Aug 8, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Miami Marlins starting pitcher Jose Fernandez (16) delivers a pitch against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Looks like the time has come for me to revisit my irritation with the NBM (Non-blog Media).
Last night, Jose Fernandez faced the other two frontrunners for the National League Rookie of the Year award. The Dodgers came to town amid much hubbub and many multi-camera press conferences. LeBron James offered the No. 2 RoY candidate, Yasiel Puig, shuttle service to a couple of events. Fernandez and Puig met for the first time in advance of the game, presumably to compare Cuban exit strategies.
The press has been breathless all weekend. This has been one of the key press-heavy matchups of the summer. The combination of the Cuban connection and the three top National League rookies has been hard to resist.
Oddly enough, the press is largely silent this morning.
Was the game rained out? Nope. Miami has a sliding roof now.
Was the game rescheduled? Nope. The first pitch was thrown at the appointed time.
The reason for the silence is that the Marlins had the bad manners to win the game. You see, the Marlins violate one of the key tenets of the NBM: Good Teams Either Are From Or Were From East Of The Hudson. The Marlins, with their Cuban fan base and their “colorful” owner, have been designated for ridicule this season.
Puig has been anointed as the NBM’s heir apparent to the RoY. It’s been tough to find a single national voice giving any credit to Fernandez until about an hour or so ago, when ESPN’s David Schoenfield finally pointed out that Fernandez owns a 4.5 WAR compared to Puig’s 3.7. No one has pointed out that Fernandez not only walked away with the W over Ryu, but he pitched the hot-hitting Puig into an oh-fer night. When three arguably top contenders meet, and player A beats B and shuts C down, it sure looks like the #1 slot is settled, and Puig and Ryu can move on to settle the remaining T2 across the remainder of the season.
If the NBM acknowledges that Fernandez is the legitimate National League Rookie of the Year, they will functionally be throwing egg on their own faces. The egg will come in the form of retweets of offseason articles ridiculing the Marlins “fire sale.” The Miami rotation just met the hottest team since 1913 and held them to one earned run. Our pitching staff and bullpen are in the MLB top five of many key pitching metrics. The offense needs work, but slumps are breaking, and when the hits are there, the Marlins win games. It really is beginning to look like the offseason moves are as smart as Larry Beinfest claimed they were, two years earlier than anyone predicted.