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Reeling In Those Pesky Marlins

 

Kevin Klein / Staff Writer

 

Published Wednesday, May 14, 2008

 

Issue 127 / Volume 88

 

Every year this happens: One Major League Baseball team becomes the fodder for sports writers early in the season because of its mysteriously sparkling record.

 

Last year it was the Milwaukee Brewers. On this day last year the Brewers held a record of 25-11, then tops in the majors. Led by Prince Fielder?s innate homerun abilities and love of the Milwaukee sausages, the Brew Crew took advantage of an easy opening schedule, racking up wins against terrible competition. Hell, even Chris Capuano was 5-0 to start the season.

 

Then reality happened. The Brewers started playing teams other than the Pirates, Cards and Nationals and their grip on the worst division in baseball slipped. Capuano went on an epic losing streak ending the season with a 5-12 record, the young team stopped hitting as the drudge of the summer led into fall, and Milwaukee finished the season four games over .500 and two out of the Central?s playoff spot.

 

With this precedent from last year established it?s now time to analyze this year?s overachiever award - which goes to none other than those Florida Marlins. If you have watched ESPN or read any sports related magazine, you no doubt have seen the takes on the Marlins and the Tampa Bay Rays. Are they for real? This question has been salivated over by many a sports writer, but no one seems to speak in regards to the two teams? schedules.

 

First off, there are 162 games in a season. The Marlins? record currently stands at a major league best 23-15 (tied with the D-Backs and Cubs) thanks in part to their recently snapped seven-game winning streak. Although credit is due to the Marlins for having the lowest payroll in the majors at right around $22.5 million, about the cost of a pair of A-Rod?s socks, and finally locking up the number-one fantasy player in Hanley Ramirez with a six-year contract extension, there is just no way they can continue to win at this rate.

 

As a team the Marlin bats are just crushing the ball, while their pitching just goes along for the ride. The team currently ranks fifth in the majors in on-base plus slugging thanks in part to having the most homeruns out of all 30 teams. Dan Uggla (1.027 OPS, 28 RBI, 12 HR) and Ramirez (.331 BA, 9 HR, 13 SB) are studs and deserve all the accolades that they amass, but offensively every other Marlin is overachieving. The Marlins currently rank fourth to last in save opportunities and during their recent win streak won games by an average of five runs - that adds up to simply beating their opponents senseless with their bats. I am a true believer in the idea that pitching wins championships and the Marlins just do not have enough.

 

The Marlins? current starting rotation is comprised of Scott Olsen (4-1, 2.63 ERA) and Mark Hendrickson (5-1, 3.56 ERA). After that, all they have is super-prospect Andrew Miller followed by a rock and an old shoe. Anybody who watched Hendrickson pitch when he was with the Dodgers knows that his numbers must be either a mirage or just pure luck, which leaves Olsen to be the only legit starter in my eyes. Once this team starts to play real competition, expect to see the bullpen early and often because this pitching is not going to last.

 

Now onto the most important reason the Marlins are so far over .500 - their schedule. Thus far, Florida has a winning record against just one team playing over .500 ball, with their 3-2 record against the Braves. The rest of their wins have come over the Nationals, Padres, and slumping Brewers - three of the most miserable teams at the moment. Florida is 15-3 against these teams while just 8-12 against the rest of the NL. Having an 8-1 record against the Double-A Nats proves nothing, when you have yet to play a significant number of games against the Mets (NY leads season series 2-1) and have yet to even face last year?s NL East Champion Phillies.

 

These ingredients have the Marlins? high hopes destined for disintegration. Florida?s math just does not add up, and I hate to disappoint all eight fans that go to their games, but expect to see them drift to the bottom of the standings by mid-June. However, on a positive note, anticipate the fellow ?Sunshine State? Rays to continue to impress, given the high caliber teams they have already proven they can beat in the stacked AL East, showing the Marlins that its who you beat that makes you a contender.

 

Daily Nexus staff writer Kevin Klein sidles up to his David Wright poster every night before going to bed to ask his hero when the Mets plan on overtaking the Marlins.

 

Typical Mets fan.

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Article

 

Reeling In Those Pesky Marlins

 

Kevin Klein / Staff Writer

 

Published Wednesday, May 14, 2008

 

Issue 127 / Volume 88

 

Every year this happens: One Major League Baseball team becomes the fodder for sports writers early in the season because of its mysteriously sparkling record.

 

Last year it was the Milwaukee Brewers. On this day last year the Brewers held a record of 25-11, then tops in the majors. Led by Prince Fielder?s innate homerun abilities and love of the Milwaukee sausages, the Brew Crew took advantage of an easy opening schedule, racking up wins against terrible competition. Hell, even Chris Capuano was 5-0 to start the season.

 

Then reality happened. The Brewers started playing teams other than the Pirates, Cards and Nationals and their grip on the worst division in baseball slipped. Capuano went on an epic losing streak ending the season with a 5-12 record, the young team stopped hitting as the drudge of the summer led into fall, and Milwaukee finished the season four games over .500 and two out of the Central?s playoff spot.

 

With this precedent from last year established it?s now time to analyze this year?s overachiever award - which goes to none other than those Florida Marlins. If you have watched ESPN or read any sports related magazine, you no doubt have seen the takes on the Marlins and the Tampa Bay Rays. Are they for real? This question has been salivated over by many a sports writer, but no one seems to speak in regards to the two teams? schedules.

