Can we do it?


Tonight the fish can tie the Phillies for first place in the division with a win.  Who do we wheel out to the mound to shoulder this responsibility?  A guy who 2 months ago wasn’t even allowed to pick up a baseball with his throwing arm.  Such is the life of a Marlins fan.  Our situation is awesome, yet to put us over the top we put our fate in the hands of someone with some interesting backstory.  I think Anibal Sanchez can do great.  He looked good in his last start and last time we faced Kyle Kendrick, we lit him up to the tune of 7 ER over 4.1 IP which rose his ERA from 4.41 to 4.81.  So tonight I will sit back with a pizza and watch the game.

Last night I was impressed with Arthur Rhodes.  He has basically been pitching forever and yet he can still touch the mid 90s with his fastball.  I find this funny though.  Sure pitchers throw hard.  But do we really know if they throw as hard as the guns say we do?  Stadium guns I believe.  But the TV’s display, which just about everybody does now, may not be 100% true.  Case in point:  2006 World Series.  Detroit Tigers lefties Kenny Rogers (with dirtgate) and Nate Robertson both started games.  That year, I had watched a few Tigers games when they pitched and even went to a game that Robertson had started.  Robertson had never pitched anything over 90 mph.  Rogers has been pitching since the Mesozoic Era and hasn’t pitched over 88 mph since the War of 1812 (86 mph since the Rutherford B. Hayes administration).  Yet during the World Series, Rogers was hitting 92/93 (which prompted Joe Buck, who was a horrible homer during that WS because he is a clear cut Cards fan, to ask the veracity of the gun) and Robertson was hitting 95/96 and sometimes even 97!  This prompted Robertson to say after a game along the lines of:  “There is no way on earth I throw that hard.”  This was probably thanks to FOX doing the coverage of the series.  FOX is notorious for overhyping certain things (example:  the entire programming of FOX News).  Another example could be from the 2003…  Ugueth Urbina did not regularly hit 97 with his fastball.

Anyway, go fish!


Getting my Remote Ready

Tonight Jamie Moyer takes the mound against the Marlins.  He is about 800 years old while the average age of a Marlins player is about 13.  Every time he pitches against the Marlins, the Marlins look as if Jamie Moyer is some kind of crazy awesome superhuman sorceror who is moonlighting as an amazing pitcher.  So tonight as I watch the game, my remote will be sitting right next to me and will be ready to be thrown at a moments notice.

Prediction:  Jamie Moyer goes 7 IP and has 8 Ks and only gives up 2 hits.

Josh Johnson goes tonight.  He needs to pitch well and keep Jimmy Rollins off the bases.  Rollins has made a career against the fish alone.  We absolutely need to take 2 of 3 in this series and then take 2 of 3 from the Mets.  Our schedule is insane for the next month:  Phils, Mets, Cards, Cubs, San Fran (a brief break…  althought SF normally beats up in the regular season), D-backs, Braves and then Mets again.  19 games against people with +.500 records and 6 against sub .500 (3 of those at Atlanta where we always suck).  The bats really haven’t been completely stellar since the break.  They have only broke 10 runs once since the break and have had games scoring 3 or less runs 10 times.  We need more timely hitting and not as many HRs.  The HRs are great, but we don’t get alot of hits with RISP.

Random Tangent:  Will ESPN please shut the hell up about Brett Favre?  Nobody outside of the Wisconsin state lines cares!  My girlfriend’s father is a diehard Lions fan and doesn’t care one iota about this.  For the love of God ESPN, I don’t care if Brett Favre left Packers camp and TOOK A RIGHT TURN OUT OF THE PRACTICE COMPLEX!  You can tell me this during sportscenter, but not at the top and bottom of every hour of every waking day.  You have no idea how many viewers you are losing when one of your people utters the word: Brett, Favre, Green, Bay, Packers or the number four.  I hate fox sports, but at least they aren’t covering every breath Favre takes.  I don’t care if he is on an airplane and I don’t care if he drove a dark red truck.  You can stop the presses when he finally gets traded or gets stuck behind Rodgers or becomes the starter or if he cures cancer.  Do not stop the presses if he talked to Chris Mortensen.  The man is an egotistical diva and lives off of this coverage and is loving this.  He is Britney Spears with a beard and a Wrangler jeans commercial.  Please ESPN.  STOP.

