Cosart, scratched from Friday's start with a blister, says he was caught off guard by gambling allegations

JUPITER -- Jarred Cosart and the Marlins aren't saying much regarding baseball's probe into the gambling allegations the 24-year-old right-hander was roped into late Tuesday night. 

But here's what they did say Thursday: Cosart won't make his next scheduled start Friday because of a blister on his middle finger, not the investigation. And as for all that gambling stuff on Twitter, MLB is handling it and Cosart is cooperating. 

"Obviously I was caught off guard by the whole situation and all I'm really saying to everyone is I'm following MLB protocol and talking with MLB security and they're taking care of the rest," Cosart said in a very brief meeting with reporters shortly before joining his teammates for pre-game stretch on the backfields at Roger Dean Stadium.

"So that's where I stand right now and that's it," he said.

Acquired by the Marlins at the trade deadline last July, Cosart deleted his official Twitter account late Tuesday night after screenshots of purported direct messages from himself to a gambling expert were leaked by a third party using the same social media outlet.

MLB spokesman Pat Courtney confirmed Wednesday morning the commissioner’s office was investigating the matter.

It’s unclear whether the allegations involving Cosart revolve around baseball or sports-betting on another sport.

Players are allowed to legally gamble on sports other than baseball. But if it is proven that he was betting on baseball, there are stiff penalties. If he bet on a baseball game he wasn't involved in its an automatic one-year suspension. If he bet on a game he was involved in he's banned for life.

Cosart’s trouble began late Tuesday night when a purported gambling expert on Twitter who goes by the handle @GhostFadeKillah tweeted out screenshots of direct messages between Cosart and a friend. 

During the alleged conversation, Cosart says: “I bet LARGE. Shhhh lol lookin for some help anywhere I can … Saw a retweet on your under play and hammered it.”

Two other Twitter accounts have since surfaced claiming to be Cosart, but he said Thursday morning neither account belong to him.

"Anything that happened after [the official account] is not me," Cosart said. "My other one's completely deleted and being looked at by MLB and all the new ones -- that's not me."

As for the blister, manager Mike Redmond said Cosart developed it on his middle finger after his last start on Sunday.

"He’s going to play catch today to see how it felt and then we’ll re-evaluate to see where he’s at as far as his next start," Redmond said. "Brad Hand will make [Friday's start in Kissimmee versus Houston]. we’ll reevaluate how Cosart feels and go from there."

Redmond said he's spoken with Cosart regarding the allegations and added "it’s better to let these things play out and find out more information and when we do that we’ll have a comment."

Asked if he's seen a change in the pitcher, who has struggled this spring (0-2, 8.49 ERA), Redmond said: "No. He's fine."

Mike Hill, President of Baseball Operations, said baseball has given the Marlins no timeline as far as when they think the probe will end.

How did the Marlins become aware of the situation involving Cosart?

"We all saw the article on-line," Hill said.

June 06, 2008

The Joke is on Jake

Billy the Marlin’s gigantic glove is about the size of Montana, so it was easy to spot in the Marlins’ clubhouse Friday. Renyel Pinto had the huge glove and he was taunting (well, teasing) Mike Jacobs.

            Pinto had the entire clubhouse laughing as he put the glove on the table in the middle of the room with a large sheet of paper with the words “FOR JACOBS.’’

            Jacobs, who made two errors Thursday in Atlanta, laughed it off. Jacobs even had an error on a ball that skipped up and landed inside his in shirt.

            “Anything that could happen happened to me in that game yesterday,’’ Jacobs said.

            The joke before Friday’s game against the Reds proves a few things:

            It proves Pinto, who has the personality of a rock most of the time, has a sense of humor.

            It proves Jacobs can take a joke.

            And it proves the Marlins are pretty loose, even after that tough road trip They lost 7 of 10 including six games they could have won, and two of those were heartbreakers.

May 17, 2008

Jake's triple

If there were any justice in baseball, Mike Jacobs would have been awarded a home run on the ball he hit in the fourth inning Saturday night. OK, OK, the ball was dropped right in front of the right field wall, but it was a typical Jacobs' rainbow shot. Jake even admired it a bit at the plate, thinking he had hit his 10th homer.

