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62 posts from June 2011

June 22, 2011

McKeon easing the mood in what was once a 'tight' Marlins dugout

There weren't many times during Edwin Rodriguez's tenure with the Marlins when the 50-year old manager couldn't be found thumbing through the internet on his iPad or updating one of his four websites on his free time. 

Jack McKeon Not the story with Jack McKeon. "My computer," McKeon said Wednesday. "is between my ears."

McKeon, 80, said his first encounter with email and text messages on his cell phone Wednesday revealed he had messages dating as far back as Christmas. He said he read them all then deleted them.

"Now I know how to get them," McKeon said. "But I'm not sending any. Don't ever text me because you won't get an answer. Pick up the phone."

McKeon may not be hip with Twitter, Facebook or anything on the internet, but catcher John Buck said he's figured out quickly how to ease the tension in the Marlins clubhouse -- with laughter and stunning one liners straight out of Yogi Berra's school of deep thoughts.

"Some of the things he saying on the bench at certain times -- whereas in the past we've been really tight -- something will come out of his mouth where we all look around and smile and we say 'Did we all just hear that right?' Buck said.

"He's been around to know when he needs to do it. For some reason he has good timing with it."

> With the Marlins having to move this weekend's series against the Mariners to Seattle because of a U2 concert scheduled at Sun Life Stadium, McKeon was asked how he felt about the band and their music. His response: "I don't know about U2, Jiffy Lube or any of them. I don't know what these guys do. I'm not into any of them. That's for these Twitter guys, Facebook guys.

"Now, I could enjoy the Beach Boys. That's my kind of songs and stuff. Little life. Get the place jumping. We used to have them in San Diego quite often."


Javier Vazquez did more Tuesday than just pick up his first win since May 21.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he became just the third pitcher since 1900 to give up 10 hits in less than six innings of work without giving up a run. The others: Boston's Bill Lee on June 15, 1974 and the Cubs' Chuck Rainey on Aug. 3, 1983.

Vazquez, who owns the worst ERA among starting pitchers in baseball at 6.37, has had two good starts for the Marlins in a row, giving up 18 hits, but just two earned runs over his last 10 1/3 innings. The reason for his newfound success, according to pitching coach Randy St. Claire, is that Vazquez is using his fastball more at the urging of catcher John Buck.

"What makes your off speed pitch is your fastball," St. Claire said. "If you go over 50 percent breaking balls, it becomes a non issue pitch. They start taking them all. The breaking ball is designed to be a ball -- it looks like a strike and breaks out of the zone. So, if they're taking them, that means you're behind in the count all the time and if they're taking them it's no good. You have to use that fastball to offset that breaking ball. It becomes more effective. Javi's last two starts, he's done that and he's had two good starts."

Right-hander Chris Volstad, who owns the second-highest ERA among starters in the National League at 5.65, has started to do the same. Outside of getting tagged for 10 hits, eight earned runs and four homers in a 9-1 loss at Philadelphia on June 14, Volstad has given up 18 hits and seven earned runs over 20 2/3 innings in his three other June starts combined (3.04 ERA).

"Volstad has one of the better sinkers in the game," Buck said. "But I think he was trying not to get hit so much that he would fall behind. The one Philly game he didn't use his fastball a lot. But two previous games -- and this last one in Tampa -- he really concentrated on it and you saw the outcome. Bottomline, we need him and Javi, all our starters to pitch well if we're going to turn things around."

> Reliever Ryan Webb, who hasn't pitched since Sunday and had an MRI performed Tuesday for the inflammation in his throwing shoulder, said he's hopeful to be available Friday in Seattle.

"The MRI came up fine, just precautionary," Webb said. "I'm starting to feel better. I'll play catch Friday and see how I feel, go from there."

From Memorial Day to.........?

     Despite their win last night, the Marlins failed to gain ground in the standings on first-place Philly. The last time they moved that needle? Memorial Day. And you also have to go back their sweep of the Giants in May (24-26) to find the last time the Marlins won a series or back-to-back games. They have a chance to do both tonight when they close out their three-game set with the Angels.

      MORE ON HANLEY-GATE -- Logan Morrison wasn't the only one who was upset with Hanley Ramirez when the shortstop walked in during Jack McKeon's inaugural address to players on Monday. Multiple sources said that front-office executives were hopping mad, as well, more so than McKeon. McKeon is clearly trying to put the issue to rest, going out of his way to praise Ramirez and his positive "attitude" after the player's two-hit game last night.

