Stanton, Gordon earn All-Star starting nods from the fans

They've put a lot of smash and flash into a Marlins lineup that often hasn't backed them enough.

Sunday night, though, Giancarlo Stanton and Dee Gordon were rewarded for their work. Both earned starting jobs for the 86th All-Star Game in Cincinnati, joining Gary Sheffield (1993) and Hanley Ramirez (2008-10) as the only Marlins to get voted into the game by the fans.

Stanton, who leads baseball with 27 home runs and ranks second with 67 RBI, went on the disabled list after he broke the hamate bone in his left hand swinging a bat June 26 and won't get to play in the game.

But Gordon, who leads the majors with 116 hits and 17 three-hit games and ranks second in stolen bases (29), will get to start in the Midsummer Classic for the first time in his career if he can get through the next week unscathed.

“It’s a huge honor," Gordon said Sunday in Chicago after the Marlins fell to 35-48, 11 games back in the division race. "I’m definitely blessed. I thank God for the opportunity. But I thank my teammates and my coaches for going out there and battling every day. This is more for them.”

Stanton, not expected back until August, took to social media to thank the fans for the 7,036,537 votes he received, second only among outfielders to Washington's Bryce Harper, the National League's overall leader in votes with 13,864,950.

It's the first time in Stanton's career he was voted in by the fans. In 2012, he was selected as a reserve but didn't play because he had surgery on his right knee. Last year in Minneapolis, Stanton started as the designated hitter for the NL when he earned his second selection.

"I just wanted to thank my fans and fans of the game that voted for me to start in the All-Star Game this year," Stanton wrote on his Instagram account. "I work the way I do for a reason, and it's times like this that I can appreciate why. So I THANK each and every one of you!"

In all, ten of the 17 players elected by the fans (nine American League; eight National League) are first-time starters -- the most since there were 11 in 2005.

The pitchers and reserves for both squads – totaling 25 for the NL and 24 for the AL – will be announced on ESPN at 7 p.m. Monday. They are determined through a combination of “Player Ballot” choices and selections made by the two All-Star managers – NL skipper Bruce Bochy of the defending World Series Champion Giants and AL manager Ned Yost of the Kansas City Royals.

Blue Jays third baseman Donaldson, who collected 14,090,188 total votes, set a new all-time single-season voting record, surpassing Josh Hamilton’s 2012 total of 11,073,744 tallies.

But it was the Royals and their fans who really stole the show. Four were elected: outfielders Lorenzo Cain and Alex Gordon, shortstop Alcides Escobar and catcher Salvador Perez. Kansas City became the 10th team in AL history have four players win starting job

The Marlins have twice had four players selected to the All-Star Game back in 2004 and 2005 -- when Gordon was a teenager following his father, Tom, around.

Now, it's dad, a three-time All-Star relief pitcher, who will be on his son's guest list. There are only 13 father son combinations who have played in the All-Star Game.

“In 2004 I was kicked off the field for trying to rob home run derby homers," said Gordon, who said one of his favorite All-Star moments was meeting Muhammad Ali in 2004. 

"The ’06 [game] I had just graduated from high school and I thought I was a cool kid. So I didn’t want to go on the field. But ’04 was the most fun.”

Gordon, a reserve at the All-Star Game last year with the Dodgers, said earning the start is something he's very proud of.

His first half has been one of the best in Marlins history. He's hitting .343 with 16 doubles, four triples, 21 RBI and 43 runs scored. His 100th hit of the season came in the Marlins' 65th game on June 19, making the fastest player to 100 hits in club history -- five games faster than three-time All-Star and Marlins all-time hits leader Luis Castillo.

He's also played Gold Glove caliber defense.

“He’s having a dynamic year," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "He has a great energy about him. He’s a very good defender also, he’s a difference maker. He is truly one of the catalytic leadoff hitters in the game right now. He has been really impressive.”

February 27, 2014

Samson's quick exit on Survivor stunned Marlins

JUPITER -- Marlins closer Steve Cishek was looking forward to watching Survivor this season.

Not anymore. 

Marlins President David Samson was the first of 18 castaways on the reality TV show to get voted off the island by his peers Wednesday night -- just an hour into the 28th season's debut show.

Although many Marlins players say they don't watch the show regularly or even at all, a few said they did tune in Wednesday to see how Samson would do. 

"It was quick," relief pitcher Chris Hatcher said. "I never really watched Survivor, but I thought he would have lasted a little longer than that.

