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34 posts from September 2011

September 02, 2011

After Friday's 5-3 loss to Phillies, Jack McKeon says 'I'm getting tired of looking at this'

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

Jack McKeon refutes Sports Illustrated report that he won't manage Marlins in 2012; Hanley update

Sports Illustrated’s Jon Heyman tweeted Friday afternoon that Jack McKeon would not return to manage the Marlins in 2012, but before Florda’s series opener against Philadelphia, the manager refuted Heyman’s report.

Heyman’s tweet read: “jack mckeon can stay in #marlins org forever in some capacity. but he & team have decided someone else will manage in 2012.”

The Marlins’ front office held a meeting in New York on Wednesday to discuss “what went wrong and what went right” in 2011, which would have been a logical time to discuss McKeon’s future. But McKeon said he has “no reason” to make that decision now, when there’s still a month left in the season.

Here are the highlights of what McKeon said...

(There was a Sports Illustrated report that you're not returning next year?)

I have no comment on that. That’s the first I’ve heard of it. I haven’t talked to anybody. His report is not true. That’s not saying it won’t be true. It could be true. But I haven’t talked to anybody.

(Are you still enjoying yourself?)

I still enjoy what I’m doing. Like I said, you’d like to have better results. I haven’t been down. But I guess when you’ve been through this thing for all the years I’ve done it, in the majors and minors, it’s no big deal.

(Would you be interested in having some role with the organization next year even if you don't manage?)

I hope so. Oh, yeah. I enjoyed it very much. Like I said, I’ve been loyal to this organization and they’ve treated me tremendously well. I enjoy working with them. If I decide I don’t want to come back, or they decide they don’t want me to come back, then I would kind of stay with them in some capacity.

(Do you have a time table to make the decision?)

I haven’t even discussed it with anybody. I thought maybe what I want to do, but I haven’t really given it much thought.

(But you enjoy seeing the young kids develop?)

I enjoy it. It’s a little different life. I don’t have to be out here at noon, or 10 o’clock every day. But I enjoy this too. I wouldn’t have come back if I didn’t enjoy it. Probably I decide I don’t want to come back, probably in 2018 I’ll want to come back. That way I can make a run at catching Connie Mack. One day – that’s all I need. One day.

(Would it be an exciting job to come back to next year?)

I think it’s going to be exciting going into the new ballpark. I think the organization will make every effort to improve this club. So I think it’ll be a good situation next year. Hopefully [Josh] Johnson can come back, and hopefully Hanley [Ramirez] is OK, and they’ll make a few moves. You know, we’ll be on the right track. Going into the new stadium, there’s going to be a lot of energy there. Historically, traditionally, any team that went into a new stadium seemed to prosper that first year. But you’ve got to remember that too, there’s a lot of first-year stadiums in history that went down the tubes. Like I tell the players, there’s a lot of one- and two-year phenoms, and there’s a lot of one- and two-year phenoms that are stadiums as well. 

(What moves would you like to see the organization make before next season?)

I think they all realize what we’ve got to do is certainly improve the pitching. Starting pitching is the key. When you’re up against the Braves, they’ve got outstanding pitching, that’s the name of the game. We’ve just got to get a couple of these guys that had pretty successful years back on track, and [Josh] Johnson to come back, and hopefully you can maybe add a quality starter or something like that, if it’s possible, if there’s any out there. I know that they’re going to try to do all those things, because they want to go in there and be successful. And I think they’ll make a super effort to improve this ball club.



McKeon said he did not speak with starter Clay Hensley after removing the righty in the middle of an at-bat to David Wright in Thursday’s 7-5 loss to the Mets. Hensley fell behind Wright 2-1, and McKeon called on Burke Badenhop to get out of the bases-loaded jam in the third. Hensley was visibly unhappy with the decision and struck a water cooler inside the dugout with his glove.

“I do what I think is right. I’m interested in winning,” McKeon said. “I wanted the sinker-baller in there to get the double play, to get the ground ball. I got the ground ball, it just so happened that it was in the hole. It’s nothing personal.”

Asked whether Hensley is still in the rotation, McKeon said: “I don’t know. It depends on Hand on whether we bring anybody up. There might be a couple guys the organization wants to look at. Right now, [Hensley] is in there, yeah.”


McKeon said Ramirez will meet with team physician Dr. Lee Kaplan on Saturday to decide what course of action to take with his ailing left shoulder. There are three options: natural healing, arthroscopic surgery and open surgery. “I’m not sure what they’ll recommend,” McKeon said. “I imagine they’ll have a nice long discussion on which way to go that’s best for everybody.”



Marlins: 1. Emilio Bonifacio, ss; 2. Omar Infante, 2b; 3. Greg Dobbs, 3b; 4. Mike Stanton, rf; 5. Logan Morrison, lf; 6. Jose Lopez, 1b; 7. Bryan Petersen, cf; 8. John Buck, c; 9. Brad Hand, p

Phillies: 1. Shane Victorino, cf; 2. Placido Polanco, 3b; 3. Chase Utley, 2b; 4. Ryan Howard, 1b; 5. Hunter Pence, rf; 6. John Mayberry, lf; 7. Carlos Ruiz, c; 8. Wilson Valdez, ss; 9. Roy Oswalt, p

-- Matt Forman

September 01, 2011

Beinfest on Hanley, J.J.

