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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
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4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
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Readers Make Their Case for the Marlins
2003-10-07 07:21
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

In response to my provocative anti-Marlins posting Monday, these responses:

From Gregg Rosenthal of Gregg's Baseball, Etc.:

As a Sox fan who doesn't really hate the Yanks as much as my cohorts, I can identify somewhat. Especially after watching the Twins/Yankees and wondering if I wanted a Sox/Yanks series, etc.

But I write because I think it is possible to root for the Marlins - I sort of have been. I usually root for fan bases or organizations too: In that way, the Marlins are an impossible sell - as you pointed out.

As a baseball fan, though, I've watched them a decent amount this year - and they play exciting baseball. Maybe it's just because they play so different than the rest of the league (speed and defense) - it's exciting. I'll be happy for them or the Cubs, whoever wins - but the Marlins a much more fun team/style to watch. And I don't need a flogging lobotomy...

Well, I like exciting. I don't know that the Marlins play defense so differently than the rest of the league, but they do anecdotally seem to go for the extra base like the Angels of 2002.

My point was not that the Marlins' players or their style were not likable. It was that how could anything they do, no matter how likable, be likable when it was assembled with such apparent haste. It was about fate and justice, notthing personal.

Though he rooted for the Marlins against the Giants, Bob Timmermann takes up this point in another letter:

I can't think of another pro team comprable to the Marlins. They just sort of show up, do well, and then disappear into the woodwork.

Quite mysterious. However, I feel I have to be consistent in my hatred of the Giants. I would have pulled for the Giants against the Yankees in the WS however.

A Yankees-Marlins World Series would suck however. I can't imagine anyone thinking that Florida would win that matchup.

Another whose dislike for the Giants trumped all was Bill Simms:

I have to completely disagree with you when it comes to rooting for the Marlins and the Giants. I can't imagine anything worse than a Giants championship. Maybe it's different because I live in northern California. I have to concede to Giants fans that their team has been run better than mine for the past 10 years, but at least we have some trophies.

I can understand your feelings about Marlins management. But, they have put together a pretty good team. While they seemed to have wasted a lot of pitching talent over the last couple of years, you have to give them credit for having assembled a lot of great arms. They made several moves that I thought were wasted because I didn't believe they could contend this year (Rodriguez, Urbina, Conine & holding on to Lowell), but it turns out they were right and I was wrong. Who knows, if Torborg had been replaced in spring of 2002, A.J. Burnett might have made their rotation even better this year.
While there is no reason to like Loria, there is really no reason to dislike McKeon or his players. I will be rooting for the Marlins over the Cubs (though I'll be the only one in my house doing so). I got tired of Dusty's act in SF. And as a semi-stathead, I disagree with too much stuff Dusty does to root for him. If Vegas had a line on Prior and Wood spending some significant time on the DL next year, I'd put my money there. On the positive side of Dusty, do you remember the "Dusty Baker hamstring game" in 1983? I need to go back and look up the details of that one, but I remember it was exciting.

First of all, I don't know what the "Dusty Baker hamstring game" was, so I look forward to being educated/reminded.

Bill's got some good points. He's correct that the Marlins probably would have been better sooner - and therefore this year's success wouldn't have seemed such a fluke - if their pitching hadn't been abused under Jeff Torborg's management. He's also right that Dusty makes managerial moves that seem to work despite themselves - his reliance on over-the-hill veterans being atop the list, with his high pitch counts for his young pitchers coming up fast.

Bottom line, though, Bill is simply more gracious than me. Saying the Marlins were right and he was wrong in the spirit he does is wonderful. Me, I am pouting that their moves have worked so well. I mean, where does Juan Pierre come off getting 200-plus hits outside of Colorado? That's drawing to an inside straight, or however that goes.

So I'll cancel the lobotomies, but let me say this. A lot had to go right for the Marlins this year to get this far - they beat the odds. There are lessons in what they did this year, but there are also things they did that are not lessons at all. We need to stay clear on which is which.

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