"I was actually prepping my taxes a little bit, getting ready. When Samson spoke I would listen a little bit, but other than that I really didn't watch. I just saw him get voted off.

"Honestly, what's the key to the show? Is it MacGyver skills? Is it knowledge? Is it brute strength? I couldn't figure it out. If it's internal politics I'd be the first one out too."

Samson got to the island and was quickly elected his team’s leader. But it didn't take him long to lose support and be dubbed "a schemer."

After being eliminated, Samson said he “had no hard feelings” and that he played the game as he thought it should be played. “I consider myself the luckiest guy in the world," he said.

"When I watched the show it looked like there were other people I would have voted off," pitcher Tom Koehler said. "But there's other things that happen that you don't really see. There's obviously a reason he was the one to go home. Some of them said he was the biggest threat for them going forward. I guess that's why they got rid of him right away."

Cishek said seeing Samson get voted off "drove me nuts."

"I don't know if I'll watch it again," Cishek said. "That other guy was just sitting in his underwear with a majestic background. You could hear in the interview he didn't even want to be there. He wanted to be fed grapes while lounging. Samson was right from the start.

"I can't believe that other girl made it through two rounds. She's a nuclear physicist and she can't even put two blocks together. It's kind of ridiculous. Put me on Wipe Out or something where I can control my own destiny."

> Manager Mike Redmond said pitcher Henderson Alvarez, who had an infection in his right shin drained recently, looked better on Thursday and was walking around camp without his crutches. "I take that as a positive sign," Redmond said.

> Right-hander Angel Sanchez, the lone remaining piece in the Ricky Nolasco trade with the Dodgers, didn't give up any runs over two innings in Wednesday's start against the University of Miami. But he wasn't exactly happy with his effort.

Sanchez struckout two, but walked a batter, gave up two hits and made a fielding error.

"Physically I felt good. The only thing was I wasn't too happy," he said. "I thought I could have done better. I could have had better focus when I was pitching. I could have looked better fielding on the mound. But in the end I did my job. I didn't let anyone touch home plate. I was just working on my breaking pitches, hitting the strike zone and putting my fastball through the strike zone."

Sanchez is expected to begin the season in Double A Jacksonville.

THURSDAY'S LINEUPS

> Marlins: 1. Donovan Solano SS, 2. Derek Dietrich 2B, 3. Marcell Ozuna CF, 4. Jeff Baker 3B, 5. Greg Dobbs 1B, 6. Ty Wigginton DH, 7. Reed Johnson LF, 8. Matt Angle RF, 9. Kyle Skipworth C, LHP Justin Nicolino.

> FIU: 1. Tyler Hibbert CF, 2. Julius Gaines SS, 3. Aramis Garcia C, 4. Josh Anderson 3B, 5. Edwin Rios 2B, 6. J.C. Escarra 1B, 7. Louis Silverio RF, 8. Roche Woodard LF, 9. Chris May DH. RHP Chris Mourelle.

February 26, 2014

Marlins plan on tuning in tonight to watch Samson's debut on Survivor

JUPITER -- Marlins closer Steve Cishek has never been a fan of the show Survivor, but he'll be tuning in to watch the debut of the show's 28th season tonight.

Marlins team president David Samson, who turns 46 today, is one of 18 contestants on the long-time running hit reality TV show which pits contestants as castaways in in the Philippine province of Cagayan.

The debut show, which airs on CBS at 8 p.m. and is two hours long, was filmed last summer. Samson is one of six contestants who will be in the "Brains Tribe."

"He's obviously a bright person so I'm assuming he probably found a way to get to the top, some way or the other," Cishek said. "He's obviously in good shape too. He ran like a bazillion miles last year. The marathon thing he did was insane. I couldn't believe he did that. He got a lot of props for that for sure."

Manager Mike Redmond said he planned on tuning into the show, too, if he "could stay up that late."

"I've probably got to watch the first one, right?" Redmond said Wednesday. "It should be funny to watch."

Which current Marlins player would do best on Survivor?

Redmond believes catcher Jeff Mathis, an avid hunter in the off-season, and veteran pitcher Kevin Slowey, who climbed Africa's Mount Kilimanjaro two years ago with former Twins teammate and Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey, would be great contestants on Survivor.

Cishek called right-handed reliever and roommate Chris Hatcher the perfect "survivalist."