Anyway, go fish!

Lack of Internet and Lack of Marlins

Rockies 5 Marlins 2.

Maybe it’s better I didn’t watch.  Jimenez looked like a Cy Young winner while the Marlins couldn’t get any offense going until the very end.  Jimenez has really good stuff, but looking at some of his games he either locks a team down or gets crushed like a dixie cup under a monster truck.  Too bad last night wasn’t the latter.

So why didn’t watch?  My internet last night was practically dead.  I could do a few tasks to play some flash games and check if I’m on the terror watch list or not (if I wasn’t then, I probably am now just for mentioning it…).  But watching the game instantly turned my computer into a something like a baby who refuses to eat strained peas or banana substrate.  I would click play in the window and it would just sit there and do nothing.  Very frustrating.

This allowed me to reflect what a great and horrible thing MLBtv is. Yes, I get to watch my games.  BUT…  only because I live in Michigan now.  When I lived in Florida, specifically Gainesville, I couldn’t watch the Marlins on MLBtv.  Why?  I was in the blackout policy.  That means that the Marlins were being shown on cable “in my area.”  Well here was the finisher, I lived in an apartment complex which was 95% student.  The TV package we had wouldn’t be good enough for a hotel in northeastern Wyoming.  We had most of the basics, but we also had a few head-strachers:  CSPAN 1-3, 2 Channels of BBC America, the home shopping network (what college student in the world would watch that?), and my favorite:  the UF channel which is a channel devoted to showing events occuring on campus.  Problem was, it hadn’t been utilized since 2002.  We had these channels instead of FoxSports Florida.  Now, we did have SunSports.  That was nice.  The problem was, most of the time when a Marlins game actually was on (once every 2 weeks or so), we would some ridiculous thing like a replay of a Clemson vs. Wake Forest softball game from 2003.  After calling “my local cable provider” I was basically told:  “You are too young to understand how TV works and how the local population and society affects TV markets.”  I guess that TV and American Society class I took was for nothing.

After realizing that my cable people wouldn’t do anything about it, I knew I was done.  4 years of no Marlins on TV.  Very tough.  I wouldn’t dare to bother asking to challenge MLB’s blackout policy.  Oddly enough, there was something interesting about this blackout policy.  An article on by a similarly angry person cited something in the policy that makes absolutely no sense.  It was along the lines of:  “You have to be within a days drive of the stadium to be in a blackout period.”  OK…  that’s fair.  Gainesville is 5 hours from where the Marlins play.  But what about the 5 hour drive back?  And would I do this 81 times a year?  What about road games?  Gainesville is 6 hours from Atlanta, so I guess Atlanta should be blacked out too.  BUT… they aren’t.  We aren’t in their market.  Although, WRUF 850 AM carries Braves baseball games every night unless a UF team has an event that is broadcasted over the radio.  So, clearly MLB’s blackout policy sucks.  It leaves people like me out to dry.  Worse than me are people who live in places like Iowa.  Look at the map:  Iowa is lucky enough to be in 6 markets:  the Cubs, White Sox, Royals, Brewers, Twins and Cardinals.  Aren’t they lucky?  Oh wait, no.  They aren’t.  If I live in Iowa and I want to watch the Twins and I don’t have a cable carrier who has FSN North, I’m done.  But I can get all the division rival White Sox games I want on WGN.  The consolation prize is that I’ll get to watch the Twins play the White Sox when they are on WGN, right?  Nope.  Those games get blacked out!  According to Google Earth, Iowa is only about 3-6 hours from Minneapolis. So that’s not bad… is it?  Let’s get really messed up.  Jackson, Mississippi is 10 hours from Atlanta.  Jackson, Mississippi is in Atlanta’s blackout range.  Yet again, the literal sense of the rule is enforced.  10 hours is definitely less than 24 hours, so it is a day’s drive.  So…  10 hours there, 10 hours back, 3 hour game.  That’s 23 hours!  They can sleep for an hour and do it again.  Hopefully there aren’t too many 12 game homestands.  Nobody lives in Eastern Montana.  But if they did, and they were Mariners fans, they are in trouble.  It’s a 14 hour drive to Seattle.  Now we are in trouble.

