Say It Isn’t So
by tophatal MLB pieces within this site
Well , we are more than past the halfway point of the baseball season and it appears that some teams have essentially given up on their respective seasons . That most definitely is being borne out by the divisional standings , and the alarming rate and the swiftness of the transactions that have taken place in the past ten to fifteen days .
The biggest flurry of activity has taken place has to be with regard to the Miami Marlins , as the front office has pretty much abandoned their season and their legions of fans within the South Florida area . Team owner Jeffrey Loria , GM Michael Hill have tried to suggest that their primary reason for the trade of Hanley Ramirez , has been because of the poor productivity of the player and his unwillingness to give the team a greater effort while on the field of play. That might well be the most asinine insinuation from anyone within the organization to have been heard in years . And heed my words, when I say this , the Marlins have made so many blunders that it would take a laundry list to account for them all . If Ramirez is said to be not giving a big enough effort on what has been an under-achieving team . Then what does that tell about how abysmal the Marlins have been this season ? Furthermore , if Hill and Loria are prepared to be so disingenuous as it relates to the All Star player , without apportioning any blame upon their high-priced manager , Ozzie Guillen and his managerial staff . Then clearly, the team owner and front office executive are even bigger fools than I had already taken them to be ! Since Guillen’s insertion into this organization as the successor to Jack McKeon , the newly installed manager has been a considerable bust and completely bereft any managerial aptitude .
While it has become apparent that the season has become a distinct failure for the Miami Marlins , what cannot be lost here is that Jeffrey Loria and his partners are about to make a considerable amount of money from the organization’s operations . Through the initial 20-25 games at the start of the season for the team , the franchise’s attendance levels were amongst the highest within the game of baseball . As the flaws appeared and the inconsistent play became more of a highlight things took a turn for the worst . A $575 million ballpark was inaugurated, and the praised heaped upon Loria and the organization by Bud Selig and his subordinates was almost unparalleled in the annex of baseball . If only we knew then, what we now know, as to what may have transpired . Perhaps , many of us would not have become so enamored with the Miami Marlins, and viewed them as a possible favorite to win the World Series . Suffice to say, the city of Miami remains under investigation by the US Justice Department as to their actions leading to the financing of the Miami Marlins’ Ballpark . Meanwhile, city officials remain tight-lipped and Bud Selig is nowhere to seen, as the South Florida franchise is embroiled in another controversy.
Whatever the remainder of the season now holds for the Miami Marlins , their entire fate remains in their own hands and no one else’s.
The non-waiver trade deadline is almost here and there are a number of teams seeking starting pitchers or productive players who are not offensively challenged . And with an abundance of players said to free agents , general managers now seeking to off-load burdensome contracts . This time of the season has become a testing time not just for the teams but also for the players themselves .
Doug Melvin , general manager of the Milwaukee Brewers has now stated that the time has come for the organization to seek a willing trading partner to acquire the team’s starting pitcher Zack Greinke . And based on all of the executive’s findings he feels that the player would be best suited to pursue his career elsewhere. The Brewers are having a down season and now find themselves seated in third place , within the NL Central , fourteen games out first place , behind the Cincinnati Reds (58-40) . The team has struggled , Ron Roenicke and his managerial staff have been under a great deal of pressure to succeed with this roster of players . Ryan Braun , who is considered to be the Brewers best player is having his usual productive season but while he has produced , his teammates simply have not shown up when it has mattered the most .
Undoubtedly, there will be teams interested in acquiring the services of Zack Greinke but the player this season has not shown the form that made him a Cy Young Award winner in 2009 . It was only a matter of time before we saw this scenario arise concerning an ill-fated player who is being handsomely reward by the Brewers’ organization .
The Brewers now have a three-game set series against the NL East leading Washington Nationals (59-39,.602) , who at present possess the best record in the National League . On the mound for the Brewers will be Michael Fiers (3-4, 1.96 ERA) who will face off against Ross Detwiler (2-0 , 2.14 ERA) . Miller Park, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, will play host the set of games, as the fans come to see the Brewers try to resurrect their season. At this point , it is pretty much a certainty that any subsequent failure will lead to certain changes prior and in the off-season . Roenicke and Bob Melvin will now look their top prospects within the farm system , as they assess the roster over the team’s remaining schedule .
