Gaby Sanchez’s post-game comments after the Marlins committed five errors Friday against the Dodgers may indicate he’s ready to be a vocal clubhouse leader – something the Marlins have lacked in recent seasons. An angry Sanchez used words like “embarrassed … bad … awful … terrible … inexcusable” after two dropped fly balls and three wild throws led to three unearned runs in a 10-0 loss.
It’s unusual for players to speak out with such passion and concern midway through spring training. Which is exactly what the Marlins need. You see, Gaby gets it. Spring is the time to fix things. It’s about getting better. The Marlins were one of the worst defensive teams in baseball last year, and five-error games should not be tolerated – even in March.
Florida manager Edwin Rodriguez has to be smiling inside. The Marlins need a leader to emerge among the regulars. One would think Hanley Ramirez, who committed two of the errors Friday, would have been the go-to guy. But the supposed leader made it clear after last season’s infamous ball-kicking incident and subsequent spat with then-manager Fredi Gonzalez he had no desire to lead. Hanley’s got mad skills on the field, but he has yet to show his persona fits the role of a leader.
Wes Helms is the veteran “father-figure” to this team of youngins, but having an every-day player like Sanchez lead by example and words would be a step in the right direction for 2011.