May 2010

Marlins-Braves Wednesday lineup

The lineup generated a win on Tuesday, so the Marlins are back with the same lineup on Wednesday night at Sun Life Stadium. The exception, of course, is the starting pitcher.

Nate Robertson looks to extend Florida’s winning streak to three games.







1) Martin Prado, 2B

2) Jason Heyward, RF

3) Chipper Jones, 3B

4) Troy Glaus, 1B

5) Brian McCann, C

6) Yunel Escobar, SS

7) Melky Cabrera, LF

8) Nate McLouth, CF

9) Tommy Hanson, P 








1) Chris Coghlan, LF

2) Gaby Sanchez, 1B

3) Hanley Ramirez, SS

4) Jorge Cantu, 3B

5) Dan Uggla, 2B

6) Cody Ross, RF

7) Ronny Paulino, C

8) Cameron Maybin, CF

9) Nate Robertson, P

— Joe Frisaro



Payback Sunday, tensions mount

Warnings were issued in the seventh inning on Sunday, and some controversy surfaced after the game.

A side story in the Marlins 13-0 victory over the White Sox was a beaning incident that stemmed from Brett Carroll stealing second base in the fourth inning with the Florida ahead by seven runs.

The Marlins had built a big lead off Freddy Garcia, who was lifted after 2 1/3 innings at U.S. Cellular Field.

Garcia surrendered three home runs before he exited.

To open the fourth, reliever Scott Linebrink beaned Carroll.

Carroll stole second base, and also in the inning, Gaby Sanchez had a steal.

Feeling the game was out of hand, the White Sox weren’t happy to see Florida stealing. In the fifth inning, Randy Williams also hit Carroll with a pitch.

In the seventh inning, Florida’s Dan Meyer hit A.J. Pierzynski with a pitch.

At that point, home plate umpire Adrian Johnson issued warnings.

“It’s 7-0. It’s not a good thing to go out and steal a base,” Garcia said. “That’s no respect for the other team. So whatever happened, happened. Stealing second up seven runs, I think that’s bad baseball.”

Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said Carroll missed a sign and stole on his own.

“We had nothing going on, sign wise,” Gonzalez said.

Meyer insisted he wasn’t throwing at Pierzynski.

“I wasn’t throwing at anybody,” Meyer said. “I was trying to get outs.”

— Joe Frisaro


Marlins-White Sox Sunday lineups

The Marlins and White Sox conclude their three-game series at U.S. Cellular Field on Sunday afternoon. Josh Johnson starts for Florida. Freddy Garcia takes the mound for Chicago.







1) Chris Coghlan, LF

2) Gaby Sanchez, 1B

3) Hanley Ramirez, SS

4) Jorge Cantu, DH

5) Dan Uggla, 2B

6) Cody Ross, CF

7) Wes Helms, 3B

8) Ronny Paulino, C

9) Brett Carroll, RF







1) Juan Pierre, LF

2) A.J. Pierzynski, C

3) Alex Rios, CF

4) Paul Konerko, 1B

5) Mark Kotsay, DH

6) Carlos Quinten, RF

7) Mark Teahen, 3B

8) Alexei Ramirez, SS

9) Gordon Beckham, 2B

— Joe Frisaro


Marlins-White Sox lineups

The Marlins and White Sox resume their Interleague series on Saturday afternoon. Chris Volstad looks to help Florida even the series at U.S. Cellular Field. Gavin Floyd gets the start for Chicago.




1) Chris Coghlan, LF

2) Gaby Sanchez, 1B

3) Hanley Ramirez, SS

4) Jorge Cantu, DH

5) Dan Uggla, 2B

6) Cody Ross, RF

7) Wes Helms, 3B

8) Brett Hayes, C

9) Cameron Maybin, CF







1) Juan Pierre, LF

2) Alexei Ramirez, SS

3) Alex Rios, CF

4) Paul Konerko, DH

5) Mark Kotsay, 1B

6) Carlos Quentin, RF

7) Mark Teahen, 3B

8) Ramon Castro, C

9) Gordon Beckham, 2B

— Joe Frisaro


Owner says Hanley matter resolved

Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria is a believer in clubhouse harmony.

In recent days, the organization has been engulfed in controversy in light of Hanley Ramirez being disciplined for not hustling.

