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Quote of the Day: Ken Rosenthal slams the Marlins

Jul 24, 2012, 11:06 AM EDT

Marlins Miami new logo

This is sharp, but it’s oh, so true:

Monday’s trade — right-hander Anibal Sanchez and infielder Omar Infante to the Tigers for right-hander Jacob Turner, catcher Rob Brantly and left-hander Brian Flynn, along with an exchange of competitive-balance picks — was not the start of a fire sale.

It actually was worse — an admission by the Marlins that they didn’t know what they were doing last winter.

I do a lot of radio, and nearly every single radio show I was on from January through Opening Day led off with questions about all the noise the Marlins were making and why-oh-why would anyone sleep on this juggernaut.  Now they’re looking like the biggest overhyped bust since the “Indian Summer” Cleveland Indians of 1987.

Except that was merely some overly-optimistic analysis by a sports writer. This Marlins team was put together by a front office thinking they were raising hell.

  1. icanspeel - Jul 24, 2012 at 11:09 AM

    On paper the Marlins team looked good, but too bad for them the games aren’t played on paper.

    • natslady - Jul 24, 2012 at 11:26 AM

      The Marlins were good, and not just on paper. They were good in May. Then they were good for occasional games after that, like when they played smart and focused in the game after Bryce showed up Hanley and Reyes. Buerhle pitched a gem against us. The talent was there, and not old, and not particularly injured–nothing like the Nats have had.

      I’m not so quick as KR to slam management, because they spent money to put together a good team, and that’s all you can really ask of management. After that, it’s on the players to perform. Ozzie is a smart field manager, but lousy at publicity. You have to ask, was he attracting all that attention to himself to protect his clubhouse, or sucking up publicity that the egos of good players demand? Did the TV cameras have an effect, especially when the shows began airing? (I haven’t watched, so it’s just speculation on my part.)

      Did the veterans set a bad tone in the clubhouse, phoning it in with their big salaries? They didn’t phone it in in May… What I’m saying is, the Marlins were capable of having a good season, and not just on paper.

      • madnova - Jul 24, 2012 at 12:23 PM

        I’ve actually heard the reverse on Ozzie, that Cora is the smart field manager and Ozzie is more of a glad hander.

        Either way, half the hype was the Pujols chase, and had that panned out, who knows? Reyes gives them better defense at short, and offensively isn’t really much of a downgrade on what Hanley gave them last year.

        Lost in the hype was that they didn’t end up with Pujols, Cespedes, or Wilson, and they pretty much just added Reyes and Buerhle….and Bell, if you really consider that an addition outside of payroll.

        I see it as a team taking a shot, and it not working out. Hanley didn’t make it back to his All Star form at the plate, Johnson hasn’t been himself, Bell imploded, and Morrison & Sanchez didn’t take that next step. Now management can take a look at what’s not working and try to fix it.

        Although, trading one of your top prospects for half a season of Carlos Lee is pretty head-scratching, even if he’s a big improvement over what you had.

      • djpostl - Jul 24, 2012 at 12:25 PM

        The Marlins weren’t good in May, their schedule just was cake. Bunch of games versus Rockies, DisAstros, Padres, a Giants team that was blowin’ chunks at the time & the Indians.

        Then, not surprisingly, when the calender turned and they were playing AL East teams they got butt pummeled.

  2. deathmonkey41 - Jul 24, 2012 at 11:14 AM

    ” Now they’re looking like the biggest overhyped bust since the “Indian Summer” Cleveland Indians of 1987.”

    Really? You think they were a bigger bust than the ’92 Mets?

    • ikedavisnose - Jul 24, 2012 at 11:49 AM

      Some people like to pretend that ’92 Mets team didnt excist

      • tcostant - Jul 24, 2012 at 2:21 PM

        The Worst Team Money Could Buy: The Collapse of the New York Mets By Bob Klapisch

  3. Jonny 5 - Jul 24, 2012 at 11:23 AM

    No way are they a bigger over hyped bust than the 2011 BoSox. And by the looks of it the 2012 Phillies could fit that mold if they don’t do an about face and march to the playoffs by winning every series from here on out.

    • Francisco (FC) - Jul 24, 2012 at 11:37 AM

      Actually Johnny not just win but sweep at least one series since they lost one to the Giants last weekend. I think it would be better if the team focused on getting Healthy, getting back in a groove, Chase to learn his limits so he doesn’t start the season again next year in July and retool for 2013.

      • Jonny 5 - Jul 24, 2012 at 11:51 AM

        Yeah, doesn’t he look like his knees are just fine the way he’s been playing? I thought he’d be a little easier on them myself. It worries me a little with his all out or nothing play.

