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39 posts from August 2012

August 31, 2012

Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria: "We will fix it"

     Jeffrey Loria sounded very much like a politician when he spoke briefly with reporters following the team photo shoot this afternoon, offering little in the way of specifics but promising to "rectify" problems and "fix" his underachieving team.

      How he intends to do that remains a mystery.

      "Let me tell you something," Loria said when asked if he thought the last-place team could contend next season. "I thought this team was a contender this year. So we have to figure out what went wrong and how to go about rectifying it. And we will."

      Loria said he will meet with his front office staff following the season to see what action to take.

      "Right now, I'm just looking, doing what everybody else is doing, looking," Loria said. "And then we'll come to some conclusions -- or not. I've asked our guys to look, come back with some recommendations, and we'll go from there. You really can't make those evaluations until the season is over."

      Asked specifically if president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest's job is safe, Loria replied: "That's not a fair question. That's not a fair question about anybody's job."

       One thing to keep in mind: Beinfest and general manager Michael Hill have three seasons remaining on their original eight-year contracts.

       Asked what, in his mind, is most to blame for the Marlins' underperformance, Loria replied: "I have not assessed blame, or looking at it that way. I think there's been a lot of things that went into whatever didn't work, and I want to hear what our people say. I know what I think, but I want to hear what everybody else has to say."

       Loria said he feels that talent exists on the club.

       "I have in mind some thoughts, but we have some very good pieces here, very good elements, very good parts on this team," he said. "We had some guys who performed very well. Others haven't, so we'll have to look at it. Maybe there were aberrations. We have to be very careful. You don't want to say, 'Well, this guy doesn't work,' and then he goes elsewhere and he does work.

      "We need to meet, talk, put it on all on the table....We'll come to some intelligent conclusions. We always do. But we will fix it."


       According to manager Ozzie Guillen, the Marlins aren't planning to make any minor-league call-ups until Sunday. The organization wants to see whether Double A Jacksonville -- presently one game behind in the second-half Southern League standings -- reaches the playoffs.

        That's an indication the Marlins could be eying someone like third baseman Zack Cox, who was obtained from the Cardinals in the Edward Mujica trade last month, or closer A.J. Ramos, who is 3-2 with a 1.23 ERA and 21 saves. Ramos, however, is not on the 40-man roster.

        The Marlins will also be considering the usual suspects from Triple A New Orleans, such as outfielder Chris Coghlan and catcher Brett Hayes. But, Guillen said the Marlins will probably call up no more than three or four players total for the final month.


       Carlos Zambrano, who has been relegated to the bullpen, said his first preference next season would be to return to the Marlins, but only as a starting pitcher. Given his performance this season, and the influx of new arms, that scenario appears very doubtful.

       Look for Zambrano, who is expected to become a free agent after the season, to go elsewhere in hopes of landing in some team's rotation. Guillen said he thinks that Zambrano, who is only 31 but has already piled up close to 2,000 innings, still has value as a starter.

       "There's no doubt in my mind," Guillen said. "His arm is great. But, I don't care who you are or what you do, if you cannot throw strikes, you're going to be in the bullpen. I think Carlos is outstanding. I think he has had maybe mechanic problems. Can he pitch and start in the big leagues? Yes, with any team. But to start with another team -- or with us -- he's got to correct that problem, and that's a big problem."


      The lineups:

      Marlins: 1. Bryan Petersen, lf; 2. Justin Ruggiano, cf; 3. Jose Reyes, ss; 4. Carlos Lee, 1b; 5. Giancarlo Stanton, rf; 6. Greg Dobbs, 3b; 7. Donovan Solano, 2b; 8. Rob Brantly, c; 9. Nathan Eovaldi, p.

      Mets: 1. Ruben Tejada, ss; 2. Daniel Murphy, 2b; 3. David Wright, 3b; 4. Ike Davis, 1b; 5. Lucas Duda, lf; 6. Mike Baxter, rf; 7. Andres Torres, cf; 8. Josh Thole, c; 9. R.A. Dickey, p.

      Umpires: HP -- Scott Barry; 1B -- Jerry Meals; 2B -- Gary Darling; 3B -- Paul Emmel.

