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Redmond: Hurricane Ivan took the sails out of the '04 Marlins

     CHICAGO -- Mike Redmond remembers the last time he was at U.S. Cellular Field in a Marlins uniform. Everyone with that team remembers. It was September of 2004 and the Marlins, the defending World Series champs, were in the wild card hunt.

     And then came Hurricane Ivan, which changed everything.

     The Marlins were already in Chicago facing the Cubs, who were also in the wild card race, when Hurricane Ivan formed in the Atlantic and began to head on a path toward South Florida. Concerned that the storm would hit at around the same time the Marlins were scheduled to play a home series against the Expos, the decision was made to play those "home" games at U.S. Cellular Field, home of the White Sox.

      "It was really weird," recalled Juan Pierre, who was also on that '04 team. "That's probably one of the weirdest games I've ever played in."

      The Marlins tried making it seem like a home game. They flew up their own organist. They flew up Billy the Marlin. But it wasn't the same. It was bizarre. The crowds for the two games -- on Sept. 13 and 14 -- were small (4,003 and 5,457). Out of their hatred for the Cubs, some White Sox fans turned out just to cheer on the Marlins. Cubs fans showed up to cheer the Expos.

      The Marlins won both games, but then collapsed, winning only seven of their remaining 21 games and dropping out of the wild card race. Right after playing the Expos in Chicago, the two teams flew to South Florida to play a doubleheader the next day.

       "I think it kind of wore us out," Redmond said. "I think we were all looking forward to going home. And then we ended up going home and having to play a doubleheader. I remember getting home realy late and playing a doubleheader the next night, and I think it just wore us out. We were already kind of on fumes coming in. We had really fought hard to get back in it. And I think that was kind of the last straw where we ran out of gas. After that, we didn't play well."


       It's unseasonably chilly here, so chilly that they've brought in space heaters to warm the Marlins dugout.

       Kevin Slowey played catch earlier today and said he is good to go for his next start. Slowey came out of his last start with a lat injury, but said it wasn't severe.


       Casey Kotchman (hamstring) made his first rehab start Thursday for Single A Jupiter and went 1 for 5. But another hamstring casualty, first baseman Joe Mahoney, complained of soreness after playing his first rehab game for the Hammerheads earlier in the week. Redmond said Mahoney will "back off" for a few days before returning to action.

       Nathan Eovaldi is scheduled to make his first rehab start for Jupiter on Saturday. He is expected to throw 60-70 pitches.


       Alex Sanabia said he had no idea that spitting on a baseball is prohibited.

       "I didn't know it was illegal," Sanabia said Friday, four days after videotape captured the pitcher spitting on the baseball after giving up a home run to the Phillies' Domonic Brown. "I didn't think there was anything wrong with it. That's why I I openly did it."

       Sanabia said he did what he did because the ball was slick.

       "I wanted to get more grip," Sanabia said. "The next thing you know, I started getting messages saying you're on TV for spitting on the ball. I said 'You can't do that?' Well, apparently not. I don't read the rules, bro. My job is not to read the rulebook for (expletive) rule 821.29. Well now I know. I guess I should have known that, but I didn't. I'm pretty sure if I wanted to cheat, I wouldn't have rubbed it up the way I did. I would have just left that big ol' wad of spit on there and just threw it. But that wasn't the case."



       Marlins: 1. Hechavarria, ss; 2. Polanco, 3b; 3. Dietrich, 2b; 4. Ozuna, rf; 5. Ruggiano, cf; 6. Coghlan, lf; 7. Olivo, dh; 8. Green, 1b; 9. Mathis, c. P -- Koehler.

       White Sox: 1. De Aza, cf; 2. Ramirez, ss; 3. Rios, rf; 4. Dunn, dh; 5. Konerko, 1b; 6. Viciedo, lf; 7. Gillaspie, 3b; 8. Keppinger, 2b; 9. Gimenez, c. P -- Danks.


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Stan M

My dear fellow posters. Recently DT put up an excellent explanation of Redmond's foibles, explaining that he too is in a learning situation. I agreed. However, tonight he showed that he hasn't learned a damn thing along the way. First, in the 7th inning, Ozuna led off with a double. Great, but he had Ruggiano try to bunt him to third; that is playing for a tie on the road as we were one run down. Ruggiano quickly showed tht bunting isn't a skill that he possesses but did hit a streak to LF on an o-2 count, too hard for Ozuna too score. After Coghlan walked, to load the bases, Oliva hit a sac fly to tie the game. Green then blooped a single to RF to again load the bases with one out and Mathis coming up. Now it's a late inning, tie score, our worst hitter at bat and we have Pierre, Boggs and Brantly on the bench as PHers against this RH pitcher. The WS announcers mantioned that Mathis is an excellent bunter and a squeeze was begged for if Redmond was foolish enough to let him hit. He swung away and hit into another inning ending DP. DT, this was just plain stupid. And we lost a game that was winnable right there. It was indefensible.