We only suggest he be given (and we do mean given) a homer, because in his last start back on May 7, Jacobs hit a ball that hit the rail above the yellow stripe on the wall in right field. The ball cleared the yellow stripe, which means it is a home run, but the umpire (a Triple A ump who was filling in) ruled the ball in play and Jacobs had to settle for a double.

Jacobs left that game with a tight right quadriceps and made his first start since Saturday. It took him two at-bats to drive one to the wall. He was robbed of an extra base hit in his first at-bat when center fielder Joey Gathright ran down his drive in left-center. Gathright almost robbed Jacobs in the fourth. He ran a mile to get to right center and made a leaping effort at the wall. Right fielder David DeJesus also went for the ball and the two outfielders collided and the ball left Gathright's glove.

Jacobs, who had joked Friday about never being able to hit a triple, ended up at third. It was his first triple of the season.

May 11, 2008

Mother's Day Matinee -- LIVE from D.C.

ArodWASHINGTON -- Everyone seems to be doing the Fish once more, South Florida's pro baseball team doing quite well in case you haven't heard.

The Marlins are winning games on the field and making winning deals off it, locking up Hanley Ramirez to a six-year deal. Good feelings about the deal in the Marlins clubhouse on Saturday, players saying they are happy to see this organization make a commitment to the future.

Sure this news also quiets some of the low payroll talk these guys face in every city (including Miami Gardens) they visit. The Marlins are playing well right now, helped along by a favorable schedule, sure. But, as a guy who covers the Florida Panthers can attest, wins early in the season count just the same as ones in the final weeks.

The Fish are eight games over .500 and they have the pitching and the offense and right now even the defense to keep up these winning ways. You have to think the Marlins are going to win a good portion of their next eight (today with Olsen throwing against the Expos, four games at WKRP in Cincinnati and three at home against the KC Royales with Cheese) before the NL West leading D-Backs come to South Florida.

But lets not get ahead of ourselves. No local television on today's game, and not sure if you can catch it at your local watering hole on Center Ice, err the MLB Package, or not. If not, catch Dave Van Horne and Glenn Geffner on the radio and remember to check back here throughout the day. Will be working Fish Bytes old school for those without a radio but with a laptop handy.

-- Come on, call your Mom. Tell her we all send her our best.

-- Fish Bytes and On Frozen Pond send out congratulations to San Diego's Greg Maddux for getting his 350th career victory last night. Think he's a Hall of Fame candidate now, or does he need to do more?

-- Do you realize the Marlins .611 winning percentage coming into today is second only to the D-Backs in the National League, and third overall (Boston is at .615). Florida's 22 victories rank them fifth in baseball. That's pretty heady stuff there.

-- Couple changes on the lineup today. As planned, Alfredo Amezaga back in center, leading off. Mike Rabelo also behind the plate (Matt Treanor played past three games and it's a night-day dealio). For the Expos, old pal (unless you're a Red Sox fan) Aaron Boone starting at first and batting fourth. He pinch-hit last night and was robbed thanks to a terrific catch in left by Brett Carroll.

THE LINEUPS

Olsenbat Florida: CF Amezaga; RF Hermida; SS Ramirez; 3B Cantu; 2B Uggla; LF Gonzalez; 1B Helms; C Rabelo; P Olsen.

Montreal: SS Lopez; 2B Belliard; 3B Zimmerman; 1B Boone; CF Milledge; LF Pena; RF Dukes; C Flores; P Hill.

-- Here are some bonus quotes on the Hanley Ramirez signing from yesterday:

Manny Acta: “He’s special. He’s one of those few guys that you can say that. Hanley can do whatever he wants int the game. It’s that simple. He can hit a home run. He can bunt and steal second and third and score on anything. He’ll take a walk. He’ll hit over .320, almost guaranteed. He can do everything he wants in the game. He’s one of those legit five-tool players. there are a lot of guys a lot of people throw the five-tool guy at them and they’re not. This guy is a five-tool guy – legit.”

Dan Uggla: “I think it’s a great move. He’s going to be one of the best players in the game for a long time. He’s a winner and I think it’s really smart on their part. I’m real excited for Hanley. He plays his butt off.’’

