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44 posts from March 2012

March 02, 2012

Anibal Sanchez feels tightness in his right shoulder; Marlins set spring rotation

JUPITER -- Anibal Sanchez felt a little tightness behind his right shoulder after throwing his bullpen session Friday and will take a few days off to rest it.

Anibal SanchezThe 28-year old right-hander said he isn’t too worried about it, but the team has scratched him from throwing in an intrasquad scrimmage Sunday on Field 2 at Roger Dean Stadium. His first Grapefruit League start is now tentatively set for March 9 against the Nationals.

"It's the first time I've felt anything in my shoulder in a long time," said Sanchez, who missed half of the 2007 season with a torn labrum.

Sanchez has made 32 starts each of the last two seasons, going a combined 21-21 with a 3.61 ERA. Last season, he was 6-2 with a 3.58 ERA before the All-Star break.

The Marlins have now set their early spring rotation according to pitching coach Randy St. Claire.

Carlos Zambrano will pitch in Sunday’s scrimmage, which may last about three innings and again on Thursday in Port St. Lucie against the Mets.

Josh Johnson will start in the Grapefruit League opener against the Cardinals Monday.

Tuesday, Mark Buehrle will throw against the University of Miami at Marlins Park. Alex Sanabia will start against the Tigers in the afternoon game in Jupiter.

Wednesday, Ricky Nolasco will face Florida International at Marlins Park. Sean West will take the mound against the Mets in the afternoon in Jupiter.

St. Claire said the Marlins will have plenty of off days at the start of the regular season in April to shuffle their rotation around.

WEST IMPRESSING

West, who went 5-8 with a 5.59 ERA last season in Triple A New Orleans, has looked impressive thus far according to St. Claire.

He's doing what he needs to do, executing his pitches command wise. When I took this job three years ago they said there were two openings. I watched all the video and I said there isn't two openings to me, there can only be one. I said there can't be guys better than [West].

"92, 93 miles per hour coming out of the hand with a change up and biting slider. He's back to looking like that guy. What he threw today, [catcher Brett] Hayes said it was the nastiest he's ever seen from him."

West, not expected to land a job with the team, said he's motivated despite the obvious reason not to be.

"Things are just starting to click for me. It's taken a couple years to get that way. I wish it hadn't. But this is the year things are starting to click and I'm just rolling with it," said West, who had a procedure done to clean out his throwing arm last September.

"I had that cleanout with Dr. Andrew's this past off-season. Ever since then it's been coming out like it used to when I was in high school. I'm just trying to stay motivated, very positive."

> Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen is celebrating his 29th wedding anniversary with his wife Ibis Friday night. He joked that he's only forgotten two of them.

"People thought I'd never be married more than one year. People thought I'd never play in the big leagues longer than one month. People thought I wouldn't manage longer than 3 months. Keep it rolling baby," Guillen said.

> Guillen said he didn't know until two days ago that Emilio Bonifacio was a switch hitter. His son Oney pointed it out to him. "I didn't know," Guillen said. "Why not be honest about it?"

Are you a fan of the Petey and Lomo show?

JUPITER -- Meet Petey & LoMo; two Miami Marlins outfielders with a common goal: trying to conquer boredom when away from the field during spring training.

PhotoThat's the way producers have described Bryan Petersen's and Logan Morrison's new internet show, made available on both YouTube and SBNation. 

But Petey and Lomo are doing much more than conquering boredom. They're providing a peek into their lives and friendship, a collection of 10 days of filming up in Palm Beach County that will be spread out over seven episodes that run between five and seven minutes long. In the shows, they drive Vespas while wearing biker jackets, share cupcakes, play with monkeys, and more than anything try to make you laugh.

"So far, I've gotten a pretty good response. Guys and girls liked it, at least on Twitter and stuff. I think there were two responses that said, 'You guys are gay.'

"This was our first show. It had a pretty long intro to kind of give people an idea of what we're doing. The next couple shows will have more content. There's a lot of funny stuff to come."

Petersen said new episodes will be released on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The idea for the show, filmed by Petersen's own production company Legit Films (he started it last September) and edited by SBNation, is something Petersen said he and Morrison came up with last year.

"The idea started with us taking flip cams around ourselves," Petersen said. "With what happened with the production company and me having the resources, this is what came out of it.

“We just did it to have fun. The content was kept pretty low key. You might get a couple of mature jokes here and there. We are baseball players and it is guy humor, but we tried to keep it classy. We’ll see what happens. We didn’t know where it would go. With how it came out, we think it’s pretty good. If stuff comes up and we need to film some more we will -- as long as it doesn’t interfere with baseball.”

Petersen said they tried to get other sports celebrities to appear including Patriots receiver Chad OchoCinco, but the plans fell through. Petersen said several Marlins teammates will appear including the artist formerly known as Mike Stanton.