In summation, there are millions of other people like me.  I am grateful that I can watch the games.  Technology is awesome (and sometimes scary).  But the rules are absolutely ridiculous.  I wasn’t able to watch my team until I moved 1100 miles away and where I won’t be able to go to any games this year, or maybe even next year which really saddens me.

One more thing with the map.  Notice there are holes in places like the middle of Georgia, Nevada and a few other places?  Those aren’t lakes.  Those are holes in the baseball universe.  They are worse off than anyone!  God only knows what they did to banish themselves to a dimension with no baseball.

I’ll finish this incredibly long post with one mention of the game tonight.  Last night we made our first errors in a long time.  There seems to be a direct correlation between not messing up in the field and winning.  I’m just saying.  No more errors.

Anyway, go fish!

No Manny in Miami

As far as we know (and it is 4 PM on July 31st) Manny Ramirez won’t be coming to Florida.  Most Marlins fans nearly crapped their pants when they heard this news of it even potentially happening.  Apparently we were very close.  But I honestly think we didn’t need him.  Here is why:

1.)  Have you noticed how well our team is doing without Manny?  They are doing great and in order to get him we would have to trade Jeremy Hermida.  If we are doing this well this year, imagine where they’ll be next year?  We would only have Manny for 2-3 months.  I say we keep the core together and see where they take us next year.

2.)  We are going to be better thanks to Anibal Sanchez and Josh Johnson returning to the rotation.  So we improve the starting rotation which has been a problem.  The problem has not been hitting, which is what Manny would help.

3.)  Chemistry.  Chemistry.  Chemistry.  If Manny is unhappy being surrounded by some of the best and proven stars in baseball playing in front of sellout crowds every night, how is he going to react (and influence) young players?  We have a few veteran leaders… and they’ve done great…  but Manny would throw the chemistry off balance.

Personally I think Manny will be traded to the Packers for Brett Favre.  Take that, conventional wisdom!

So, let’s keep the core together and welcome in Arthur Rhodes.  You may older than dirt, but you’ll be able to help.  You are an instant upgrade over Taylor Tankersley, so you are cool in my book.  We only gave up Gaby Hernandez, who has been falling apart in the minors, which means we didn’t have to give up much.

Then again who knows.  We may find out in a few hours something did happen.

That being said, I hope the best for Anibal Sanchez tonight.  Him coming back strong would be like picking up a trade for a power pitcher.  The Rockies are white hot right now, but their starting pitching is still very suspect.  Taking this series would make this an amazing homestand and who knows if they’ll make a move on waivers.

Perhaps we will see the return of Jeff Conine (perhaps not).

Anyway, go fish!

Baffling Mets Fans

My father is not who I inherited my love from sports from.  It was my mother and grandfather on my mom’s side.  When I was young weekend afternoons saw my father doing yardwork and “fixing” things while my mom and I watched bowling on ABC and then college football (on Saturdays) and watching the NFL (mostly the Dolphins but if we were lucky, the Giants).  I grew up a New York Giants fan due to living with a family who grew up in SW Connecticut.  I eventually left the family sports bond and became a Jaguars fan.  But anyway it was my mother who instilled the belief of rooting for your team no matter what and also the unreasonable anger and rage toward your opponents and players on your team that happened to be doing poorly.  It was stories of my grandfather which taught me the concept of “bloodfeud” wherein you absolutely hate someone/some team for some event that happened where some event occured that caused irreparable pain and damage to your psyche (more on that in a future article).  He was a NY Giants fan (in their bad years) and a Red Sox fan (pre 2004).  He passed away in the mid 90s, and never got to see the Red Sox win a World Series and had a bloodfeud with the Yankees and a few of their players.

