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Loria: "I expect us to make the playoffs"

Feb 25, 2010, 10:55 AM EDT

Loria.jpgMarlins owner Jeff Loria has high expectations:

“How may wins am I expecting? I never predict but I will say we’re
working off an 87-win season last year and I expect us to make the
playoffs. Whatever it takes for us to make the playoffs is what we need
to win . . . They are well-positioned to make the playoffs. We have all the ammunition we need.”

It doesn’t take a tremendous leap of faith to imagine the Marlins making a run at the wild card. As Loria himself notes in the interview an extra win a month last year would have put them in. That’s baseball of course,* but Loria is right to think that the Marlins should be competitive.

But being competitive has only rarely been a problem for the Marlins. The real problem has been their parsimony. The real question being, if the Marlins find themselves in a close race , whether Loria will allow the team to take on a bit of payroll to put them over the top.

*See “one extra flair a week, just one. A gork, you get a ground ball, you get a ground ball with eyes! You get a dying quail, just one more dying quail a week and you’re in Yankee Stadium.”

  1. max - Feb 25, 2010 at 11:07 AM

    Pythagoras says the Marlins got lucky last year. He then goes on to ask “What’s baseball?” and “Who thought Bonifacio was a good idea?”

  2. Joey B - Feb 25, 2010 at 11:47 AM

    “But being competitive has only rarely been a problem for the Marlins. The real problem has been their parsimony. The real question being, if the Marlins find themselves in a close race , whether Loria will allow the team to take on a bit of payroll to put them over the top.”
    I agree. I’m not sympathetic to the fans that refuse to attend games, and then wonder why the owner won’t increase payroll, but late-season acquisitions are a relatively cheap buzz. A VMart would’ve cost prospects plus ~ $1.7M. You can trade him in the off-season if necessary, but the $1.7M is not hard to recover. Winning big-market teams do this, and to some extent, it is probably more important for the small market teams to do it.
    The single best example I can think of is Mil and CC. They had an increase of 200k in 2008, and lost only 31k in 2009 while the rest of BB lost about 5.1M in attendance. The extra salary CC cost, plus the difference between LaPorta and two draft picks is a relatively small price to pay for being competitive.

  3. Mark R - Feb 25, 2010 at 12:33 PM

    The sum of the squares of the lengths of sides A & B is equal to the square of the… My Zeus is that a low on-base percentage!

  4. Old Gator - Feb 25, 2010 at 1:09 PM

    Ahem. Many years later, as he faced the flashbulbs, Colonel Aureliano Buenloria was to remember that distant afternoon when he declared “There will be no dismantling” at the Anton Cermak Memorial Bandshell in downtown Macondo following the ’03 Series victory parade.
    .
    If Skinflint Loria expects to make the playoffs I can only shudder to imagine what he thinks is going to happen in 2012. Ammunition? Sure, if lion hunting with paintball guns is your idea of a good idea, go right ahead B’wana. I’m sure the Feelies will take kindly getting tweaked in the ass and will just sit there under the baobabs licking their chops because they’re all filled up with those horrible horsemeat and velveeta sandwiches you had catered to the visiting locker room. No doubt he’s feeling a little more confident since the union shot up the boards around his feet this past winter and yelled “dance!” (or baila usted!, as the local case may be) and forced him to sign Johnson, Uggla and Cantu for something approximating what they’re supposed to be worth. But we still don’t know if Cameron Maybin has remembered how to hit beachballs, whether any of these kids in the minors have figured out how to hit ML pitching yet – they hadn’t by the end of last season, anyway. Oh yeah, and except for Hanley Ramirez, a slightly better than adequate fielding shortstop at best, the infield is not exactly what you’d call confidence inspiring. You know that famous quantum experiment where you fire an electron at a celluloid plate and either half of it disappears but you can’t calculate which half? Well, substitute “baseball” for “electron” and you’ve got some idea of the probabilities that a hard hit ball to the infield will reappear in the glove of the first baseman before the runner gets there. We have to pray that Cantu will stop hallucinating first basemen a few rows back in the field boxes when he has to hurry a throw across the diamond (or, oddly enough, we have to pray that Gaby Sanchez craps out so that there’ll be some reason to move him to first instead – and then, Buddha be gracious, we have to go find a third baseman somewhere, and whatever will have happened to Blalock by then?
    .
    Josh Johnson, if he stays healthy, is the only real stud in the rotation. The ever erratic Rick Vandenhurk (must be those hash parlors and ex-Olympic gymnast hookers in Amsterdam, bless ‘em all) and poor overwhelmed and prematurely spalded Andrew Miller are question marks as big as the ones that Unitarians burn on the lawns of their enemies. Anibal Sanchez – if he finds his form again, well, the rotation will look a lot better than it does to me now; even male sportswriters get wet between the struts this time of year when they talk about all the “great young pitching” on the Marlins, but by the end of the year, we seem to be leading the Romulan Star Empire in walks and are somewhere near the bottom of the league but already at the edge of barfing in the annual inning-eating contest, and the bullpen still looks like the fire brigade from Farenheit 451 to this keen observer.
    .
    “Competitive” is a funny word. The Feesh climbing toward the wild card every year since 2003 have reminded me of nothing so much as the Coyote trying to make it back up over the edge of the cliff by grabbing ahold of a daisy that is slowly pulling loose, when the roadrunner appears, plucks a tailfeather, and sends it drifting down towards the Coyote’s forehead. Think of that daisy as the Feesh’s payroll. Even so, it’s not so much a matter of whether Scrooge McLoria will find a few shekels to bestow upon his General Manager in August when all the good stuff was gone by April. It’s more like how much salary will he dump as soon as a legitimate contender comes looking for some pop or bullpen help (this latter being a real long shot) with yet another handful of EYPs?

  5. Joey B - Feb 25, 2010 at 4:45 PM

    “Josh Johnson, Rick Vandenhurk Andrew Miller Anibal Sanchez –
    Nolasco-Except for maybe the manager leaving him to give up 10 ERs one start, pitched extremely well after May, with some very impressive peripherals. Volstad pitched fairly well also, given his age. West, another guy that has just started?
    The Marlins have some talent, especially given their financial constraints.

  6. Charles Gates - Feb 25, 2010 at 5:02 PM

    have some talent, especially given their financial constraints.
    That’s what my Finance says about me.

  7. Old Gator - Feb 25, 2010 at 5:04 PM

    Ricky Nolasco makes me nervous. I vaguely recall that Fat Freddy left him in there to take that beating because the pen had fried itself working graveyard shifts for much of the previous two weeks. He’s one of those guys who can throw quarks and frisbees one moment, then float volleyballs to the plate the next. Mitch Williams light, with attitude issues. I suspect he’d be traded if a modest offer came along, frankly.
    .
    West is one of those guys that I haven’t watched enough to comment. I overlooked Volstad, but he’s another one of those guys who can be so erratic that you don’t know which one of him will show up on any given day. Like most young guys who are still a few years away from arbitration eligibility, which is exactly where Skinflint Loria likes to keep ‘em.

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