      • Francisco (FC) - Jul 24, 2012 at 12:09 PM

        That’s precisely the problem. Utley might be better off moving to LF if he wants to extend his career.

      • seanmk - Jul 24, 2012 at 1:33 PM

        how does move to left field help his knees exactly?

      • Francisco (FC) - Jul 24, 2012 at 1:51 PM

        Defensive Spectrum.

      • seanmk - Jul 24, 2012 at 2:56 PM

        so he has to run MORE

      • Francisco (FC) - Jul 24, 2012 at 3:14 PM

        Left Field is a physically less demanding position than second base, one good reason is: you don’t need to execute double plays and continuously expose yourself and your legs to getting smacked and swept by base runners. Look, this stuff isn’t new. If you can’t be bothered to look it up don’t bother replying.

  4. paperlions - Jul 24, 2012 at 11:27 AM

    There is no reason to rip the Marlins here.

    They got great value in the trade.

    Plus, if you realize you are wrong (or were wrong), then you act on it…you don’t deny it and go blissfully along. When you realize you aren’t as good as you thought and are out of it, you maximize asset value for the future, which is exactly what they did.

    …and anyone that thought adding Reyes and an over-rated reliever while replacing Vasquez (who was very good last year) with Buerle was going to convert a team that finished 72-90 last into a contender wasn’t being realistic….better to realize it early than late.

  5. capeporpoise - Jul 24, 2012 at 11:30 AM

    Buster Olney also chimed in with a more yankee (as in New England yankee) judgement in the same vein::

    Buster Olney ‏@Buster_ESPN

    The great Marlins’ comet of 2012: Well, that was interesting.

  6. donaldduckmg42 - Jul 24, 2012 at 11:34 AM

    The Marlins tried to overachieve. They had a good 2B, a good SS, a powerful RF and some decent pitching. Other than that, not much else. For some reason, they decided to go out and buy Carlos Zambrano, Mark Buehrle, Jose Reyes, Heath Bell, and now Carlos Lee. They declared themselves World Series contenders. You see, it doesn’t work like that in MLB. You know, to when a World Series, you have to have good players all around. The Marlins didn’t have that, and they didn’t realize that until now.

    • echech88 - Jul 24, 2012 at 11:42 AM

      “For some reason” ?

      So they were supposed to just hoarde all that new money they have pouring in from their new stadium the city of Miami paid for?

  7. echech88 - Jul 24, 2012 at 11:40 AM

    I don’t even like the Marlins but I’m not going to sit here and blast them for spending money as they moved into a new stadium. Isn’t that what baseball teams are supposed to do when they get the public to pay for these stadiums, fill it with something people would pay to watch?

    What’s ironic about Rosenthal ripping the Marlins is that he and reporters like him are responsible for inflating the hype and expectations of teams like this in search of a narrative for their columns. In other words, if Rosenthal and his cohorts didn’t spend the entire offseason telling us how different things are in Miami, the Marlins wouldn’t be considered any more disappointing than Philly, AZ, Milwaukee, Boston etc.

  8. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jul 24, 2012 at 12:12 PM

    How happy is Pujols that he didn’t get sucked into this?

    People can rip the Marlins if they want to, and surely the team deserves some of that heat, but their method has produced 2 WS champion teams in the last decade plus. Not too many teams can say the same. Perhaps they are admitting (the obvious) that they are not going to win big this year, but they still have a number of years with some of their big stars like Reyes and Stanton and others who they signed in the off season. If this gives them a better chance to win in 2013-2016, why not make some moves?

    If they want to rip anyone, rip Heath Bell. If he converts the 6 saves he blew, the Marlins record would be one game behind that Braves (not sure if any of those BS came against the Braves, which would skew things even further).

    • scottfmullin - Jul 24, 2012 at 1:45 PM

      If the Marlins had Pujols, things might be different. Our first basemen are batting around .220 because of ice-cold Morrison and Sanchez, and certainly Pujols would be able to drive in runners in scoring position. His presence would have given the Marlins at least a few more wins.

  9. aceshigh11 - Jul 24, 2012 at 12:54 PM

    This thread is horribly incomplete without Old Gator’s priceless opinions on the matter.

    • paperlions - Jul 24, 2012 at 1:16 PM

      By priceless, I assume you mean free of charge.

  10. blackandbluedivision - Jul 24, 2012 at 1:17 PM

    I blame the fish tanks.

  11. drewsylvania - Jul 24, 2012 at 1:55 PM

    They knew EXACTLY what they were doing–pretending they’d field a competitive team in order to make sure the stadium got finished. They knew they’d jettison their players either after the postseason (if they made it in) or beforehand (if they didn’t).

    And in the middle of it, Selig laughs, spittle flying everywhere.