Stan, I came on to post the sentiment you just elaborated. Well done. Nobody should worry about this season as far as record,however, you must play the game the way it was meant to be. IF this was even a fair team, I swear I would have fired him on the spot. The man will not learn how to play the game IF he still doesn't get it after all these years. Is Mathis going to be your catcher in the coming years? I don't think so. Stan, I understand you don't like vitriol, may I at least refer to him as a "Bozo of Epic Proportions? I'm telling you for the good of the future, Redmond should be gone and nobody over 30 should be playing after the All-Star Game. There is not a guy on this team over 30 that will ever be a part of a Marlins turnaround.

I would have responded sooner, but I turned it off after the DP and watched some "The Office" episodes with wife and daughter. I knew the game Sox would win--eventually--as soon as they turned the DP.

Stan M

Lou, I don't mind vitriol at all. My complaints concern denegrating people who don't deserve it, and when there is nothing else but vitriol. A mix is nice and deserved in many cases. I'd never object to see it against Loria. You're doing fine lately, and I'm probably overstepping my bounds anyway. Don't we both wish we could put somebody down with the class of LB? He can do it and make you smile when it hurts.

Dionysus Thelxinoe

Stan, like Lou, I stopped watching the game after the DP. You're right, his strategy there IS indefensible.

If a rookie manager can't learn from his mistakes, then maybe he's in the wrong line of his business. The usual learning curve for rookie managers is to have managed in the minors for a few years, then become a coach at the big league level, preferably including some experience as either a bench coach or pitching coach. Redmond had very little of the former and none of the latter.

While it's true that I've cut Redmond some slack, considering the circumstances, I've also noted here that he is, at the end of the day, just another component in Loria's cast of Not-Ready-For-Prime-Time-Players.

I am by no means unbiased, but it's still clear to me that Redmond's "rapid" ascent to manager is a direct product of Loria's impetuous and dishonest ways. As I've posted here numerous times (including right after Redmond was hired), what legitimate managerial candidate would be foolish enough to come work for this clown? He's fired one guy who won Manager of the Year, publicly called Fredi Gonzalez "a colossal failure", was called out publicly by none other than Bobby Cox, and he fired Guillen one season into a four-year contract. Would you work for a guy like that?

Marlin Fan

I agree with the above posts, but since Loria is owner , and no self respecting proven/established manager would work for him ..... Were left with

the Truth

Redmond was hired to be a cheap babysitter for the kids. Gone when the kids are older and dont need a babysitter.


You guys all make sense about Redmond, but I still have the same question I asked earlier. Where are Tino Martinez, Rob Leary, Joe Espada, Perry Hill and the rest of the brain trust when all these mistakes are being made? They are all experienced baseball people and knowing Red's disposition, it's hard to believe they are too afraid of him to voice their opinions in key situations. You see him conferring with them constantly in the dugout. Are they all ignorant of basic baseball strategy? That doesn't seem likely. Is he ignoring their advice? That doesn't seem likely either. Are there factors going on behind the scene that we know nothing about? I don't know the answers, I'm just asking what seem like obvious questions.


Another point. When you are playing .500 ball, you have a chance that some of your decisions will work out and make you look good. When you are 13-2,000 or whatever, none of your decisions are going to work out and make you look good. And the way the Marlins are playing, it probably wouldn't have worked out if he had gone the other way, either. Just saying.

Dionysus Thelxinoe

boozer, the "probably wouldn't have worked out if he had gone the other way, either" goes to the heart of my comment which Stan alluded to earlier... proper execution is a function of ability, which means that this team will make many managerial decisions look bad just by results.

But your point about their W-L record is a valid one. It seems me that a manager would be more prone to pushing the envelope (eg, try something different)under these circumstances because, after all, what is the point of being conservative or playing it "by the book" when you're already "13-2,000 or whatever"?

