The Miami Marlins, 57-48 on July 31 and a very likely wild-card team, have gone 12-23 since, including losing ten of heir last 12, and have fallen out of contention. The only question is how in the world could they have been 57-48 at the end of July? In a year when the LA Dodgers have replaced the empty uniform non-manager don mattingly with the very likely Manager of the Year in Dave Roberts, the lunatics in Miami scooped up the
empty uniform and put him in charge of a team not devoid of talent, and his ability and expertise has shown through, leading their horrid nose dive into oblivion.
Who would have guessed?
Back before the start of the season, I wrote “So Many reasons to HATE the Marlins” documenting not just the folly of hiring the empty uniform, but the pervasive interference the franchise always faces from owner Jeffrey Loria, and of course the ridiculous rule of law imposed by the empty uniform denying players of the basic human right of facial hair. From last February:
“Micro-managing at its worst is how best to describe the authoritarian edict just released by Marlin’s management, that adult millionaires in the employ of the team as “talent” will no longer be allowed to sport facial hair. Is this the German army under you-know-who, or the FBI under Ms. J. Edgar Hoover we’re talking about? No, it’s a 21st century billion-dollar business that is totally dependent on the performance of that “talent” to succeed and make obscene profits for the ownership…
“And there is the big problem: OK, ownership and management are incompetent idiots, but the players are worse. Say something, do something, don’t just accept this kind of crap!”
But, accept it they did, and now what of the long term ramifications?
While the team was still in the pennant race, they sought to bolster their limited starting staff by trading for two starters. That trade had from the very beginning disaster written all over it, as Marlin management was too stupid to know that Colin Rea had a serious elbow injury, and after throwing only a few pitches in a Marlins’ uniform, he was finished for the season and likely next as well. Somehow, Florida convinced the San Diego Padres that they had been taken for a ride, that the Padres had out conned the Marlines, and they re-did the trade. But, the key element, starter Andrew Casher, he of a Justin-Turner-like beard, was not happy.
Cashner reluctantly shaved his beard, but he has made it clear – he will be a free agent after the season ends, and he would strongly consider re-signing with the Marlins, but ONLY if they discard their obscene anti-human policy. “I still hate” the team’s policy, Cashner has this past week been quoted as saying.
Dodgers’ starter Clayton Kershaw makes his return to action tonight against these Marlins, facing Jose Fernandez, he of months of rumors over an ill-conceived possible trade to the Dodgers, and he of a super second half slump (2-4, 4.08 ERA in nine starts following the All-Star game, after an 11-4, 2.52 first half). The Dodgers, playing their best ball of the season, need to avenge an April sweep when the Marlins and the empty uniform were in LA. On April 26, Miami defeated Kershaw in his worst outing of the season for one of his
two 2016 losses, scoring five runs in seven innings off the game’s best pitcher. Two days later on April 28, Fernandez beat the Dodgers and Kenta Maeda 5-3, allowing two earned over six innings.
Of interest is the fact that Fernandez, a really good pitcher but not as good as some pundits seem to think, has not pitched past the seventh inning in a single game this season, averaging six innings per game over his 26 starts. Kershaw, conversely, has pitched into the eighth or later in nine of his 16 starts, and has three complete games.
It will be great to see No. 22 back on the mound tonight.