Jump to content


Marlins pointing fingers


Accord
 Share

Recommended Posts

Marlins pointing fingers

In pitcher Scott Olsen's latest altercation, Marlins teammate Miguel Cabrera poked him in the forehead in the dugout during Sunday's loss to the Mets.

BY CLARK SPENCER

cspencer@MiamiHerald.com

 

NEW YORK - The Marlins can't punish Scott Olsen by making him stand in a corner. They can't send him to the principal's office for a stern lecture and an old-fashioned paddling, nor can they mail a letter home to his parents threatening expulsion.

 

But perhaps they should consider solitary confinement on the days he doesn't pitch, Pinkerton escorts from the mound to the dugout on the days that he does, fraternizing with teammates in controlled settings only, and bringing in Dr. Phil for sit-down counseling.

 

The naughty rookie for the Marlins did it again Sunday. Olsen got under Miguel Cabrera's skin during a 7-6 loss to the New York Mets at Shea Stadium, and the result was a finger poke in the forehead by the Marlins' angered All-Star third baseman in the team's dugout.

 

Considering the size differential, Olsen was fortunate Cabrera didn't ball up his fist and deliver a more forceful blow, not that Olsen hasn't already felt the sting of one of those this season.

 

The latest incident involving the young pitcher isn't the first. Marlins reliever Randy Messenger -- his ''closest friend'' on the team -- gave him a black eye in St. Petersburg in May when he punched Olsen in the face during an argument. And even-keeled manager Joe Girardi ripped into him a few days later, grabbing him by his jersey and dragging him into a dugout alcove at Dolphin Stadium.

 

''A young pitcher letting the emotions get the best of him,'' Girardi said after the latest blowup. ``You can't let your emotions get the best of you.''

 

Said Olsen, who apologized later to Cabrera: ``I was wrong.''

 

Cabrera was tight-lipped afterward while rolling his luggage out of Shea and heading off to the airport for a flight bound for Pittsburgh and All-Star festivities. He is to take part in tonight's Home Run Derby and Tuesday's Midsummer Classic.

 

WHY ME?

 

But he had to be wondering what he did to rankle not only Olsen, but also Mets reliever Duaner Sanchez on Saturday. Sanchez drilled Cabrera in the left buttock with a pitch during Saturday's doubleheader. Most of the Marlins think it was thrown deliberately and without just cause. Cabrera was ejected for mouthing off at the Mets pitcher.

 

Sunday's dugout fracas was precipitated by events in the bottom of the fifth.

 

Olsen had just given up a two-run homer to Xavier Nady to break a scoreless tie when Jose Valentin smacked a double down the third-base line and by Cabrera. According to one Marlins player, who asked not to be identified, Olsen said something derogatory to Cabrera even though Brooks Robinson probably couldn't have gloved the ball.

 

But if Olsen had a beef with Cabrera, conjecture pointed to the next play, in which Paul Lo Duca grounded a ball that glanced off the third baseman's glove, squirting away for what was ruled a double.

 

Whatever the particular play, Olsen voiced a criticism directed at the best player on the Marlins, and it didn't sit well. Television replays showed the two exchanging heated words in the dugout as Olsen made his way to the clubhouse, with the two players having to be restrained by their teammates, but not before Cabrera jabbed Olsen in the forehead with his right index finger.

 

Girardi tried to defuse tempers, first by talking to Cabrera, who was noticeably miffed and blew bubbles with his chewing gum while the manager lectured. Olsen said Girardi and pitching coach Rick Kranitz then made their way to the clubhouse, where Olsen had taken sanctuary.

 

Moments later, Olsen returned to the dugout to apologize to Cabrera.

 

''They hugged, they kissed, they made up,'' Girardi said.

 

Girardi put a positive spin on the altercation.

 

''[Olsen] has fire in his belly,'' Girardi said. ``I think he took a big step because he owned up.''

 

Oddly, good things tend to happen for the Marlins when Olsen gets involved in an incident. They won 19 of their next 25 games after Messenger popped him in the eye, and Olsen won his next four starts after Girardi gave him a dugout scolding.

 

CAUSE AND EFFECT

 

The pattern nearly continued Sunday; after Olsen and Cabrera had their skirmish, the Marlins scored two runs in the sixth and three in the seventh to take a 5-3 lead.

 

But the Mets struck for four runs in the eighth, with reliever Logan Kensing allowing a leadoff walk to Valentin and center fielder Reggie Abercrombie losing a fly ball in the sun that fell to the grass untouched for a single.

 

Four batters later, David Wright launched a three-run homer to drive the stake in the Marlins as they head into the All-Star break.

 

Olsen said he was remorseful about his latest incident.

 

''There will be no carry-over on that,'' he said.

 

But Olsen said he wouldn't change his demeanor.

 

''I don't care what people think about me,'' he said. ``It really makes no difference. We're young and scrappy, and we're not going to take a lot of crap.''

http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/sports/15002867.htm

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Although it was a makeable play I don't think he dogged it in not making the play.. I think he dogged it running after the ball after it got by him. I don't think it's too much to ask to hustle all the time more so after you don't make a makeable play. I think that's the most likely reason Olsen was upset and I think it should have been included in the article. That's my opinion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I missed the event in realtime because I was traveling but a few observations, any of which anyone may disagree with, I'm not even married to them myself:

 

1. We really have no idea what set this off, events of the moment, something simmering for awhile under the radar, some external event, etc.

