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Loria: "Team isn't half bad"


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The Marlins were depriving owner Jeffrey Loria of his sleep in June, not that he was complaining. Loria was in Europe at the time, canvassing the continent for art as he does every summer, and couldn't resist the urge to check in on his team, no matter the hour.

 

Sometimes he would rise as early as 4 a.m., turn on his computer, log on to the Internet and watch with delight as the Marlins would peel off a win against the San Diego Padres or pull off a sweep against the Colorado Rockies.

 

Loria was as ecstatic as the baseball world was shocked, with the surprising Marlins going on a winning jaunt that turned June into the best month the franchise has had.

 

''I still haven't lost sight of the fact we're young and make rookie mistakes,'' Loria said from inside the visitor's dugout last weekend at Shea Stadium. ``But, other than 2003, this is the most enthusiastic and exciting team I've ever had.''

 

It was only eight months ago that the front office was disassembling the roster, allowing its pricey free agents to walk and bartering All-Stars and Gold Glovers for unpolished rookie prospects. In the words of agent David Sloane, whose client, Carlos Delgado, was one of the heavy hitters the Marlins traded off, what remained were ``Miguel, Dontrelle and the seven dwarfs.''

 

''Boy, was I wrong,'' Sloane said on the eve of the season's second half, which begins tonight when the Marlins open a weekend series against the Houston Astros. ``They've had a much better record than anybody anticipated they would.''

 

NOT THE WORST

 

The Marlins, who many not only projected to finish last but also threaten the 1962 New York Mets' record of 120 losses, are sitting in fourth place in the National League East with a record of 38-48. Though they are 13 ? games behind the Mets, who are running away with the division, and seven games behind the wild-card-leading Los Angeles Dodgers, they have outperformed three NL teams, including the underachieving Chicago Cubs.

 

And what the front office thought would be a slow rebuilding process has gained unexpected speed.

 

''I would have to say we're further along at this point than we thought we would be,'' general manager Admin Beinfest said. ``I would have to say the team is a little bit ahead of schedule based on what we thought originally.''

 

Though Beinfest said ''nobody wants to be 10 games under .500'' at the All-Star break, he has been ''pleased'' with many of the individual performances and now believes that, in the long run, the Marlins ``have a core of a championship team.''

 

''I think we have a number of players who could be part of that,'' Beinfest said. ``A number of them have shown they're good performers. Now we're looking for consistency.''

 

Second baseman Dan Uggla, whom the Marlins grabbed out of the scrap heap that is the Rule V draft, hit for average (.307) and power (13 home runs) to end up on the NL All-Star team. Shortstop Hanley Ramirez, first baseman Mike Jacobs and three-time All-Star third baseman Miguel Cabrera form the nucleus of a solid infield, though one not nearly as strong defensively as the one it replaced.

 

Catcher Miguel Olivo is hitting .286 with 10 home runs in a part-time role with backup Matt Treanor.

 

But outfield has been a trouble area. Josh Willingham has put up decent numbers offensively but is questionable defensively. Jeremy Hermida was on the disabled list early and hasn't blossomed into the Rookie of the Year candidate many projected him to be. Of all the deficiencies, center field remains the most glaring, with Reggie Abercrombie toiling at the plate, in the field and on the bases.

 

Pitching has been surprisingly strong considering the Marlins are relying heavily on rookies. Dontrelle Willis, after a sluggish start, has reverted to his form of 2005, when he finished second in the Cy Young Award voting. Josh Johnson ranks as not only one of the top rookie starters in the majors, but also one of the top starters, period. Rookies Scott Olsen and Ricky Nolasco have had their ups and downs but have combined for a 12-10 record.

 

The bullpen has been respectable, though not sensational. Veteran Joe Borowski has converted 16 of 18 save opportunities, and Randy Messenger, Logan Kensing and Taylor Tankersley have shown signs of potential.

 

''When we had our run,'' Beinfest said, ``it was directly attributed to the pitching.''

 

Manager Joe Girardi said areas for improvement remain, mentioning bunting, defense, situational hitting and throwing first-pitch strikes.

 

''We won games, I believe, because we played harder,'' Girardi said. ``I think our guys play hard because they're trying to prove something. We run the bases hard. We've run into mistakes, but we've cut down a lot of that. You see the character of the players developing.''

 

GIRARDI'S LESSON

 

It also has been a learning process for Girardi, a rookie in his own right. He had never managed before at any level.

 

''I think I'm a work in progress, just like anything else,'' he said, adding that he has had to learn ``patience and not forgetting these kids are 21 and 22.''

 

Loria and Beinfest said improvements would be made gradually to plug the holes.

