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.
Giancarlo Stanton had been aiming to return to the Marlins’ active roster this Friday night for the start of a three-game series against the National League East-leading Mets, but he told reporters that he didn’t feel 100 percent after his minor league rehab debut on Tuesday afternoon with High-A Jupiter.
MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro says it’s now doubtful the slugger will be able to follow through on his plan.
Stanton has been on the disabled list since June 27 because of a broken hamate bone in his right hand. He had surgery on June 28. There’s really no reason for the 53-79 Marlins to rush him back before he feels like he’s at full strength.
The beat goes on for Braves right-hander Shelby Miller, who saw his winless streak extended to 19 starts as part of a 4-0 loss to the Marlins tonight. He’s now 5-12 on the year despite a 2.56 ERA.
Miller wasn’t originally scheduled to start, but he was moved up a day after Michael Foltynewicz was scratched due to illness. He pitched really well on short notice, allowing one run on six hits and no walks over seven innings. The lone run scored on a solo homer from Cole Gillespie in the second inning, but it was enough to put him on the losing side, as the Braves got absolutely nothing going against Chris Narveson. Yes, Chris Narveson.
Miller is now winless dating back to May 17. While he’s 0-11 in that time, he has posted a 3.13 ERA while receiving an average of two runs of support from his offense. Needless to say, he has deserved far better. His recent string of bad luck has been enough to change Fredi Gonzalez’s opinion about the utility of pitcher wins:
According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Miller now has the second-longest winless streak in franchise history. Carl Morton, who went 22 starts between a win from 1975-1976, holds the record.
MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro reports that Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton is scheduled to begin a rehab stint with Single-A Jupiter on Tuesday, weather-permitting. If the weather cooperates and Stanton doesn’t suffer any setbacks, he could return to the Marlins from the disabled list on Friday to face the Mets.
Stanton has been on the disabled list since June 27, the day after he broke the hamate bone in his right hand. He had surgery on the 28th. The slugger hit the disabled list batting .265/.346/.606 with 27 home runs and 67 RBI in 318 plate appearances.
Stacey May Fowles of Vice has a good and, unfortunately, necessary column up today. She calls it a “manifesto,” but most manifestos aren’t as calm and reasonable as this one is. Nor is the point of most manifestos so painfully obvious, even if it’s almost uniformly ignored.
The point: just because a woman thinks a ballplayer is good looking doesn’t make her somehow less of a fan. Nor does it mean that they should be dismissed by so-called “real fans.”
And they are so often dismissed as such. Shallow. Superficial. “Cleat chasers,” maybe. Which, sure, some women in the world may well be. But I’ve observed in baseball fandom that many, many men, especially when there are no women around, find it impossible to accept that women can be serious baseball fans. And, if they encounter women fans, so many, many men assume that they’re only in it for the beefcake. At the same time women, Fowles observes, so often feel the need to make it ABUNDANTLY clear to the point of absurdity that, nope, they’re not checking out some ballplayer’s tush, no, never. And that need, she correctly argues, is aimed at conforming to men’s expectations of how fans are supposed to behave.
But the fact is ballplayers are hot. At least most of them. They’re crazy-in-shape athletic men between the ages of 20 and 40 who do stuff a tiny percentage of the planet can do. You’d have to be crazy to think there weren’t hundreds of hotties in such a sample. Appreciating that does not disqualify anyone as a serious fan, and the idea that it does or should is ridiculous.
So, my heterosexual male friends: go read Fowles’ column. Then, the next time you’re at a game, take a look at Bryce Harper or Giancarlo Stanton or someone and ask yourself how many sets of mental gymnastics you’d have to execute to claim they WEREN’T amazing looking, objectively speaking. Then ask yourself whether that realization makes you any less of a fan. And further ask yourself why we’d think that realization on the part of someone who is actually of the opposite sex or orientation wouldn’t think that too.