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Fish out of water?

Why the Marlins are having another “Marlins” year.

Miami Marlins manager Don Mattingly (8) watches from inside the dugout during the game against the New York Mets at loanDepot Park.
Manager Don Mattingly stares into the field after being swept by the New York Mets.
Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Miami, FL—It is currently August 1, 2022 and the Miami Marlins are coming off a series where they got embarrassed by the New York Mets, resulting in a clean sweep. The Marlins fell to 47-55 playing a three-game set that looked like a walk in the park for the leaders of the NL East.

In a typical season, being 8 under .500 this deep into the year would mean the ball club is out of playoff contention. An additional Wild Card spot has kept the dream alive a bit longer—they sit 8 games back from being a team that plays in October. Even if all the stars align and the Marlins somehow make the playoffs, they have no business being there with the other NL monsters that are taking their divisions.

Kim Ng spoke with the media a couple of days ago. Due to the club’s record and the underwhelming performances of the offseason signings, Ng seemed timid. Rather than holding herself accountable for assembling this ill-fitting roster and refusing to call up talented players from AAA to help out the big league club, the first-ever woman GM in baseball history blamed the Marlins’ struggles on factors beyond her control.

“I think there was a lot of bad luck this year,” Ng said.

Bad luck? Sure there were a few cases of bad luck this year, but to blame the whole season on that is almost cowardly. As the leader of Marlins baseball operations, she sets the culture of the organization from the top down. Absolving herself of blame conditions other employees to do the same when confronted about their own mistakes.

The lineups and roster transactions have been baffling this season under Kim Ng. The reluctance to move free agent signing Avisaíl Garcia from the middle of the lineup has hamstrung this offense all year. He hasn’t been productive for any extended period of time as a Marlin, yet he continues to receive preferred treatment based on his past numbers.

García should thank the gods that he signed with Miami because this lackluster performance on a big-market team, like the New York Yankees, would result in “boos” echoing all throughout the ballpark.

This is just one of the many disappointments that have come along during the 2022 season.

Though the Marlins don’t have the most loyal fanbase, we deserve better. People will show up if the team is playing meaningful baseball in September, with hopes of October! But we haven’t had that (excluding the 2020 COVID season) since 2016, when they finished 7.5 games back of the final NL Wild Card spot. Instead, these final few months of the season are filled with plugging in minor league players and gauging their ability to compete at the big league level.

The players within this organization have the ability to shine, but they can’t shine when they are on the IL or in the minor leagues. These problems with decision-making need to get cleaned up for the Marlins to be succeed.