From a team perspective the issue was put to rest on Wednesday when Ramirez apologized to his teammates.

On Friday, Loria addressed the situation with the Marlins beat reporters. Loria has been observing the situation, and he says the clubhouse once again is strong.

“Whenever you’re going along a road, and there is a bump in the road, it’s a slight jar,” Loria said. “This is not a major episode in any sense of the word. It’s something that happens over the course of a season.

“We have great guys on this team. All 25 are great guys. If you had a family of 25 brothers and sisters, things would happen along the way.”

The Marlins are set to face the White Sox in Interleague play on Friday night. Ramirez is once again batting third.

Loria says the team is together, working towards getting better on the field.

“This was not major surgery,” Loria said. “This was not brain surgery. This was a scratch.

“It was an internal family matter. It’s not the end of the world. We’ve moved on. Everybody has moved on. I moved on [Wednesday], from even asking about it.”

— Joe Frisaro


Marlins lineup for Friday

The Marlins open Interleague play on Friday night against the White Sox. Ricky Nolasco gets the start, while Chicago goes with Mark Buehrle.



1) Chris Coghlan, LF

2) Gaby Sanchez, 1B

3) Hanley Ramirez, SS

4) Jorge Cantu, DH

5) Dan Uggla, 2B

6) Cody Ross, RF

7) Ronny Paulino, C

8) Wes Helms, 3B

9) Cameron Maybin, CF

— Joe Frisaro




Moving past the controversy

It’s the nature of sports these days. Controversy comes, speculation follows.

Such is the case of Hanley Ramirez and his rift this week with manager Fredi Gonzalez. Since Monday, when the All-Star shortstop was benched for not hustling, a firestorm brushed through the organization and became a hot-topic in the sports world.

When Ramirez apologized to his teammates on Wednesday, it put an end to the story, at least internally. It didn’t take long, however, for the rumors to surface. Would the Marlins now consider trading their two-time All-Star?

The answer flatly is no. The Marlins never say never on any player. Their company line is “some players are more likely to be traded than others.” Ramirez is in the less likely category.

Through inquires, it was confirmed the Marlins have no interest in moving Ramirez. Some reports say teams called Florida, and were told the same thing.

The Marlins now consider the matter said and done. The front office backed Gonzalez, as did the players. Ramirez spoke individually to his teammates, expressing his regret, and now they move forward.

Gonzalez noted earlier in the week, that if handled right, this could become a positive. It may indeed make Ramirez more focused. It certainly put all the players on alert to give maximum effort.

Bottom line is the Marlins need Ramirez to perform at his highest level to contend for the playoffs. The hope is, he will indeed do so. A year ago, when Ramirez and Dan Uggla had a run in, Ramirez went on a hot streak.

The Marlins are trying to catch the Phillies, or reach the playoffs. They want their star players performing on the field, not being involved in off-field distractions.

As for trade rumors, they always seem to follow Marlins players whenever they are caught up in something controversial. We saw it in the offseason with Josh Johnson. When talks of a contract extension broke off last November, immediately speculation ran rampant that the Marlins were going to deal the ace of their staff.

Two months later, the Marlins held a news conference, announcing Johnson had agreed to a four-year contract.

Time heals.

Incidents where players clash with either each other or their managers appear to occur more than the public realizes. Normally, they are not in the public eye. Often times they are dealt with, amends are made, and all parties move on.

The Marlins have moved on. But will the trade rumors stop?

— Joe Frisaro



Wood gets recalled

The Marlins made a move in the bullpen for the Cardinals series.

Right-handed reliever Tim Wood was recalled from Triple-A New Orleans, while right-handed reliever Chris Leroux was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a right elbow strain. 

Wood has already appeared in eight games for the Marlins. Leroux has 14 appearances, and 15 innings.

— Joe Frisaro



Lesson in leading by example

At what point does a player feel an injury is impacting his effort on the field?

In recent days the Marlins are dealing with an internal cloud storm created when Hanley Ramirez was removed from the game on Monday for lacking effort.

An inning after taking a foul ball off his left leg, just above the ankle, Ramirez trotted after a ball in the field that led to manager Fredi Gonzalez pulling the All-Star from the game.

Ramirez, who is among the faster players in the game, on Tuesday said he gave it all he had at the moment.