It then seems to me that it falls on our esteemed local journalists (for some of them, that term is used loosely) to question Redmond and give him the opportunity to provide fan/readers with insight to his reasoning and decisions. And that isn't happening because... ? (cough, cough***busy watching the Heat gane on the monitor***cough,cough)

Stan M

boozer (and that should be my name...if you only knew)
and DT, they are great posts and I suffer the same concerns. How many trurned down this managerial job and we know whose idea it was to hire Ozzie. He is now and for 2-3 more years pulling down the millions that might have brought in a different manager with competence. One thing I will say...these players are still playing hard and with Ozuna and Detrich, there is excellent potential there. In my opinion, Detrich can learn at this level, but Ozuna needs a little more minor league time to try to improve his plate discipline. Lastly, it appears, at least at this time, that Koehler, who appeared to be an organizatinal fillin, has the stuff and presence to be a good 3-4 ML starter...and that'a a big plus. Goodbye LeBlanc and Sanabia ASAP.

Stan M

Angel Hernandez, baseball's best example of an incompetent umpire, blew a call in the 10th inning last night or the Marlin's loss would have been one inning earlier. I saw an article by Fay Vincent on improving umpiring. As usual it was lucid and pointed to ways for improvement. It made me think back to his time as Commissioner, and in my opinion, he was the best we have had in my lifetime. The Lords of Baseball fired him, of course. Bart Giamani had the potential to be great, but died before we ever got to really evaluate him. Anyway, when Fay Vincent talks about baseball, I always listen attentively.






Stan, What did you think of Harrelson talking about Koehler as if he was some emerging gem and a guy who is probably just as good as Nolasco? This is why I firmly believe that everybody who posts here regularly and have been following baseball a number of years know just as much about the game as many "baseball people." Baseball is a GAME. The evaluation and projections of players is an art and not a science. I refuse to believe that Stan,Laurel, Marlins Fan, Glags, TD, Juan and all the others could not manage as well as Charlie Manual. This is of course understanding the component of getting the players to play for you which would be a problem,however, assuming we could all garner their confidence in the short term we would all do just as good a job of executing in game strategies as most of these "career minor leaguers" who rose through the ranks. I really believe this---Follow one team closely for a long time, follow the game in its entirety for a long time and you have as much knowledge as Redmond, Bo Porter and other assorted Phi Beta Kappas. It's not like asking someone to perform an operation, perform a root canal, build a bridge, plot the trajectory of a missile or anything else that requires BRAINS.


Casey Stengel, Ozzie Guillen, Walter Alston, Billy Martin. Those are 4 examples of guys who I believe most would concede have no chance of working the Sunday N.Y. Times Crossword Puzzle----I meant if they were all alive. Forgot, Joe Torre, Freddi Gonzalez. Add some of your own. Just the obvious ones.


Earl Weaver, Bobby Cox, Larry Bowa.

Clark S.

Lou, Alston owned a degree from Miami University, which is the one in Ohio with the stronger academic reputation. Not sure how many big-league managers have college degrees, but I would think not a lot. Anyway, I felt I had to say something to defend Walter and the institution, as Miami U. is my alma mater, too. -- Clark Spencer

Stan M

Clark. are you too on about 20 one year contracts as was Alston. LaRusso has the degrees. He's a lawyer. In actually, we fans could make out the lineup and make lineup changes...until one of the players strangled us. But handling 25 super sports egos is beyond all of us, and most ML managers as well right now. And that's the problem. I go half nuts when I see a wild pitcher go 2-0 and the hitter swings at the next pitch. Years ago he would have been fined. There doesn't appear to be any "take" sign anymore. Not good.

Flav C.

Don't loo now, but Yelich is hitting .265 against pitchers with ERA of 3.00 or less. Some of those young pitchers are 1st and 2nd round who simply dominated the outfielder.

Later on I will write my review of the Jupiter Hammerheads after watching several of their games during my vacation.


I really don't know how people can watch this on a consistent basis. I would watch it if the lineup was Brantly, Morrison, Dietrich, Hechivierra(Sp?), Coghlin(3B), Ozuna, Yelich and Stanton, but I'm not watching Pierre,Dobbs, Ruggiano, Polanco, Olivo,Mathis and others. The young guys give you hope(for something) these other guys should all be dealt for whatever they would bring which is not much. In fact if you packaged the 6 of them to Houston, I don't believe you would get 1 of Houston's Top 25 prospects. Do you?? Harrelson, I bet made it sound like the "Good Guys" just beat the 27 Yankees.

Stan M

Lou, I now indirectly watch the game. I have sound off and either read a book or play Civilization on my computer. Then if there is a highlight I put on sound , rewind a little and watch that moment. Didn't see this last game at all. Tried to stop altogether about 3 weeks ago and went nuts after two games. It's in my blood so I have to pay attention.

Marlin Fan

Another wasted pitching performance by Nolasco. Hopefully he can be traded at the deadline and put out of his misery . Lou , I would love to see the lineup you mentioned .

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