OeOeO Well! MLB picks – revised

In the first round. The Yankees and the Phillies were eliminated in the first round.

This creates a challenge. If I picked the Yankees to beat the Rangers, but the Yankees got beaten by the Tigers, wouldn’t it be consistent for me to pick the Tigers over the Rangers? I mean, they beat the Yankees, right? OK, Tigers over the Rangers.

Same thing goes for the National League: If I picked the Phillies to beat the Brewers, but the Cardinals beat the Phillies, it makes sense that I would expect the Cardinals to beat the Brewers. That, and Nyjer Morgan is on the Brewers, and if Nyjer Morgan gets a World Series ring, there is no Caesar. Just saying. So Cardinals over the Brewers.

But as much as I’ve stretched logic here, I can’t stretch it any further: The Cardinals and the Tigers are both giant-slayers. So this should be a Rocky v. Apollo ending to the 2011 baseball season.

Who will win?

Well, I was wrong last time, but I’m going to have to say…

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Mr. Dimples’ MLB playoff picks

Let’s clear something up right off the bat: there’s a difference between rooting for a team and expecting that team to win it all. I root for the Marlins because I think they’re a likable, talented bunch and I want to see them succeed. I was happy to cheer for them this season, even when it became clear that the only way they were going to the World Series is if they bought tickets from a scalper.

So just because I predict a winner doesn’t mean I’m rooting for that team. It’s like when Halladay pitched against the Marlins: I expected a Phillies victory, but I rooted for my team.

So with that in mind, my picks for the postseason:

National League


Phillies will beat the Cardinals in four games. Cards are a talented bunch riding a high, but the Phillies didn’t get to 102 wins this season by allowing opponents to extend streaks against them.

I’ll take the Brewers over the Diamondbacks, although this one is more likely to go all five games. But it almost doesn’t matter because…

The Phillies will win the NLCS, and if it takes six games for them to do it, I will be genuinely surprised.

American League:


Yankees will have a tough go of it, but I think they will beat the Tigers in five. I think they realize this is the last time we’ll see Jeter, Posada and Rivera in the postseason, and something happens to this team in October that’s hard to quantify. It ain’t numbers. It’s almost magic. You can call it what you want, but you can’t deny it.

Rangers have a lot to prove after their disappointing performance at last year’s World Series, and if they can beat the Rays’ outstanding pitching, they’ll need all five games to do it. That’s a big if.

The rematch is going to be exciting as hell, but somehow, I doubt the Yankees will fall to the Rangers two years in a row. They’re onto you, Texas. Yankees in five or six.

World Series

A rematch of the 2009 World Series: Phillies are hungry and on fire. Yankees want one more jewel on the crown that has been Derek Jeter’s career. But Yankees have been known to fall short in such circumstances. Remember 2001? Just a few weeks after 9/11, the universe was rooting for NY, and the Yankees couldn’t quite do it? Yeah, I’m thinking this is that kind of year: Rematch goes to the Phillies.

But I’m ROOTING for…

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I Believed in Leo Nunez

Order your T-shirt from Strip Club With Stanton

You can only muster up but so much enthusiasm.

I promised I would not speak ill of a Marlin, but at some point speaking the truth and speaking ill become indistinguishable from each other, and you have to choose.

Keeping Leo Nunez as the closer on the Marlins used to be a leap of faith. It is now a lapse of reason.

For the good of the team, and for the sanity of the fans, it’s time to put an end to this charade. It’s one thing to have a bad outing. But when you are consistently and reliably giving up two or three runs in the ninth inning, you’re not a closer. You’re a ringer for the other team.

It is not fair to Ricky Nolasco, who put in a passable start and was in line for the win.

It is not fair to the Marlins offense, which for once supported a marginal start by performing the astonishing task of, for most of the game anyway, scoring more runs than the other team.

It is not fair to the set-up guys in the bullpen whose only job was to preserve the lead long enough for the closer to come in and wrap things up.

And it sure as heck is not fair to the fans, who should be cheering and rooting for the closer, not dreading his appearance.