Veteran Wes Helms says if an injury is hurting the team on the field, then the player shouldn’t be out there. In Ramirez’s case, many on the team, and those who watched the replays, feel the effort was lacking.

“I’m a guy who pretty much plays until it’s broken,” Helms said. “But if you have an incident where it is going to affect the team, and you can’t give the right effort, you shouldn’t be out there,” Helms said. “If that was the case, then that’s different. But to just kind of not hustle is a different thing. There are two different things there.”

Ramirez has since offered harsh criticism of Gonzalez, pointing out the fact that his manager was never in the big leagues.

Not every manager enjoyed big league success. Jack McKeon, who guided the Marlins to the 2003 World Series, didn’t play in the Major Leagues either.

“He’s right,” Gonzalez said. “But I know how to play the game. I played six years in the Minor Leagues. I know what it takes to play this game. I know the effort to play this game. I know it’s hard to play this game.”

By his nature, Gonzalez stands up and defends his players. Rarely does he criticize them publicly. And pulling Ramirez out of the game was one of his toughest decisions since taking over the team in 2007.

There have been occasions where managers have pulled players off the field during an inning. Gonzalez clearly didn’t want to do that to Ramirez on Monday night.

“You guys have covered me know I’ve tried to do things the right way,” Gonzalez said. “Believe me, we’ve handled things behind closed doors. Usually, I like to do that. Most of the time. We’ve handled stuff behind closed doors that you guys don’t even know about.

“It’s hard to take a guy out, that’s embarrassing enough. To take a guy out in the middle of an inning? There has got to be some kind of history there.”

Before Ramirez returns to the lineup, Gonzalez wants his star shortstop to address his teammates.

Based on his immense talents, Ramirez has the ability to lead by his play. The Marlins want him to also lead by example.

“The caliber of player he is, he definitely needs to be the leader of this team. Physically. Mentally. Vocally. Everything,” Helms said. “For me, to be a leader of a team, you have to lead by example. If you just lead vocally, and don’t back it when you play the game, it won’t work.

“I’m not just saying you have to hit .300 or don’t make errors. It’s the way you play the game. The way you handle yourself. That right there is what a true leader is. He definitely has the play to back it, being a leader. You want him to lead by example. That’s what we’re looking for and hope he becomes.”

— Joe Frisaro




It’s our team. I’m just the guy who makes the lineup. It’s our team.


Hanley vents back

The morning after being benched, Hanley Ramirez helped fan the flames by venting back at manager Fredi Gonzalez.

Ramirez told reporters on Tuesday that he was trying to play through pain, and he wasn’t loafing after a ball in left field.

Then, the All-Star shortstop noted that Gonzalez never played in the big leagues.

“It’s ok. He doesn’t understand that. He never played in the big leagues,” Ramirez said. “That’s fine. That’s the example that he set. It started with me. Let’s see how far it goes.”

Ramirez and Gonzalez spoke briefly in the clubhouse on Tuesday morning, and the shortstop was not in the lineup against Arizona.

Gonzalez said Ramirez will play again after he settles the situation, and speaks to the team. The Marlins are at St. Louis on Wednesday and Thursday. Perhaps after the dust settles in a few days, the shortstop will be in the lineup on Friday, when the Marlins begin their Interleague play at the Chicago White Sox.

“When he handles that the right way, we’ll be fine,” Gonzalez said. “It’s one of those things where it could be good.”

Ramirez was benched after the second inning in Monday’s 5-1 loss to the Diamondbacks.

In the first inning, he fouled a ball off, just above his left ankle on the shin. In the second inning, Ramirez jogged casually after a ball he accidentally booted into the left field corner. The incident occurred on Tony Abreu’s bloop single, that was kicked away by Ramirez. Two runners scored and Abreu ended up on third.

Ramirez said he was in a lot of pain, but he wanted to keep playing.

“We expect an effort from 25 guys on this team, when that doesn’t happen, we’ve got to do something,” Gonzalez said on Monday.

On Tuesday, Ramirez was asked if he lost respect for his manager.

“A little bit. That’s fine,” Ramirez said. “We’ve got 24 more guys. Hopefully they can do the same thing I do. They wear the Marlins uniform.”

Gonzalez noted: “Whatever feels he has with me or does not have with me are fine and dandy. We don’t have to get along, but I think he has to get along with the 24 other guys on this team.”

— Joe Frisaro





Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 132 other followers