This weekend, two of Marlin Maniac’s authors took different stances on the state of the Marlins and how much blame the front office deserves.
First, Sean posted “The Marlins don’t care what you think, and that’s a good thing.” Miller responded with “The Marlins are out of strikes.” Now, Sean responds to Miller’s rebuttal.
ML: The Marlins have had a low payroll since 1993, and this has led to bargain basket signings and a slew of losing seasons.
SM: Do love this study, and feel it’s a good starting point. But there are plenty of studies that use different fiscal metrics, and show things in a worse light. So, if we’re using 1993 as the starting point of our woes (though that includes nine non-Loria seasons), let’s just go with this: since Opening Day 1993, only eleven teams have won a World Series, and only five have won as many or more than the Marlins.
ML: The Marlins are not a transparent organization.
SM: Neither are the Patriots, and according to Houston Astros IT Department, neither are the Cardinals. Transparency is not a requirement for anything but the fish tanks behind home plate.
ML: Jeffrey Loria continues to promise a commitment to a winning team…and that commitment has not shown in recent years.
SM: I can think of $325 million reasons this is false.
ML: If the Marlins really are incapable of paying a $100 million dollar payroll, than signing Giancarlo Stanton to the richest contract in professional sports was probably the wrong idea.
SM: This is also false, and Andrew Miller, Cameron Maybin, Burke Badenhop, Mike Rabelo, Dallas Trahern, and somebody named Eulogio De La Cruz will serve as expert witnesses. For those to young to remember that horrible moment vividly, that was the return the last time the Marlins had a Hall of Fame talent on their hands that was due for a big raise. Now, had Miami either accepted virutally any of the other offers they had on the table for Cabrera and Willis, or had locked up Cabrera rather than trade him, Stanton probably isn’t given that contract. But, as it was, two of the most popular players in team history were traded nothing remotely useful. Despite the odds of a trade flopping that spectacularly again being pretty low, Miami wasn’t anxious for a repeat performance. Trading him was not an option- he’s worth far too much financially to the Marlins. Consider if he was healthy. We’re probably talking 50 home runs with two months to play. We’re talking ESPN break-ins, a slew of national attention, product placement galore. In 1998 and 1999, my Dad happily spent money to take me to see two of the worst baseball teams ever fielded- because either Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa were on the opposing team. Attendance would be rising by the day regardless of whoever was traded, fired, or released- at least in the outfield seats. Plus, he’s an amazing talent that isn’t quite in his prime yet- if you can’t build a team around him, you can’t build a team around anyone.
ML: Making trades for salary relief, and acquiring lower value free players (Martin Prado, Dan Haren) in trades rather than paying for good ones is hardly a reflection of max effort.
SM: Hi son, I see you want to buy a car. Why yes Dad, I’ve saved up some money. That’s great- glad to see you aren’t just skateboarding and grabbing the back of trucks anymore. What are you going to buy? A mid-size compact. Hmmm, well how about I buy you a sporty full size sedan, and you save that money for college next year, plus some new threads? Of course! You’re the best. Pretty sure that’s how it would go in most households. Plus, these moves don’t seem to have always been criticized. Getting Prado at third was a very solid move, and Dan Haren was one of the more successful rentals in recent memory.
ML: Every team deals with injuries.
SM: Would again argue that the Marlins have dealt with a bit more than their fair share, and would suggest that there is a slight case of cherry picking going on when the Cardinals- a team full of veterans with post season and World Series experience- is picked as your exception. They’ve gelled- Miami’s core is still gelling.
ML: It would make sense to go all in during the first four years, and do whatever it takes to field a winning a team.
SM: The above was specifically in reference to the team friendly terms of the first four years of Stanton’s contract. The above also sounds a lot like what you’d call raiding the farm system the last couple seasons to add MLB ready pieces to the rotation and the lineup. Further, jettisoning bloated contracts as soon as there’s no point to keeping them, gearing up for the next free agency cycle, also seems to be the first of a two step process of keeping that promise to contend to Stanton.
ML: The comparison to Kris Bryant and the Cubs is completely different.
SM: No, it isn’t. Was one a rookie, and one a player that was no longer a rookie? Yes. Would you care to guess which of those players is older though? That would be…Kris Bryant. Who had the better numbers during Spring Training? That’d be Kris Bryant, who batted .425 with 9 HRs; Marcell Ozuna hit .222 with 2 HRs. Both are young players, on teams with a ton of young talent. And both teams pushed the rules to the limit to ensure they’d have as big a window as possible to win with that talent- which also goes back to the last point on going all in.
ML: They have some serious work cut out for them this offseason if they want to be relevant in 2016 and beyond.
SM: I can’t dispute this….because it was the entire point of my article. I just wanted to throw fans a life raft until the Winter Meetings. If the money saved in these moves is kept, then that would indeed be criminal, and worthy of everything up to and including a boycott. But if they have another offseason like the last one, and spend some free agent money, make a trade, lock up another young star….then they’ll be well on their way.
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