August 29, 2012

Guillen doesn't want lingering injuries to be a problem again for Marlins in 2013

Manager Ozzie Guillen made it clear Wednesday he doesn't want to have a repeat of the 2012 season when lingering injuries kept some of his best players off the field and hurt the team.

He wants players to stop delaying surgery, heal, rehab and be ready for the start of spring training. Or else, as Guillen put it, "there are going to be surprises."

"I'm not a doctor, but I don't know why people have to wait so long to have surgery," Guillen said when asked specifically about Logan Morrison, who said Tuesday he'll have a second surgery to reconnect his torn right patella tendon (Sept. 5) and will need to rehab six months.

"It ain't going to happen here like it's happened in the past... Agents and people and doctors and different opinions make those guys go different ways. Now, it's time for the Marlins to take it our way."

Last November, the Marlins let Morrison (who was shut down for the season after going on the disabled list July 29) participate in an All-Star tournament in Taiwan, even though he’d had a history of issues with the knee during the 2011 season.

Guillen said he not only had a problem with that, but also how the Marlins handled a lingering knee issue with right fielder Giancarlo Stanton, who missed most of spring training and almost a month of the season following arthroscopic knee surgery in July.

That's why Guillen said he's pushing outfielder Emilio Bonifacio, who went on the disabled list last week with a right knee sprain, to also shut it down and get healed.

"If you need to go in, clean it up, do it right now and I'll see you in spring training," Guillen said of Bonifacio.

"... If I'm going to get fired, I'm going to get fired my way. I'm going to get fired because I was bad. There's too many different things. We pay them a lot money, they got to respond to us -- to the Marlins, Mr. Loria, Mr. Beinfest. It's our way, not your agents way or your own doctor's way. It's the Marlins way, if you don't like it talk to your agent."


Earlier this year Jose Reyes cut his dreadlocks for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and welcomed a child from the charity during spring training.

Before Wednesday’s game, Reyes and teammate Josh Johnson hosted another fan through the Make-A-Wish program, a seventeen-year-old boy from Minnesota named Blake.

Reyes said he agreed to meet Blake immediately after he heard about his request. “You know that when they’re around major league players they’re going to feel good, they’re going to feel happy, at least for the moment,” Reyes said.

Reyes said Blake gave him a red “Stay strong Blake” bracelet to wear for good luck during the game.

> Six Marlins prospects have been chosen to participate in the Arizona Fall League. Pitchers Grant Dayton, Brian Flynn, and Scott McGough, outfielders Kyle Jensen and Christian Yelich and catcher Jacob Realmuto,will all play for the Phoenix Desert Dogs.

The six-team AFL is a traditional destination for some of baseball’s biggest prospects. Yelich, the top prospect in the ground, has been batting .319 for the Class A-Advanced Jupiter Hammerheads.

The Desert Dogs will also consist of minor leaguers from the Braves, Athletics, Brewers and Rays organizations.

> Could Stanton be in line for another NL Player of the Month award?

The right fielder, who won the award in May after hitting .343 with 12 homers and 30 RBI, is batting .320 with 10 home runs and 22 RBIs in August. His stiffest competition offensively will come from the Padres Chase Headley (.306, 10 HRs, 28 RBI), Cincinnati's Todd Frazier (.340, 6 HRs, 25 RBI), former teammate Hanley Ramirez (.296, 6 HRs, 24 RBI) and the Giant's Buster Posey (.367, 6 HRs, 19 RBI).

The Marlins distributed 15,000 bobblehead dolls of Stanton to 15,000 fans Wednesday.

Guillen said he received a lot of requests for them -- mostly from women.

"They asked me if he was naked. I said 'No he has a uniform on,'" Guillen said before breaking out into laughter. "But that's awesome. A couple years in the big leagues and have a bobblehead -- that's outstanding. I know people who have bobbleheads and don't deserve to have them. This kid does. Good for him."



> Nationals (77-51): 1. Jayson Werth RF, 2. Bryce Harper CF, 3. Jordan Zimmerman 3B, 4. Adam LaRoche 1B, 5. Mike Morse LF, 6. Ian Desmond SS, 7. Danny Espinosa 2B, 8. Kurt Suzuki C, 9. Ross Detwiler P.

