Before Friday’s game, a positive-minded Jack McKeon joked that with a flip of the monthly calendar to September, maybe the Marlins would get back on track after going 7-20 in August, saying he was “interested in going 20-6” to finish the season.
After the game, McKeon had a decidedly different tone, sending a message to the Marlins’ clubhouse by saying he was “getting tired of seeing the same thing every night” and his team can’t “just ride the waves through September.”
McKeon’s rant came on the heels on the heels of the Marlins’ 12th loss in 15 games, a 5-3 defeat to Philadelphia. Marlins starter Brad Hand surrendered four hits, but he made a mistake to John Mayberry, Jr., in the fifth that gave Philadelphia a lead it would not relinquish. The Fish tallied eight hits, including four for extra-bases, off veteran righty Roy Oswalt, but they were unable to string together a rally.
Here's the complete transcript of McKeon's post-game interview, which he called a "State of the Union" address:
(Errors, past balls, walks all contributed to the loss...)
Yeah, you know, but that’s part of the game. Wild pitches cost us a run, but we still don’t score. It’s getting old. Get a couple runs and you stop hitting, we don’t get the clutch hitting, not getting the clutch pitching. We’re all accountable in this game. These guys have got to wake and say, ‘Hey, I’m accountable.’ They can’t just ride the waves through September. They’ve got to be salesmen. Go out there and show what they can do. Maybe they’re telling us something. That’s tough. The cream comes to the top this time of the year.
(What did you think of Brad Hand tonight?)
He pitched better than he has been in the past. He threw more strikes. You still look at the base on balls, the hit batsman. It gets you in trouble when you’re pitching a decent game, and you burry yourself. You can’t do that. He pitched five innings, was going along pretty good. Unfortunately the wild pitch cost us a run there. Sooner or later these guys have got to wake up. Let’s face it, we’re not running tryout camps here — well, I don’t know, maybe we are. But anyway, they’ve got to start producing. This is the big leagues. This is not the minor leagues. Develop in the minor leagues, you win in the big leagues. I’m getting tired of saying the same thing every night. Maybe we’re not that good. Maybe these guys are not that good. It’s about time to wake up. Sell yourself. Show the world you’re a salesman, you can play. I don’t believe in being mediocre.
(We can sense the frustration in your voice...)
I’m getting tired of it. I’m getting tired of looking at this stuff. I’m getting tired of it. We’re better than that. It’s time to wake up. The fans deserves better, the organization deserves better. On the other hand, maybe they can’t play. Maybe they’re not good enough. That’s up to them. They have another 25, 26 games to show us they can play. You say, ‘Well, they’re young.’ Yeah, they’re young, but how many years are you going to wait? Get a base hit in the clutch. Mayberry, he’s younger than these guys, he’s up for the first time. They don’t have no problem in the clutch. You sit back, you alibi, you say, ‘They’re young, they’re trying too hard.’ That’s all well and good, but bottom line is: You’re either a winner, or you’re a loser. You’ve got to shape up and let’s go.
-- Matt Forman