Fish Bites: Bonifacio Wins

The Miami Marlins are back in the news. If its not Jose Reyes and his locks, Cespedes and his decision, or the homerun celebration thing out beyond centerfield, the team is making noise. Earlier today the biggest news was Emilio Bonifacio. He beat the team he plays for in arbitration. And while I will leave the specific details to the beat writers who follow the team on a daily basis (he'll make $2.2 million next season instead of the $1.95 million salary targeted by the team), I'm glad for the guy because he stood out last year as team's best player.

- Bonifacio does so many things well for the Fish. He hits, he steals, he defends many positions, he brings excitement, and it is common to see him out there smiling and having a great time. The guy is a utility player. But at any moment can become an everyday player because he is so talented. I remember when the ballclub counted on Alfredo Amezaga in the same way. Rarely do fans ever complain about what these guys give. Its a luxury to have Bonifacio, and again, I'm glad he is going to get paid a little more not only for what he did last year, but for what he will do for the team going forward.

- The unique sculpture that fans will enjoy when a Marlins player hits a home run will be great. I love it when people are quick to judge and bash something without even giving it a chance. At first I had my reservations when I saw the images on-line. But now I am behind the project and the idea of it fully. I can't wait until Sportscenter shows it during their nightly recap of Marlin home games. Plus, did you know the event lasts about 27 seconds after a home run is hit? Roughly the amount of time it takes Mike Stanton to round the bases after hitting a big blast. Read more details about this project here.

- Could Steve Cishek be the best reliever in the Marlins bullpen? Sounds a bit crazy since we only have one season of stats to go on. Jonathan Mitchell however did an excellent job breaking down what Cishek did last year. And the numbers don't lie. Cishek should not just be used nightly. The Marlins might also want to use him in huge spots. He could be that good.

- Fangraphs says two of the worst transactions of the winter belong to the Marlins. Specifically the acquisitions of Buehrle and Bell. Look, I understand a lot of what the Marlins do will be scrutinized because so much of it is new. But I still view this in a very simple way. On paper, the Marlins are a much better team today than they were last season. So before I think a few years down the road about whether or not these were good free agent deals, I am going to enjoy the 'now' because its cool.

- Its a huge risk to trade away young pitchers. For starters, you can never have enough starting pitching. And young pitchers are relatively inexpensive. Nevertheless, an evaluator says in this article that Chris Volstad will probably never come back to haunt the Marlins. So good trade Fish. Just too bad it did not work out.

- Check out the situation Ozzie Guillen is walking into now with the Miami Marlins. Then compare it to the situation he was inheriting when he took his first managerial job with the Chicago White Sox. Ozzie will say the current situation is much better. And I agree. For the Marlins he is not only the manager. He is an ambassador as well. He is leading the team through its biggest moment in years.

Around the League

- Russell Branyan signs with the New York Yankees.

- Billy Beane got a contract extension from the Oakland Athletics (even though the team has not won many postseason games in the last 15 years).

- Check out this creepy coincidence between the Miami Marlins and the Tampa Bay Rays. I guess the Marlins truly don't have many supporters outside of Miami. That includes in the arbitration community.

At Fish Stripes

- Sign up for Yahoo! Fantasy Baseball now. And read the following as to all the advantages this league offers compared to other fantasy baseball sites.

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