> Marlins (59-71): 1. Gorkys Hernandez CF, 2. Donovan Solano 2B, 3. Jose Reyes SS, 4. Carlos Lee 1B, 5. Giancarlo Stanton RF, 6. Justin Ruggiano LF, 7. John Buck C, 8. Donnie Murphy 3B, 9. Jacob Turner P.

August 28, 2012

LoMo's knee surgery set for Sept. 5, rehab to last 6 months; Guillen doesn't expect influx of September call-ups

The first time around, Logan Morrison's right knee surgery didn't end up going as planned. He's hoping there won't have to be a third surgery.

Morrison told The Miami Herald Tuesday a second surgery to stitch his right patella tendon together will take place Sept. 5. He said rehab is expected to take six months -- leading him right up to the start of spring training. It's the same surgery Morrison had last December, but never fully recovered from. 

Morrison was one of the bigger disappointments on the team this season. He hit .230 with 11 homers and 36 RBI in 93 games before being shutdown for the remainder of the season earlier this month.


With September right around the corner, one might imagine the Marlins are ready to bring up their entire farm system to get a good look at as many players as possible who might help them in the future. Not so according manager Ozzie Guillen.

"They're all already here," Guillen said of who the Marlins want to look at from their minor league sytem. "They kind of mentioned a couple players. But I don't expect more than three. I always say this -- and this is my belief -- if you bring guys to the big leagues it's because you need them and they deserve it. I see a lot of big leagues teams calling people up hitting .210 because he's a prospect, because he's our guy. I think people should come to the big leagues because they earn it and should be here and not just because they have to be here.

"But I don't expect that many guys to come up here. Obviously, they're going to bring people up. I don't know their names, but they're going to bring two or three guys."


The hot topic in baseball for the past few weeks is how the first-place Nats plan on shutting down ace Stephen Strasburg (15-5, 2.85 ERA) early a year after Tommy John surgery. The normally outspoken Guillen stayed away from controversy Tuesday by saying what the Nats are doing is "nobody's business."

"The thing I respect is that they said it from the beginning of the season. They didn't change anything. I respect that," Guillen said. "Anything else, you have to be Davey [Johnson's] shoes, the general manager shoes and the players shoes. I cannot make any comment about it because they're not on my ballclub."

Guillen said while Stasburg is Washington's best pitcher the Nats can still win the National League. "They're good enough to compete without that kid," Guillen said. "You only need three [starters] I think they could matchup against anybody in the National League."


Right-hander Jacob Turner, who now has seven major league starts under his belt, said he's excited to make his first start at Marlins Park on Wednesday against the first-place Nationals. He went six innings and gave up four hits and three earned runs with five strikeouts and no walks last week in his Marlins debut against Arizona.

Asked what he learned from his first National League start, the 21-year old former ninth overall pick said: "The biggest thing was just my teammates [names] and how [John] Buck calls the game behind the plate. But as far as pitching wise, it wasn't a whole lot different.

"I made some good adjustments probably after the first inning. And that was the key for me."

As for catcher Rob Brantly, who was acquired in the same trade with Detroit, Turner said they have a "great relationship." There is a good chance Brantly will get to catch Turner Wednesday.

"He's only caught me a few times, but he knows what I like to do," Turner said. "If we ever gets the chance to work together, we'll just go from where we were before."

Guillen said he likes that Turner "throws a lot of strikes."

"He just needs to do what he did in Arizona," Guillen said. "Obviously, I'm not expecting that all the time. But stay around there, be consistent and then I don't need to see anything else. We will see if this guy needs more time. But I think the way this guy pitched in Arizona, it was a big step for him. Hopefully, he continues to do it."


The Marlins will give the first 15,000 fans attending Wednesday night's game against the Nationals a Giancarlo Stanton Bobblehead presented by Leon Medical Centers.

The first-time All-Star was named the National League's Player of the Week Monday after leading the league in slugging percentage (.857) and total bases and tied for the lead in homers (5) and second with RBI (8). In a year filled with disappointment for the Marlins, Stanton said being honored is "among the few positives you can get out of a year like this."

"The consistency is really what I want to be there," said Stanton, who had arthroscopic knee surgery just before the All-Star Game in July and missed nearly a month of action. "The past couple years it's been a great two, three weeks and then it's a bad week and a half and back to square one. Consistency is what I'm trying to get to." 

