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BERARDINO: Walker's snub of deal mystifying


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BERARDINO: Walker's snub of deal mystifying

Published August 1, 2004

 

 

The biggest question in the wake of the Marlins' blockbuster trade with the Dodgers didn't concern the improved bullpen or the weakened starting rotation or whether the Marlins will name Paul Lo Duca their instant captain after he homered Saturday night on the first pitch he saw with his new team.

 

It wasn't how many thousand cell minutes General Manager Admin Beinfest logged over the last week or even what possible way Marlins manager Jack McKeon will invent to mispronounce "Mota."

 

Rather, it had to do with Admin Walker. As in: What the heck was the Colorado Rockies' star outfielder thinking when he rejected a deal to the Marlins late Friday night?

 

Here were the Marlins, all gussied up and pronouncing themselves ready for a run at repeating as World Series champions, reaching out to a 37-year-old former MVP who hasn't sniffed the playoffs in his fine 16-year career.

 

The Rockies would have eaten close to half the $18 million that remains on Walker's contract through next season. The Marlins would have given up only prospects, despite their best attempts to spin off Juan Encarnacion and the stomach-turning $5.7 million they now owe him through next year.

 

After more than a week of discussions, everything was in place. It was all up to Walker, who has the right to block any trade and an offseason home in West Palm Beach.

 

Should have been a slam dunk, right? Walker could have come here as the final piece in the midseason overhaul, taken over in right field, replaced the departed Hee Seop Choi as the Marlins' only left-handed power source and become an instant South Florida folk hero.

 

OK, so maybe he's no Shaq, but at the very least the injury-prone Walker could have been the Big Variable in a four-team National League East scrum that only figures to grow more interesting.

 

"When he's healthy and he's playing," one talent evaluator said of Walker last week, "he's one of the best in the game."

 

Alas, shortly after rejecting a trade to the Texas Rangers, Walker did the same with a Marlins proposal. That probably rules out getting him here before Sept. 1 on waivers, unless the Marlins are willing to pick up his entire salary. (They aren't.)

 

What was Walker thinking?

 

He's comfortable in Denver, everyone says. He's probably not too eager either to leave the hitter-friendly confines of Coors Field for spacious Pro Player Stadium, just as Rockies catcher Charles Johnson (remember him?) nixed a similar swap to the Dodgers.

 

Only Walker truly knows the components of his Mike Hamptonesque decision, although it might have been as simple as scanning the rosters and trying to assess the potential for glory.

 

Maybe, just maybe, Walker took a look at the revamped Marlins and shrugged. Maybe, for various reasons, he wasn't convinced all that change would be enough to vault them beyond a desultory opening four months and into the playoffs again.

 

Maybe he glanced at the NL East standings, saw the 4?-game bulge the Braves had built with a strong six weeks and endorsed their bid to make it 13 consecutive division titles.

 

Maybe Walker's decision would have been different had he waited a while longer. Could be that he's a huge fan of Ismael Valdez and Rudy Seanez, the two veteran arms the Marlins added just before Saturday's deadline. (OK, probably not.)

 

At the very least, you would think Walker, having seen the Dodgers 19 times a year in the NL West, would like playing alongside a gamer like Lo Duca (or De Luca, as McKeon already calls him) and a dominant setup man like Guillermo Mota.

 

Ah, but maybe Walker went a little further in his evaluation. Maybe he looked at the weak season of Encarnacion, who joins shortstop Alex Gonzalez to give the Marlins two of the majors' seven lowest on-base percentages, and wondered just how much the Marlins had improved the league's fourth-worst offense.

 

Maybe he saw the franchise leader in victories heading west and wondered if the Marlins were wise to deal Brad Penny. Especially when they can't be sure Josh Beckett's troublesome index finger will cooperate.

 

Maybe he saw Mota's 7.11 ERA in his past seven outings and wondered if the workhorse reliever had hit some sort of wall.

 

Maybe he saw that 60-point career drop in Lo Duca's second-half batting average and feared he would wear down for the fourth year in a row. (Looked fine Saturday, though.)

 

Maybe all of these things went through Walker's mind as he tried to process one of the most difficult choices of his career. Or maybe I'm giving him too much credit ... and the Marlins' imaginative front office not enough.

 

Mike Berardino can be reached at mberardino@sun-sentinel.com

Copyright ? 2004, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

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After reading his article I'm not sure who the biggest a-hole is...

 

Walker or Berardino?

 

I guess I'll take that negative prick Mike B.

 

:whistle

488345[/snapback]

 

According the the Miami Herald, talks never proceeded far enough to even ask Walker to waive his no-trade clause. This whole story could be a bunch of BS from Berardino.

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After reading his article I'm not sure who the biggest a-hole is...

 

Walker or Berardino?

 

I guess I'll take that negative prick Mike B.

 

:whistle

488345[/snapback]

 

According the the Miami Herald, talks never proceeded far enough to even ask Walker to waive his no-trade clause. This whole story could be a bunch of BS from Berardino.

488350[/snapback]

 

Herald = Crap

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Read in between the lines Mike is again being his usual a.......hole against the Marlins FO.

 

Mike do us all a favor if you hate your job so much just leave I am sure the Tribune company can find another job for you maybe you can cover the White Sox in Chicago.

 

Every Baseball expert has stated that the Marlins were the one team that really helped itself the most via the trades by the trading deadline.

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After reading his article I'm not sure who the biggest a-hole is...

 

Walker or Berardino?

 

I guess I'll take that negative prick Mike B.

 

:whistle

488345[/snapback]

 

According the the Miami Herald, talks never proceeded far enough to even ask Walker to waive his no-trade clause. This whole story could be a bunch of BS from Berardino.

