I believe it was the great Ice Cube that once said, “You can’t play wit my yo-yo…”. Ok, so it was in reference to a cameo appearance he made for a female rapper Yo-Yo, who drove me yo-yo with her blond weave…but I digress.
The point is, this season has been just that – a yo-yo for the Marlins. Especially in regards to their wildcard hunt.
Everytime I would write something about their wildcard chances increasing, they would relapse. Then, when I would post something about how I thought they were done with the WC hunt, they would re-emerge. Apart from driving me crazy, it has been fun so far – and continues to be.
‘How the hell’, the media experts are asking, ‘does a $15 million dollar payroll compete for the wildcard?’ Well, when you got the talent the Marlins have, you can’t help but win games.
The rotation has had to learn to throw strikes and help their teams win – and ironically, it is their rookies that are doing the heavy lifting. Same with the position players – save the Miguels; Cabrera and Olivo. Then again, everyone else on the field is a rookie.
But enough of the accolades for how well this young team is playing – it is no longer an anamoly since they have been doing this all season. In fact, it is time to expect them to compete and win each game out – the teaching Girardi has instilled in them since Spring Training. We are going to compete and expect to win every time out was his basic message.
Right now, the Marlins sit 3 games out of the wildcard. They are also 3 games under .500 and have won 7 games straight now – the longest current streak in the league. Only the Giants, Phillies, Padres and Reds sit up higher on the totem for now.
And you know what? I am not going to make any predictions or analysis. For once, I am going to let the team play and let it decide where it finishes up. These young guys have to gain the experience of contending first and come to grips with it anyway. The percentages are against them, as are the pundits. But we know where that leads – since critical acclaim seems to have always been leveled against the Marlins historically. All that did was end up in mud on many-a-face for those in the media.
How fun would it be to happen a second time around here? And with a $15M payroll? It is equivical to the Beverly Hillbillies showing up as noveau-riche to a high profile social ball. The snooty establishment doesn’t want to see it happen, but it just might.
The young, scrappy and poor Marlins may crash the ball.