As for the bobblehead, Stanton said he likes it and is hoping to snag few he can send back home to his family.

> As Stanton spoke to reporters Tuesday, teammate Carlos Lee, who is seated in the locker next to the young slugger, had a little fun by poking him in the face with a microphone.

Stanton laughed it off, but then sent the veteran first baseman a little jab back by telling the media: "Carlos? I got to protect him every night. He doesn't know how to protect himself. I got to walk him home and everything."

Lee, known as El Caballo (the Horse), said next to Stanton he's simply "El Caballito" (the pony).


> Nationals (77-50): 1. Jayson Werth RF, 2. Bryce Harper CF, 3. Ryan Zimmerman 3B, 4. Adam LaRoche 1B, 5. Michael Morse LF, 6. Ian Desmond SS, 7. Danny Espinosa 2B, 8. Kurt Suzuki C, 9. Stephen Strasburg P.

> Marlins (58-71): 1. Bryan Petersen LF, 2. Justin Ruggiano CF, 3. Jose Reyes SS, 4. Carlos Lee 1B, 5. Giancarlo Stanton RF, 6. Greg Dobbs 3B, 7. Donovan Solano 2B, 8. Rob Brantly C, 9. Ricky Nolasco P.

August 26, 2012

In his opinion, Giancarlo Stanton having so-so road trip

       LOS ANGELES -- Despite breaking a Marlins record for home runs on a single road trip, despite being the only Marlin worth watching in the opinion of his manager, despite bringing gasps from opposing crowds with tape-measure homers.....despite all that, Giancarlo Stanton is partly frustrated with the way he's hit on the team's 11-game road swing, which ends this afternoon at Dodger Stadium.

        "If you want to be honest, I'm having either terrible at bats or hitting a homer," Stanton said. "This is kind of the most ups and downs I've ever had."

        Stanton hit his seventh home run of the road trip on Saturday, a 452-foot bomb off Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw. That established a new record for dingers on one trip. The previous mark had been shared by Preston Wilson, Mike Lowell and Miguel Cabrera. Afterward, manager Ozzie Guillen said Stanton is the only player on the team worth watching these days.

        "He's the only one positive," Guillen said. "Every two or three innings we enjoy this game, seeing this kid at the plate. That's the only part we look forward to, coming to the ballpark to watch."

        But Stanton said he is somewhat frustrated in that it has been an all-or-nothing trip. Though he is hiting .324 on the trip, seven of his 12 hits have been homers, and he's struck out 12 times.

        "It's not total failure," Stanton said. "But...."

August 25, 2012

Guillen on Dodgers makeover: "It didn't work for us"

       LOS ANGELES -- Eight months after the Marlins went on a free agent spending free in hopes of improving the roster in sudden and dramatic fashion, the Dodgers have opened their vault by completing a blockbuster deal with the Boston Red Sox that netted Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford and Nick Punto. The Dodgers, who gave up James Loney and prospects, agreed to absorb $258 million in contractual obligations to their latest acquisitions.

        Gonzalez is in the lineup tonight for the Dodgers.

        The Marlins, when they were in the process of performing their makeover, didn't fork out nearly the amount of money the Dodgers have over the past month. But, the idea is similar.

        "God bless' em," said Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen. "We spent a lot of money. We brought in a lot of names. And look at where we are right now. Hopefully it'll work for them. It didn't work for us."

        As Guillen noted: "Money gets you better names. It doesn't guarantee wins. This is not the NBA where you bring in two or three guys and you know you're going to make it. Baseball is different. Baseball is 25 guys."

        The Dodgers have added nine new players to their roster since last month. Among the newcomers: former Marlins Hanley Ramirez and Randy Choate, along with Shane Victorino, Brandon League and Joe Blanton.

        Guillen said he likes the trade from both sides.

        "I think it's a great trade for the Dodgers because they think they can win," he said. "God bless the Boston Red Sox GM (Ben Cherington) to make that go through. Money plus players? That's a great trade for them. They can do a lot of things with the money and they have a couple of players for the future."

        One of those prospects is pitcher Allen Webster, who was rated by Baseball America at the start of the year as the second-best prospect in the Dodgers farm system. Third on that list was Nathan Eovaldi, the pitcher the Marlins acquired from the Dodgers in exchange for Ramirez and Choate. Eovaldi took the loss on Friday.