I tell you this because my father knows virtually nothing about sports.  He enjoys going to baseball games, football games and sometimes even a hockey game or two.  Granted, he virtually has ADD, and takes 5 trips a game to go “get a soda” or “take a wizzbang” or “make a phone call” but he enjoys being there.  (Note:  When he “gets a soda” he actually does get a soda, but instead of going to the nearest concession stand he goes to one on the opposite end of the stadium)  He openly admits “he hasn’t paid much attention to baseball since the days of Duke Snyder and Don Drysdale”… don’t know where the Dodgers fan in him came from… “and just like going to games.”  Yesterday while walking in the parking lot to the game against the Mets yesterday, a great fear of mine occured.

Wearing his teal pinstripe Marlins jersey, he was walking with my mother to the ticket booth (by the way…  they didn’t get a ticket.  it a sellout in terms for the Marlins meaning there were no cheap seats left). 

2 clearly drunk Mets fans yelled out toward my parents: “Marlins Suck!  Wooooooo!  Go Mets”  This was a fear of mine.  Sports fans who know they are talking about confronting my father.  I thought nothing good could ever come of it.  What happened next shal go down in the annals of baseball… nay… sports history.

Dad:  “You guys are Nets fans?  The New York Nets?”

Guys:  “Ummm…  you mean the New Jersey Nets?

Dad:  “Yea, the New York Nets.  You know it must be bad for your team if you guys are recruiting hockey players to play baseball.”

Guys:  “What?”

Dad:  “Well it’s ok.  Hey it’s better to be lucky than good as long as you give 100% each game.”

Guys:  “I guess…”

Then silence followed. 

My father figured out something scientists have been trying to figure out for decades:  How to shut New York fans up.  They are unbearable at times, and here is the way to shut them up:  Completely confuse them.  One may think:  “Wow, he must really be a genius to be able to do that.  Using a fake lack of sports knowledge to baffle those mets fans.”  The truth is:  My father is really clueless when it comes to sports.  For all we know, my father thinks the New York Nets are a hockey team.  That may not be true, he isn’t that clueless (I think), but I am proud of him right now.

Quick review of the game.  16 men left on base.  Renyel Pinto pitched a fastball right into Carlos Delgado’s wheelhouse.  And Scott Olsen really needs a towel on the mound.  Or a shower.  Tough game to lose, but it could’ve been worse.  Josh Johnson pitches tonight and we need him to be great today.  A 2 out of 3 series would be great for the team.  Pelfrey is good, but wild at times…  trust me I know because I own him in a few fantasy baseball leagues.  The Marlins can’t swing at his high fastball.  Simple as that.

Anyway, go fish!

A Quick 180

In the course of about 10 minutes last night I experienced something I haven’t felt in a long time.  I trust you know the feeling.  When you go from blood boiling rage to admiration towards a player.  Last night this happened between me and Dan Uggla.  To get my blood pressure up to “nuclear reactor” levels, he booted a double play with the game tied.  I will not say it was completely his fault.  Hanley had trouble with the groundball and tossed it awkwardly to Dan.  Dan then kind of juggled the ball and then threw to first base with same level of military precision found only in things that are stone drunk or blind.  So after throwing the nearest light object near me I went to the fridge to get a beer.  When I came back the Marlins had gotten out of the inning, but now down by 1.  But then something weird happened.  After some good hitting by Willingham, Dan Uggla hit a lazy blooper into CF to score Willingham.  All of a sudden my blinding rage had subisded to just simple anger.  Then Wes Helms chimed in with a single.  Then Cody Ross broke the game open.

