players among Lowell, Gonzalez, Castillo, Lee, Burnett, outfielder Juan Encarnacion, catcher Ivan Rodriguez and closer Braden Looper will be traded sooner rather than later.

And then there was McKeon, who as Cincinnati's manager led the Reds to 96 wins in 1999 with what he estimated was a payroll in the bottom half of the National League, saying, "You can have fun with a low budget."

He sounded like a seller.

greg_stoda@pbpost.com

Is it me or does this article look like it's a fluff piece written by a home and gardening columnist who had to fill in for a Marlins' story?

What crap. No substance at all.
 

Wild Card

Muckdog
Joined
Apr 25, 2003
Messages
19,020
Reaction score
0
The Marlins need to advertise optimism and hope where there has been pessimism and doubt, but either can't or won't allow themselves to do so.

Is it just me, or is Stoda seriously reading the boards?
 

Wild Card

Muckdog
Joined
Apr 25, 2003
Messages
19,020
Reaction score
0
DT I am sooo not kidding...

This board probably could give a lot of writters inspiration for topics to write on... We have been discussing this topic for a while now...
 

Top Bottom