      MCKEON-ISM 1 -- When talking to reporters after last night's victory, McKeon slipped -- but quickly caught himself amid laughter -- when discussing Ramirez: "It was good to see Cabr......not (Miguel) Cabrera. I wish I did have him...Ramirez and big Stanton come through back in the lineup, get a couple of hits, boost up the confidence. It was great."

      MCKEON-ISM 2 -- Tweeted Morrison after the game: "Jack asked me what I'm doing tonight. I told him I'm going hom to play with Twitter. He asked, "What kind of dog is it?"

      FROM KOCH TO CHOATE -- Anyone remember the time in 2004 when, with the bases loaded and one out late in a tight game in Philadelphia, McKeon made a pitching change -- Armando Benitez for Billy Koch -- after Koch had already gone to 3-0 on a batter? With his back against the wall, Benitez managed to work out of the jam without any runs being scored. McKeon did something similar last night, taking the ball from Randy Choate after the lefty specialist walked the first batter in the eighth and went to 2-1 on Alberto Callaspo. McKeon brought in Burke Badenhop, who gave up a single to Callaspo, but then retired the next three Angels hitters to get out of the inning.

      "I don't think it's ever happened to me," Choate said. "I wouldn't say I was upset. I was just a little caught off guard. I thought they were coming out to talk to me, and they took me out. That's his prerogative. And you know what? It worked out and we won the game."

      Said catcher John Buck: "It doesn't happen very often. I don't think Choate blinked. That's what we needed. Go against the grain a little bit."

      McKeon said he was hoping Choate could get past Callaspo in order to face lefty hitter Russell Branyan.

      "I just figured I'm going to give him an opportunity to get the right-handed hitter out," McKeon said. "But I wasn't going to let him get buried. I knew if he could have got him out, he had left-handers coming up. But he hasn't pitched that much against right-handers and I wasn't going to take a chance. Not the first time (I've done it). You've been around here where I've taken guys out with a 3-0 count. So now it's 2-1. I got to work on something else next."

      BULLPEN GAME -- Even knowing that tonight's game would be a "bullpen game," with Brian Sanches scheduled to take the mound first, McKeon used five relievers on Tuesday. "I'm not worrying about tomorrow," McKeon said. "Maybe in the past everybody around here worries about tomorrow. I use 'em all. If I got to use eight tomorrow, I'll use eight tomorrow. I'm not worrying about tomorrow. It might rain."

     SLIMMER CEDA -- Big Jose Ceda saw his first action since being promoted from Triple A and would have finished the game if not for a Greg Dobbs fielding error on what should have been the third out in the ninth. The 24-year-old right-hander, whom the Marlins obtained from the Cubs in the Kevin Gregg trade in 2008, said he's lost about 25 pounds since the start of spring training, when he showed up out of shape and overweight. "I'm 270 something now," Ceda said. "I was 290 something in spring training." Ceda said he is working on improving his splitter, which he uses along with a cutter, slider and fastball.         

June 21, 2011

Logan Morrison blasts Hanley Ramirez in front of teammates

      Logan Morrison gave Hanley Ramirez an earful when the shortstop was the last to stroll in before new manager Jack McKeon addressed the team for the first time on Monday. Sources said that Morrison ripped into Ramirez, saying his tardy behavior could be the reason why he is hitting just .200.

      Ramirez was scratched from Monday's lineup, though McKeon said the reason was because he didn't care for the way Ramirez ran the bases in St. Petersburg on Sunday. On Tuesday, Ramirez was not only in the lineup, but batting cleanup for the first time since Little League.

      "I'd rather have what happened in the clubhouse stay in the clubhouse," Morrison said when about Monday's clubhouse incident.

      Ramirez said he was not late on Monday because he showed up in plenty of time for the team's 4:30 p.m. stretch on the field.

      "I wasn't late yesterday," Ramirez said. "Stretch is at 4:30 and I was here before 4:30, so I wasn't late. I wasn't late, and I agree with whatever he (McKeon) does. Some guys, they come in early. They come in at 3. I come in at 3:30 every day. Everybody knows it wasn't my fault, so I wasn't late."

