The Miami Marlins continue their waiting game throughout the postseason as the front office and ownership mull over decisions at multiple positions and levels, including manager Ozzie Guillen's role and the front office's structure itself. Meanwhile, Marlins fans will be left waiting until November for the team's offseason plan to come to light.
- For his part, Guillen has been adamant that he takes responsibility for part of the team's struggles. He also mentioned something silly about teams that did spend who are not in the playoffs.
"The teams that spent the most money this year, they're not in the playoffs," Guillen said, referring to mainly to the big spenders from last offseason and during this year.
Two teams that earned Guillen's respect are the A's and Orioles. Neither club was expected to contend, let alone go to the playoffs. Guillen also singled out the Rays for being so competitive with limited financial resources.
"They win with good players, hungry players, and the guys who play the game right," the Marlins manager said. "I think there are two teams who were my inspiration this year. I think the Oakland A's, and Baltimore."
This is a silly example. Yes, the Oakland Athletics and Baltimore Orioles have been excellent this season, and they indeed did not have blatantly high payrolls like some other clubs. And yes, the Marlins and Los Angeles Angels missed the playoffs this year. But the Detroit Tigers, who spent on Prince Fielder this offseason, did not miss the playoffs. And the New York Yankees, who did not spend this offseason because they already spent in multiple offseasons and already brought in their parts, did make the postseason as well. This season is not a referendum on paying for players.
- In the MLB.com 2013 Outlook series, the Miami Marlins are mentioned as renewing their focus on pitching and defense. Again.
To build a winning formula, the Marlins aim to center around pitching and defense. If the club is going to snap a string of three straight losing seasons in 2013, it will rely heavily on its starting pitching.
This is merely empty talk. Every season, the Marlins mention that they want to "focus on pitching and defense," yet every season the Marlins' defense is below average and at times near the bottom of the league in runs prevented by advanced metrics. The reason behind this is not a lack of viable talent, but a lack of focus on the very things they mentioned. When you throw out Logan Morrison in left field, that is not focusing on defense. The team made strides last year, but if they really want to focus on defense, they will need not only a coaching commitment, but a personnel commitment as well.
- The voting for the Hank Aaron Award is here, and you should vote for Giancarlo Stanton, the Marlins' nominee. He actually has a legitimate chance to win, in the sense that he was one of the outstanding hitters in baseball this season.
- I read this piece by Mike Berardino of the Sun-Sentinel about whether the Marlins should acquire Alex Rodriguez. I laughed.
- MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo has some insightful stuff on the development of Marlins' fourth-round pick Austin Dean.
- Speaking of prospects, Jose Fernandez is on the cover of Baseball America's recent magazine issue. Impressive stuff for an impressive player, more on him later.
Around the League
- Apparently Cody Ross and the Boston Red Sox are moving towards a multi-year contract. After a couple of seasons away from this level of play, Ross finally returned to being the 2008 and 2009 version of Ross. Good for Cody.
- The Arizona Diamondbacks are considering trading one of Jason Kubel or Gerardo Parra. Sign me up for some Gerardo Parra in left field for the Marlins, maybe?
- Bob Nigthengale reported earlier this week that there were rival general managers that had some biting words for Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo. Well, RIzzo bit back hard.
- So as to confuse people less, FanGraphs has finally split away stolen bases and caught stealings from their wOBA calculation and included it in their baserunning numbers. I'm a fan of this, it was confusing a lot of people.
- Eno Sarris of FanGraphs says Justin Verlander's complete-game shutout of the Oakland A's in Detroit's clinching game was the best postseason start ever, at least in terms of series-deciding games.
At Fish Stripes
- On Wednesday, in our continuing 2012 Miami Marlins Season Review series, we focused on one positive: the Marlins' early returns on their acquired prospects were pretty good. Kudos to Jacob Turner, Nathan Eovaldi, and Rob Brantly.
- Of course, what went wrong with those trades is that the team was left with significant holes to fill, and their replacements were not good at all.
- Mike Bates, aka the Common Man, of The Platoon Advantage gave us his first "Designated Columnist" piece for Fish Stripes, stating his cynicism about Justin Ruggiano's chances.
- On Thursday, our season review series continued with the final positive mentioned of the 2012 season: Steve Cishek's development as closer.
- The final negative mentioned? Why, it's Heath Bell and the rest of the Marlins bullpen, of course!
- Sam Evans reviewed the 2005 Marlins draft that had five first-round picks and yielded no successes.