"He's like MacGyver," Cishek said. "He's fixed my bike so I can go pond to pond with my fishing pole attached to it. He's fixed the kitchen sink twice. He was going to fix the washer and dryer before we just decided to buy a new one. He knows how to rig things together MacGyver style."

 > Cishek, who missed a few days early in camp with neck discomfort, faced live hitters for the first time on Tuesday and did well.

He retired Marcell Ozuna on a fly out to left. Then he struckout Jarrod Saltalamacchia on a slider, walked Giancarlo Stanton and got Adeiny Hechavarria to ground out to third base.

"I was kind of disappointed I walked Stanton. I wanted to give him some pitches to see," Cishek said. "But I felt it went pretty well. It felt pretty good out there. It was nice to see somebody in the box. But I feel great today and I'm back to normal.

"I just slept funny. That's all it was. I had a crick in my neck and it just kind of blew up for some reason. It happens to everyone. We're good to go. It was early in the season and there was no sense to pitch through or anything. They just wanted me to relax. So I'm glad it happened this early instead of during the season."

June 11, 2012

Samson explains how phone call from Beinfest to end Marlins six-game losing streak led to roof opening

When David Samson's phone rang shortly after 5 o'clock Monday and he saw the call was coming from Larry Beinfest the first thing he said he thought was "something bad had happened."

David Samson
David Samson said it was Larry Beinfest's suggestion that led to the roof being opened Monday night.

Turns out the Marlins President of Baseball Operations was calling the team's No. 2 guy to make a suggestion.

"[Beinfest] said 'Hey, we've lost six in a row. I've got an idea. Let's open the roof and see what happens,'" Samson said. "I said, 'What's the temperature?' He said, 'It's going to below 80. It's going to be 79.' I said, 'Let's just try it.'"

Samson said he made two more phone calls. The first to owner Jeffrey Loria, and the next to manager Ozzie Guillen. Both agreed to it.

"[Loria] was worried about our fans, didn't want them to be too hot," Samson explained. "I spoke to the weather people and they said it was zero percent chance of rain, a nice wind breeze, our formula showed we could keep it open. We spoke to Ozzie, Ozzie said, 'What do I care? We lose six when it's open, we win six when it's closed, do whatever you want.' Ozzie was great. We decided to do it.'"

So, less than a half hour before Josh Johnson delivered the first pitch to Scott Podsednick, the roof was opened for a game at Marlins Park for the first time since April 18th.

Samson said normally the roof would have stayed closed on a night like this because the formula the Marlins use to determine if the weather is suitable (temperature, relative humidity and chance of rain) remained questionable in his eyes. But Beinfest's phone call and the unusually cool weather in South Florida with no chance of rain convinced Samson to go for it.

"The danger of this strategy is we win tonight and all of a sudden we hear from the man upstairs [Loria] the roof will be open at all-times, bring your umbrellas," Samson joked.

Samson said he expects the roof to remain closed on most nights this summer. "I don't know if this changes anything," he said. "But I'm still trying to hit my number of 11 open games for the season, which I promised you guys."

> As for the state of the team following six consecutive losses, Samson said: "We hope it's not April off. May on. June off.

"But it's too early to say that. We weren't hitting. The pitching has been holding us in so many tight games where they weren't getting support. Pitching has a hick up and you're not hitting you're going to have a problem. Ozzie is completely confident. We're all completely confident. Obviously, we wanted to bring Gaby [Sanchez] back up because we're a better team with Gaby and Logan [Morrison] in left. That's the team we built to play."

> Samson said the team will make adjustments to the pricing of tickets next season.

"Basically, we've studied everything," he said. "When we do prices and renewals for next year we're going to have adjustments all over the ballpark. We did pricing without knowing how fans would react, where they would buy. Certain areas are under priced. Certain areas are overpriced. We're going to go through them and do everything we can to make it better."

February 15, 2011

Marlins take BP, feed workers at new ballpark

It was a fun morning out at the new Marlins ballpark on Tuesday.

Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria and team president David Samson helped install the first seat about 10 rows behind the third base dugout. The official location: Section 19, Row H, Seat 12. The seat, which is red, will be the only red seat in the stadium when it is expected to open for play on March 1, 2012. The rest of the seats will be blue.

Samson said the first games that will be played at the stadium next spring are college and pro exhibitions. Personally, it would only be fitting if the University of Miami played the Marlins in the first official game seeing as its the site where the Orange Bowl once stood.