"Our last episode is pretty cool, brings a lot of us together," Petersen said. "Thursday's show is going to be a good one. Tuesday is a good one too. But we're going to try to take the world by storm on Thursday. If you can't laugh at that one, something is wrong with you."

Petersen said he's always been intrigued by documentaries and dabbled with video production some in high school.

"I've always liked stories," Petersen said. "It's basically as real as you can get. We just thought it would be funny to film our interactions. People always say we're both funny. Put us together and there's a whole different dynamic. I don't know, most people enjoyed it. We laughed while we did it."

March 01, 2012

Marlins Park aquariums have fish; fans will get to see it all Saturday

JUPITER -- There are fish in the fish tank. 

I never got around to posting this on the blog yesterday, but for those of you who follow me on Twitter I sent out the following video shortly after The Miami Herald was treated to a two-hour private tour of Marlins Park Wednesday by owner Jeffrey Loria and team president David Samson.

As you can see, the big aquariums behind home plate finally have some residents. 

Here are two other videos I uploaded from the tour, including what the view of the stadium looks like from field level and what it looks like at the moment inside a stadium suite.

Marlins fans will get their own first look during Saturday's FanFest event at the stadium, scheduled to run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Samson told us yesterday he expects to have tours of the stadium often, including a look at the clubhouse and other areas where fans usually wouldn't be allowed to go. It just hasn't been setup yet.

Saturday, all players on the 40-man roster and manager Ozzie Guillen will be at FanFest to sign autographs and interact with fans. There will also be a couple town hall sessions in English and Spanish where a mic will get passed around and fans will be able to ask questions.

All in all, expect and exciting event. My advice: get there early. There are only 5,700 parking spaces near the stadium.

Extra wildcard spot a great idea Marlins say, but would '97, '03 World Series teams have won it all with an extra game?

JUPITER -- Major League Baseball is expected to announce today it will expand its playoff system to five teams, pitting two wild card teams in a one-game playoff before continuing the current division and league championship series format.

As far as the Marlins are concerned, an extra spot to make the post-season is a great idea.

"If that's what we need then I like it," ace Josh Johnson said Thursday morning before the team's workout. "Once we get to the playoffs then it's a totally different ballgame. It's win that one game and go from there."

Said second baseman Omar Infante: "I think it's very interesting. To have another team be able to qualify for the playoffs is very good. Hopefully it happens so it gives another good team a shot to win it all."

The Marlins of course won both of their World Series titles as wild card teams in 1997 and 2003. But what if they would have had to play an extra game just to advance? Would the Marlins have gone on to win those titles?

Herald Sports writer Clark Spencer researched the 2003 season and discovered the Marlins would have had to face Houston in a one-game playoff that season. The Astros would have been in line to send ace Roy Oswalt to the mound, who finished that season having won his last four decisions and posting a 2.00 ERA. The Marlins finished 1-5 versus the Astros that season. 

"Would have been a hell of a matchup between him and Josh Beckett," Marlins color analyst Tommy Hutton said of the one-game playoff that never took place. 

In 1997, both the Mets and Dodgers finished tied behind the Marlins for the runner-up to the wild card spot with 88-74 records. The best pitchers on those staffs were the Dodgers' Hideo Nomo and the Mets' Rick Reed.

Since the wild card was instituted in 1994 when MLB expanded to three divisions per league, five teams have gone on to win it all. The other teams besides the Marlins were the 2002 Anaheim Angels, 2004 Boston Red Sox and last year's St. Louis Cardinals.

The one-game wild-card games in each league are likely to be scheduled for Friday, Oct. 5 or Saturday, Oct. 6, allowing the best-of-five Division Series to begin on Monday, Oct. 8 as MLB tries to squeeze those games into the 20-day window to determine pennant winners. The World Series is expected to begin Wednesday, Oct. 24.

JJ PARTICIPATES IN PRO-AM

Johnson, who will start against the Cardinals Monday in the spring training opener here at Roger Dean Stadium, participated in his first Pro-Am Wednesday at the PGA National Resort.

Because of rain in the area, though, Johnson said he was only able to get nine holes in. His team consisted of former major leaguer Rusty Staub and former Dolphins kicker Jay Feely.

"It was an awesome experience," Johnson said. "I played okay. First hole, it was just a bad drive. Other than that the only bad hole was -- nine [which] wasn't that bad. I had a couple guys putting for birdie on that one so I just picked up my ball. I tried to chip in for par a few times, but that was about it."

Johnson's caddy flew in from Las Vegas to participate in the event, which is part of the Honda Classic. Johnson said he usually plays a round of golf once or twice a week in the off-season when he's back home in Vegas.

"Hopefully, I'll get to do it a lot more," Johnson said of participating in pro-ams. "It's always fun to get out there and hit with the PGA guys and see how they're hitting balls, how they're playing holes and how they select their shot for each hole."