With the recent news of Ozzie Guillen being suspended after his outrageous comments about supporting and loving Fidel Castro, are the Miami Marlins ready to take a dive this early in the season?
After a slow start, the team has seemed to turn things around with a couple of recent wins, but we all know they’re an injury, argument and firing away from falling apart.
Guillen was brought to Miami to excite the Latin population and five games into the season it looks like he’s making more enemies than friends. His apology was exactly what I thought it would be — blame the reporter, as most athletes and managers do when they’ve said something stupid.
The future of this entire franchise and all the big signings it made in the offseason depend on whether or not people fill that beautiful new ballpark. Obviously, attendance will be up during the first month, but if things continue the way they’re going, the Marlins ownership will be scrounging to figure out ways to fulfill these contracts.
Though it is early, Hanley Ramirez is struggling, while Jose Reyes is flourishing at the top of the lineup and at shortstop. Does anyone truly believe Ramirez’ ego will allow Reyes to be the leader of “his” ball club?
It’s only a matter of time before he makes an absurd comment or excuse as to why Reyes is outplaying him. And while I hope it doesn’t happen, Reyes is just a couple of more stolen bases away from an injury.
Speaking of injuries, Mike Stanton is already having trouble staying in the everyday lineup. A recent knee injury has kept him on the bench. The young power hitter has the potential to lead the league in home runs every year and is a vital part of the growth of this team. But if he’s not on the field, fans have no reason to come watch because he won’t be blasting 500-foot home runs.
The only potential problem that hasn’t occurred yet is that Logan Morrison is keeping his tweets off the field. He also is being “rested” because of lingering knee problems — seems weird that he just happens to be sitting when a left-hander is on the mound. What happens when he realizes he is nothing more than a platoon player?
Carlos Zambrano also has been oddly silent through spring and early season, but he has the worst ERA of all the Marlins starters through their first turn on the mound. I actually think he’s the least of the team’s problems at the moment, but that could change in a flash.
We all knew these were going to be problems coming into the season, I just don’t think any of us saw them coming to fruition so soon. Just writing this makes it sound like I’m writing about a daycare. Some of these players need to be pampered and kept happy, and that all begins with the manager. Guillen needs to get his act together and try and keep this team from falling apart.
As a fan of the game, I would love nothing more than to see the Marlins succeed in their new stadium in Miami. I think it’s great for the community and the game of baseball. Maybe it’s good that they’re getting these distractions out of the way early, and they can begin to focus on baseball while Guillen is gone for five games. Let’s hope so, because this team is a sneeze away from disaster.