Loria said the stadium was about 60 percent completed on Tuesday and expected it to be ready in time for Opening Day.

As for the rest of Tuesday's event, six players were on hand for batting practice: Hanley Ramirez, Chris Coghlan, Logan Morrison, Mike Stanton, John Buck and Gaby Sanchez. Ramirez took the first cuts and belted a couple that would have been home runs. Morrison belted a few into the upper deck in right and Stanton literally hit one out of the stadium entirely. The best part: watching stadium workers played the role of outfielders and shagging fly balls. Some workers were diving in the dirt to make catches.

After BP ended, the Marlins took a tour of their future clubhouse and then fed a group of about 700 stadium workers lunch. On the menu: lechon (shredded pork), black beans and rice and yuca.

Here are a few videos that captured the scene:

- Watch Samson and Loria install the seat and sit in it.

- Scenes from batting practice and interviews with players

- A tour of the stadium and a view from the press box:

June 23, 2010

Samson, Beinfest weigh in on Fredi firing, future

BALTIMORE -- Marlins President David Samson and President of Baseball Operations Larry Beinfest spoke with reporters for 20 minutes before the game here at Camden Yards. For the complete press conference, click on our audio link.

Samson's opening statement: "Today was a difficult day. I want to say from the outset that today's decision made by this organization, a decision that was made with me, Larry, [general manager] Mike [Hill] and [owner] Jeffrey [Loria], was based on nothing having to do with Hanley Ramirez and the situation that took place with Hanley earlier this season. As a management team we were completely supportive in terms with how that situation was handled. In addition, it had nothing to do with any lineup card issues that happened at all. This decision was made in an effort for this team to accomplish what we want it to accomplish going forward and our continued desire to become one of eight [playoff teams]. Any time a change like this is made, it's an adjustment for the players and the staff."

Samson on Fredi Gonzalez and why the Marlins decided to fire him today: "Fredi is a very, very good man and a good manager. We felt today was the right day to do it. There is no perfect day to do this. Whether you've won three of four lost eight of ten. Today was just the day we decided to do it."

Samson on the plan moving forward: "As far as going forward, Edwin [Rodriguez] is the interim manager. We are beginning and have begun today a search for the next manager. There will be internal candidates, there will be external candidates. Before any speculation goes forward, Bobby Valentine is a candidate for this position. He was spoken to by me today. I called him today and told him that Fredi had been dismissed and we were interested -- Larry, Mike and I -- in the very near future about opening in a managerial capacity".

"In addition, there are a list of candidates. The reason I addressed Bobby by name is because of the speculation that has been out there for so long. As president of this team, the search in our minds commenced today and the first contact I had with Bobby had today. The relationship Bobby and Jeffrey have had as friends is not relevant in our managerial search at all."

"As far as our expectations for the rest of this year, on the field and off the field, they do not change. We stood by our thought of making the playoffs and there's no question I feel very responsible today. That's why it's not a good day for me personally. Because I feel I've failed completely to date, on the field, off the field and it's something I take very seriously. It is a job that we all have to make this team better as we get ready to move into the new ballpark that's being built and when the performance isn't what our evaluators tell us it should be, then I take that responsibility along with Larry and Mike."

Samson was asked why firing Fredi was the answer: "We felt at this time, this was the proper move was to get a different voice. As far as our timeline, we are definitely active and we do not expect the interim tag to last very long. We will go through the search, we will have candidates, we will follow the commissioner's rules on interviewing 100 percent and we hope to have the interim situation resolved in the very near future.

"There is no perfect day, you just a get feeling that builds over time and just decide when you are trying to compete for a playoff spot and the clock turns to mid to late June, it's time to do it."

Samson on when was the decision made: "The final decision was made within the last couple of days and Larry and Mike were able to present a plan to me and Jeffrey that makes absolute sense. As far as Edwin, he's an important person in our organization, a baseball man that come in here and be seemless, knows the players and it would be a way for us not skip a beat.

Samson on what the Marlins are looking for in their next manager: "You want a manager who has the ability to lead our team. How do you react in certain situations? How do you interact with the front office? How do you lead 25 guys to where we want them to be?"

Samson on reaching out to Bobby Valentine: "He's an external candidate, one of the external candidates I had to reach out to. There will be more. We've been around enough and know enough people in this game. It will not have the deliberate pace maybe other managerial searches have had. We'd really like to have a permanent situation in place as soon as possible. We're confident in list we've put together, it has the type of people we're looking at."

