At Big League Stew, Mike Oz details how a Marlins “ultimate fan” contest went horribly awry. The directions told fans to post a photo to Instagram using the hashtag “#MarlinsFanCave” to enter to win a prize — a trip to New York City with the Marlins from June 7-9. Gee, what could be more fun than hitting up Times Square with Placido Polanco and Greg Dobbs?
Oz quoted some of the responses found on the Marlins Facebook post for the contest:
“you guys have no fans.”
“do I get to hide in shame in this cave?”
“Is this the cave where Loria and Samson are hiding?”
“This organization might just be the funniest joke ever.”
“If anyone needs Marlins cheap first row tickets Message me.”
“Please let me choose the game to watch. If I have to watch the Marlins I would feel like I had lost.”
And from Instagram:
“It’s just pathetic at this point. Cancel this account!! Cancel the season while you’re at it.”
“Wait, there is such a thing as marlins fans?”
When you cut the team’s payroll from $101 million to $50 million, this kind of acrimony is to be expected. The Marlins own baseball’s worst offense and are tied with the Houston Astros at 10-25 for the worst record. As a result, the Marlins have the worst attendance in the National League, averaging fewer than 19,000 fans per game.
The Yankees and Astros are set for Game 7 of the American League Championship Series on Saturday, and neither team will hold back as they seek a World Series berth. The Astros are prepared to back starter Charlie Morton with any able-bodied pitcher in their ranks — including Justin Verlander, though A.J. Hinch said it would be a “dream scenario” to get anything more from his ace — while the Yankees are prepared to utilize all but a few of their arms. One pitcher you won’t see? Right-hander Masahiro Tanaka, who last took the hill for the Yankees during their Game 5 shutout on Wednesday.
Tanaka expended 103 pitches over seven scoreless innings in his last start, fending off the Astros with three hits, a walk and eight strikeouts. He hasn’t pitched on fewer than three days of rest all year, and even with a do-or-die scenario facing the Yankees on Saturday night, manager Joe Girardi doesn’t want to compromise his starter’s ability to stay rested and ready for the World Series.
Girardi will also play it safe with fellow right-hander Sonny Gray, who dominated in a five-inning performance in Game 4. All other pitchers should be available and ready to go, though the club is hoping for a lengthy outing from veteran starter CC Sabathia. Sabathia is no stranger to the postseason: over eight separate playoff runs, he touts one championship title and a collective 4.24 ERA in 123 innings. He held the Astros scoreless in his Game 3 start, blanking them over six innings on three hits, four walks and five strikeouts for an eventual 8-1 win.
Even without Tanaka or Gray likely to take the mound for Game 7, the Yankees will enter the series finale with history on their side. Per MLB.com, they have a 4-3 road record in Game 7s and are 6-7 in all 13 Game 7 finales to date. The Astros, on the other hand, dropped their first and only Game 7 clincher back in 2004, when the Cardinals capped the NLCS with a 5-2 win in St. Louis. The teams are scheduled to face off for the first-ever Game 7 at Minute Maid Park on Saturday at 8:00 PM ET.