This isn’t how a season dies. This isn’t supposed to be how a team goes from playing meaningful games in September to all of a sudden coming up a bit short. No, this is sabotage. And it comes from within and burns with the betrayal of a close friend. It stinks like a rotting fish – which is what happened now.
The Marlins dismissed AJ Burnett for the rest of the season. McKeon called him into his office, told him the news that Josh Johnson was going to get the ball and to go and spend time with his family. AJ responded, “Right on.”. This coming only after a few days after the ‘explosion’ that rocked the Marlins teal universe – AJ’s rant on McKeon and the coaching staff.
Unfortunately, AJ is right. And only part of the problem has been dealt with here.
Ask yourself why Miguel Cabrera, the fun-loving young Marlin phenom, now sits in the locker room quietly as if at a funeral. The fun of baseball and of this team has been sucked dry – as if a ghoul was sent to this team to do so. That ghoul would take the form of a cigar-smoking 70-year old manager. And Rob Dibble was right all along.
Most of us in the stands never saw it coming to this. We were too blinded by our teal-colored lenses to see what was going on. We never thought Jack’s curmundginly style and AJ’s bitter angst would come to a contest such as this. The concoction was bitter from the start, and we are only now getting the bill – bad fish is the agent.
The Marlins just giving up is not even worth annotating. It has happened, as clear as the most recent box scores indicate. Players have given up not because they are bad players or bad people, but because they dont want to play for this team, for this situation. They are tired of it. The players themselves are good guys, hard working and serious about winning and about their jobs. There are a few bad apples that spoil the bunch and only one of them has been tossed out. AJ is gone.
But McKeon should have taken his own advice he gave to AJ. And he would have been trimming out the biggest spoiled fruit of them all.
The healing process is going to take time for this team. Mr. Loria has a lot to answer for now that his team, for the first time in its history, has underperformed. And that should be a good thing because expectation with this franchise has never been high until Mr. Loria got in here. This is about as bad as it could get, but there is hope. Change is most definetly coming – and it couldn’t come at a better time.