No one’s perfect. No one is asking Leo Nunez to be perfect. We’re just suggesting that maybe a pitcher who routinely gives up two or three runs per inning should not routinely be brought in to pitch an inning when our team is only leading by two or three runs.

I believed in Leo Nunez. In the leap of faith required to root for him as a closer, no one was leaping higher or cheering louder than Mr. Dimples. I’m not cheering anymore. At the beginning of this season, Marlins fans dreaded Javy Vazquez’ plate appearances and celebrated Leo Nunez with an optimism born not of performance, but of outcomes. “He got lucky,” some said. I wanted them to be wrong, but Leo proved they were not.

Javy, meanwhile, has done as well as anyone could have hoped. He’s not setting any records, but at least when he comes on, hope outweighs fear. Not so with Leo.

The best thing that happened to Leo Nunez last year was when they took the closer role away from him. He’s earned that treatment again. I believed in Leo Nunez. I don’t anymore. Get him off the mound.

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Logan Morrison will be fine

Z for ZooKeeper


Seriously, from everyone. Even from me. Enough.

Logan Morrison is a Twitter sensation because he’s embraced the format and it has embraced him right back. But if we who admire him fail to extricate the man from the Twitter account, we’re not doing him any favors.

Morrison is a professional baseball player on a team that feels it’s doing the right thing in the long run. Whether fans agree or not isn’t the point. Last I checked, Marlins management is not a democracy, and if it was, owners in the front office would still outnumber the number of fans who show up at an average game. Face it: the election of George W. Bush was decided by more people than were in attendance at last Sunday’s game at Sun Life. 

So let’s put things in perspective. Morrison’s an undeniably talented player. He’s also undeniably having a tough time at the plate and on the field. Not the worst in the majors, but not what we expected him to be and not what he’s likely capable of achieving.

Anyone who thinks Morrison’s Twitter activity has gotten out of hand really hasn’t been following his Twitter account. Seriously, you can count the number of controversial tweets on one hand and still have enough fingers left for a shocker. [If you have to ask, you probably shouldn’t know].

Interviews are another story. Morrison’s dig at management in June may have resonated with fans, but he doesn’t work for us. His dig at Buster Posey may have been motivated by his friendship with Scott Cousins, but Buster didn’t deserve it. His clubhouse confrontation with Hanley Ramirez may have elated those who think Hanley doesn’t hustle enough, but it was still a rookie dressing down an All Star.

Someday, and someday soon, Morrison will be a hell of a team leader on and off the field. That’s already happening. The Marlins have a vested interest in shaping what kind of leader he grows into. And what they’ve done, like it or not [and let me be clear: I DON’T], is part of that process.

If Logan Morrison’s talent and performance don’t lift him out of the minors, then he didn’t deserve to be in the majors in the first place. Nobody believes that. He’ll be back. And he’ll be a better player. What role Twitter will play in his future is up to him, not us.

I include myself in this: We need to get over what the Marlins have done to Logan Morrison and think about what’s in the team’s long-term interest. It’s like he said, a bend in the road is only the end if you fail to make the turn. Not only does Morrison need to make the turn: he needs to make sure he’s turning in the right direction.

Keep the faith, ZooKeeper. We’ll be here when you get back.

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Things that hurt less than being a Marlins fan

Remember April? And May, wasn’t May a cool month to be a Marlins fan? I mean, we swept the reigning World Series Champions, the San Francisco Giants! For a while there, we had the second best record in baseball. In ALL of baseball. Wow.

Ancient Rome was interesting too. So was the Cretaceous Era. Get where I’m going? History is where you’re not. Not anymore. Marlins are now in last place, seven games under .500. And the team’s fans are feeling the pain.

It hurts to be a Marlins fan these days. I mean, we love our team. Seriously. Leo Nunez, still imperfect, has still gotten the job done as closer. Javy Vazquez has been locked in a closet and replaced with a lookalike who can actually pitch. Emilio WTFacio got the team’s second-longest hitting streak ever.

And we’re losing. A lot. We get swept more than the floors at most public schools. Not hating on my team. It’s just a fact. It hurts to be a Marlins fan. You want to know what hurts LESS than being a Marlins fan?

