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Marlins ‘outraged’ at Red Sox over subpar spring training lineup

The Miami Marlins are one of those bad teams that kind of relies on marketing their opponents as a sales pitch to fans wherever possible. Thursday’s Grapefruit League spring training game against the Boston Red Sox was one of those opportunities. Unfortunately, the Red Sox burned them, and now they’re reportedly upset.

The Marlins designated Thursday’s game against the Sox as a “premium game,” figuring that they could get more money from diehard Sox fans who are in Florida to watch the team, or anyone else who wanted to see the defending World Series champs. They charged over 42 percent more than regular spring training ticket prices for the game. But they ended up with a team full of barely recognizable names.

Here’s a look at the lineup the Red Sox used for the game:

Red Sox lineup

Only Jackie Bradley Jr. and Ryan Lavarnway have major league experience out of that bunch.

The Red Sox were technically breaking rules by running out that lineup. Here are the rules for spring training games:

“A minimum of four players who are regulars on the previous year’s major league team or who were platooned on the previous year’s major league team on a regular basis, or who have a reasonable chance to be regulars on the major league club’s squad during the upcoming season. Each of those regulars, excluding pitchers, must play a minimum of three complete innings.”

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel says the Marlins were “outraged” over the Sox’ lineup for the game and planned to contact the league office. Boston could be subjected to a fine for their lineup Thursday.

No word on what the Marlins plan to do about giving their fans a minor-league starting lineup the past two seasons.

Forearm bash to Eye on Baseball

Jose Fernandez-Chris Johnson spat at center of Marlins-Braves fight (Video)

Benches cleared during the sixth inning of the Miami Marlins’ 5-2 win over the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday, and a spat between Jose Fernandez and Chris Johnson is at the heart of the matter.

Things started in the top of the sixth when Johnson laced a 97-mph fastball from Fernandez to left field. The ball was caught for an out, but Johnson acted confidently after smoking the ball as if to say that the 97-mph heat was nothing.

“Weak ass fastball,” Johnson appeared to say as he was clearing off the field.

Fernandez seemed to cuss at Johnson in return, and the young Marlins pitcher was ticked off when he made his way into the dugout after retiring the side. He shouted some words at the Braves dugout, and then he continued to act upset when he was in his dugout.

Jose Fernandez home runFast forward to the bottom of the inning, when Fernandez came to bat with nobody on, two outs, and his team up 4-1. Fernandez smacked a 1-0 fastball to left center for a solo home run. Not a bad time for the 21-year-old to club his first career homer, right? Well the youngster sure enjoyed it. Fernandez admired his home run before making his way around the bases. And when he got to third, he spit by the base, in the vicinity of Johnson.

Braves catcher Brian McCann had words for Fernandez as the pitcher approached home, leading to both dugouts clearing. Johnson came sprinting in from third to give Fernandez a piece of his mind. Things calmed down, and the Marlins held on for a 5-2 win.

After the game, Fernandez, who was making his last start of the season because the Marlins are shutting him down, apologized for his behavior.

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Tino Martinez accused of physically and verbally abusing Miami Marlins players

Tino-Martinez-MarlinsMiami Marlins hitting coach Tino Martinez — who stepped down as the team’s hitting coach on Sunday — was previously prepared to give the team his resignation, but team owner Jeffrey Loria stepped in and made him change his mind. According to the Miami Herald, the issue is that Martinez has been accused of abusing a player.

The Herald’s Clark Spencer cited two sources who claim rookie second baseman Derek Dietrich’s agent, David Meter, recently contacted team officials to inform them that Martinez allegedly “erupted in anger unjustly and grabbed (Dietrich) by his neck and neck chain.” Dietrich was sent to the minors last week.

Meter would neither confirm nor deny that the incident took place, instead calling it a “team issue” and refusing to address it. Marlins spokesman TJ Loyello said that if there is an issue the team will look into it.

According to the Herald, Martinez and Marlins manager Mike Redmond weren’t on the field for batting practice at the start of Friday’s game because they were discussing the alleged incident. The Major League Baseball Players’ Association has reportedly been made aware of the incident and has contacted the commissioner’s office.

A Marlins player who spoke to Spencer under the condition of anonymity claimed Martinez’s temper and coaching methods have been an issue “since day one.”

“It’s all shocked everybody,” the player reportedly said. “He uses intimidation. It’s been a problem since day one.”

Sources claim that Martinez has gone off on “profanity-laced eruptions” before and that Justin Ruggiano, Chris Valaika, minor-leaguer Matt Downs and other players have also been the target of verbal abuse from him. Another player reportedly told the Herald that Martinez’s behavior has been one of the reasons the team has struggled.

“I think it’s definitely had an effect,” the player said.

In addition to everything described, Martinez also reportedly challenged Casey Kotchman to a fight and has some in the organization wondering if he is bi-polar.

Martinez spent 16 seasons in the majors and was a fan favorite with the New York Yankees.

