FanPost Friday Prompt: Which player of any team or era has made you feel the least confident when they hit the field?
With the recent designation of Junichi Tazawa, some Marlins fans breathed a sigh of relief. Not that this comes anywhere close to fixing many of the team’s problems, it does move the spirit of the team from “yeah, we’re not here to win in the slightest” to “well, we might not win, but we’ll at least put up a scrappy fight.”
Many of you, beloved commenters, have made it clear that you feel like Don Mattingly and the Marlins front office make decisions that are obviously inept. I agree with most of you most of the time!
Just a caveat however: being on our—meaning fans—side of the ball allows us to look at the team from both an emotionally-invested group and an almost bird’s eye, outsider perspective, it can be challenging to even imagine what goes on in the mind of the people that get paid to do this. Someone losing their job should never be celebrated in my book. I’m not trying to preach here, but I don’t want my (or your) words to reflect negatively on a person’s character instead just on how well they can play the game of baseball. Just throwing out “Player X Suks” in the comments doesn’t really cut what I’m trying to say here, and I think that’s a big part of our now overly-disjointed, screened-in society.
Tazawa is an exceptional athlete. In 2013 during his tenure with the Boston Red Sox, he allowed on one run in 13 postseason appearances. He even earned a W in Game 6 of the ALCS. He’s got himself a World Series ring, something historically rare for multi-year players in the Marlins organization. He does things with a baseball that 99% of the world could not do. He’s made millions (and will keep collecting some of those millions...) by playing a fun game really well while on two different continents. It is an objectively impressive résumé.
Well, that is until we get to this season.
I mean, dayum, ladies and gentlemen. He has struggled mightily this season. Truly, truly bad. Very few fans of the Fish would argue that he deserved to stay in the role in which he resided. In 20.0 IP this season out of the bullpen, he held a 9.00 ERA and a 6.50 FIP. His numbers are the worst of his career at an level of any real measurable progress. One could posit that he himself was more invested in the Marlins tank/rebuild than anyone else. He basically just sacrificed his job for the future of the team. Just a quick Twitter search of “tazawa” yields exclusively negatively results.
(Unless you’re a fan of the Japanese anime Love Live! in which a character named Yazawa is apparently very popular ¯\_(ツ)_/¯)
Tazawa. Don’t get it. Don’t understand it.— Craig Mish (@CraigMish) May 17, 2018
Marlins designating Tazawa the right move. Had to be done. Eat the rest of the $7M and move on. Get a young arm in there that can help.— Craig Davis (@CraigDavisRuns) May 17, 2018
Release Tazawa. Release Tazawa. Release Tazawa. Release Tazawa. Release Tazawa. Release Tazawa. Release Tazawa. Release Tazawa. Release Tazawa. Release Tazawa. Release Tazawa. Release Tazawa. Release Tazawa. Release Tazawa.— Zack Raab (@ZackRaab) May 17, 2018
RT for awareness. https://t.co/QQk0WGIKlw
All this being said, I never felt good when I saw Tazawa hitting the mound this season. Statistics, mechanics, crowd-mentality, and the always reliable gut feeling all individually told me that it was almost never going to end well. I’d go from a Marlins fan to a Marlins fan wondering how badly I’d regret a hangover the next day.
Side idea for a mini-FanPost: Make a drink recipe for every Marlins player that makes you want to start drinking.
So outside of Tazawa, what player in the past have you had similar feelings about? It could be a player from previous Marlins’ seasons (i.e. Vance Worley in the lead art) or any athlete from another sport of your choosing.
I always point to the 2009 University of Georgia QB, Joe Cox, in these situations. Whenever this guy leads your hometown team on to the field, there’s a very slight chance you have much confidence in a victory.
Whip us up a Fanpost and let us know what your thoughts are on the prompt!