Craig Calcaterra

jeffrey loria getty

The Marlins are going to change everything except their biggest problem this offseason

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This, from the Miami Herald, is not terribly surprising:

The Marlins, under orders from owner Jeffrey Loria, are making sweeping changes to the team’s baseball operations, from player development and scouting, all the way up to the front office.

Whether any of those changes involve [Manager Dan] Jennings, who stepped aside as general manager to assume the manager’s job in May after Mike Redmond was fired, remains to be seen.

Jennings will no doubt be gone. He has been no better than Mike Redmond and, I presume anyway, even he would tell you he’s not the best long-term guy to run the team on the field.

The rest of it just makes me roll my eyes. The Marlins have had a lot of problems over the years, but they’ve actually done a good job developing talent. At least top-end talent like Giancarlo Stanton and Jose Fernandez. Christian Yellich is a nice player any number of teams would like to have come up with. Injuries hurt them a lot this year and last and they haven’t built the sort of depth a team with top star power needs to complement it, but despite payroll limitations and the lack of a desire for a lot of guys to go to Miami, they’ve built an at least credible core.

Loria is a clear problem, dictating roster moves and coaching shakeups from his owner’s box. And perhaps Jennings, who was the GM tasked with putting complementary pieces around Stanton and didn’t do the greatest job around. Jennings will maybe go, but maybe not. Loria is going nowhere of course.

But based on this story, it sounds like they’re going to can a bunch of scouts and cross checkers who, for the most part, have done a fine job for the Marlins over the past few years. Which would be a shame.

Brian Cashman, Joe Girardi disagree on whether A-Rod should play first base

Alex Rodriguez
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Mark Teixeira is out for a long time, maybe for the season. That puts Greg Bird at first base against righthanders. But what about against lefties?

Joe Girardi thinks Alex Rodriguez could be the answer. His response yesterday when asked about A-Rod playing first base:

“I think you have to really talk about it now. Because I think our hope was that, when we left on that road trip [last week], you would have Tex back by the time we got home [Friday], or even on the road trip. But now, I think you have to think about it because you’re going to see left-handers. There’s left-handers in our division. There’s a lot of division opponents in the last 32 games or whatever we have left. I think you have to start debating the idea.”

Yankees GM Brian Cashman was asked about that too:

“I don’t think he can play first base,” Cashman countered. On Monday, Cashman said that shifting Chase Headley from third base across the diamond was more likely.

A-Rod has played one game at first this year. Yesterday he took some grounders there. Here’s how it went:

source: Getty Images
BOSTON, MA – SEPTEMBER 1: Alex Rodriguez #13 of the New York Yankees reacts as a baseball comes his way as he was talking fielding practice at first base before a game with Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on September 1, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

 

Tiebreaker goes to Cashman, methinks.

UPDATE: A picture’s worth a thousand words, I guess. Girardi has seen the light:

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Elvis Andrus stole home. On a straight steal. Not one of those BS double steals

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Stealing home is usually lame. It’s almost always on a double steal where the catcher throws down to second, totally aware that the guy on third might break, but taking a reasoned gamble that he won’t. Yes, it’s technically a steal, but it’s not what people think of when they think of “stealing home.” People usually think of derring-do, crazy speed and an intense play at the plate.

Last night we actually got the latter. Well, minus the intensity, as it looked like someone had to wake up Padres pitcher Kevin Quackenbush. But credit to Andrus for being on top of things as he broke and gave us a real, bonadife steal of home plate:

 

As the announcer noted, Quackenbush is a righty, so there’s even way less of an excuse for him to ignore Andrus than it would be for a lefty. But in a day and age where pitchers have been conditioned to go to any length to get themselves in the zone and mentally prepared for each and every pitch, I guess you’ll have that. Well, that and longer games.