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I have decided to refrain from reading commentary on the Marlins until they play at least one regular season game.

 

I know that these columnists get paid to write their opinions, but I am sick of reading this ongoing struggle between good and evil.

 

One day, we're at the gates of hell, spending too much money and in threat of losing our team.

 

The next day, we're the saviors of the baseball world, and our 'live for today' attitude should be heralded.

 

Go Fish, and I cannot wait for Carlos to smack the first pitch he sees into Center Field. I'm going to jump on the tarp and snatch it from some hyperactive 50 year old man wearing short shorts and a floppy hat.

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You cannot argue with the statistics presented. Statistically, Lee and Pudge combined may be better than Delgado and Lo Duca. However, it is good to look at why the statistics are the way they are.

 

The only reason that Lee and Pudge are ahead is that Lo Duca's mediocre hitting heavily brings down the combined Delgado-LoDuca average. Personally, I say hands down if you only consider these combinations on performance and not secondary factors (i.e. 1 set is cheaper and we wouldn't have had to give up other players etc.) Delgado and LoDuca are better.

 

Lee and Pudge are nowhere near the hitters that Delgado is. I personally would rather have one stud and another mediocre guy because you can always scrap and find a cheap mediocre player to pair with Delgado.

 

Delgado is significantly more valuable than Pudge and Lee. Pudge and Lee are not feared hitters that pitchers need to pitch around. Delgado changes a lineup. Besides, I was not unhappy to see Lee go. I think he was overrated and only an above average hitter. He cannot hit good pitching, and everyone knows how frustrating it was to watch him with guys on base. Simply, Lee is not a middle of the order hitter. Pudge is a nice hitter, but he is not a middle of the order guy either. For us, he had a very mediocre .297 16 hr and 85 RBI.

 

Truth is that stars win in the playoffs and win the World Series, not a group of above-average guys. Baseball, though many believe it to be, is not about balance. No sport is. Many of you may be saying that the Marlins were a balanced team without stars in 2003, but a closer analysis shows differently. We won not because of Lee's slightly above-average play combined with a bunch of slightly above-average hitters like Encarnacion (at the time), Conine, Pierre, and Castillo. All those player were complementary. We won because Lowell was one of the ten or fifteen best hitters during the year when he wasn't injured; Cabrera flashed brilliance; and because Pudge had an insane playoffs in which he hit close to .400. (Though Pudge was impressive in the playoffs, he did not hit that way during the year and I attribute his playoffs to just Pudge hitting a peak in a player's up-and-down cycle of performance. Afterall, he had a mediocre year.) But if you look even closer, we didn't win because we hit and pitched well. We won very simply because Beckett was lights out and had one of the best playoff performances of any pitcher since Oral Hershiser in 1988. Actually, our starting pitcher was outstanding. Penny, Beckett, and Pavano threw 5 great games against the Yankees. We won because we were lopsided. We had the best starting pitching in the league at that point in the year. Teams with that cruise to a World Series.

 

Perhaps a better example about the relative unimportance of balance and the importance of stars is the Heat. We weren't that good last year when we had 5 solid players on the court at all times. But now that we are essentially a 2 man team with a few, cheap, easily gotten, and easily replaced role players, the Heat is one of the best teams in basketball. Another example is the 2001 (?) Arizona Diamondbacks with R. Johnson and Schilling.

 

For this reason, I think the Delgado-Loduca tandem is much better. Delgado is that stud player that will carry a team and Lo Duca is the easily replaced role player, whereas Pudge and LoDuca are the two slightly above-average tandem that are nice complementary players but are not the stars that win you a World Series (I can already see the posts saying that we did win a WS with them...please see two paragraphs above as to why we actually won).

 

However, I feel ambivalent about having Delgado and Lo Duca on the Marlins because I thought that we had the lopsided talented stars needed to win on our pitching staff in Beckett, Penny, Pavano, and Burnett. They were all healthy and pitched together for only 4 innings last year. I think if you give them a full season of health and tweak the lineup adding another complementary but unspectacular hitter, the Marlins are a better team than they are now. Or at least a team built to win in the playoffs.

 

Anyway, I apologize for ranting; I have just been stewing reading various articles and posts. Have a goodnight.

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The Article is a cheap hit piece. Berardino plays games with the numbers because he's wrong! He uses OPS form just the last two years because Delgado had an off year due to injury. If he'd used career OPS, it would be Delgado (948)/LoDuca (764): 1712; Pudge(837)/Lee(827): 1664. He just wanted to bash the Marlins.

 

In fact, Delgado > Lee. Although Lee was great defensively, he is not even close offensively. Ofense is what you need from 1b. And you can't forget the importance of a LH power guy in the middle of the lineup. That creates all kinds of bullpen matchup problems for the opposing manager if he might have to face Cabs - Delgado - Lowell late in close games several times in a series. It also prevents them from rescheduling their rotations just to hide their lefties.

 

Pudge > LoDuca, but to look on the bright side, LoDuca's much better than most other catchers offensively, and is more than adequate, if not Pudge-like, on defense.

 

Therefore, anyone who prefers Pudge/Lee to Delgado/LoDuca is wrong, and that's why Berardino had to play with the numbers to even make it an argument.

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