 

2. The question everyone thinks about but few ever acknowledge - can Miggy really play third base?

 

3. If Perry Hill can turn Dan Uggla into an all-star, where is he in all this visavis Miggy and the hot corner?

 

4. Would longterm (ala Pujols) Miggy be better off at first base (perhaps over the off-season) and if so what becomes of Mike Jacobs who has come strong hitting .361 in June and .323 so far in July?

 

Left field?

 

5. Is Olsen just a young hothead? Will he let his temper get in the way of being the pitcher he can be? A phase or a character flaw?

 

6. Should we trade Olsen for "a" Carl Crawford or Baldelli (coincidentally using two names of players from the same team but used for example purposes only) knowing he may turn out to be one helluva pitcher?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

yea Olsen is a hothead but he is still a hell of a pitcher, and Id rather not move him

 

Cabs plays a fine 3b... he will probably not win a gold glove, but he is more than adequate there and I dont see his play improving by leaps and bounds from 3b to 1b... But when you look at his play from April to July, you can see Perry Hill has made a huge difference

 

I believe Pujols was moved to 1b because of issues in his throwing arm

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Miggy didn't take to the outfield. And didn't really improve at all throughout his time out there. He's had problems at third.

 

And he'll probably have problems at first. I get the feeling that he simply doesn't care to. Or maybe he simply hasn't related to the Marlins' coaching staff's efforts to teach him.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3. If Perry Hill can turn Dan Uggla into an all-star, where is he in all this visavis Miggy and the hot corner?

 

 

Perry Hill didn't turn Dan Uggla into an All-Star. Dan Uggla was choosen to be an All-Star because of what he has done at the plate relative to other second basemen and nothing more. His defense overall has been below average during the first half of the season. His fielding percentage (.978) and total errors (9) are each 3rd to last among regular NL secondbasemen, with only Jose Castillo and Ricky Weeks being worse fielders.

 

While he makes some nice diving plays at groundballs hit up the middle and then gunning the ball to first, he still fumbles routine feeds from Hanley, botches relay throws and seems lost at times handling pop flys hit in the shallow outfield.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cabs is a middle of the pack fielding 3rd baseman but he has a very strong throwing arm and good reflexex I feel his footwork needs improvement. He just botched that play! Cabs will be much better defensively next year after another off season of hard work. BTW Olsen admitted he was wrong, but I think in a way he was right. Cabs will show more hustle next time and will show more pride in his defense for sure

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As I prefaced my comments with the remark I wasn't wedded to any of them, allow me to edit myself regarding Uggla and Hill (and Miggy) and his all-star selection, and simply say if Hill can help Uggla improve defensively from what we saw in spring training to where he is today, and hopefully continued improvement in the future, I wonder if Hill is spending time with Cabrera on some of his shortcomings in the defensive part of his game?

 

I don't know the answer, and it was just asked without malice. Cabrera does not seem to this person the third baseman we saw in 2003 or in 2005 when he again spelled Lowell at third. It's an observation not a statement of fact.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1. We really have no idea what set this off, events of the moment, something simmering for awhile under the radar, some external event, etc.

 

Olsen didn't go after Cabrera in the dugout, Cabrera went after Olsen the second he stepped into the dugout. What happened was after Cabrera messed up that play, Olsen was on the mound yelling obscenity's and god knows what else and just acting like a total dick as if Cabrera ruined his gem of a game, he wasn't yelling directly at Cabs but to himself, but Cabrera didn't like how he reacted so when they got back to the dugout Cabrera let Olsen know how he felt. Tommy reaffirmed this when he said that young pitchers get too caught up and think this is THEIR game and everything revolves around them, and the defense is there for THEM and must be perfect 100% of the time.

 

As I prefaced my comments with the remark I wasn't wedded to any of them, allow me to edit myself regarding Uggla and Hill (and Miggy) and his all-star selection, and simply say if Hill can help Uggla improve defensively from what we saw in spring training to where he is today, and hopefully continued improvement in the future, I wonder if Hill is spending time with Cabrera on some of his shortcomings in the defensive part of his game?

 

I don't know the answer, and it was just asked without malice. Cabrera does not seem to this person the third baseman we saw in 2003 or in 2005 when he again spelled Lowell at third. It's an observation not a statement of fact.

 

It's not that Cabrera neeeds to improve defensively, but rather he just needs to play with more effort. Most of the plays that he screws up are due to lack of effort or lackadaisical play.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with the responses to the Uggla / Hill comment. If anything Presley has had more to do with turning Uggla into an all-star than Hill and this is not a shot at Hill.

 

I think long-term Cabrera is better suited for 1B but the problem is Jacobs cannot play anywhere else and Willingham is also better suited for 1B. With that said I think Cabrera's defense has improved the past few weeks. Early in the season he was atrocious and the fact he was so fat and out of shape probably had much to do with it. He's in better shape now and his defense has improved.

 

I would rather not trade Olsen but other than Johnson I would think he's the most coveted of the rookie pitchers and I guess you have to give up something to get something. I doubt right now any GM is licking his chops about acquiring Vargas or Petit and another couple of poor outings by Anibal and his trade value will plummet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Funny how people forget the nice plays he made this weekend just because of this one play which he wouldnt have made.

 

Overall, I was impressed by his defense during this series as he made a number of nice plays. I didn't expect much, considering his high number of errors this year.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...