      Technically, Ramirez wasn't late. But players say it is a given, especially on a day when they know they'll likely have a meeting with a new manager, that they show up in plenty of time. McKeon addressed the club at 3:30.

       The incident is not the first in which a teammate has called out Ramirez. Dan Uggla had words with Ramirez inside the clubhouse during the 2009 season.

       McKeon did not go into more details about his benching of Ramirez when he spoke to reporters on Tuesday, and mainly explained his decision to bat Ramirez in the No. 4 hole.

        "We've just got to figure out a way to get him going," McKeon said. "Now he's in a key spot and I think he's going to respond. I had a nice chat with him today. I like what I've seen of his attitude today. And I think it's going to be a positive change."

       Ramirez showed up at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, 30 minutes earlier than usual.

       Ramirez spoke at length about his season-long hitting slump and hitting fourth.

       "Obviously he knows what kind of player I am," Ramirez said of McKeon, "but I haven't shown it this year. He believes in me and I believe in myself that I should be hitting third or fourth all year long. But things haven't gone the way they're supposed to go. I'm still fighting out there on the field."

       Asked why he thought it has taken so long for him to get going at the plate, Ramirez replied: 'My timing. I can't find it. Every day you try something new. You just got to keep fighting. It's all about timing between the pitcher and you."

       RYAN WEBB SEES DOCTOR FOR SHOULDER -- Reliever Ryan Webb had his right shoulder examined by a doctor on Tuesday and said he'll likely be held out of action for two or three days due to tightness.

       "He examined it and everything's fine," Webb said. "There's a little bit of tightness and I think I'll be back in a couple of days."

       Webb pitched Sunday against Tampa Bay, taking the loss when he gave up a run in a third of an inning. The Marlins called up Jose Ceda on Monday from Triple A New Orleans and optioned starter Brad Hand to Single A Jupiter. As a result, McKeon said he plans to have a "bullpen game" on Wednesday when the Marlins close out their series with the Angels.

        While Webb won't be available for the time being, Edward Mujica said he is now able to pitch. Mujica injured his right wrist when he fell on Wednesday in Philadelphia following a collision while covering first base.

        CLAY HENSLEY THROWS FIRST BULLPEN -- Reliever Clay Hensley, who is on the disabled list with a right shoulder sprain, on Tuesday completed his first bullpen session since going on the DL. Hensley said he hopes he'll be able to rejoin the roster before the All-Star break. 

From doghouse to cleanup spot for Hanley Ramirez

    Never a dull moment with "Trader Jack" McKeon, who is sticking Hanley Ramirez into the cleanup position for the first time in the shortstop's big-league career. Yep, you heard right. Ramirez is in the No. 4 hole for tonight's game after being benched on Monday.

    McKeon said Monday he wanted to keep Logan Morrison and Gaby Sanchez in the 3 and 4 spots, and he likes Emilio Bonifacio's speed at the top of the order.

    Mike Stanton is also returning to the lineup after missing the past three games with an eye infection. Stanton told reporters on Monday that he thought he would be good to go on Wednesday. Obviously, he can see clearly now.

    Here's what his lineup card looks like tonight as the Marlins try to avoid extending their losing streak to a franchise-long 12 straight defeats:

    1. Bonifacio, cf; 2. Morrison, lf; 3. Sanchez, 1b; 4. Ramirez, ss; 5. Greg Dobbs, 3b; 6. Mike Stanton, rf; 7. John Buck, c; 8. Omar Infante, 2b; Javier Vazquez, p.

    Ramirez has been all over the lineup card this season in repeated efforts to wake up his bat (he's hitting .200 on the nose, at the moment). Ramirez has hit 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 6th and now 4th. During his career, his name has been found next to every number on the starting lineup card except 5, 8 and 9.

June 20, 2011

Make no mistake McKeon scored points in Marlins clubhouse benching tardy Hanley

All the talk this spring training was about what a great leader shortstop Hanley Ramirez was becoming.

Jack McKeon And for a time, it looked like Ramirez was embracing that role. He was signing autographs for fans, engaging teammates and hustling and diving for balls all over the field. But whatever good will Ramirez was building has been slowly disappearing. 

And Monday, when he was pulled out of the starting lineup for showing up late for Jack McKeon's first team meeting, well, it's safe to say that didn't go unnoticed.