        According to a source, the Marlins asked about Webster when they were discussing the Ramirez deal, but the Dodgers refused to talk about him, and the Marlins eventually settled on Eovaldi.


        Guillen termed last night's double-blunder, a pair of errors on the same play that allowed three Dodgers runs to score, as an "embarrassment." The Dodgers scored three runs on Luis Cruz's 40-foot dribbler. Third baseman Greg Dobbs barehanded the ball, but threw it away, which enabled two runs to score. Giancarlo Stanton, who backed up on the play, then threw wildly past third, which allowed Cruz to score, as well.

        "My reaction? Marlins baseball," Guillen said. "Errors are a part of the game. But everyone was in the wrong position. This is the big leagues. We should know where we should be. The pitcher has got to be behind third base. The left fielder has got to be behind third base. Reyes should be the cutoff man. Mental errors are the worst thing. We play lousy, and on top of that we make mental errors. Everybody out there is not a kid. They should know how to play."


       Rookie catcher Rob Brantly had a pair of hits on Friday, including a double off the wall that just missed being a home run by a few feet. But Guillen said fans need to be patient with Brantly and to be prepared for mistakes.

       "The kid is very not ready to be here," Guillen said. "This kid has a chance to be a good player. He brings a lot of enthusiasm. He wants to learn But we have to be careful with him. I don't think people in Miami should be (overly) excited. I might get in trouble for this, but it's true. We have to be patient. This kid has a chance to be a special kid. He's got a passion for the game. Is this going to be good. He's going to be better -- a lot better. He's very raw right now."



       Marlins: 1. Gorkys Hernandez, cf; 2. Donovan Solano, 2b; 3. Jose Reyes, ss; 4. Carlos Lee, 1b; 5. Giancarlo Stanton, rf; 6. Justin Ruggiano, lf; 7. John Buck, c; 8. Donie Murphy, 3b; 9. Josh Johnson, p.

       Dodgers: 1. Mark Ellis, 2b; 2. Luis Cruz, 3b; 3. Matt Kemp, cf; 4. Adrian Gonzalez, 1b; 5. Hanley Ramirez, ss; 6. Andre Ethier, rf; 7. Juan Rivera, lf; 8. A.J. Ellis, c; 9. Clayton Kershaw, p.    

Giancarlo Stanton takes aim on HR mark

    LOS ANGELES -- The Giancarlo Stanton road show continued Friday at Dodger Stadium, where he cranked out his sixth home run of the trip. If Stanton goes deep either today or Sunday, he will break the club record for most home runs hit on a road trip with seven.

    As it now stands, he's in a four-way tie with three former Marlins:

    Player                      # Games on Road Trip         Dates                     No. HR

    Giancarlo Stanton                 9 (so far)           8/16/12--8/24/12          6

    Miguel Cabrera                    10                      7/14/05--7/24/05          6

    Mike Lowell                         12                      5/12/03--5/25/03          6

    Preston Wilson                     13                      9/12/00--9/24/00          6

    Stanton also put his name alongside Ted Williams with last night's homer. With 83 career home runs, Stanton now ranks 11th -- tied with Williams -- for most home runs hit before age 23. Mel Ott, with 115 home runs before his 23rd birthday, tops the list:

             Player                                      HR's (before age 23)

   1. Mel Ott                                              115

   2. Eddie Mathews                                   112

   3. Tony Conigliaro                                  104

   4. Alex Rodriguez                                     95

   5. Frank Robinson                                     93

   6. Johnny Bench                                        87

       Ken Griffey Jr.                                      87

   8. Jimmie Foxx                                         86

   9. Andruw Jones                                        84

       Mickey Mantle                                       84

 11. Giancarlo Stanton                                  83

       Ted Williams                                         83


August 24, 2012

Wade LeBlanc returns to the bullpen; 6-man rotation a possibility

    LOS ANGELES -- Wade LeBlanc is returning to the bullpen, but could reclaim his starting job as part of a 6-man rotation after the Marlins get past a couple of upcoming off days.

    Though the Marlins are pleased with the job LeBlanc has done in his five starts (1-2, 3.29 ERA), they want to get a good look at rookie starters Nathan Eovaldi and Jacob Turner before the end of the season, and LeBlanc -- with bullpen experience -- is the odd man out.