488350[/snapback]

 

Herald = Crap

488362[/snapback]

Herald has sources, Berardino never has real sources.

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After reading his article I'm not sure who the biggest a-hole is...

 

Walker or Berardino?

 

I guess I'll take that negative prick Mike B.

 

:whistle

488345[/snapback]

 

According the the Miami Herald, talks never proceeded far enough to even ask Walker to waive his no-trade clause. This whole story could be a bunch of BS from Berardino.

488350[/snapback]

 

Herald = Crap

488362[/snapback]

Herald has sources, Berardino never has real sources.

488410[/snapback]

 

The only contract turned down by Walker was from Texas. Berardino only got 1/2 of the story correct.

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if you read the thing, the article actually has little to do with Admin walker.

 

mike berardino is basically pointing out the obvious about this trade, in a very nice way.

488426[/snapback]

 

Yeah, but the fact that he used something that wasn't even true as a theme for his article makes him look even more stupid.

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Shaq Man,

 

Maybe just maybe the Marlins will win their division with this trades. But then again maybe just maybe you felt that we were a better team with an outshape Penny or Choi with his clutch hitting in April and amazing walks, or with Nunez taking another third strike looking or grounding into a double play.

 

This trade not only helps the Marlins for this year but also next.

 

Next year Benitez will probably not be back then we can put Mota in closer role and Spooneyburger in the 8th. Catcher we are set through next year along with shortstop, second, third, leftfield and centerfield. Maybe now that Penny has been traded they can use the money to sign Pavano. Penny singlehandily almost lost the NLCS vs Cubs for us.

 

Maybe just maybe once Mike will actually write a story that gives both the good and the bad rather than just attack the Marlins FO.

 

But then again maybe just maybe Mike and Shaq man are the are the best Baseball analysts in this whole country and one day maybe just maybe all of us Marlins fans can have the honor of watching you two on Baseball Tonite.

 

Then again maybe just maybe............................. :lol

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Shaq Man,

 

Maybe just maybe the Marlins will win their division with this trades.? But then again maybe just maybe you felt that we were a better team with an outshape Penny or Choi with his clutch hitting in April and amazing walks, or with Nunez taking another third strike looking or grounding into a double play.?

 

This trade not only helps the Marlins for this year but also next.

 

Catcher we are set through next year along with shortstop, second, third, leftfield and centerfield.? Maybe now that Penny has been traded they can use the money to sign Pavano.? Penny singlehandily almost lost the NLCS vs Cubs for us.?

488492[/snapback]

 

Dude that last line is just ridiculous. He also won 2 world series games, is the team career leader in wins, eats up innings, is one of the few starters who has been able to remain relatively healthy, and is having his best season ever.

 

I realize they were likely going to lose him after the season. Now instead they'll probably lose Lo Duca. Pick your poison.

 

and the Marlins could use Penny's money to sign Pavano whether they traded him or not. Except now, surprise! Instead of spending a few hundred thousand on Choi next year, you're spending 4.5 million on Encarnacion. So much for the money saved on Penny!

 

And maybe you'd like to explain to me how we're set at catcher for next year? Lo Duca's up for arbitration. His 4 million salary could nearly double! At the very least it will go up a couple million, you think the Marlins will pay 6 million per season for Lo Duca when they didn't offer 8 for the best catcher in the game at the same age?

 

Unless you're talking about Willingham at catcher (who has potential) we are far from being "set" for next year.

 

The only position this helps us at for next season is with Mota.

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But then again maybe just maybe Mike and Shaq man are the are the best Baseball analysts in this whole country and one day maybe just maybe all of us Marlins fans can have the honor of watching you two on Baseball Tonite.

488492[/snapback]

no offense, but the reason why so many of you have wood in your pants over this trade is because you turn on espn and you see their entire lineup of "analysts" giving major props to the marlins front office for addressing "all" of their needs. they see:

 

the marlins need a catcher? they got one.

the marlins need a setup guy? they got one.

 

there is such a monumental flaw in that reasoning...it overlooks the fact that we didn't need a catcher per se, but rather we needed our offense upgraded, and we needed our bullpen upgraded.

 

even peter gammons, who gave major props to the marlins FO for this trade, unwittingly dissected his own reasoning on the air last night when he conceded that paul lo duca wears down during the second half and that hee seop choi was a "serious upgrade" over juan encarnacion in the dodgers lineup. that second statement almost concedes that this trade was a "wash" for the marlins offensively.

 

so what's left in the trade? i've repeated it probably 10 times, but the rest of the trade is brad penny and bill murphy for an overvalued guillermo mota.

 

say what you want of mike berardino's motives, but he is far and away a much, much, much better judge of what this trade does to THIS team than a jayson stark or peter gammons. berardino's only got one team to worry about, and i'll take his assessment over gammons' any day of the week.

 

i'm sorry, but this dodgers trade has resulted in one monumental failure now that we have juan encarnacion in our outfield.

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walker rejected a trade to florida, what a dumbass.

 

he'll probly finish his career with the rockies, well walker, you can have fun losing in colorado :thumbup

488337[/snapback]

Exactly. He also rejected a deal that would have sent him to the Rangers, another first place team. :blink:

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Walker was in the playoffs with Colorado in 1995. They were swept in 3 games by Atlanta in the NLDS.

488438[/snapback]

The Rockies actually won one game in that series in Atlanta after losing the first two in Colorado. They lost the series 3 games to 1.

 

Berardino also neglects to mention that Walker was on the Expos team that had the best record in baseball in 1994 at the time of the strike.

 

Berardino makes a great point when writing that Walker has never "sniffed" the playoffs. :confused

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