Posts Tagged ‘Miami Marlins’

Sunday was one of those surreal days in the sports world.

The tragic death of Miami Marlins All-Star pitcher Jose Fernandez was bad news to wake up to and then night-time brought us the death of golf legend Arnold Palmer.

LSU football coach Les Miles was fired on Sunday afternoon but I’m sure not wasting much time worrying about him. He’s still alive and will be paid approximately $10 million to go away.

So if you’ve ever wanted me to go away and have $10 million spare dollars, please contact me immediately.

Palmer is the second huge icon to pass away in 2016 — boxer Muhammad Ali died in June.

He died at the age of 87 at a Pittsburgh hospital, reportedly as he awaited cardiac surgery.

The four-time Masters’ champion was an athlete who transcended his sport — he once had more commercial endorsements than Peyton Manning does now — and was also known as a true gentleman.

Heck, he even has a beverage named after him.

In this day and age of spoiled sports figures, it is hard to relate to all the stories you hear about Palmer treating everybody as if they were equally as important as him.

He even had his own gallery of fans called “Arnie’s Army” that followed him around the golf courses.

There is a reason why he is considered the greatest ambassador golf has ever had. He helped golf become viewed as a sport to the general public and his popularity led to the big-time purses that today’s golfers receive at tournaments.

“It is not an exaggeration to say there would be no modern day PGA Tour without Arnold Palmer,” PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem in a statement. “There would be no PGA Tour Champions without Arnold Palmer. There would be no Golf Channel without Arnold Palmer. No one has had a greater impact on those who play our great sport or who are touched by it.”

We know how Palmer lived his life. Sadly, we will never know how Fernandez would have lived his.

Someone dying at the age of 24 never sounds fair. But when it is a big-time sports figure beloved by millions, the death becomes even more shocking.

Fernandez was hugely popular in South Florida. He was already a two-time All-Star who looked destined to be a 10-time All-Star before his career was over.

Instead, his life is already over due to a boating accident and the Marlins are a devastated franchise.

“There’s no words to describe how this organization feels,” Marlins president David Samson said at a press conference. “Jose was someone who we’ve known since he was a drafted young man, and I think when you talk about a tragedy like this, there are no words that come to mind. There’s no playbook, there’s no words of consolation.”

Miami’s scheduled Sunday game against the Atlanta Braves was canceled — the only decision that could be made under the circumstances.

Manager Don Mattingly was among the many people in the organization who couldn’t contain his emotions.

“There was just joy with him when he played,” Mattingly said. “When he pitched, I think that’s what the guys would say, too, as mad as he would make you with some of the stuff he’d do, you’d see that little kid you see when you watch kids play Little League or something like that. That’s the joy that Jose played with and the passion he felt about playing.”

Fernandez had a 38-17 career record and 2.58 ERA and he hadn’t even entered his prime.

His story is well-known as he escaped from Cuba in 2008 as a teenager after three previously failed attempts. On the successful trip, somebody had fallen overboard and Fernandez dove into the water to make the rescue.

He didn’t know who had fallen in — it turned out to be his mother, Maritza.

The 2017 All-Star Game will be at Marlins Park and I’m sure there will be a big ceremony in his honor.

When you think about it — Marlins Park isn’t a name that needs to be kept.

I hope the franchise renames the place Jose Fernandez Memorial Park.

That’s a no-brainer.

If I had more free time, I’d write about whole 5,000 words telling you how A.J. Preller isn’t so stellar.

But you probably already know that after the San Diego Padres general manager was suspended for 30 games without pay on Thursday for deceptive practices regarding the health of players being discussed in trade talks.

This penalty was for the trade that sent All-Star left-hander Drew Pomeranz to the Boston Red Sox in mid-July.

Personally, I think the punishment is too light. I think Preller should have gotten an 81-game suspension.

