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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
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The Chevy Chase Show Is Back
2003-10-06 08:55
by Jon Weisman

Unlike the other two Dodger blogs that have taken pleasure in the Giants' defeat at the fins of the Marlins (here and here), this one does not.

That's because a) I've always thought the Dodgers' biggest enemy wasn't the Giants, but the Dodgers, and b) I don't understand how one can take pleasure in Florida advancing.

Except for the excitement that they brought to the first week of the playoffs, the Marlins deserve success about as much as Chevy Chase deserves another talkshow.

The Marlins won a World Series as a wild card in 1997, in their fifth season of existence. Great - Cinderella story. However, following a fire sale by its owner, the team wallows around in the muck for five more seasons and part of a sixth. Four months later, they are back in the National League Championship Series - the lone roadblock between a team that embodies suffering, the Cubs, and their first World Series in 95 years.

If you have no misgivings about the postseason glory that has twice come to the Marlins since the Dodgers' last playoff appearance, then you forfeit the right to have any critique of Dodger baseball.

Florida's success mocks logic. It sends a message that any team can get hot for 4 1/2 months, no matter how much the team has mismanaged its resources.

Florida's success mocks poetry. This is not the Cubs, or the Angels with their 42-year drought. This is not even the Dodgers, with their 15-year postseason drought. This is one of only four teams to win the World Series in the past seven years, playing in front of a fan base that abandoned the team when things turned south.

The Marlins are in baseball's Final Four neither through excellence nor penance. It has just been luck.

In the offseason, the Marlins picked up Juan Pierre, a castoff from Colorado. At the midseason trading deadline, they acquired Jeff Conine, a castoff from Baltimore.

They signed their biggest preseason acquisition, Ivan Rodriguez, after a bidding war against ... no one.

The Marlins have not earned their success, mentally or spiritually. The only reason they are still playing this week - and I say this with all irony and without it - is that for some reason, they keep ending baseball games as the team with the most runs.

Throughout the Giants-Marlins series, I did have to remind myself that I was rooting for the Giants. Believe me, I wouldn't have taken much pleasure in their victory. San Francisco itself seems to cobble winning seasons out of nowhere. Having Barry Bonds is like being granted Boardwalk and Park Place before the first dice are rolled. It has become such a built-in advantage, how can the Giants not be around at the end of the game?

But the Giants have had Bonds since 1993 - the same year that Florida joined the National League. And the Giants have had less postseason success than the Marlins.

The Marlins are the most disturbing organization in baseball today. Florida is the dumb oaf who gets all the girls - in high school and college. Florida is the Quick Pick lotto winner who got to retire at age 30. Florida the guy who sold his first screenplay.

If you take any pleasure in the Marlins' success, even at the expense of the Giants, then you're endorsing a world in which it doesn't matter who plays for your team. Just tell us what the score is. The end justifies the means.

Perhaps the proximity of the Giants in our state and in our psyche makes it too hard for some to root for them in anything. And sure, the Chicago Cubs have written their own legend with mistakes on the field and off.

But the Cubs have suffered for their sins like no other. If there is anyone outside Miami-Dade County rooting for the Marlins against the Cubs this week, they need a flogging lobotomy.

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