Josh Willingham: “Fans want to be familiar with their players and they want to know the team is going to be commited to them. For him, to know he’s going to be around for a long time, maybe that’ll bring more fans out. I don’t know. It is good.’’

Luis Gonzalez:“It shows people that this organization is committed with the stadium coming. In the past, they’ve had to make moves to accomidate things because of the lack of fans coming out. By agreeing with Hanley, that shows there’s a commitment there where we’re going to do what we have to do to keep players like that and lock them up long time. That’s a commitment to the fans.’’

Fredi Gonzalez: “He’s one hell of a player, a good player. We’ve hit him third the past six, seven days and he gets on base, drove in some runs, walks, steals. His game hasn’t changed from being leadoff now that he’s in the three hole. If he gets on, he’s a threat to score.’’

-- Other news from today: Mike Jacobs still out, could play in the Natti. Josh Willingham will not do anything today, Fredi G saying his back was bothering him in BP yesterday. Willingham will travel with team to Ohio, maybe get in some BP there before getting his minor league rehab assignment.

-- About to get started here at Nationals Park, a number of the Marlins sporting some kind of pink today as park of baseball's annual Cancer awareness day. Some guys are wearing pink sweatbands (good luck breaking a sweat today), cleats or batting gloves. A good number of pink bats coming out as well. The Nats are giving out white caps with the Walgreens W in pink with the Cancer ribbon on the bill.

GAME TIME -- GAME TIME -- GAME TIME

-- First pitch from Shawn Hill (not the former Panthers defenseman) at 1:36 p.m. Alfredo Amezaga took a ball, did not hit the first pitch over the left field wall like Cody Ross did Saturday night...

Ironically, Sean Hill the hockey player is from Minnesota; Shawn Hill the baseballer is from Missasaugua, Ontario (which is outside of Toronto, home of the airport and, more importantly, Woodbine Racetrack.)

-- The US National softball team is here. I did not notice Jenny Finch. I was looking.

T1: Fish go 1-2-3; B1: Very efficient inning by Scott Olsen, puts down Nats in order on a mere six (yes, six) pitches.

T2: Marlins lead 1-0; with one out, Dan Uggla hit by pitch; races to third on bloop single by Luis Gonzalez and scores on sacrifice fly to center by Wes Helms. FLA 1-0. B2: And on pitch No. 9, Aaron Boone ties 'er up, line drive homer to center. 1-1. But, that's it for Nats. Hanley robs Lastings Milledge for the second straight night as Wash goes 1-2-3 after homer. Olsen now at 18 pitches.

T3: Jeremy Hermida and Hanley single with two outs, Cantu ends it by grounding out 5-3. Going on WQAM here for a few minutes, shall return.. B3: Nationals pick up three runs in the inning; Ronnie Belliard's 2-run homer to left makes it 3-1, then Aaron Boone doubles, error on Amezaga in center allowing Zimmerman to score. WASH 4-1.

T4: Marlins go out quietly 1-2-3. Abe Lincoln wins the President's Race (a cool rip-off of Milwaukee's Sausage Race) after Teddy Roosevelt runs into the crowd! That crazy president....B4: Wily Mo Pena walks to lead off the inning, but he didn't go anywhere as Olsen puts the Nats down after that. Still 4-1.

T5: Mike Rabelo singles to lead things off, gets taken out at second on Olsen's fielder's choice; Olsen out at second on Amezaga's fielder's choice for out No. 2; Amezaga makes sure he doesn't get into that mix, steals second before Hermida grounds out to second. Still 4-1. B5: Felipe Lopez walks to open things, moves to second on a Belliard groundout and is caught trying to steal third (larceny!). Zim flies out to deep center. Still 4-1...

T6: Nothing really happened, except Dan Uggla homered to center to pull Miami within two at 4-2. B6: Boone leads off with single, gets wrapped up in a 6-4-3, then Pena grounds out. Still at 4-2...

