Yesterday, in the wake of the Marlins shuffling around their front office, I observed that part of the Marlins success over the years has been that, despite the financial constraints and despite the fact that their owner is basically a disaster area, the Marlins have always let good baseball people make good baseball decisions and bully for them if they continue to do that.
Then Buster Olney tweeted the following this morning:
There is a sense in FLA front office that Jeffrey Loria and David Samson will be taking a greater role in making player personnel decisions.
On behalf of all fans of National League East teams that are not the Florida Marlins, I would like to applaud this most welcome development.
I will now leave the rest of the comments on this news to Old Gator. Who, assuming he didn’t die of a coronary on the spot after reading that, probably has an opinion or two on the matter.
I would hope by now that I no longer have to preface All-Star talk with my usual “none of this matters” disclaimers, but please keep all of that in mind when I mention that Nick Markakis is leading all National League outfielders in All-Star voting.
Markakis, with 1,173,653 votes, has surpassed the slumping Bryce Harper in that category. Harper has 1,002,696 votes. The third place outfielder is Matt Kemp of the Dodgers with 925,697. Fourth place — Charlie Blackmon of the Dodgers — is like 300,000 votes back of Kemp.Yes, Markakis, Harper and Kemp may be the starting NL outfield. Brandon Nimmo — not on the ballot — should be grumpy, but he’ll get his chance I’m sure.
The thing about it: Markakis, for as unexpected as his appearance may be on this list, deserves to at least be in the top three. He’s second in WAR among National League outfielders behind Lorenzo Cain. He’s slowed down a good bit in June and he’s coming off of a 2017 season in which he had a 96 OPS+ and 0.7 WAR, but he’s having quite an outstanding season. I write that mostly so that there is a record of it come October and we’ve all forgotten it.
Seriously, though, good for Markakis, who has never made an All-Star Game. Good for Kemp too for that matter, who most people assumed was a walking — well, limping — corpse heading into this season. Good for Harper because anything that can keep up the guise of him having a good year when, in reality, he’s really not, will help his confidence as he heads into free agency.
Finally, good for the American League, who will likely get to face a far, far inferior National League team next month in Washington.
The rest of the voting: