Two Takes On Second Base: Marlins And Dee Gordon

Flash Gordon is back. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Flash Gordon is back. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /
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When your parents let you come out of the corner, more often than not they probably stopped making you feel bad about what you did to get put there in the first place.

Okay, maybe sometimes they did.  It was a very nice family heirloom after all, and there are better backstops in the house for Nerf bullets.  What’s that? I’m projecting and getting off topic?  Got it- back to Dee Gordon.

Let’s clear the air.  He cheated.  He was caught.  He was selfish.  He put his team in a tough spot.  It’s a stupid rule that he was still paid like a $50 million player during those 80 games he missed.  He was my favorite player, and now is not.  The list can go on and on.  But under the rules that are in place, he paid his penance without a whisper of complaint, and has done his time.

Nothing will send a clearer message that the entire team has moved on than sending Gordon back out there tomorrow night as part of the starting lineup.  He’s too gifted an athlete to stable when you don’t absolutely have to, and as of July 28th, the Marlins no longer absolutely have to.  With the debt having been paid, treat it like he was out with an injury.  There’d be no question about him starting if he was making his triumphant return from a broken bone or partially torn ligament.

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While the sabemetricians amongst you can crow all you like about a flukey BABIP and an inability to work the count for a walk, and many more among you will point out that anyone would look good if they were putting the PED in “lapPed the league”, this is an All-Star we’re talking about here.  No one else in the division, no one else in the Wild Card race, projects to make this huge of an add to their everyday lineup this week.

The man won the batting title, a Silver Slugger, a Gold Glove, and a Wilson Defensive Award.  That means a lot of people who do this for a living thought he was the best second baseman in the NL last year, in just about every way you measure a player.  He was even a Roberto Clemente Award nominee.

Yes, the drugs probably helped some of that.  But the studies suggest the drug in question was much more about staying healthy than getting better.  And, alright, not going to fall into the rationalizing banned substances trap.  I will say this though, the speed and the defense were likely the least impacted of his talents.  And putting that kind of Gold Glove range out there at second would be a huge boost to the ballclub, even if he regresses back to that .280-.290 average.

Next: Why Gordon Shouldn't Start