 

''I can see some good things down the road, and they're young enough to stay together for a while,'' Loria said, adding he's hoping fans (the Marlins rank last in attendance) will start returning. ``They'll come back when they realize this team is different, special, and they have new heroes to root for,''

 

Loria said the Marlins might have to ''tap'' into their strength -- their depth of pitching -- ''to shore up elsewhere.'' But he said that might not happen until after the season.

 

Beinfest said when the roster was dismantled during the winter, the goal was simple: ``I think the thing that guided us was we didn't want to be mediocre. We always wanted to be building toward a championship. There's really no in-between. It's either you're going to win or you're going to build to win. Finishing .500 does nothing for us.''

 

http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/sports/15025477.htm

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Not surprisingly since it's Clark Spencer of the Herald, a guy who regales in making things up...it should be noted Loria is never quoted anywhere in the story making that remark.

 

It was totally an invention of the Herald.

 

Here's what Loria actually had to say "But, other than 2003, this is the most enthusiastic and exciting team I've ever had.''

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Not surprisingly since it's Clark Spencer of the Herald, a guy who regales in making things up...it should be noted Loria is never quoted anywhere in the story making that remark.

 

It was totally an invention of the Herald.

 

Here's what Loria actually had to say "But, other than 2003, this is the most enthusiastic and exciting team I've ever had.''

 

The Herald is a sh*tty paper.

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Not surprisingly since it's Clark Spencer of the Herald, a guy who regales in making things up...it should be noted Loria is never quoted anywhere in the story making that remark.

 

It was totally an invention of the Herald.

 

Here's what Loria actually had to say "But, other than 2003, this is the most enthusiastic and exciting team I've ever had.''

 

 

I don't think it is fair to blame a writer for the headline on his story. The story's headline is misrepresented in the subject of this thread. The actual headline, according to the Herald website, is just Loria: Team isn't half bad. No quotation marks are to be found.

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Not surprisingly since it's Clark Spencer of the Herald, a guy who regales in making things up...it should be noted Loria is never quoted anywhere in the story making that remark.

 

It was totally an invention of the Herald.

 

Here's what Loria actually had to say "But, other than 2003, this is the most enthusiastic and exciting team I've ever had.''

 

 

I don't think it is fair to blame a writer for the headline on his story. The story's headline is misrepresented in the subject of this thread. The actual headline, according to the Herald website, is just Loria: Team isn't half bad. No quotation marks are to be found.

In newspapering, the colon [ : ] is often used to replace quote marks in headlines.

 

For example " Reagan: Tear down that wall Mr. President" has the same meaning as "Reagan tells Gorbachov, 'Tear down that wall Mr. President' "

 

If nothing else the headline doesn't fit the story, it implies something neither said nor accurately depicts Loria's comments.

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Not surprisingly since it's Clark Spencer of the Herald, a guy who regales in making things up...it should be noted Loria is never quoted anywhere in the story making that remark.

 

It was totally an invention of the Herald.

 

Here's what Loria actually had to say "But, other than 2003, this is the most enthusiastic and exciting team I've ever had.''

 

 

I don't think it is fair to blame a writer for the headline on his story. The story's headline is misrepresented in the subject of this thread. The actual headline, according to the Herald website, is just Loria: Team isn't half bad. No quotation marks are to be found.

In newspapering, the colon [ : ] is often used to replace quote marks in headlines.

 

For example " Reagan: Tear down that wall Mr. President" has the same meaning as "Reagan tells Gorbachov, 'Tear down that wall Mr. President' "

 

If nothing else the headline doesn't fit the story, it implies something neither said nor accurately depicts Loria's comments.

 

The colon in a headline can represent a quote, or it can represent the gist of what the subject said. In this case, I think you are right in that the headline writer misrepresented the what Loria said. Still, you can't blame Spencer for the headline or claim it is an instance of him making something up unless you know for a fact he wrote that headline.

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Not surprisingly since it's Clark Spencer of the Herald, a guy who regales in making things up...it should be noted Loria is never quoted anywhere in the story making that remark.

 

It was totally an invention of the Herald.

 

Here's what Loria actually had to say "But, other than 2003, this is the most enthusiastic and exciting team I've ever had.''

 

 

I don't think it is fair to blame a writer for the headline on his story. The story's headline is misrepresented in the subject of this thread. The actual headline, according to the Herald website, is just Loria: Team isn't half bad. No quotation marks are to be found.

In newspapering, the colon [ : ] is often used to replace quote marks in headlines.

 

For example " Reagan: Tear down that wall Mr. President" has the same meaning as "Reagan tells Gorbachov, 'Tear down that wall Mr. President' "

 

If nothing else the headline doesn't fit the story, it implies something neither said nor accurately depicts Loria's comments.

