Fish Bites: Ozzie No Excuse

Apr 12, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Miami Marlins bench coach Joey Cora addresses the media during batting practice prior to playing the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

After defeating the Houston Astros to earn their first home win of the season on Friday night, the Marlins improved to 3-5 on the year. Considering that is good for last place in the National League East, many will say they are not doing too well. However, obviously, it is early in the season. Pitchers are going to make most hitters look bad, and the reality is, October numbers are much more significant to both fans and their teams.

Many want to blame Ozzie Guillen for the slow start. His controversial comments did get him a five game suspension, but that is not an excuse. When Guillen put his staff together, he did it strategically. The bench coach, Joey Cora, is the key. Guillen is likely going to get thrown out of a handful of games anyway. If anything, Guillen's suspension works in favor of the Marlins, as Cora will gain even more experience on how to handle a game and what decisions to make.

Clearly, the defense has been decent, with the exception of a few games in Philly, but the offense has been streaky and mostly quiet. Guillen is still not to blame for that.

Instead of all of the negative, look at the bright spots. Omar Infante is swinging a hot bat, which he failed to do early last year, and the first time through the rotation, all of the pitchers pitched well enough to earn a win. It is only eight games into the season. But the East looks even tougher than expected.

-After a 3-1 loss to the Phillies on Thursday night, Mark Buehrle fell to 0-2. Buehrle has pitched well in his first two Marlins starts. On paper, they are quality starts. The Marlins, though, haven't scored many runs for Buehrle yet. A problem that he didn't often have in Chicago.

-Astros left fielder J.D. Martin returned to his home town to play against the team he grew up rooting for. Martin attended Flanagan High School and Nova Southeastern University, and always dreamed of making his major league debut at Sun Life Stadium. Martin crushed an Edward Mujica pitch over the left field wall on Friday night to tie the game at 4. Martin hit the first official homer at Marlins Park.

-Outfielders Giancarlo Stanton and Logan Morrison, who have both suffered from knee issues, will be given some days off early in the year to ensure they remain healthy throughout the season.

-Bench coach Joey Cora explained to the media that he feels that his friend, manager Ozzie Guillen, will be able to reach out and apologize to the Cuban community following his remarks in regard to Fidel Castro.

-Hitting coach Eduardo Perez has worked with Hanley Ramirez on the location of his hands on the bat as well as balance. According to several tweets by the media, Ramirez was the first one on the field Friday evening before the 7:10 start against the Astros.

-On Saturday, April 21, Showtime will debut a 30 minute preview of "The Franchise". Multiple sources claim that Showtime had no intentions of a preview show until Ozzie Guillen's controversial remarks just a few days ago.

-Second baseman Omar Infante hit 5th in the Marlins' victory over the Astros on Friday. The lineup change comes after Infante's bat has been significantly hot throughout the first few games of the season.

-The Marlins have explained multiple times that their slow start has absolutely nothing to do with the suspension and controversy surrounding manager Ozzie Guillen this week.

-Logan Morrison, who saw his father pass away as a result of severe lung cancer, has been tweeting asking for donations to the American Lung Association.

-General manager Michael Hill has explained that Jackie Robinson not only broke the color barrier for baseball players, but also for members of the front office.

Around The League

-Giants pitcher Matt Cain was nearly perfect against the Pirates on Friday night, as he retired the first 17 batters he faced.

-The Boston Red Sox earned their first home win of the season while Jacoby Ellsbury was injured and taken to the hospital after a collision at second base.

-Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez hit his 630th career home run on Friday, which ties him with Ken Griffey Jr. for the fifth most all time.

At Fish Stripes

-The Marlins have depth throughout the minor leagues. Check out the farm report for more.

-Manager Ozzie Guillen might never completely be forgiven for his recent comments, many speculate.

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