McKeon, who benched players during the Marlins World Series season in 2003, has the type of hard line stance many players say they embrace and are looking forward to as he takes over.

"I think he's going to have a great influence in here," Marlins first baseman Gaby Sanchez said. "He's hard nosed. He's not going to take anything, any crap. If you want to play and do the right things, he's going to play you. If not, he's not. So I think that's going to be good for us."

Sanchez said McKeon's pregame speech about leaving egos at the door was "awesome." 

"It doesn't matter how old he is," Mike Stanton said. "He's very respected in the game and we know what he has to offer."

> Chris Coghlan, who was supposed to be on his way to Triple A New Orleans, was placed on the disabled list with left knee inflammation after his option was voided because of the injury on Monday.

Larry Beinfest, president of baseball operations, said Coghlan went to see Dr. James Andrews on Monday after seeing team doctors over the weekend.

Coghlan tore his meniscus in his left knee celebrating a Marlins walk-off win last July 25th and had surgery to repair it in the offseason.

Will he still head down to Triple A when his stint on the DL ends?

“We need to get him healthy,” Beinfest said. “We need to get what every inflammation or whatever discomfort is in the knee out of there. We have 15 days from last Friday and then we'll see where we're at.”

> Stanton, pulled from Saturday’s game because of a right eye infection, said he hopes to be back in the lineup by Wednesday.

Stanton said he’d been battling blurriness in his eye since the Marlins returned home from the West Coast earlier this month. He said he met with a new eye doctor on Monday and was prescribed new medication. “It’s a lot better now,” Stanton said. “It should be knocked out by Wednesday, that's what they said.”

> The Marlins optioned left-hander Brad Hand to Single A Jacksonville; recalled reliever Jose Ceda from Triple A New Orelans; and catcher Brad Davis was outrighted to New Orleans.

Hand (0-3, 3.65 in three starts) was scheduled to pitch Wednesday. But with the Marlins off on Thursday and next Monday, Beinfest said the team only needs four starters in the rotation.

Beinfest said the bullpen would likely handle the pitching duties in Wednesday’s series finale against the Angels. Beinfest said Hand will pitch in Jupiter because the Double A All-Star Game takes place Tuesday and teams are off on Wednesday. He'll then return to Double A and make his next start there.

"We wanted him to get down to get the regular work," Beinfest said. "With the off day coming up on Thursday, if we chose to go with a 'pen day instead of another starter we have a comfort of that off day. So, it gave us some flexibility to get him down, get him pitching regularly. With the off day coming he'd have some irregular starts and going on seven days rest. We really only need four starters after Wednesday."

Hanley Ramirez left off Jack McKeon's first lineup card

Jack McKeon's first move as interim manager was to fill out the lineup card on Monday. Noticeably absent: Shortstop Hanley Ramirez.

Marlins lineupThe reason? Well, it depends who you ask. A team source said Ramirez's name was in the original starting lineup. But when Ramirez showed up late for McKeon's first team meeting, the lineup was pulled along with Ramirez's name according to the source.

Asked before the game why Ramirez wasn't in the lineup, McKeon said he just didn't like the way the three-time All-Star "ran the bases [in Sunday's 2-1 loss to the Rays]."

"I don't know [if he's hurt]," McKeon said. "Just give him a day. I just want to see if we can do something -- do something different."

Asked why he wasn't in the lineup in the clubhouse before the game, Ramirez said: "No. But I got to stretch though, that's what I know." Ramirez then proceeded to push his way past reporters and out of the clubhouse.

Ramirez, who had just two hits during the Marlins seven-game road trip last week, came off the disabled list last week after missing two weeks with a back injury. On Sunday, after grounding out to shortstop in the fifth inning, Ramirez was seen slowly making his way back to the dugout.

Was he loafing or was it his back? Nobody is sure. But asked about his health Monday, Ramirez said he was "fine." Before the game, Ramirez participated in stretching, played catch, shagged fly balls in the outfield and then took batting practice.

McKeon said he didn't know where he would put Ramirez in the lineup once he wants him back in. "Nothing's etched in stone," McKeon said. 

But McKeon said he likes having Logan Morrison hit second and Gaby Sanchez third. "He's the type of guy that get a base on balls," McKeon said of Morrison. "I like having two pretty good hitters up there in the first inning."

