Thursday, March 27, 2008


It's staying light longer, the Leafs are all-but-eliminated ... that can mean only one thing: We'll soon see the first halter top of the season. OK, two things: It's almost baseball season, that mystical, wonderful time of year where you commit to a team for six months, knowing full well they won't win. Here's a starting nine for the Florida Marlins.
  1. Tough call: Say you're a fantasy baseball aficionado in a keeper league where you draft minor-leaguers for the future. What would you choose if it was a choice between centre-fielder Cameron Maybin opening the season in the minors or opening the door to find Cameron Diaz?

    On second thought, don't answer. Maybin is that good. Twenty-year-olds who put up a .304/.386/.493 hitting line in the Florida State League -- the magnet league for fast-tracking players -- are usually the real deal.
  2. The Fish bite: Last season the call here was forthe Marlins to end up with something like a 72-90 or 73-89 record; they ended up 71-91. More of the same is in store for this season since the fielding and starting pitching -- Scott Olsen, really? -- remains in absentia.
  3. Stocks are depleted: The Marlins have a great rep for developing players (for other teams, mostly), but they have only one player on Baseball Prospectus' Top 100 prospects list -- Maybin.
  4. What a dimension, though: Marlins all-star Hanley Ramirez (pictured) hits like a young Dick Allen. He plays shortstop like Andy Dick, and about as funny.

    Ramirez is basically on the same track as his ex-teammate, Miguel Cabrera, as a helluva hitter who will have to move to another position sooner rather than later.
  5. They'll score some runs: Ipso facto shortstop Ramirez, second baseman Dan Uggla and outfielders Jeremy Hermida and Josh Willingham half of a good National League lineup. That's about it.
  6. No joking around: The manager of the Marlins' Triple-A team, Dean Treanor, used to be an undercover narc.
  7. He doesn't spike, he just wears them: Backup catcher Matt Treanor definitely has a place on the Ray Knight All-Stars as pro athlete whose wife commands somewhat higher stature in her own sport. Treanor is married to Olympic gold medal beach volleyball player Misty May. You know what she looks like, so no picture.
  8. Recycling last year's preview: "They'll eventually have a new stadium -- probably around the same time the renovations on the Miami airport are finished. If there's a God in heaven, hopefully around that time Jeffrey Loria and David Samson will get what they deserve for breaking Expos fans hearts -- maybe something like the fate of Craig Kilborn and Jeremy Piven's characters in the final reel of Old School. It could be Samson driving his car off a bridge and landing on Loria as he fly-fishes in the river below, or vice-versa. Either way would be fine.

    "True, it is hard to imagine that a snooty art collector such as Jeffrey Loria enjoying the simple challenge of fly-fishing. It's not hard to imagine David Samson going fishing, although given his flair for public relations, he probably uses dynamite. "
  9. Need-to-know: See above. The baseball industry is stronger in the wake of the Expos' demise and the greasy little franchise flip that Loria and Marlins-turned-Red Sox owner John Henry were part of six years ago, but that doesn't mean having to swallow it.

That's all for now. Send your thoughts to

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