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Yelich angered, saddened by death of former schoolmate in California shooting rampage

Christian Yelich didn't know 19-year-old Veronika Weiss, one of the victims in Friday's shooting rampage at the University of California-Santa Barbara.

But he could identify with her, and her death hit home.

Yelich and Weiss each attended Westlake High School in Thousand Oaks, Calif., at the same time. Yelich was a senior in 2010 when Weiss was a freshman, and both were involved in athletics. He played baseball, of course. Weiss played water polo.

"Usually you don't really know people from tragedies, or it never happens in your hometown," Yelich said. "Unfortunately, it happened to her."

Yelich said he found out about the shooting Saturday through social media.

"I know a lot of people who go to UC-Santa Barbara and texted my friends who are up there after I heard about it to make sure they were all right," he said. "It's scary."

Yelich said he was alerted to Weiss's death from friends on Twitter and Facebook.

"People I follow who are friends with her were posting stuff about it," Yelich said. "I saw it and thought that's a shame. It's really unfortunate, really sad. It kind of puts everything in perspective. She did nothing wrong. Just in the wrong place at the wrong time. It makes me mad. It makes me really mad."

Comments

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A Realist

That sucks....

Can't even imagine being in that situation. Hope that I would be brave enough to help those around me.

Alex

It's a really bad situation. I ain't gonna get into a big thing about politics here, but it makes you wonder if there are just too many guns out there. They talk about making sure that people with mental illness can't buy guns, which of course should be the law. But what about all the "law abiding citizens" who can buy as many guns as they want and then ONE DAY THEY JUST SNAP AND GO ON A SHOOTING RAMPAGE? How do you stop THOSE GUYS from getting guns. You know who I mean; we hear about them ALL THE TIME! Guy goes on a spree and kills 10 people and when they interview his friends and neighbors EVERYONE IS SHOCKED! No way would they ever think that nice "Mr Smith from across the street" could do such a thing. He seemed like such a nice guy...normal in every way. So how do you stop THAT from happening? Or the guy who gets laid off from work and in a moment of despair takes out the gun he bought for self defense and kills his wife and kids..and himself.

Of course in THIS case they say the kid DID have mental problems for YEARS. And he STILL was able to get a gun.

Flav C.

Games where teams score tons of runs do have a tendency to inflate offensive stats. However, that is not the case of the Marlins. And why is that? I will explain:
The Fish is the team in the entire NL with the most number of games where a team score 4 or more runs. Read it again and try to make sense of it, and I am not making those numbers up. After 51 games, the Marlins has scored 4 or more runs in a game 29 times (57%). The Rockies come in 2nd with 28 games scoring 4 or more (56%)., don't forget that the Rockies play at Mile High, so that should naturally bump up their numbers. The Brew Crew has played 50 games and score 4 or more 27 times ( including 2 against the Fish). The Giants scored 4 or more 27 times, but in 51 games (53%). And the Braves are the true example that pitching is still the best medicine: they've scored 4 or more runs in only 21 games (42%). And that includes today's game where they are murdering the Rockies. Their pitching has been very effective in games where they score 1, 2, or 3 runs.

So, if we consider the fact that the Marlins plays in one of the toughest ballparks of the ML from a hitter's perspective, fans should really appreciate what they've been doing this season.

For the record, neither Sclafani nor Wolf are viable solutions for the rotation. Heaney will be up in the majors in 2 or 3 weeks, tops. Then we'll be able to see what he has to offer. I don't consider Heaney a savior or anything like that. He is a good lefty, but nowhere near as dominant as Jose.

Flav C.

Just to sum up my thoughts: Record-wise, the Marlins is pretty much where they should be. Maybe a little bit better if we consider that being swept at Citizens Bank Park was a big hiccup, and they had no business losing the series to the Padres in San Diego. A tie would have been much more appropriate. Anyway, I still think the team is very well positioned and can make some noise as we move forward.

Alex

LOL...I think you meant to post this on that other thread where me & A Realist were going back and forth about the team. I said as much to him on that thread. When the season started I said this team has the horses to hang around...meaning to play at .500 or a bit over and be within A FEW GAMES of a playoff spot. IF they can do that, and IF the Front Office can give them a little help at the Trade Deadline, they have a shot to make the playoffs. And that's all I EVER ask for! To have my team play meaningful games during the long hot summer and hopefully have a chance to play in October; I think that's what every baseball fan wants.

Unless they're Yankee fans, I guess, who EXPECT their team to make the playoffs EVERY YEAR.