 

The colon in a headline can represent a quote, or it can represent the gist of what the subject said. In this case, I think you are right in that the headline writer misrepresented the what Loria said. Still, you can't blame Spencer for the headline or claim it is an instance of him making something up unless you know for a fact he wrote that headline.

I don't know "for a fact" that Spencer wrote the headline or sports reporters at the Herald write their own headlines but I do know that they submit possible headlines with every story, and have for a number of years.

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I don't have any problem with the story or the headline. It's a good read and positive in every way. Marlins2003.....it's apparent that you have a bug up your *** with the press. What's the problem in this specific case? If you wrote the headline, what would it say? Do you have any complaints about the write-up itself?

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I don't have any problem with the story or the headline. It's a good read and positive in every way. Marlins2003.....it's apparent that you have a bug up your *** with the press. What's the problem in this specific case? If you wrote the headline, what would it say? Do you have any complaints about the write-up itself?

 

I don't really have bug up my ass about the media, rather the poor imitation we suffer with everyday in South Florida. I'm hoping that McClatchy makes some substantive changes at the Herald, for obvious reasons in the sports department and throughout the paper as well. If you, for example, read their Pittsburgh paper you'll see passionate sports reporting by people who actually "love" the sport they're covering, as opposed to South Florida papers where their quest to show their contempt for their assigned team usually begins every story in the negative before acknowledging anything positive.

 

As for the question regarding how I would have phrased the headline atop this article I might try to key off Loria's own words "excited","enthused" rather than putting words in his mouth, words that don't appear even remotely close to how he sees his young team. Unfortunately, there is by my reading only one sentence and bits of another attributed to Loria so it's hard to conjure up the right headline. There are more quotes from Beinfest than Loria as well as quotes from Girardi. One would think reading the headline, which I did early this morning, that Loria was somewhat ambivalent regarding his team when apparently the opposite is true.

 

Perhaps I dwell too long on the Herald's front page story the morning after the Fish clinched the 2003 wildcard authored by Jeff Miller, who explained that a sign (pictured) held up by a fan that read "Loria=MVP" stood for "Loria=Most Vile Parasite". Nowhere else in America would that be the on the cover of the sports section reporting on the success of a team that came out of oblivion to earn a place in the playoffs. Nowhere.

 

If that doesn't give you pause to consider how the Marlins are covered by the Herald I don't know what would.

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I don't have any problem with the story or the headline. It's a good read and positive in every way. Marlins2003.....it's apparent that you have a bug up your *** with the press. What's the problem in this specific case? If you wrote the headline, what would it say? Do you have any complaints about the write-up itself?

 

I don't really have bug up my ass about the media, rather the poor imitation we suffer with everyday in South Florida. I'm hoping that McClatchy makes some substantive changes at the Herald, for obvious reasons in the sports department and throughout the paper as well. If you, for example, read their Pittsburgh paper you'll see passionate sports reporting by people who actually "love" the sport they're covering, as opposed to South Florida papers where their quest show to their contempt for their assigned team usually begins every story in the negative before acknowledging anything positive.

 

As for the question regarding how I would have phrased the headline atop this article I might try to key off Loria's own words "excited","enthused" rather than putting words in his mouth, words that don't appear even remotely close to how he sees his young team. Unfortunately, there is by my reading only one sentence and bits of another attributed to Loria so it's hard to conjure up the right headline. There are more quotes from Beinfest than Loria as well as quotes from Girardi. One would think reading the headline, which I did early this morning, that Loria was somewhat ambivalent regarding his team when apparently the opposite is true.

 

Perhaps I dwell too long on the Herald's front page story the morning after the Fish clinched the 2003 wildcard authored by Jeff Miller, who explained that a sign (pictured) held up by a fan that read "Loria=MVP" stood for "Loria=Most Vile Parasite". Nowhere else in America would that be the on the cover of the sports section reporting on the success of a team that came out of oblivion to earn a place in the playoffs. Nowhere.

 

If that doesn't give you pause to consider how the Marlins are covered by the Herald I don't know what would.

Like you I wasn't privy to any of the source material. I just don't see anything that horrible about the headline. And the sub-header is unquestionably positive. I agree with what you write about the front-page in 2003. I didn't read the whole story so I can't comment further. I also agree that the sports writers here are incompetent. I also read the sports columns in out of town papers. I have a nephew who's a sportswriter for another major market. He's not a good writer either. They all seem lacking...but I grew up with Red Smith, and you with great Boston writers. The writers these days can't compare in any way to these great writers. I blame it more on the many other factors....but malice towards the home team is not one of them. To what end would being intentionally malicious or even ambivalent towads the home team benefit any of the incompetent writers in the local papers?

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