H/T Eye on Baseball

Ozzie Guillen: Managing Miami Marlins was ‘big mistake’

Ozzie-Guillen-interviewOzzie Guillen is out of baseball this season and would like back in. The former Chicago White Sox manager said so this week. He also says that going to manage the Miami Marlins was a “big mistake.”

Guillen was a guest with Waddle and Silvy on ESPN Chicago Radio on Wednesday and says he still has a good relationship with the White Sox. He also says his decision to move to the Marlins was a “big mistake.”

“I was naive about the situation like everybody out there,” Guillen admitted, saying he went to Miami for the money. “My dream and my eye was a little deeper than last year, and all of a sudden, ‘boom’, it got shutdown.”

Guillen says he’s still not sure why he got fired, but figures it’s because he finished last. He does think Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria was “fair” with him, which is different from how he felt last year.

Guillen also holds no hard feelings towards the White Sox, for whom he played 13 seasons and managed eight.

“I don’t have anything against the White Sox. One thing about it is people really (didn’t) understand what the situation was (that led to the departure). Jerry (Reinsdorf) came out and said, ‘Listen, that’s what it was.’ I want(ed) (a) one more year contract. They (didn’t) give it to me,” Guillen said, via ESPN Chicago. “I (made) a big mistake and (went) down to Miami.”

Guillen was asked about managing the Chicago Cubs and said he was open to it, however, he wanted to make it clear that he was not campaigning for the job out of respect for Dale Sveum, who is his former teammate. He did say he was available to any team interested in him.

The best part of the interview was when Ozzie was asked about his dream job and he said being married to Jennifer Lopez so he could stay at home without having to work. Typical Ozzie. After last year’s disaster in Miami — which included his comments about Fidel Castro — I don’t see any team being desperate enough to hire him any time too soon.

Marlins reportedly kicked fans out of home opener for ripping on the team

Free-the-Marlins-signMiami Marlins fans are not entering the 2013 season with a great deal of optimism, and why should they be? After building a brand new ballpark, bringing in Ozzie Guillen as manager, and signing big names like Jose Reyes and Mark Buehrle last offseason, the team has already decided to blow up their rebuilding project and start fresh.

According to Joe Capozzi of The Palm Beach Post, a handful of Marlins fans decided to protest the team’s recent failures at the home opener on Monday by showing up wearing shirts and holding signs that were critical of the team and owner Jeffrey Loria. Those fans say they were kicked out.

“We’re Marlins fans,” 25-year-old Dan Barton, one of the fans who was ejected, said. “We’ve been there since 1993. We’ve been through only two winning seasons. We’re tired of it. I’m just over it. Free the Marlins.”

“It’s just sheer selfishness. Now you have this guy coming in. False promises, false hopes. I’m tired of it. We’re tired of the ownership. We’re tired of Jeffrey Loria.”

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The sad state of the Miami Marlins explained by one amazing graphic

Marlins home run sculpture

Does anything exemplify the mess that is the Miami Marlins better than this graphic? The New York Mets played a three-game series with the Marlins over the weekend, winning two of the games. Their TV broadcaster, SNY, shared the amazing graphic seen above.

SNY says the Marlins’ home run sculpture cost more money to build than nearly everyone on the team’s roster is being paid this season.

Per Cot’s Baseball Contracts, the Marlins’ opening day payroll is $50,526,900. Pitcher Ricky Nolasco is the highest-paid player on the team at $11.5 million this season. Placido Polanco is earning $2.75 million. Those are the only players on the roster making more than the $2.5 million figure. Shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria is making $1.75 million, but he’s up to $2.75 million if you add in one million from his $4 million signing bonus signed in 2010. The Marlins are paying $4 million this season for Heath Bell to stink for the Arizona Diamondbacks, so they do have that going for them.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is NOT how to build an MLB team. But, hey, they do have an awesome sculpture to show for it:

Photo via Yardbarker on Facebook

Lou Piniella: Blue Jays raped the Marlins in blockbuster trade over the winter

Lou-PiniellaRetired MLB manager Lou Piniella signed a deal to work as a commentator for the YES Network this year. The regular season has yet to begin, but on Wednesday we got a taste of why someone who is a little rough around the edges like Piniella may be better off in the dugout than the broadcaster’s booth.

During the third inning of a spring training game between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees, the subject of how much the Toronto Blue Jays improved over the offseason came up. Like most of us, Piniella feels that the Blue Jays got the best of the blockbuster deal that brought them Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle. Lou just needs to learn how to appropriately express himself.

“Well they just, I don’t want to use the word ‘raped,’ but they basically took a lot of talent from the Miami Marlins,” Piniella said. “Toronto will probably be picked to win the (AL East) by a lot of people.”

Yikes. It was smart of Piniella to not want to use the word “raped,” but the not using it part is more important than the thought itself. If “Talladega Nights” taught us anything, it’s that you can’t just whatever you want simply because you lead into by saying “with all due respect.”

We love you, Lou. We loved your managing style and your uncanny ability to fly off the handle. But the next time your instinct tells you not to say something, it’s probably best to just bite your tongue.

For audio of Piniella’s slip-up, click here.