Flav C.

Alex, you're right. I just posted it here because you guys were already writing here. What has me very optimistic is the fact that the Braves record is unrealistic and unsustainable, if their offense continues to lack. These next 2 series we very critical to keep us in the fight. But it just reminds me that in 2012, when the team hit the 50 games mark, they were 0.5 or tied with the Braves, and then they had a series against the Phillies, and then the Braves. That's when things completely unravelled and the Fish completely imploded.

Dionysus Thelxinoe

Flav, THIS team, as it is currently structured, can make some noise. I like the lineup (although I'm not yet sold on Ozuna) and the pitching is solid, although improvement is needed with the replacement starter and middle relief. But...

As in the preseason, my major concern with this team is depth. Fernandez' misfortune is highly unlikely to be the last injury we'll see. And we saw that when he went down, he's replaced by yet another 37 year old retread who did not throw a single pitch last year. We all know the season is a marathon race, and players will inevitably wear down or break down. And when an injury occurs, whether it is a short range, a long range, or just one of those nagging injuries that needs to heal during the offseason, the combination of their lack of depth and the lack of ownership support may prove to be a house of cards.

I hope I'm wrong.

Alex

I hope you're wrong too, DT, but I fear you are right. And Flav brought up a past implosion; I've seen a few from this team over the years. The problem with the strategy of just trying to "hang around" the .500 mark until late July and then getting some help at the Trade Deadline is that all it takes to derail that is one 8 game losing streak. One streak like that would drop this team 7 games under .500 and that would be all she wrote as far as being a contender this year.

Still, what makes this team different from past teams is that they can HIT. All in all, I can't complain about the way they have played this year. They are still in the hunt and they play an exciting brand of baseball. The Marlins lead the league with FIVE WALK OFF WINS this year.

Cleveland Spider

It is time to bring up Andrew Heaney. That move could be similar to the Dontrell Willis move. Dontrell was a shot in the arm in 2003.

They cannot afford to be giving up a game every fifth day. Wolfe is done. These next 6 games against the Nats and Braves could be critical. Next time Wolfe's turn in the rotation comes up is against the Braves. Unfortunately, the way the rotation will turn out, both Jacob Turner and Wolfe will pitch two of the three games against the Braves. If those two guys pitch against the Braves next weekend, you can pencil in two losses. If the Marlins are serious about contending this year Heaney has to take the Wolf start. It is time to bring the kid up.

A Realist

Guys, I hope I'm being the ultimate pessimist here, which I know I am usually. I do not see where this team has the horses to make a run.

- Dietrich is inconsistent offensively and very much defensively.
- Ozuna is inconsistent offensively.
- Yelich is starting to look average offensively.
- I've never been a big Jones fan. He looks like he's confused over there sometimes and makes some really bonehead plays defensively at 1st. Offensively he has some outbursts and then we don't hear from him for 4 games.
- Salty is just scarey to watch throw the ball. Offensively he's really struggling up there.
- Alvarez is a head case on the bump. Since he pitched well last game he's due for a complete flop against the Nat's.
- I'm not a big Turner fan although his last two starts have looked better.
- Koehler is good. He was lights out a few weeks ago, but now has been bombed 2 of his last 3 starts.
- Eovaldi is disappointing. So much talent and not nearly as dominant as he should be.
- I'd be more excited if we do see Heaney come up.
- The bullpen blows! Plain and simple. I think the players do read these blogs and I hope I've offended them. They are just garbage, except for Cishek.

With all that said, I do not think the front office will make any meaningful acquisitions to drastically increase this teams chances down the stretch.

To top it all off, this organization has a losing stench to it. It's the culture. These guys, and many more players before they arrived, have come here and not won. They don't believe in themselves. It's a losing culture. They will fall apart because they don't truly believe they can play with the GIants, Brewers, and Braves. They don't expect to win each and every time they step on the field. They HOPE to win. Big difference.

The Giants, Red Sox, Braves, and Yankees are some examples of organizations with winning culture. Even when they are down they find ways to turn around their season and make runs.

A Realist

This organization saved a substantial amount of money in the trade with the Dodgers and Hanley Ramirez. They have not reinvested that money at all.

Why should any of us believe they are going to acquire any help for the bullpen or starting rotation? When I say help I mean a bonified reliever with a proven track record. Someone fairly young that can help us this year and in years to come. The last time they acquired anyone midseason worth getting excited about we got Nick Johnson from the Nats to play 1st. When I say someone for the starting rotation I mean someone like a Samardzja or Ian Kennedy or anyone like that thats on a struggling team, but is still a solid starter. Screw Randy Wolf!

