Manfred’s biggest test yet
The Marlins have a measly .429 winning percentage since Rob Manfred took the reigns from Bud Selig as MLB commissioner, fourth-worst in the majors. However, that shouldn’t engender any animosity towards him specifically. In general, Manfred’s decisions have actually been far more helpful than harmful to the Fish during that span.
In one of his first public appearances as commissioner, Manfred announced Marlins Park as home of the 2017 MLB All-Star Game. He approved the $1.2 billion sale of the franchise to the Bruce Sherman/Derek Jeter ownership group, and he hasn’t interfered with any of their subsequent rebuilding transactions (despite the sometimes ugly optics). The first collective bargaining agreement negotiated under Manfred has discouraged big-market teams from spending excessively on international amateur free agency and their major league payroll, closing the talent gap between them and the Marlins. Also with the commish’s support, their stadium was set to host the next World Baseball Classic...before COVID-19 complicated the situation.
But make no mistake: fans of the Marlins—and every other club—will despise Manfred if he fails to executive a 2020 MLB season. As negotiations with the players’ association continue to drag on, 60% of SB Nation Reacts respondents said in last week’s survey that he’s been worse than his predecessor.
A similar share of the fan population distrusts Manfred to grow the league:
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Marlins on Memorial Day
For one of the few times in the franchise’s history, the Marlins won’t be playing on this national holiday. They own a 14-11 all-time record, including a road win over the Nationals last year.
I have embedded full television broadcasts below for those of you in the mood to rewatch a couple of these games.
Through three weeks of the 2020 Korean Baseball Organization season, we check in on how the former Marlins are doing.
Odrisamer Despaigne has amazing peripherals for the KT Wiz (0 HR, 2 BB, 21 K in 24.0 IP). His hot start is eerily similar to the initial success he had following his MLB debut with the Padres in 2014. Drew Rucinski just surpassed 200 total innings pitched overseas, dating back to last season. His NC Dinos are currently dominating the league.
Drew Rucinski, Filthy 84mph Splitter...and Sword. ⚔️ pic.twitter.com/amgIhlmDbN— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) May 23, 2020
Tied for the KBO lead with 25 strikeouts, Dan Straily of the Lotte Giants launched The Journeyman podcast to offer his unique perspective on pro baseball. The second episode came out Monday morning!
- Tickets are now on sale for the Miami Marlins Foundation 50/50 raffle. Proceeds benefit the Home Plate Meals Relief Fund. Enter for as little as $5! Winner to be drawn on Jun. 2.
- The COVID-19 testing site in Little Havana is open on Memorial Day until 1 p.m. No appointment necessary.
- Bahamian non-profit Project Limestone invited shortstop Jazz Chisholm to participate in their panel on competitiveness.
- Left-hander Stephen Tarpley shares his latest bullpen session.
- Aram Leighton and Ian Smith completed their full first-round mock draft exercise for Locked On Marlins.
- And finally, a plug for my analysis of Luis Castillo’s mind-boggling switch-hitting splits.