Asked about having McKeon as his new manager, Ramirez said he likes having a guy in charge who won a World Series.

"He knows what he has to do to win games," Ramirez said. "He's a good guy. I met him in '06 and he got along with everybody. I don't know how to explain it to you guys, he expects everyone here to play even harder. He knows we have a lot of talent out here and we have to show it out on the field and we haven't done that for the past 20 days. He's going to get everybody to play hard. If you don't play hard, you're not going to be here.

"We have to go out there and show everybody we're ready to compete everyday. We have a lot of people with their head down. It's not easy when you lose 18 out of 19 or 17 out of 18. You have to stay positive. We haven't done that. We have to have fun and keep playing the game hard and having fun. We have to be smart out there and show everybody we're having fun."

Asked about his slump, Ramirez said he hopes to break out of it soon. "I haven't found a way [to get out of it]. Jesus," Ramirez said. "I'm going to get out of it. It never happened before. Hopefully soon. This team needs me.

"Everybody says I've been thinking too much. I don't know why because I don't think. But I think I've been thinking too much at home plate."

Big Jose Ceda on his way up; Brad Hand optioned to Single A Jupiter

The Marlins announced moments ago they are bringing up Triple A closer Jose Ceda from New Orleans and optioning left-hander Brad Hand to Single A Jupiter, leaving a hole in the starting rotation for Wednesday.

Ceda, a 24-year old hard throwing right-hander, made eight appearances last season with the Marlins and went 0-0 with a 5.19 ERA in September. But he's shined down in Triple A. He led the Pacific Coast League with 19 saves and went 2-1 with 0.89 ERA in 28 appearances.

Hand, who went 0-3 with 3.45 ERA in his three starts, was scheduled to start Wednesday against the Angels. The Marlins will likely bring up another minor league starter, or, with a day off Thursday, use its bullpen to pitch against the Angels. The Marlins also have an off-day on Monday.

Before Chris Volstad's strong, seven inning start Sunday in a 2-1 loss to the Rays, Marlins starters were 1-12 this month with a 6.80 ERA. Opponents were hitting .293 off them.

One potential minor league call-up could be Sean West, who gave up two runs over seven innings in his last start Friday.

Edwin Rodriguez talks about resignation; Chris Coghlan to the DL

    Press conference at 3 for introduction of Jack McKeon as new manager. Also, this bit of roster news. Chris Coghlan's optional assignment to Triple A New Orleans was voided and he was placed on the 15-day disabled list -- retro to June 17 -- with left knee inflammation.

    Here's more from Edwin Rodriguez, who spoke on XM/Sirius this morning about his resignation:

    Host, Jason Horowitz: “Why the decision to resign yesterday?”

    Edwin Rodriguez: “Well, it was a tough one.  First, we all know all the hard work that’s put in to get to that position.  But I have to make a decision based on what is best for the team, what is best for the organization.  A lot of things factor in the decision but I think the one that really has a lot of weight is that I thought it was the best for the team.  I mean, listening to somebody else’s voice, I think it will have a reaction [from] the guys.  We’d all say, yes, there’s a lot of elements, a lot of factors that I base my decision [on] but that’s the main one.”

    Horowitz: “A lot of your players have come out since the resignation [and said they were] surprised by it.  They talk about you and what you are to the clubhouse, they’ve come up with you in the Marlins system as you came up with the Marlins.  Why do you feel that [your resignation] was the best for the team?”

     Rodriguez: “We all know that we’ve been struggling the whole month of June.  Sometimes you think you’re doing the best, you’re sending the message the right way and sometimes the players think they’re getting the message the right way but it doesn’t show on the field.  So both of you are wrong, I’m wrong and maybe they’re wrong.  So sometimes, I believe, they should listen [to] somebody else, maybe tougher, maybe in a different way, maybe softer, who knows?  And they might get the message.  Yes, I know what they said and I know how they feel and I feel the same way but it wasn’t working.”

     Horowitz: “From when you guys were right there with Philadelphia three weeks ago, a game back, two games back, to this, what can you say has led to this stretch that this team is going through right now?”