Samson on the timetable for finding a permanent replacement: "We are being careful, but expedient. Before the All-Star break is a very fair thing to say."

LARRY BEINFEST

Opening statement: "On our personal note, all of us a little bit, earned a warm relationship with Fredi and it made this extremely difficult decision. We also recognize there are some personnel challenges on this team. I'll echo what David said. We feel like we failed.

"It's not a reflection or Fredi or Carlos [Tosca] or Jim Presley if we did not give them the right personnel. We share that burden and it's been a difficult day for me. On the flip side of that, though, this team seems to be stuck in neutral and our competitors are on the accelerator. The Phillies, Mets and Braves are on the accelerator and we seem to be a little bit stuck. So we are looking at our personnel and a leadership change to hopefully get us on the accelerator and that's a big part of what we did today."

Beinfest on Fredi: "As far as Fredi's managerial skills and what he meant to this organization, he did a terrific job here. He will manage again in the big leagues and he deserves to manage in the big leagues. It's been a very difficult day. As we told the players it's time to move on and play baseball. We're going to do our job in the office to find the right mix of personnel and continue down that path. Edwin will lead us in this interim position, win ballgames and help us stay in this race."

Beinfest on whether Fredi is to blame for the bullpen woes: "There's no question I'm going to take responsibility for the bullpen. I don't think its a reflection on Fredi at all. It's definitely a personnel issue. This was just an overall decision to see if we can get this team clicking. We recognize the issues we have. We've been in the market looking for relievers and we'll continue to do so. We are fully aware with our eyes open of the challenges with personnel."

Beinfest on whether the change was made to save the season: "We want to try and get it going. We're a couple games under. I really got concerned and started speaking to David and Jeffrey after the Rangers series. Something was missing. We're at the ballpark every day and in tune with the team and you could just tell there was something missing there. Maybe we weren't going to get the engine going the way we needed to. That's really when we had concerns about pushing things along.

Beinfest on if previous MLB managerial experience will be important in the hiring process: "It's not [required] at all. We're looking for somebody to put it together and get these guys moving forward and playing at a level we think they're capable of playing at. We've moved very quickly already to put together a list and we're going to move very quickly in the next couple days.

Beinfest on how Fredi took the news: "He was very professional, very appreciative. Fredi sometimes is more concerned with everybody else. It was a very difficult meeting. He was very professional, gracious."

Beinfest on why hitting coach Jim Presley was also fired: "With these type of changes it's an opportunity to have a different voice. We have a different team, a few young guys who have a relationship with John Mallee. We thought where he could up and maybe move those relationships along quickly, the Stantons, the Gaby Sanchezes, people he's worked with in the minor leagues. We thought it was an opportunity to make a change."

May 09, 2008

Lineups and More

NatsWASHINGTON -- Getting ready for some baseball here in the Nation's Capital. Jeffrey Loria and David Samson are here checking out their old team (one country removed) and it hasn't rained in some time -- although the tarp is now covering the infield (5:40 p.m.).

It is chilly. Look for some of your favorite Marlins in jackets and toques (that's hockey/Canadian for 'wool cap'). It's now 59 degrees in DC.

As promised, here is tonight's starting lineup for the Marlins: CF Ross; LF Hermida; SS Ramirez; 3B Cantu; 2B Uggla; LF Gonzalez; 1B Helms; C Treanor; P Nolasco.

Exposbanner The Expos: 2B Lopez; SS Guzman; 3B Zimmerman; 1B Johnson; CF Milledge; RF Kearns; LF Pena; C Nieves; P Redding.

-- Mike Jacobs is obviously still out of the lineup with his sore left quad, although he says he wants to play. "It's out of my hands,'' he said. Says Fredi Gonzalez: "If he had a bone sticking out of his leg he would say that. And I love him for it. But I have to be careful with him.''

-- LF Josh Willingham took BP today and looks on track to rejoin the team (he's on the 15 day DL with a sore back) next week in the Natti.

-- Various injury updates from the Marlins PR department: Alejandro De Aza is jogging, hitting, etc; Josh Johnson threw a 25 pitch BP session today, next one coming on Thursday; Sergio Mitre is up to a light toss; Henry Owens threw a BP today, as did Anibal Sanchez.

-- More as we go....