Daily Archives: April 2, 2010

Assessing The 2010 Florida Marlins

Assessing The 2010 Florida Marlins

As we sit here, less than 72 hours away from Opening Day, a familiar feeling rushes through me.  The feeling of nervous anxiousness about the 2010 baseball season is overwhelming.  You see, right now each team is tied at the top spot.  With no losses, we are all undefeated.

And I cannot stop thinking about what the Florida Marlins are capable of.

Playing in a league that now has Roy Halladay, Jason Bay, and some of the highest regarded young talent in the sport will not be easy for the Marlins.  For the main roster, the Marlins stood pat with the team that kept them in playoff contention for the better part of 150 games last year.

Offensively the team will be dynamic.  Scoring in bunches will secure wins for the club and we(all of the Marlins’ fans – all 6 of us) are eager to see how Chris Coghlan and Hanley Ramirez follow-up their incredible campaigns from 2009.  And with a new first baseman, in Gaby Sanchez, the team will have a different first baseman on Opening Day for the 4th year in a row.  We know that Dan Uggla, Cody Ross, and Jorge Cantu will provide power at the plate and drive in runs as needed.  And then there is my buddy Cameron Maybin.  Coming off of shoulder surgery during the off-season, Maybin has not looked great this Spring, but he has not been terrible either.  It’s still a mystery as to where he will bat in the line-up, but 2010 is going to be his chance to prove he deserves to play every day.

The Marlins’ pitching staff remained relatively in tact – with no key additions or subtractions.  Josh Johnson is the team’s ace, while Ricky Nolasco looks to put a strangle-hold on the second spot in the rotation.  Of the remaining starters, all have shown signs of solid pitching while also showing that they need to improve too.  No matter how they rank, Chris Volstad, Anibal Sanchez, Nate Robertson, and Andrew Miller all need work.  As for the bullpen, it is full of talented guys, but nobody has a clear-cut role.  Leo Nunez will start the season as the closer, but he allows too many hits to remain in that spot all year-long.  The Marlins need a closer that comes in and puts teams away – not one that allows base runners.  Can one of the guys in the pen fill that spot?  We shall see…

The 2010 season promises to be exciting for the team.  Overall, I predict that they will hover around the .500 line for the better part of the season.  Ultimately, I see them winning 75-80 games and unfortunately missing the playoffs again.  Last year they finished in 2nd place in the division, but I think that the Braves have the talent to overtake them if they can stay healthy.  And nobody in the NL East is going to catch the stacked Philadelphia Phillies!!!

2010 promises to be a season of come from behind wins and blown saves.  Hopefully there are more of the first one…  I cannot wait!!!

GO FISH!!!!

‘On The Road With psugator02’ – April 1, 2010

‘On The Road With psugator02′ – April 1, 2010

Rockies at Cubs
Mesa, Ariz.
10:30 a.m.-4 p.m.

All of the Rockies I thought would sign did. A few surprises on the Cubs’ side, however.

Dexter Fowler: 2/2 (8x10s)..as nice as could be though insisted on personalizing. A far cry from his behavior in NYC. I guess no one likes getting mobbed. Told him that his graph has changed a lot from when he was in high school. “That’s the way it goes.”
Ian Stewart: 2/2 (8x10s)….Very polite. I apologized for the quality of the photos but he flattered me by saying that they were good
Jason Giambi: 0/1..I was waiting near the Rockies’ dugout. Of course the few he signed were near the Cubs’ dugout.
Ubaldo Jimenez: 2/2 (’09 Ginters)…real nice guy
Miguel Olivo: 1/1 (2006 Marlins’ team photo)…I told him that I’ve been chasing him for a while. I think he interpreted the word “chase” incorrectly. “I don’t mean it like that,” I said.
Alfonso Soriano: 1/1 (’08 Ginter)…Another grapher had a color canvas and traded it to Soriano for a mint bat. The bat looked incredible, the sig even better
Aramis Ramirez: 1/1 (’08 Ginter)…I guess he’s difficult here in Arizona. I got lucky
Derrek Lee: 0/1 while on his way to the player parking lot in a golf cart, 0/1 while leaving the player lot in his car
Ryan Theriot: 2/2 (’09 Ginters)…nice kid
Ryan Dempster: 2/2 (’09 Ginters)…told him how much he is missed in South Florida
Lou Piniella: 0/1 postgame despite only two other graphers being there. “I gotta go.”
Troy Tulowitzki: 0/1 did not even acknowledge me
Todd Helton: 0/1 did not even acknowledge me…the few he signed were for little kids
Fukudome: 0/1
Bob Brenly: 2/2 (cards)…real nice

Other: No sign of Billy Williams, Ryne Sandberg, or Greg Maddux. Gonna try for the latter two tomorrow at the minor-league complex. … Fergie Jenkins, Tommy Davis, Bert Campaneris, George Foster and a few others were all signing behind home plate. I didn’t care about any of them other than Fergie but I wasn’t going to pay $20-per. … A big thank-you to Tony, a local grapher, for showing me the ropes in Mesa, in addition to a few of the other parks. You’re a good dude.

If you would like to contact Mark, he can be reached at psugator02@yahoo.com.

Throwing A Baseball In Paul Molitor’s Direction!!

Throwing A Baseball In Paul Molitor’s Direction!!

A favorite from my youth, I would love to add an autographed baseball of Paul Molitor to my collection.  A truly well-rounded and gifted player, I find him to be one of the most underrated players from his era.  A great contact hitter, excellent base runner, and sharp defender, there were not too many players from the 1980’s that were as steady as him.

I waited until I became an official Paul Molitor collector before I went after getting Mr. Molitor to sign a baseball for me.  And I could have tried to send this to Spring Training, but from my past experience and others that I have read about online, I felt more comfortable waiting until the regular season to send a ball his way.

So, off it goes.  Headed to Minnesota and their new stadium.

 

Hopefully the mail carrier knows how to get there!!!

Wish me luck!!

Darryl Strawberry 1989 Donruss – Baseball’s Best

Darryl Strawberry 1989 Donruss – Baseball’s Best

A great photo here!!

The ‘Baseball’s Best’ sets that Donruss produced in the late 1980’s didn’t always offer us the best photography.  But with this picture of Darryl Strawberry, they did a very nice job!

My only complaint about the card is that the famous Mets logo is covering up the bulk of Darryl’s bat.  I can deal with it, but I would also enjoy the card just a tad more if it wasn’t so.

Oh well, beggars cannot be choosers!!

So, was Darryl one of baseball’s best during the 1989 season?  While his power numbers of 29 home runs and 77 RBI were ok, his batting average was a dismal .225…

Did You Know…

Mark McGwire hit 57 home runs in 1997 while splitting the season between the Cardinals and A’s but scored only 86 runs, making him the first player with 50-home run season to score fewer than 100 times.  Atlanta’s Andruw Jones joined McGwire in 2005 when he scored just 95 runs while hitting 51 homers. 

**factoid courtesy of ‘Big League Trivia’

My Take – What does that say about the Cards/A’s offense of those years?  ‘Big Mac’ was responsible for driving himself in 66% of the time…