    • madnova - Jul 24, 2012 at 2:38 PM

      Are you suggesting that, had they not signed Reyes, Bell, and Buerhle, that construction on the stadium would’ve stopped?

  12. xmatt0926x - Jul 24, 2012 at 2:19 PM

    Cue up all the hardy belly laughs by the baseball media who will now act as if they knew the whole time that the Marlins would be bad. Of course the fact that they were the very people responsible for all the hype to begin with is just an inconvenient side fact that will be swept under the rug….

  13. tcostant - Jul 24, 2012 at 2:23 PM

    I still think you have to the GM credit for selling here. You know many GM’s would have traded prospects for a pitcher and hurt there future worse. Something to be said for admitting a mistake.

    • Old Gator - Jul 24, 2012 at 3:42 PM

      I think Beinfest really ate his crow and quaffed his wormwood at yesterday’s press conference. No ducking and dodging. So I admire him for his candor, but would really like to admire his cunning trades and acquisitions a lot more.

  14. dnc6 - Jul 24, 2012 at 2:55 PM

    I’ve got Rosenthal saying the Marlins would be the 11th best team in baseball this year, making it to the playoffs, with Hanley Ramirez as MVP. I’m sure glad he’s smart enough now to see that the team didn’t know what it was doing.

  15. Old Gator - Jul 24, 2012 at 3:36 PM

    My extended commentary is on the “Will Josh Johnson Be Shopped” thread, but okay, here’s another angle on it.

    The Feesh didn’t go cloacas-up because of who they brought in. They tanked because of who they didn’t get rid of during the orfseason. I wrote repeatedly, all through the orfseason and into the spring, that the Feesh needed an RBI guy, a situational hitter with some pop, not another tablesetter like Reyes. Their RISP was awful last season and not real good the season before that, so what was the point of getting more guys on base when no one was reliably driving them in? So here they are at the very bottom of the heap in RISP. If there are stats on advancing baserunners I don’t doubt that they’re at the bottom there too.

    Bell was the horrible exception – you perhaps could have anticipated he wasn’t going to be Mr. Lights-Out given the falloff in his strikeout numbers last season, but really, no one without ESP or a crystal ball or the ghost of Shoeless Joe whispering in his ear could reasonably have been expected to call Bell’s cetacean-sized bellywhop this year. Likewise, it would have been pretty difficult based on past performance alone to have anticipated how completely Gaby Sanchez would implode. Coghlan, well, he never really figured in the Feesh’s plans as anything but a pine rider so seeing him knocked through the ropes was sad but not especially significant.

    But the worst of it was hanging on to the Hanster, to Black Hole Buck and to Tweeter in the face of solid evidence that they were simply not the players they were supposed to be. Tweeter especially came up in trade discussions all orfseason long, especially in talks about Matt Garza and Aramis Ramirez, but the Rainbow Warriors’ notochord trust protected him as if he was hung with a franchise tag even though he had batted in the 240s most of the season with a miserable .146 RISP and established himself solidly as a “swing hard in case you hit it” solo homer jockey with an acute inability to advance runners and a marked disposition to kill rallies with DP grounders or popouts at critical moments.

    Hanster was recovering from shoulder surgery over the Weenter so the Feesh were limited in what they might has asked for him, but they repeatedly made comments about how the team would be “built around” him – a propensity Slobbering Ozzie continued to indulge right on up to just before the break. If they were trying to magnify his value in order to receive best value for damaged goods with this absurd PR campaign, OK, I could see that, but they proceeded as though they actually expected him miraculously to reverse his two-season decline, become at least less of a dead weight in terms of morale, and return to 2009 form. Now they’re going to have to eat most of his inflated salary to get rid of him.

    John Buck is a special problem. When he was signed orfseason before last I was aghast at what he was paid and at the length of his contract. By the end of last season the magnitude of this particular disaster was apparent. No one is going to take this guy for more than the league minimum; most players with his offensive stats would have been sent down or DFA’d months ago. I don’t know how they deal with this; they are well and truly sandbagged. In obtaining Brantley they may have a future option at catcher. I don’t doubt that while all eyes are on Turner, he was a key part of the deal with a hard sidelong look at the singularity batting eighth. They will surely try to dump him but may just throw up their hands and bite Buck like a bullet – unless they luck out, a contender loses their catcher to the DL bigtime, and gets desperate.

  16. Kevin Gillman - Jul 24, 2012 at 3:38 PM

    Thank you Craig for remembering about my 1987 Cleveland Indians. If it wasn’t for that team, they never would have picked up Paul Zuvella the next season, my all-time favorite “horrible” infielder.

  17. raysfan1 - Jul 24, 2012 at 3:38 PM

    They thought “they were raising hell” … and got burnt!

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