    Rodriguez: “Well, I think the injuries.  I mean, when J.J. (Josh Johnson) went down then Hanley [Ramirez] went to the DL for more than two weeks.  If you take a look at the lineup you will see a lot of youngsters, guys with, some of them, less than one year of experience, some of them with only one and a half.  So I think that put a lot of pressure on them.  The physical talent is there but asking those young players to be the guys, to step up for J.J., to step up for Hanley with their years in the big leagues, I think that they felt the pressure and then we start losing and it was a snowball.  I think it was that we were missing that veteran voice, veteran influence in the clubhouse that would take charge of that because as a coach and as a manager there’s so much you can say or do.  So sometimes the veteran presence in the clubhouse really helps.”

     Horowitz: “During this stretch do you feel like you did everything possible?  Do you feel like you kicked water coolers?  Do you feel like you patted guys on the shoulder?  Was it everything that you possibly could have done?”

     Rodriguez: “I would say all of the above.  I am not a guy that will throw the water cooler in front of the cameras.  But, yes, in the clubhouse I yell, I scream, I threw things and then pat the guys [on] the back.  I really believe I did everything possible to make it happen and it didn’t happen.  I ran out of other factors and I ran out of tricks to make them think they could do it.  I would say, yes.  I think it’s time to get somebody else.”

      Horowitz: “Was there any pressure from the front office for you to step down or was this all on your own?”

      Rodriguez: “No, not at all.  Not at all.  On the contrary, I think the day before after the game we were talking about how we were going to line up all the pitching all the way through to the All-Star Game.  No, there was no pressure.  I think they were more surprised than anybody.”

      Horowitz: “If you get another opportunity to manage in the big leagues, what did you learn from this experience that you’d do the same or differently next time?”

        Rodriguez: “Well, for sure I will ask for a balance of young guys with talent and veteran guys that will have more of a voice in the clubhouse, and veteran guys that will guide those youngsters through tough times.  Because like I said before, there’s so much that a coach or manager can say.  Coming from a player – a buddy, a teammate – [to] the youngster, he will have more effect.  I think that combination should be - if you look back on teams that have been successful – that combination has to be there.”

     On the possibility of Jack McKeon becoming the next Marlins manager:

      Rodriguez: “Jack McKeon, he’s one of the more wise guys in baseball and I think he has a lot to offer to that team.  If it’s going to work?  I don’t know, we have to wait and see.  But definitely, he’s definitely going to be a change of philosophy, a change of how to approach the game.  And it might work.  Who knows?  Nobody has the right answer at this moment.  I was hoping that they will give the chance to Brandon Hyde, my bench coach, who knows all those guys.  But then again, I think Jack is one of the baseball guys that I’m sure he will be thrilled to do that.  He’s what, 80 years old?  Who knows?  But he’d communicate well with the young guys.”


June 19, 2011

Source: McKeon is Loria's first choice

    Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria was "surprised" by manager Edwin Rodriguez's resignation on Sunday, according to a source, and would like for 80-year-old former skipper Jack McKeon to return to the Marlins dugout as interim manager through the end of this season.

    Loria was in Europe on business when informed of Rodriguez's decision.

   Mckeon   McKeon became the oldest manager to win a World Series when he guided the Marlins to the 2003 title but would not be the oldest manager in major league history if he returns to the Marlins. That title belongs to Connie Mack, who was 87 when he managed the Philadelphia Athletics in 1950.

    McKeon has maintained an advisory role with the Marlins since stepping down after the 2005 season, and is listed officially as "special assistant to the owner."

    When contacted by phone at his home in North Carolina earlier today, McKeon said he wasn't even aware of Rodriguez's resignation and had not yet been contacted by the Marlins, but said he thought he could do the job if asked. The source said that McKeon is Loria's first choice to manage the club the rest of the way, and an announcement could come Monday before the Marlins open a home series against the Angels.

Edwin Rodriguez releases statement through Marlins

ST. PETERSBURG -- Here is what Edwin Rodriguez said about his resignation in a statement released by the team moments ago.

"This morning I offered my resignation to Larry Beinfest and the Marlins, and they accepted. I am grateful for the opportunity the Marlins gave me to manage at this level. It was a very hard decision for me to make, with the positive way the organization is moving; a new ballpark next season and the young core of players that this team has. I can’t say enough about the effort that this staff and these players have put into this season. I could tell that they continued to give 100% effort each and every day on the field. I wish this organization, staff and players nothing but success in their futures."