If there’s any lesson to be learned from the Miami Marlins’ recent win—plus bad teams are more fun to play—it’s how desperately this roster needs help when it comes to the playoffs.
And if there’s any lesson you can take from the last quarter-century of Marlins ownership—four owners who failed financially while owning the team, including Derek Jeter’s Wolverine plan—it’s Peanuts and Crackerjack’s. He has an accounting degree in his game in comparison. ,
So don’t expect me to pound the table for the newest Marlins owner, Bruce Sherman, to play my part and write a check when none of his predecessors did in this position. But it’s a big deal, isn’t it?
If Sherman wants to show that his era is different, that would be a start. It will be a great moment if he wants to redefine this franchise.
Even more so, if Sherman wants to challenge for the playoffs, it’s time for him and general manager Kim Ng to enlist the help of a roster that has been pushed by manager Don Mattingly and advanced with a vision of .500. And right next to it, a potential playoff spot.
You could make the case that this team is a house of cards built on the greatness of pitcher Sandy Alcantara and starting weak opponents, such as they have faced last month. He is not far. An easy July schedule turns tough in August as well.
You could even make the case that this team could make it to the playoffs with some help in the bullpen and centerfield. He’s not far either. Mattingly said the Marlins’ six-game winning streak ended the idea with the Los Angeles Angels and the incomparable Shohei Ohtani 5-2 on Wednesday.
“We’ve put ourselves back in the wild-card race,” Mattingly said. “There is still a lot to be played. Now the most important thing is to maintain it. We got on a little roll. This is the third time that we are on a winning streak of more than five matches. But we haven’t been able to maintain it.”
Entering Thursday night’s road game against the New York Mets, the Marlins were two games under .500 (39–41) and just three games from a crowded wild-card spot. Also glanced at the figurative horizon for Sherman leading the cavalry.
“You don’t want to build just to sell,” he said. “Bruce told me at the beginning of the year, ‘I’d love to be a buyer.’ We will take it at His word. We have to do our part.
“Right now we have a lot of people on the list of injured. If this thing comes with the recovery of those people, then our depth will increase, our bullpen will increase…”
The trivia course is to wait for the next few weeks for Sherman & Ng and see if they are a buyer or a seller on the August 2 trading time frame. That way they know for sure before making a decision. Correct?
well, isn’t it?
I think. But what about a bold course? Why not take a step a week before the trade deadline and inject the clubhouse with some well-appointed talent and we-you-can-optimism to win over the roster?
Sherman and Ng should be aware of this team by now. It’s the beginning of July. You can see who it is. It is 20–12 against losing teams (mainly thanks to a 12–1 record against Washington). It is 19-29 against the winning teams.
It is leading a starting staff with the second-best earned-run average in the Alcantara National League. It’s the one bullpen you keep your fingers crossed most nights.
It’s also a crime that runs hot and cold partly as the front office swings and misses from last season. Avisail Garcia has done nothing, and Jorge Soler has done the minimum so far. Maybe it will change. But there they are.
Remember when the Marlins had the best outfield in baseball with Christian Yelich, Giancarlo Stanton, and Marcel Ozuna? Now the worst can happen to them.
There is still a chance in the season. Forward-thinking management would have made an essential trade two weeks ago. Not a blockbuster trade, mind you. Maybe just a tweak to help. Something to show faith.
You never know what the grand-plan is and what the accounting is like with teams like the Marlins. Just as economists say we could be putting ourselves in a recession, the Marlins can talk of themselves as playoff hopes or a comfortable, waiting until next year, 10th-place finisher.
This is Sherman’s first intersection. This is Sherman’s team. This is his wallet. There will be no jumping up and down demanding action. South Florida has become numb, or apathetic, over the years. But isn’t that the point?