I am not about to suggest that the bottom appears to be falling out of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ season. But for all of the early midseason form that was being shown by team, things now seem to be in something of a mini turmoil . The team is now 5-5 in their last ten games and losers of their last three . As to what this might suggest to their die-hard fans can only remain a question of conjecture . Don Mattingly and his managerial staff are not only under a great deal of pressure to succeed but to also lead this team into the postseason . A change in the Dodgers’ ownership from the now disgraced Frank McCourt to a consortium led by Magic Johnson , Stan Kasten and billionaire venture capitalist , Mark Walter , means that there is an even greater transparency into the inner workings of the organizational structure of the ball-club. The same case could not be made during the seven tenure of Frank McCourt, whose misdeeds were somehow ignored and overlooked by the MLB hierarchy until it was all too late .
Now comes the hard part for the organization , after the big splash of the $2.155 billion ($2,155,000,000) purchase of the Los Angeles Dodgers . In spite of the swoon, and the acquisition of Hanley Ramirez , no traction has been gained by the Los Angeles Dodgers. The early season form of Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier , has tapered off to such an extent , that the addition of Ramirez has to be now seen as a positive . In the past five weeks the Dodgers’ fans have seen the team’s lead within the NL West be erased by the San Francisco Giants to the point where Bruce Bochy’s Giants have now opened up a three game lead over their instate and divisional rivals . Don Mattingly and his players , if they are to play themselves back into contention and be within striking distance of the Giants within the division or even for a wildcard berth . Then their upcoming schedule of games could go a long to indicate how ambitious the Los Angeles Dodgers are said to be .
And this weekend will be the start of what we could or should expect from the Los Angeles Dodgers . The team will be the guests of the Giants at AT&T Park , San Francisco , California , for three games starting today . Matt Cain of the Giants will be looking to show that the he, along with Tim Lincecum and Ryan Vogelsong are to be viewed as a formidable one-two-three punch and a trio that heads an NL starting lineup . The Dodgers have yet to name their starter for today’s game as the opposing pitcher against Matt Cain . Whoever it should happen to be , the duel between the two pitchers should be seen as one the major highlights of the scheduled pitchers on the mound today .
It is not only games that are needed to be won but series and with regularity by the Los Angeles Dodgers . And while the expanded playoff format does add an allure to this postseason, an additional berth, within each league, raises the suspense all the more. The financial windfall that the playoffs can create for a franchise can run into several million dollars. For an organization such as the Dodgers with their new-found wealth and raised profile those millions would be a nice addition to the millions that have been projected in revenues that will be garnered this season in the aftermath of the successful multi-billion dollar purchase of the ball-club by Magic Johnson and his associates. Missing the postseason while not catastrophic would be something of a bitter pill to swallow for the new ownership group.
Picture and slide show details, below for your perusal.
(1) Atlanta Braves third baseman Juan Francisco (25) tags out Miami Marlins’ Jose Reyes after Reyes attempted to steal third base during the third inning of a baseball game, Wednesday July 25, 2012 in Miami. The Braves would defeat the Marlins 7-1 . AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee …
(3) Atlanta Braves’ Brian McCann (16) scores as Miami Marlins catcher Brett Hayes attempts the tag during the sixth inning of a baseball game, on a single by Juan Francisco, Wednesday July 25, 2012 in Miami. The Braves defeated the Marlins 7-1 . AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee …..
(5) (L to R) Larry Beinfest , President of Baseball Operations of the Miami Marlins, David Samson , Marlins president, with new Miami Marlins’ pitcher Mark Buehrle , Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria and Marlins general manager Michael Hill during a news conference at the Marlins Headquarter office in Miami, Friday, Dec. 9, 2011. The Marlins unveiled the newly signed free-agent Mark Buehrle. Miami Herald / DAVID SANTIAGO / STAFF
(6) MILWAUKEE, WI – JULY 26: Steve Lombardozzi (1) of the Washington Nationals tries to turn the double play as Yovani Gallardo (49) of the Milwaukee Brewers slides into second base against during the game at Miller Park on July 26, 2012 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images …
(7) St. Louis Cardinals second baseman Daniel Descalso leaps over a sliding Los Angeles Dodgers’ Andre Ethier after throwing to first to get Hanley Ramirez and complete the double play in the second inning of a baseball game , Thursday, July 26, 2012, in St. Louis. AP Photo/Tom Gannam …
(8) Starting pitcher , Chris Capuano (35) of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on July 26, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri. Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images ……
(9) New owners of the Los Angeles Dodgers, from left, Robert Patton , Stan Kasten , Mark Walter , Earvin “Magic”‘ Johnson, Peter Guber , and Todd Boehly pose for a photo at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Wednesday, May 2, 2012. The $2 billion sale of the team to Guggenheim Baseball Management was finalized Tuesday. AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes …..
What thoughts if any, do you have concerning the salient points raised within this piece ? By all means do leave a comment as you see fit.
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Bobby Womack ………. ” Across 110th Street ”