After unloading a bunch of talent and alienating their fanbase, the Marlins finished with the second-worst record in baseball this season at 62-100. We’ve seen a front office shakeup since the end of the year, with Michael Hill replacing Larry Beinfest as president of baseball operations and Dan Jennings taking over as general manager, but team president David Samson told Christina De Nicola of FOX Sports Florida today that he sees brighter days ahead. In fact, he promises it.
“We want to get out there and get going,” Samson said. “We’re getting ready for another season, and we’re going to win more. I promise you this: We’re not going to lose 100 games next year. Not close.”
You hear that? Not going to lose 100 games. Don’t call for season tickets all at once out there.
It’s hard to take any “promise” seriously with Jeffrey Loria meddling behind the scenes, but there’s no denying that Giancarlo Stanton, Jose Fernandez, and Christian Yelich give the Marlins an exciting young core. However, they don’t appear willing to spend on the extra parts to be competitive in the short-term and it’s hard to blame fans who believe that their young players will be headed elsewhere once they get expensive. Stanton will be arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter, so he might be the first to go if the Marlins get an offer to their liking.
Major League Baseball wants to give the United Kingdom a taste of America’s pastime when the Yankees and Red Sox visit next month. Based on the playing surface they’re going to use, however, they may as well have sent the Blue Jays and the Rays:
Major League Baseball has access to Olympic Stadium for 21 days before the games on June 29 and 30, the sport’s first regular-season contests in Europe, and just five days after to clear out. The league concluded that there was not enough time to install real grass.
Starting June 6, gravel will be placed over the covering protecting West Ham’s grass soccer pitch and the running track that is a legacy from the 2012 Olympics. The artificial turf baseball field, similar to modern surfaces used by a few big league clubs, will be installed atop that.
At least they will not use the old-style sliding pits/turf infield that you used to always see. That’ll all be dirt. There are comments in the article about how it’s a cost savings too since they’re going back next year and won’t have to bulldoze and re-grow grass. Aaron Boone and Xander Bogaerts were asked and they don’t seem to care since it’s similar to the surface they play on in Toronto or down in Florida against the Rays.
Still, this whole deal is not aimed at doing whatever is minimally necessary to pull off a ballgame. It’s supposed to be a showcase on a global stage in a world capital. I have no idea how anyone thinks that doing that on a surface everyone has decided is obsolete for baseball playing purposes unless the ballpark is either outdated or in an arid environment is a good idea.
It’s certainly not baseball putting its best foot forward. Major League Baseball could’ve avoided this by choosing a different venue or even building a temporary one like MLB has done on a few occasions in the past. That, I suppose, would limit the revenue-generation capacity of these games, however, that’s off the table in the Rob Manfred Era.
Yankees and Red Sox on turf. What a decision.