     "We want to give the kids a chance," said manager Ozzie Guillen. "We want to see those two kids throwing."

     Said pitching coach Randy St. Claire: "LeBlanc has done an outstanding job, both out of the pen and in the starting rotation. Unfortunately for him, he's the guy that's done it (relieved) and been successful doing it. He understands. He took it well. I'm sure he wants to be a starter, and we all feel he can do the job."

     Once the Marlins get past scheduled off days on Monday and Thursday, they could go to a 6-man rotation that includes LeBlanc. But Guillen said it "depends" and St. Claire said "it's kind of up in the air, because we also have off days in September." Guillen said the front office, however, is "leaning" toward a 6-man setup.

      And St. Claire said it doesn't see where it would hurt the three veteran starters -- Josh Johnson, Ricky Nolasco and Mark Buehrle -- if the team goes to a 6-man rotation to finish up the season.


      Former Marlin Miguel Cabrera and the Detroit Tigers are tentatively scheduled to visit Marlins Stadium in interleague play next season. Caberera has not faced his former team since the 2007 trade that sent him to the Tigers. At present, the schedule -- which is subject to change -- has the Tigers in Miami for the final weekend of the season.

      The schedule, which has the Marlins facing A.L. Central Division teams in interleague play, also includes a visit to the Chicago White Sox, the team Guillen managed for eight seasons before joining the Marlins.


      Marlins: 1. Bryan Petersen, lf; 2. Justin Ruggiano, cf; 3. Jose Reyes, ss; 4. Carlos Lee, 1b; 5. Giancarlo Stanton, rf; 6. Greg Dobbs, 3b; 7. Donovan Solano, 2b; 8. Rob Brantly, c; 9. Nathan Eovaldi, p.

      Dodgers: 1. Shane Victorino, lf; 2. Mark Ellis, 2b; 3. Matt Kemp, cf; 4. Andre Ethier, rf; 5. Hanley Ramirez, ss; 6. Luis Cruz, 3b; 7. Juan Rivera, 1b; 8. A.J. Ellis, c; 9. Chad Billingsley, p.

      Umpires: HP -- Brian Gorman; 1B -- Bob Davidson; 2B -- Tony Randazzo; 3B -- Todd Tichenor.

August 22, 2012

Loria says his expectations for 2013 are high in final episode of The Franchise

Showtime aired its final episode of The Franchise Wednesday night and wrapped up a season of disappointment for the Marlins by giving us the voices of the players still around as well as a frustrated front office, which promised that there's not only enough talent still around to win next year, but expectations for 2013 should be high.

Owner Jeffrey Loria, filmed inside an empty Marlins Park after the team wrapped up their most recent home series against the Phillies by being shutout in three straight games and setting a new franchise-low with 30 consecutive scoreless innings, said he "realized early on it was broke and it had to be fixed."

"It's not happening this year, but we have an enormously successful core of young players, a new young catcher in [Rob] Brantly. I have very high hopes."

General manager Mike Hill said much of what we already knew -- that the Marlins simply didn't get enough out of Gaby Sanchez, Logan Morrison and Hanley Ramirez and that pitchers felt "like they had to be perfect."

Players echoed those sentiments.

"Almost everybody underachieved to some degree," catcher John Buck said. "We just didn't do what we were capable of doing and that's kind of all we had to do, which is what sort of made it so deflating."

Said pitcher Carlos Zambrano: "You can have the best coaching staff and the best players, but if we don't play good nothing will help us. It's our fault."

President of Baseball Operations Larry Beinfest weighed in with: "We put expectations on ourselves we thought were realistic and unfortunately they weren't realistic because we didn't even come close." 

But Beinfest then said: "There's a lot of good pieces, a lot things to build around. There's still a lot of talent here."

Of course, Beinfest and Hill may not be here next year to see that "talent."

> The biggest question on Marlins fans' minds -- if the team will spend money this off-season to upgrade -- remained unanswered.

The closest we got was this from president David Samson: "We need to let our fans know we care about winning as much as they do and we're going to keep trying as hard as they would want us to try."

And this line from Loria: "We are always striving to be winners."