The Red Sox weren’t the only team to complain. The Miami Marlins were known to be vehemently upset when they received Colin Rea in a trade with the Padres and he was injured in his first start. The Padres quickly agreed to take Rea back, which I found very interesting at the time.

That tipped me off that the Padres knew Rea was damaged goods when they included him in the deal with Andrew Cashner. Otherwise, you wouldn’t take a player back. You would just say, ‘Hey, he got hurt working for you, not us’ and let the chips fall where they may.

There is even a report out there that the Chicago White Sox are unhappy with information supplied by the Padres about James Shields, who might be the worst pitcher in the majors this season while going 5-17 with a 5.84 ERA.

Yeah, I bet Preller doctored information about Shields, too. I bet his report said something like this:

1 — James Shields is still really, really good. Like All-Star good.

2 — Don’t look at the win-loss record. James Shields will win a lot of games once he is on a better team than I built.

3 — No, that birth certificate says he’s 34? That’s wrong. James Shields is only 24.

4 — James Shields’ arm? Never ever been sore. None of our pitchers ever get sore arms. Bank on it.

I do know this — Preller and the Padres are in a lot of trouble. When you cheat like this, it stains your reputation and the other 29 teams are going to know Preller can’t be trusted.

It’s going to be really hard for the Padres to get fair value in future trades.

This line in the USA Today story about Preller and the Padres says it best:

“It’s embarrassing enough for the Padres to miss the postseason for the 10th consecutive year, but to actually cheat, and still have a 62-84 record, is deplorable.”

Ouch … but so true … the team known as the “Miserable Failures” has quite a miserable person serving as general manager too.

Yeah, A.J. Preller definitely isn’t stellar.

I am officially on a steroidal cream as of Friday and I alerted all 30 major-league baseball teams via Twitter of this big development.

There are a lot of offensive fireworks awaiting whichever team is serious about adding a productive power bat.

I’m guessing the Miami Marlins are probably searching for the name of my agent as I type.

My background certainly points to somebody who can help out a team in the short term:

* I hit a home run in Little League and was an All-Star player as a 15-year-old in the neighborhood senior league.

* I’ve been in major-league clubhouses and dugouts as a member of the media so I certainly won’t be intimidated by stepping into those places while wearing a big-league uniform.

* I’ve made a career out of handling stressful situations so I doubt facing Craig Kimbrel in the ninth inning with the game on the line could be anywhere near as difficult as filing a 25-inch game story, a 15-inch notebook,  a postgame show and a report card while a football game is still being played.

* In fact, my versatility could help out in a way different from any player in big-league history. After the game is over, I can help the public relations director finish up the next day’s game notes and catch all the factual errors.

* Ever seen the rude comments anonymous folks post on the bottom of a newspaper article on Websites? Building up a strong skin to ignore such nonsense will make it easy to let those catcalls from drunkards in the bleachers go in one ear and right out the other.

Pretty sure I will enjoy the funny ones – something like “pinch hit Roger Craig” being yelled in the 19th inning of a game certainly will prompt a chuckle from me. Though I never will quite understand why Whitey Herzog crudely yells “Eat my ass! …” at fans peering into the dugout and asking him a simple question an hour before the game starts.

I’m definitely not doing this for the money – oh, what’s that? I can make more money in these two weeks playing a game than over the entire year as a writer and editor?

Sounds like it is about time to go to the storage shed and find the old ball glove and a bat or two. Probably need a new pair of cleats and some batting gloves.

You know, the more I think about this, I should just continue using the cream for more than the two weeks. I could put up crazy offensive numbers and I’m guessing the health benefits plan is better than the one I have.

I could hit a lot of homers and make a lot of money using this cream. I could be the next Barry Bonds — well, I’m not going to become THAT much of a grump.

Uh oh, got an email from one of my brothers pointing out the down side. Has something to do with an area below the waist and … well … let’s just say these short-term powers of strength might have long-term issues down the road.

I suppose I will be ignoring the Marlins’ phone call. They can find a clean-up hitter elsewhere.