The Marlins are now tied with the Phillies for the worst record in baseball

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This Phillies, who have been the butt of jokes all year, are no longer the worst team in baseball. Well, technically they’re tied for that dubious distinction. They won last night and the Marlins lost their fifth straight, which puts them both at 43-67, last place in the NL East and tied for last for the league’s worst record and the inside track for the first pick in next year’s draft.

Of course that’s sort of misleading. Philly, as most of you know, has been a completely different baseball team in the second half, going 14-5 since the break. They’re 17-19 since Ryne Sandberg quit and Pete Mackanin took over on June 26.

Miami, meanwhile, is 5-16 since the break and have dropped six of seven since July turned to August. A lot of folks will say “hey, Giancarlo Stanton is out, cut them some slack. Nah. Their worst month was May. Stanton has only been out since June 26. Meanwhile, as we noted earlier this week, they’re also doing fun things like keeping their best healthy outfielder down in the minors for financial reasons, so they don’t get too much benefit of the doubt from this quarter.

This is all the worse given the expectations game. Everyone knew the Phillies would be bad this year. Many folks, however, thought the Marlins would and should challenge for a wild card this year. If you don’t believe me go do a search for “this year’s Royals” and “Miami Marlins.” That was the talking point back in February and March anyway. Even from this quarter.

So, another bummer of a summer in Miami. What else is new?

Pirates hire Ben Cherington as their new general manager

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The Pittsburgh Pirates have hired Ben Cherington as the team’s new general manager. They do so after the general manager meetings ended, but better late than never.

Cherington served as GM of the Boston Red Sox for four years, winning the World Series in 2013, but resigned during the 2015 season after Dave Dombrowski was named Boston’s new president of baseball operations. Which was a defacto demotionn for Cherington who, until then, had the final say in baseball decisions. Dombrowski, of course, was fired late in the season this year. Cherington went on to work for the Toronto Blue Jays as a vice president, but was seen as biding his time for another GM position. Now he has one.

Cherington takes over in Pittsburgh for executive vice president and general manager Neal Huntington, who was fired after a 12 years at the helm. Also fired was team president Frank Coonelly. Travis Williams replaced Coonelly recently. While the Pirates experienced a few years of contention under Huntington and Coonelly, they have slid out of contention in recent years as the club has traded away promising players for little return, all while cutting payroll. There’s a very big rebuilding job ahead of Cherington.

The first move he’ll have to make: hire a manager, as the team still hasn’t replaced Clint Hurdle since he was dismissed in the final weekend of the regular season.