My mouth hit the floor.  I was speechless.  (Very rare)

Usually the fish looks for ways to lose.  This time it was the opposite.  WTF?  Luckily for us it was the Mets bullpen we had to deal with.  I can’t even imagine what NYC radio shows are saying today, especially about Manuel taking John Maine out.  I still haven’t heard a full story about why they did it other than the pitching coach mentioning he was doing something different with his shoulder or arm.  I can see being cautious with your young arms.  We saw that with Josh Beckett, AJ Burnett (didn’t help much for him) and a few other pitchers.  Maine is a stud and they want to protect him.  But at the time, Manuel looked like a moron.  The first batter came and smacked a double into center field.  Props to the bullpen and props to Nolasco who had his “Hammer” of a curveball going.  Also the sight of the Mets fans in the game making a mass exodus to the gates was entertaining.  They’ll talk smack seemingly forever until they lose.  Very satisfying.

Tonight my parents are going to the game.  My mom asked one question before going:  “Who is pitching tonight?  Please don’t tell me it’s Olsen.”  I can’t lie to my Mom so I said nothing.  If there is ever a time for Olsen to prove he is a better pitcher now than he was when he threw harder this is it.  He NEEDS to keep his fastball down and NOT throw balls on the first pitch.  That’s all.  Olsen got rocked by the Mets earlier this year, but at home he has a 3.12 ERA over 75 IP.  The offense should be there seeing as how Oliver Perez is going for the Mets.  Perez is good and has strung together a bunch of good starts.  I feel he is in for a bad start.  He’ll strike out alot of batters (a bad thing) but he’ll be out by the 6th inning which means more Mets bullpen for us (a good thing).

No way around it.  Big game tonight.  Let’s see what they’ve got.

Anyway, go fish!

(PS Mom and Dad, if we do win, please rub it in a few Mets fans face.  They should be much obliged to take the punishment seeing as how they are so quick to dole it out when they win…  thanks.)

Come on Hendrickson…

We get it.  You don’t want to be in the bullpen.  Maybe you should’ve started over VandenHurk, but dude…  you walked the pitcher!  Walking the pitcher is like having sex with your siblings.  You don’t want to do it and if you do, you’re going to either have an inbred psycho baby or get burned by an extra base hit.  The Marlins then left him in for too long and Joe Nelson left a pitch up in the zone and it landed in Peoria.  A split in Wrigley is nothing to scoff at.

Next week has a big series against the Mets at home.  I wish I could go to a game…  being 1,100 miles away is too much of a commute.  Hopefully there will be more than 8 people in the crowd that aren’t rooting for the Mets.

A note about Mets fans:
Mets fans are usually Jets fans.  While they are at it, they may as well be Nets fans.  Did anyone ever notice that before?  One syllable team names for presumably the worst of all fans.  Not in terms of them not being loyal to their team… they are fiercely loyal…  but worst in terms of being human beings.  Jets-Dolphins games always erupt into fistfights in the stands.  There is always about 15 people per section smoking cigars and they curse a mile a minute during games.  This isn’t to say I don’t curse.  (When Nelson gave up the HR today I yelled F**K and punched the wall which prompted my roommate to run from her room at ask if everything was OK.)  But these guys are ridiculous.  Mets/Jets are by far the worst human beings on the face of the Earth second only to LSU (Louisiana State University) fans.  Once we get to college football season I’ll get to them.  I’m sure the fans are nice people in their regular settings (a zoo?) but when they are at a game they are awful.  Maybe they are drawn to these teams because their team has only one syllable and it’s easier to say and remember.

So if anyone who is lost or accidentally reading this, go to the games.  At least one.  But…  maybe leave your kids at home.  Unless you want your kids to go home with a cursing habit, a horrible accent and a new cigar addiction.

Anyway, Go fish!