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Everything That’s Old is New Again [WMQ]
Nov 14th, 2012 by Dan

Philadelphia Phillies at Miami Marlins 29 Sept 2012

Back in September I still had hope for 2013

Everyone’s thinking “Don’t say I didn’t warn you,” right about now, but I still can’t help but feel so betrayed.

You don’t really get to pick the teams you love. I mean, you do, obviously, but at the same time what rational human being would continue to love a team like the Marlins? Two World Series titles are rather nice, but every other year in the team’s history has been fairly miserable thanks to fire sales and borderline duplicitous frugality.

When you’re a kid and you love baseball and a team finally starts operating in your town, that’s a huge event. The Marlins have held a special place in my heart since 1993, but the trade…oh, that huge trade with Toronto. We’re sending them Josh Johnson, Mark Buerhle, Jose Reyes, Emilio Bonifacio, and John Buck and getting Yunel Escobar plus prospects/cheap players in return. Thanks for ruining the 20th anniversary of the team, Jeffrey Loria. Thanks for lying and tricking us into thinking the team had changed last year. Thanks for nothing.

I can no more change my favorite team or favorite sport than I could choose to stop breathing oxygen, but you’ve gone and taken 2013 from me, Jeffrey Loria. The thing I look forward to the most every year, baseball season, just feels so empty right now.

Not Quite As Predicted [Wednesday Morning Quarterback]
May 27th, 2009 by Dan

It’s time for Wednesday Morning Quarterback, your weekly sports round-up.

I think it’s safe to say at this point in the season that things aren’t quite going as I predicted. It’s not the end of the world to be five games back in late May, but it just isn’t coming together for the Rays who are behind the Red Sox, Yankees, and Blue Jays in the AL East. Fortunately for the Rays, the Blue Jays seem to be choking against even the most trivial of AL East teams :cough: the Baltimore Orioles :cough:, but the fact of the matter is that the Rays have to start playing better to keep it alive.

Good thing the stars aren’t aligning against them, right?

Right???

Akinori Iwamura, a heavily underrated cog in the machine is out for the entire season. Not just a few weeks, the whole rest of the year. Jason Bartlett is out with a sprained ankle. Pat Burrell is still out hurting with a stiff neck. Scott Kazmir, who has been pitching poorly anyway, is out on the DL too. This is some serious personnel out for the next two weeks or so. Joe Maddon has been starting Reid Brignac, Willy Aybar, and Ben Zobrist to replace the missing players, but this is clearly not ideal. The Rays are definitely being tested right now, so it would be good for the replacement players to step up instead of…well…

David Price, the holy grail of AL rookies finally got the call up to the bigs to pitch on Monday, only it didn’t go quite as planned. Poor control managed to get him through only 3 1/3 innings with five walks and six strikeouts and, luckily only two earned runs. Some say it was because he sat for quite some time while his team racked up a 10-0 lead. The only real problem is that the bullpen, clearly not expecting their rookie phenom to throw over a hundred pitches in three and a third, couldn’t hold the 10-2 lead that Price left them with. That’s right, the Rays actually lost the game 11-10 Cleveland. Pathetic.

Pick it up Tampa, you’re making me look bad! I know you can outplay the Yankees, Blue Jays, and Red Sox, you’ve done it all year already.

Here’s some perspective: last season the starters had an ERA of 3.95 and the bullpen had a 3.55 mark to bring the team to the World Series. Meanwhile, the Rays are sporting a 4.95 starting ERA with 4.16 in the bulllpen. While I’m sure you’re admiring the neat statistical anomaly that the starting pitching’s ERA has risen by exactly one point, it still shows that the key factor in the Rays not performing this season resides in the pitching staff.

Meanwhile Florida is sitting 5.5 games back too in the NL East battling through some pitching injuries and just playing mediocre ball. I know they were playing much better last season, so it hurts to see a better squad where they are right now. On the plus side, they’re not starting Emilio Bonifacio, but they also took a big hit when Cameron Maybin didn’t hit at the start of the season. The once proud 11-1 team is now sitting at 21-26. Pick it up Marlins!

The Fish also only managed to win one of three against the Rays and were soundly spanked in the ones they lost. That was also the series that Iwamura got hurt, which makes it even more painful.

Here’s hoping for better news next week.

The Show Returns [Wednesday Morning Quarterback]
Apr 8th, 2009 by Dan

You’ve probably heard the saying that hindsight is 20/20 on Monday morning, so just imagine how well I can call ’em two days later on Wednesday. That’s right, it’s time for Wednesday Morning Quarterback, your weekly sports round-up.

Baseball season is back and exciting as ever! Talk about first day surprises though. Who would have guessed that C.C. Sabathia would be pounded by the O’s? Who could have expected that Griffey would hit another opening day homer? Or that the Marlins would pound the Nats? Ok…that one was a bit more predictable…

Still though, nothing better than watching my man Hanley Ramirez smash a grand slam or seeing Bonifacio round the bases like a mad man for an inside-the-park home run (or almost repeating it the next night). Tempering my joy is the 5-3 loss of the Rays to the Red Sox. That’s exactly what baseball is, though. Joy and sorrow all mixed together. Getting this pumped over three days of games is a bit premature, I’m sure, we’ve still got 159 games left to go for most teams, but it sure feels good to be back.

No predictions this week, I’d like to let them stew a bit more. I’ll put in some highlights later on today that will inevitably be gone within the week.

Until next time sports fans.

6 April Web Gems and SportsCenter! [WMQ]
Apr 7th, 2009 by Dan

Sadly no mention of the Marlins’ amazing inside the park homer nor the grand slam. On the other hand, who doesn’t love great defensive plays instead of homers?

SportsCenter got it a little better with not one, but two Marlins plays in there, both by Bonifacio. Good stuff all around though.

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