  • Swimming in a shark tank with a bucket of chum attached to your athletic supporter.
OUCH! Well, at least it wasn’t a Marlins game!
  • Listening to Roseanne sing the National Anthem.
  • Using lemon juice as an after shave.
  • Walking naked on a tightrope dipped in Wesson.
  • Dinner with Hannibal Lecter.
  • A root canal administered by Dr. Orin Scrivello, DDS.
  • A haircut and a shave from Sweeney Todd.
  • Amateur accupuncture.
  • Finding out too late that you were suppposed to specify gender when you bought a raffle ticket for a date with a porn star.
  • Jaws 4: The Revenge
  • Giving Edward Scissorhands a high five.
  • Buster Posey playing hopscotch. [Sorry. But you snickered].
  • A Pauly Shore movie marathon. Or a Pauly Shore movie.
  • A David Hasselhoff concert.
  • Death.




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Javy Vazquez, I wanna believe

Look to find a reason...

Some Marlins fans who didn’t share my enthusiasm for Leo Nunez are starting to come around now that he’s gone 15-for-15 in save opportunities this season.

I have a rule. I will not speak ill of a Marlin. I just won’t. If I’ve got nothing nice to say, I won’t say it. I like staying on the positive side. Let the haters hate, you know what I mean?

So what do I do about Javy Vazquez? When he comes up to pitch, I want to look forward to it. And to be honest, that’s hard to to given his performance so far this season. So do I just shut up? Not my style. I mean, his presence on the mound is as impossible to ignore as an 800-pound… well, you get the idea.

So here’s my solution, worked out with my friends on Twitter. I can’t in good conscience start the chant of “I Believe In Javy Vazquez” the way I did for Leo Nunez because, well, no one on Twitter would even think to join me. Seriously, would you retweet that?

Instead, I’m gonna tweet “#JavyVazquezIWannaBelieve”

It’s upbeat. It’s both optimistic and realistic. It’s not a leap of faith. It’s a leap of hope. Javy is a better pitcher than his performance would indicate. But there’s only so much the fans can take. I’m a Marlins fan, and I want Javy Vazquez to succeed. I want to be happy to see him on the mound, not biting my fingernails to all the way to the palm of my hand, you know.

I wanna believe. It’s still up to Javy to make that happen. I think I speak for a lot of fans when I say that I wanna believe. Give us a reason, Javy.

Join the chant on Twitter.


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I Believe In Leo Nunez

This really, happened, I swear (no it didn’t, and no I don’t). During the off-season, @LoMoMarlins told me to go have a talk with Leo Nunez. You know, encourage him a little. So we were hanging out at the Rainforest Cafe this one day (the only restaurant where I can blend, you know) and I told him, Leo, I believe in you. Your team believes in you.

I Believe in Leo Nunez

Leo looked at me and said, “But the fans. They don’t believe.”

Look, I can’t blame the fans. Last season was rough on Leo. Sure, the the end of the year he was getting back on track, but by that time no one was paying attention. So I said to him, “Look, Leo, you just do the job and the fans will join you. Leave it to me…”

So far, the fans haven’t quite gotten the message. I think it’s because Leo doesn’t get a lot of 1-2-3 innings. More like “1-2-walk-hit-3” innings (wish I could take credit for that. I can’t, and I don’t remember who said it first). He needs to work on that. Marlins fans’ hearts can only take so much pounding. Only a matter of time before that runner on third makes it home.

But so far, so good, and I want Marlins fans to join me in becoming beLEOvers. Be proud. “I’M A BELEOVER!”

On Twitter, we’re saying #IBelieveInLeoNunez. We want him to know we got his back. Will he mess up? Sure he will. Phillies scored off him to break a tie last week. But so far he’s had 15 save opportunities, and he’s saved all 15. Say what you want, but that’s not luck. That’s talent. And luck.

And Leo’s showing it.

So bring your signs out to the next Marlins home game: “‘m a BeLEOver!” “I Believe in Leo Nunez!

You don’t want to disappoint an 800 pound gorilla.

Jungle Love.


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