Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Luck, Chucks, Hacks, and Politics - Marlins Style

We've had several discussions here at The South Florida Fan about the role luck has played in the Marlins' success. Just today, JSponge referenced the upcoming series against Atlanta as evidence; the Marlins will bypass Hudson and Smoltz. Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald makes a similar point, but is quick to point out: "But that's an improvement over last season, when they struggled with their fellow dregs."

According to Hermida? "''I think [it's] the sign of a good team [that] you're supposed to beat those guys,'' right fielder Jeremy Hermida said. 'That's something we didn't do last year. We played to our opponents' level sometimes. We knew we were better than certain teams, and sometimes we'd play down to those teams.'' I like what I'm hearing.

Fish Stripes may have the inside scoop on why Dan Uggla is hitting better. He's using Robert Andino's bat! We've already coined our favorite walkoff slugger "The Great Andino," but if he keeps helping the rest of the squad, there may be no bounds to his greatness.

Another key to the Marlins success? First-pitch hitting, according to Juan Rodriguez of the Sun-Sentinel. In his words: "Entering Monday's game against the Pirates, the Marlins were pacing the circuit with a .408 average (29 for 71) when putting the first pitch in play. No other NL team had a higher slugging percentage in those situations than the Marlins (.817). Only the Rockies (.425) had a higher on-base percentage (eight points higher)."

First-pitch swinging has its ups and downs. It's hardly effective in tiring out pitchers and pitchers will catch on quickly, but it also seems to be working. Furthermore, if opposing pitchers are afraid to throw first-pitch fastballs, the Marlins' hitters could find themselves repeatedly ahead in the counts. While I would normally be worried, I can't argue with the current results.

Lastly, don't expect to see Jeremy Hermida at any of the "Count our delegates" campaigns down in Florida. Not only was he unaware of the big primary today in Pennsylvania, but flatly admitted, "''I don't pay too much attention to it,'' Hermida said. ``I've never even actually voted [in any election].''"

Don't worry, Jeremy. It's not as if Florida votes count anyway. You're just saving yourself the trouble.


JSponge said...

The only votes that matter when it comes to Hermida are the votes that might put him in the All-Star game. I'd vote for that!

E.J. said...

No team has ever made it to the pinnacle of its sport without a good deal of luck helping them along the way. Success is an advantageous admixture of talent, drive, and luck. So even if one concedes that luck has helped the Marlins reach the early heights they have, that is nothing to be ashamed of.