Howdy Marlins fans. And fans of starting all over from scratch. The Marlins are inching closer and closer to opening night. April 4 will be one of those days when we as fans get to tell people twenty years from now, I was at a local supermarket when the Marlins opened up the new stadium. Just kidding. But seriously, can't wait to see that first regular season game.
This week I read an interesting article about how high profile and super experienced managers mean very little when they are hired to fix a teams woes. Baseball has that more than any other sport. It means less in baseball because there are so many games in the season. Plus, a team is impacted more by a September call up, than hiring a new manager in the off season and getting the fan base all excited before a game is played.
- Think about Lou Piniella and Mike Quade. Quade at the time seemed like the perfect hire. He was a players' coach, unlike Sweet Lou. However, the only improvement the Cubs made last season was finish 20 games under .500 compared to 24 games under .500 the year before. This brings me to Carlos Zambrano. I find myself pulling for this guy to succeed. Not only because the Marlins need him, but because he is trying to get rid of demons. I think the guy is an extreme competitor and nothing else. However, the media would lead us to believe that Ozzie Guillen is the cure to get him back on track. Or the change of scenery. All of that helps, but in the end, the pitcher has to pitch better. Because ultimately, Big Z was traded from Chris Volstad in a deal where the Cubs picked up the majority of his salary for this season. This reminds us how much the Cubs wanted to get rid of him. If Carlos still has it, he will perform because he wants to. The rest is secondary.
- Hanley is getting all the work he can get while he learns how to play third base. This week he played all nine innings in a spring training game. The reality is, Hanley will do a lot of learning during the season. However, Ozzie thinks he eventually will win a gold glove at the hot corner over the next few years. Nevertheless, I am encouraged by how hard Hanley is working now. He continues to be a team player.
- Guess who David Schoenfeld says is the most important player on any team in 2012? Its big Josh Johnson. We all already know this. However, he brings up a good point. After the starting five, the Marlins do not have much depth. Inevitably, the Fish need Johnson to give them 200+ innings, or pitch the majority of the season. He cannot miss extended time if this team is going to go to the playoffs.
- We may not see Greg Dobbs for ten days. He has a slight hamstring tear. Ozzie feels as if its better to sit him out instead of having him try to hit and then have to send in a pitch runner. I agree.
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