    NEW YORK -- Larry Beinfest, president of baseball operations, just finished talking about the Hanley Ramirez and Josh Johnson situations. Here's what he had to say:

    Q. Just trying to get some assessment on the Hanley situation.

    Beinfest: He had a MRI. It shows there's instability in the shoulder. The plan is to talk to Dr. Kaplan this weekend when we get back, talk about treatment options. I don't know if that mean's surgery. I don't know if that means conservative care. I don't know exactly what that means. But he wants to talk to Hanley about it. Obviously, then we'll be in the loop as to exactly what's going to happen. The bottom line is he's not on the field. The days are clicking away on the season and we just need to get him healthy now. So to speculate whether he will return or not maybe a little premature, but I think we'll have a pretty good idea this weekend. But, again, he's interrupted his rehab once again and we're going to have to get this thing fixed, one way or the other.

    Q. What exactly happened Tuesday?

    Beinfest: I think he was warming up with a swing in the fourth inning and I guess felt his sublux or whatever pop. So he shut it down, which was probably the right thing to do. He had played nine innings the day before.

    Q. And you guys were expecting him to come back Friday?

    Beinfest: That was the plan.

    Q. What is the organization's level of concern with this at this point?

    Beinfest: It's his non-throwing shoulder, so that's a lot bigger difference. With Hanley, he's a high-torque hitter. He's got such tremendous bat speed in his finish. Obviously he puts some strain on that shoulder. I don't know how to answer that other than we're concerned. He's not on the field. He's not going to be activated Friday, and we need to get it taken care of.

    Q. Do you know what day he's getting it, Friday or Saturday?

    Beinfest: I don't know if it's Friday or Saturday. It's safe to say that when we get home it'll happen.

    Q. Do you have any J.J. update, where he is right now?

    Beinfest: Hopefully he's going to get on the mound in the next day or two. Next day or two or three.

    Q. If that happens and there are no setbacks, should he be on the hill before the season ends?

    Beinfest: I doubt it. I don't think in the major leagues. Maybe in our -- I don't know where. Maybe in our mini-camp. Maybe in a simulated action. At this point, is it possible? I guess. But he's just getting on the mound now -- Sept. 1. He's got 27 days to get all the way ramped up. We just want to get him on the mound, even if it's simulated in Jupiter and just have him feel good and tell us that he feels good.

    Q. Do you think with that scenario, when the season ends, you'll have a better idea for 2012?

    Beinfest: I hope so. When you rewind this whole thing , we thought it was going to be a two week thing. That was four months ago. We all need to know. He needs to know and we need to know. I think we'll all feel better about things if he can get through this throwing program, get on the mound, and feel good about things.

    Q. What was the gist with yesterday's meeting?

    Beinfest: We have these meetings time to time with Jeffrey. It was like any other meeting, talking about this club and maybe what went wrong and what went right. Things that we want to improve on for next year.

    Q. Outside of the significant injuries to J.J. and Hanley, what else do you see (is needed)? The team has not been successful the last few months.

    Beinfest: We've just been very inconsistent. We've been streaking, which is not great. We've had winning streaks and really  sustained losing streaks. You just wanted to see it kind of even out, and htis club just wasn't able to do that. I think it starts with the starting pitching. It's been really inconsisgtent. I'm not going to point fingers at anybody. It sets the tone. There was a ..the early runs in the game. When you're behind in the game, it sets the tone and makes it very hard to come back. That would be one area. On the positive I think the defense has improved. I think the bullpen has done a solid job, and under a heavy workload.

    Q. But was there something you saw with what happened with the unit you had out there that made you think about next season and what you need to address?

    Beinfest: I think it's more on the pitching than anything else. It could be addressed through health. Or it could be addressed through maturity. Or it could be addressed with different personnel. But, really, the starting pitching, we needed to be more consistent and we weren't.

    Q. Think we'll see Matt Dominguez (among September callups)?

    Beinfest: I think it's possible.

    Q. How is Coghlan and his knee? Is it good enough where he can come up and contribute, or is just better off to give it rest?

    Beinfest: We'll see. It's been okay. He's back and he's playing. But he's had a rough go. He's missed a lot of at bat and a lot of playing time. So we'll see.


Surgery a possibility for Hanley; Marlins on brink of elimination

   NEW YORK -- Surgery will be one of the options the Marlins will discuss with shortstop Hanley Ramirez after the team returns to South Florida. Regardless of the decision, any chance of Ramirez playing again this season is remote at best.

   Ramirez felt discomfort in his left shoulder on Tuesday when he was playing in a minor-league rehab game. He underwent a MRI that revealed no structural damage. The team is terming his injury as "left shoulder instability" and said that Ramirez would discuss treatment options this weekend with team phyisician Dr. Lee Kaplan.

  Ramirez had arthroscopic surgery after the 2007 season to repair a torn labrum in the shoulder. The conservative option would be to rest the shoulder and allow it to heal on its own over the winter.

    "You can't put him back (on the field) semi-healthy and have him swing one time and be gone," said Marlins manager Jack McKeon.


    The Phillies won earlier today, meaning -- drum roll, please -- the Marlins would be mathematically eliminated from the division race (not that there is any suspense) with a loss tonight to the Mets. The Marlins are 20 games behind the Braves in the wild-card "race."

     At this point, the Marlins are playing for positioning in next year's draft.


    The Marlins will be calling up lefty Brad Hand to make the start on Friday against the Phillies.

     On Thursday, the Marlins made right-handed reliever Sandy Rosario their first September callup. Rosario made two appearances for the Marlins last September, giving up six earned runs on nine hits in only one inning of work (54.00 ERA).

    "That was really rough for me," Rosario said. "I wasn't ready for that. I was ready to go home."

   Rosario said he is better prepared this time around.


    Tonight's lineup:

     Marlins: 1. Bonifacio, ss; 2. Infante, 2b; 3. Dobbs, 3b; 4. Stanton, rf; 5. Morrison, lf; 6. Sanchez, 1b; 7. Petersen, cf; 8. Hayes, c; 9. Hensley, p.