 

First off, there are 162 games in a season. The Marlins? record currently stands at a major league best 23-15 (tied with the D-Backs and Cubs) thanks in part to their recently snapped seven-game winning streak. Although credit is due to the Marlins for having the lowest payroll in the majors at right around $22.5 million, about the cost of a pair of A-Rod?s socks, and finally locking up the number-one fantasy player in Hanley Ramirez with a six-year contract extension, there is just no way they can continue to win at this rate.

 

As a team the Marlin bats are just crushing the ball, while their pitching just goes along for the ride. The team currently ranks fifth in the majors in on-base plus slugging thanks in part to having the most homeruns out of all 30 teams. Dan Uggla (1.027 OPS, 28 RBI, 12 HR) and Ramirez (.331 BA, 9 HR, 13 SB) are studs and deserve all the accolades that they amass, but offensively every other Marlin is overachieving. The Marlins currently rank fourth to last in save opportunities and during their recent win streak won games by an average of five runs - that adds up to simply beating their opponents senseless with their bats. I am a true believer in the idea that pitching wins championships and the Marlins just do not have enough.

 

The Marlins? current starting rotation is comprised of Scott Olsen (4-1, 2.63 ERA) and Mark Hendrickson (5-1, 3.56 ERA). After that, all they have is super-prospect Andrew Miller followed by a rock and an old shoe. Anybody who watched Hendrickson pitch when he was with the Dodgers knows that his numbers must be either a mirage or just pure luck, which leaves Olsen to be the only legit starter in my eyes. Once this team starts to play real competition, expect to see the bullpen early and often because this pitching is not going to last.

 

Now onto the most important reason the Marlins are so far over .500 - their schedule. Thus far, Florida has a winning record against just one team playing over .500 ball, with their 3-2 record against the Braves. The rest of their wins have come over the Nationals, Padres, and slumping Brewers - three of the most miserable teams at the moment. Florida is 15-3 against these teams while just 8-12 against the rest of the NL. Having an 8-1 record against the Double-A Nats proves nothing, when you have yet to play a significant number of games against the Mets (NY leads season series 2-1) and have yet to even face last year?s NL East Champion Phillies.

 

These ingredients have the Marlins? high hopes destined for disintegration. Florida?s math just does not add up, and I hate to disappoint all eight fans that go to their games, but expect to see them drift to the bottom of the standings by mid-June. However, on a positive note, anticipate the fellow ?Sunshine State? Rays to continue to impress, given the high caliber teams they have already proven they can beat in the stacked AL East, showing the Marlins that its who you beat that makes you a contender.

 

Daily Nexus staff writer Kevin Klein sidles up to his David Wright poster every night before going to bed to ask his hero when the Mets plan on overtaking the Marlins.

 

Typical Mets fan.

 

nice sig bro :thumbup

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finally locking up the number-one fantasy player in Hanley Ramirez

 

I stopped reading right there

 

I hate fantasy writers.

 

 

Actually, Hanley isn't just the number one fantasy player. He's one of the best, if not the best, shortstops in the game.

 

If he still played in Boston he would probably be worshiped.

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I think you mis-understood me

 

I stopped reading it because 99% of fantasy writers, when they write about real baseball, they tend to be off.

 

Not because that I disagree with his assertion that H2R is the best fantasy player (which I don't disagree with, and frankly don't have an opinion of one way or the other).

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For instance:

 

Having an 8-1 record against the Double-A Nats proves nothing, when you have yet to play a significant number of games against the Mets (NY leads season series 2-1)

 

And yet NY is only 5-4 against WAS.

 

They are who they are?

 

oh and this gem

 

Anybody who watched Hendrickson pitch when he was with the Dodgers knows that his numbers must be either a mirage or just pure luck

 

"Oh hey, I haven't watched this guy pitch this year. But he sucks now because of what happened in the past. Like Chris Carpenter. He sucked in Tornoto, therefore his numbers with the Carndinals are just a fluke."

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I think you mis-understood me

 

I stopped reading it because 99% of fantasy writers, when they write about real baseball, they tend to be off.

 

Not because that I disagree with his assertion that H2R is the best fantasy player (which I don't disagree with, and frankly don't have an opinion of one way or the other).

 

I didn't mean to correct you or anything.

 

I was mainly saying Hanley Ramirez is, in fact, one of the best shortstops in baseball, but that fact seems to be forgotten by a lot of people.

 

 

And yet NY is only 5-4 against WAS.

 

I love it when their flawed logic is turned around on them.

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I get a kick out of Mets fans (or the "experts") that say our bats can't keep this up. Someone needs to let them in on our little secret. This team was basically assembled in 2006 and went on to break Marlins records for HRs and runs scored. 2 records they then broke in 2007 as a bunch of sophmore players. Exactly how long do they have to keep it up before they get the recognition?

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Why are stupid people allowed to voice their opinions?

 

When does he write real articles like how the Mets are too old to do anything of relevance and how Reyes is an even bigger fluke then Hendrikson? Or how they traded Carlos Gomez and prospects for a rent-a-stud even though they are not going anywhere this year? Even better yet like how if not for Maine, Santana or Wright, this team would arguably be the worst team in baseball?

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