Flav C.

Yelich will be fine. He was hitting poorly against Lefties and adjusted to them. He is now hitting 340 against lefties.
What is happening is that righties have adjusted and are throwing more inside, whereas in April they were throwing outside and Yelich was driving lots of hits to the opposite side. From the 20 hits he got in April, 16 went to the opposite side of the field, and that is because most of the pitches he saw were at the upper - out side of the strike zone. In May, most pitchers adjusted to that, not mentioning that he faced some veterans like Beckett, Colon, Cain, Burnett, who are very good at mixing pitches and throwing inside .
He is a very smart hitter and is figuring out how to adjust to that.

Dionysus Thelxinoe

Realist, you're entitled to your opinion of course, but why focus on the negative, if you're a fan who's rooting for this team to succeed?

Granted, I do that myself in certain circumstances, since it is our misfortune to be cursed with the most deceitful and greedy owner in all of sports. But in the end, I am rooting for this team, the uniform, and our town.

It's easy to focus on the weaknesses of a player... but I think it's a much more enjoyable experience to focus on their COLLECTIVE strengths while we root for their success.

The teams you mentioned above (and I would particularly add the Oakland A's) each have successfully utilized the time-proven method of building a winning team, and that is by using ALL THREE channels of player acquisition - the draft, smart trades, and free agents. Spending by these teams is generally done in order to fill a specific need or a missing piece, i.e. leaving it for last.

For us as Marlins fans, it's a foregone conclusion that this thieving owner, who won't even bring up a player before it's absolutely necessary only so that he can control him longer, is a detriment to winning, since his primary objective is to line his pockets by charging $8 for beers and signing players off the scrap heap.

But I won't allow him to keep me from enjoyimng our team. Yelich is still developing, Dietrich is a good hitter, and Jones has exceeded my own expectations so far. It's easy to criticize Salty's shortcomings, but he is definitely part of the synergy that has improved this lineup, again beyond expectations. I think this team DOES believe it can win and is continually improving.

I think there is plenty of cause for optimism.

Now if only someone would secretly record Loria saying (or doing) something so sordid and despicable that MLB would be forced to kick him out of the game...

A Realist

Flav, Yelich is the one person on that list that I am the least worried about. All those other guys, especially Ozuna and Dietrich, are cause for particular concern.

DT, it's not that I don't enjoy going home, kicking my feet up, and watcing this team. I do, in fact, enjoy watching them play and improve. However, I don't allow my self to fall into the trap that the typical fan falls into. This organization is very different from other organizations for the reason you mentioned previously (Loria). That reason takes away the hope of possibly adding an integral piece here and there for a run. In addition to that, we have to be honest about some of these players. Guys like Dietrich and Jones committing errors night after night make it hard to really buy into this team. Defense is as much, if not more important, than hitting and pitching. Errors kill a pitcher's momentum and we commit a ton of them.

You are absolutely correct about building a team through the draft and smart acquisitions to fill specific needs. This team doesn't do that. Our building never stops. We always have a team filled with very young players because this front office doesn't resign their own players that deserve it. This team doesn't go after big time free agents that are available and fill an obvious need. We are hoping for another 2003 because our team is always chock full of rookies and second year players. Forget about serious free agent acquisitions! Look at Oakland, which you brought up, DT. They signed Cespedes and Reddick. When's the last time you've seen the Marlins do something like that besides 2013 when they were putting on a dog-and-pony show for South Florida? Really never. Maybe Delgado or Paul Lo Duca who subsequently traded the very next years. All this makes it hard to watch them "collectively improve" when we know they will do what so many Marlins teams have done down the stretch; implode. Why? This is a losing franchise. And I'm a fan. Guess I'm the crazy one!

I know I'm a pessimist to the 10th power, but it's not without reason. I love this team, but I'm not afraid to state the cold, hard truth.