> The rest of the episode centered on the arrival of Brantly, the role of pinch hitter Greg Dobbs (who ended the team's 30 inning scoreless streak), and new closer Steve Cishek, who went around people asking if they had ever heard of Steve Cishek.

At one point, Samson tells Brantly inside the Marlins clubhouse cafeteria: "We were talking about this trade and the owner is on the phone and you should just know -- it's no pressure -- he said 'We will not make this trade unless we get this kid Brantly.'... So you were wanted. That's a positive."

Brantly's response: "I'm honored."

> Manager Ozzie Guillen tells Showtime the toughest part of the season for him wasn't the June swoon or the dismantling of his team at the trade deadline. Nope, it was the embarrassment he suffered from his Fidel Castro comments.

"It was something I was accused and people were pointing at my face like I was a criminal when deep in my heart I know exactly what I say, when I say it and how I say it. Some people [took] advantage," Guillen said. "That's what hurt more than anything."

Guillen closes out the episode by saying the Marlins "have to make Miami a baseball town."

"It's going to be a lot of work," Guillen said. "But if they think they worked last year. I think this year is going to be harder."

> Heath Bell actually has one of the last lines in the episode and it's one that ought to get you fired up if you can forget what kind of season he had after signing a 3-year, $27 million deal.

"There's a lot of talent here. These young guys want to play and they want to win," Bell said. "Once we gel and come together we're going to be a force to be reckoned with."

Marlins place Emilio Bonifacio on 15-day DL

    PHOENIX -- Emilio Bonifacio is returning to the disabled list for the third time this season, only this time it's for a new injury. Bonifacio was placed on the 15-day DL with a sprained right knee, which he believes he injured in Tuesday's game while making a throw from the outfield.

     "Unbelievable," Bonifacio said. "I've never been on the disabled list my whole career."

     Bonifacio, who has already made two trips to the DL with a thumb ligament injury, had a MRI early Wednesday and was hopeful the injury to his knee would not sent him back a third time. Manager Ozzie Guillen said he would just as soon shut Bonifacio down for the rest of this season and have him ready to go for spring training.

     But Bonifacio said he would like to play again this season.

     "The good news is I don't need surgery," he said.

     Immediately after placing Bonifacio on the DL, the Marlins called up left-handed reliever Dan Jennings, who will be available for the second game of today's doubleheader.


     After reaching base in nine consecutive plate appearances, Donovan Solano's streak ended in the first game of the doubleheader when he struck out in the eighth. Solano just missed matching the club record of 10 straight, which is shared by Cameron Maybin (2008), Juan Encarnacion (2005) and Derrek Lee (2002).


     Catcher John Buck was impressed with starting pitcher Jacob Turner, who made his Marlins debut in the 3-2 loss to Arizona. Turner gave up a two-run homer in the first inning to Aaron Hill, but held the Diamondbacks to four hits over six innings, striking out five and issuing no walks.

     "I think he's going to be one of those guys who keeps you in the game and eats a lot of innings," Buck said. "I feel like he can get through a lineup pretty quick, and turn that lineup over without getting to too many pitches."

Emilio Bonifacio scheduled for MRI on right knee

     PHOENIX -- The Marlins recovered from a 5-0 deficit to win 6-5 in 10 innings tonight, but the news wasn't all good for victorious Miami. Emilio Bonifacio left the game in the second inning with what the team described as pain in his right knee, and manager Ozzie Guillen said afterward that Bonifacio would undergo a MRI on Wednesday to determine the exact nature of the injury.

     Bonifacio, who has already served two stints on the disabled list this season with a thumb ligament injury, was shaking his head as he walked out of the clubhouse in street clothes and said he didn't know how badly he was hurt. General manager Michael Hill said the Marlins have no plans to call up anyone at the moment and are awaiting the results of the MRI before deciding how to proceed.

      As a result, the Marlins will be a man short for Wednesday's doubleheader.

      Bonifacio struck out looking in the first inning and was involved in four separate defensive plays in the Arizona first, all without any noticeable effect. But Bonifacio was removed for pinch-hitter Gorkys Hernandez in the top of the second.

      "It started bothering him pretty bad," Guillen said. "I don't know if he did it when he threw the ball in the first inning. They told me Boni was in the trainer's room. I went to check him out and he couldn't play."