T7:  Two outs and Olsen is out; Brett Carroll pinch-hitting; no win for Olsen (6 ip, 6h, 4r, 4ER, 2HR) today...Carroll grounds out, it's uno-dos-tres...Also, a scoring change from the third. No error for Amezaga and a triple for Boonie...Still 4-2. B7: Jesus Flores doubles off Logan Kensing with one out, pinch-hitter Nick Johnson strikes out for No. 2 and Felipe Lopez flies out deep to center as Amezaga tracks it down on the track..

T8: Marlins tie score...Hermida deposits pitch in right field bleachers after Amezaga runs out an infield single...4-4, no outs in the 8th..Marlins lead again...Uggla homers again, puts this one in right field as well...Fish up 5-4 with two outs in the eighth ('The Ocho').....end of the inning, a big one indeed, Fish up 5-4...B8: Renyel Pinto in for the Marlins; gives up a walk to Belliard to start things off, then the slumping Zimmerman grounds into a 6-4-3 double play for outs 1 and 2. Boonie just flew out to right.

T9: Marlins go 1-2-3, here comes Gregg (and the usual 'It Ain't Over' clip from Bluto on the big screen). Here's the full scene, minus the F-bombs courtesy of IMDB.com:

D-Day: War's over, man. Wormer dropped the big one.
Bluto: Over? Did you say "over"? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!
Bluto Otter: Germans?
Boon: Forget it, he's rolling.
Bluto: And it ain't over now. 'Cause when the goin' gets tough...
[thinks hard]
Bluto: the tough get goin'! Who's with me? Let's go!
[runs out, alone; then returns]
Bluto: What ---- happened to the Delta I used to know? Where's the spirit? Where's the guts, huh? "Ooh, we're afraid to go with you Bluto, we might get in trouble." Well just kiss my [grass] from now on! Not me! I'm not gonna take this. Wormer, he's a dead man! Marmalard, dead! Niedermeyer...
Otter: Dead! Bluto's right. Psychotic, but absolutely right. We gotta take these bastards. Now we could do it with conventional weapons that could take years and cost millions of lives. No, I think we have to go all out. I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody's part.
Bluto: We're just the guys to do it.
D-Day: Let's do it.
Bluto: LET'S DO IT!

B9: Kevin Gregg in relief to close things out. Milledge up first, takes a free pass to first. Willie Harris has a broken-bat flare caught in right by Hermida for out numero uno. Elijah Dukes pops out to Uggla in foul territory for out number two. Jesus Flores up with two outs and a man on, sends shot back to Gregg how tossed to first for final out.

Your final from Washington, Florida 5-4 over the Nationals. Been fun covering the Marlins these past few weeks. See you all later.

May 07, 2008

Jacobs appears to be OK

Marlins first baseman Mike Jacobs left Wednesday's game in the third inning with tightness in his left quad, but after the game Jacobs said he should be fine.

"It's not that bad,'' he said."Just some tightness. I don't think I'll miss more than a day or two.''

Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez was relieved: "It's not as bad as we thought it was when he came out of the game,'' he said. "He might miss one or two games, but I don't think it will be any more than that.''

Jacobs was robbed of a home run on the play. He hit a drive that hit the rail above the yellow strip on top of the wall, and that's a home run. But the umpire in charge ruled the ball hit the yellow stripe and was in play, and Jacobs settled for a two-run double.

Replays showed the ball hitting above the yellow stripe, but the missed call didn't upset Gonzalez.

"It wasn't a home run until they showed replays from eight different angles,'' gonzalez said. "It's tough when you have to call it just like that. I couldn't see where it hit, but it came off the wall soft, like it hit the yellow (strip).''

A Triple A umpire, who was substituting, made the call.

Jacobs said he didn't see it hit, but added: "If I would have seen where it hit I would have said something,'' Jacobs said.

It would have been his 10th home run of the season.

Someone asked Jacobs how he would feel if he ends up with 29 home runs instead of 30.

"If I end up with 29, I'll be (bleeping) disappointed,'' Jacobs said.

Jake was robbed

It sure looks like Mike Jacobs was robbed in the third inning. Jake hit a shot that hit the top of the rail on the right field wall. The ball was ruled in play and Jacobs had to settle for a double.

He limped into second and left the game with a tight left quad. It's not known if Jacobs will have to go on the disabled list, but there should be an update after the game.