Sta M

DT, I said the same thing about Loria a couple of weeks ago. The union just jumped on the Cubs for holding back money, and that might be the only hope we have with Loria as well. However, I really can't blame him for holding back Heaney so as not to lose a year of eligibility. Most teams do the same. I do blame him for not trying other minor leaguers instead of the Slowey types. Wolf made two successful relief appearances before his disastrous start. Can't blame the team for trying. But now we have seen some results and it is obvious that we need pitching help. The ball is now in the FO court. An infusion is needed for psychological as well as purely baseball reasons.
But lets look at this team objectively. They're in 2nd place for crying out loud. None of us expected that. We have been exceedingly lucky in missing the various opponents aces. Our hitting has exceeded not only our expectations but even our imaginations. Sure there are weaknesses. But look at the rest of the division. The principle reason that we are in 2nd place is because of the shortcomings of our competitors.
I can't agree with Realist in his negative outlook on so many of the starting eight. Yelich, although adequate leading off, if miscast in the position in the long run. He is forced to take too many pitches. The man is no .250 hitter and we can realistically expect an upswing. Dietrich has hit in some tough luck. He is a little pull happy, but his pitch selection has improved immensely. He should probably hit in 6th place eventually but is currently needed in 2nd. Jones has made a convert of me and we can win with him at 1B. Mcgehee has been a revelation. He playes hard and with Moran showing little in A ball, signing him for another year would be a wise move. Yes Ozuna is a puzzle, but with his superb defense in our capacious outfield, we can win with him as long as he's batting toward the back of the order. I don't give a damn what Hech hits, he's that good in the field. I think he needs some more rest though. As someone aid above, Salty might have some value as a teammate. He better for his on field performance has been one of our few disappointments. Lucas, my favorite Marlin. does everything expected of him and is the best schooled player we have. The two RH hitters the FO picked up have proven their worth. Lastly we have poor Solano. He has a certain skill set, but is superfluous on this team. I hope he is bundled to a team that can give him more playing time.. In summary, we are in 2nd place. There has been some luck but this team is there because it deserves to be. Let's hope that Heaney will be a help and personally, I would have given DeSciafani one more start. IN summary, things could be a whole lot worse.

Dionysus Thelxinoe

Realist, maybe it depends on your definition of winning and losing. This team lost 100 games last year. As I stated early on, a .500 record would represent a 19 game improvement, which for this team with their budget would be huge.

I am a fan of the game, its symmetry, its endless possibilities. People like Loria and that nincompoop Sampson will never get this game. That's why they can make idiotic statements like having a goal of completing games in under X number of minutes. Their boredom kicks in immediately after evaluating the Balance Sheet.

I simply refuse to allow d-bags like them affect my affection and enjoyment for this game.

Dionysus Thelxinoe

Stan, my problem with Wolf in the rotation is not even so much that he got knocked around yesterday. It's the fact that he's just one more in a steady line of retreads and leftovers that Loria is targeting for minimum wage roster spots. If you look at Wolf in a vacuum (which is what Loria would like), it doesn't seem like such a bad move. But he's counting on fans like you and I "not seeing the forest for the trees."

A Realist

Well said, DT. I can't disagree with everything you stated. There's no reason DeSclafani shouldn't have been allowed to start a few more time rather than give this blue-hair, Wolf the chance. I, for one, don't look at .500 ball as enough. That's exactly the type of mentality that kills this franchise. Mediocre is viewed by the front office and many of the fans as good enough. Winning is good enough and nothing else. The same goes for scholastic achievements. If a student views C's as good enough thats all he or she will ever achieve if they're lucky. If that same student shoots for A's, maybe they'll get those A's or B's, but both are better than C's. This franchise's front office and players shoot for mediocre because thats enough to satisfy these win-thirsty fans. We have never tasted winning and so just a little bit is good enough. I don't buy that. If you want to truly build a premier franchise than you better start behaving that way. Dress for success or any of those other stupid sayings.

Stan M

Most of us would agree that the team has exceeded expectations. Also that the team is at a crossroad with a couple of problems that simply must be addressed. But how? I would love to bring up some kids. Unfortunately, those kids have been unspectacular for the most part. Let's assume Heaney will be up as soon as that super two status is nullified in a week or two. But who else is ready? DeSciafani was our best bet. Nicolino has been knocked around to the point that we probably won't see him this year. Both Dayton and Wittgren, two promising relief pitchers, seem to need more refining. Flynn has been so so, but far from domineering. Urena, promising lately, is still much too green. Conley must be hurt. And the conclusion is...we can wait for Heaney or go outside the organization for more immediate help. The point is, that move should be done now if this team is going to continue to compete. But will it? Hell no. First the team will lose 5 of 6 or something like that, and then it could be too late. For an uncanny businessman, it is amazing to me that Loria can't understand that one has to spend money to make money. And that, fellow posters, is probably the end of this tale. So near and yet so far.

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