2011 Archives http://marlinsbigcatch.com/table/2011-articles/december/ Tue, 23 May 2017 20:36:56 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Updated Marlins Lineup for 2012 http://marlinsbigcatch.com/2011-articles/december/updated-marlins-lineup-for-2012.html http://marlinsbigcatch.com/2011-articles/december/updated-marlins-lineup-for-2012.html Not much has happened with the Marlins since they signed Mark Buehrle and Jose Reyes, and lost out on C.J. Wilson and Albert Pujols at the Winter Meetings.  Since then the Marlins signed veterans Aaron Rowand and Nick Green to Minor League deals and has let Clay Hensley become a free agent.  However, the Marlins have continued to make a lot of noise in the rumor mill.  Report have come out that the Marlins are looking at giving Mike Stanton a contract extention, they are trying to resign Greg Dobbs (a move I love), and they have talked to pitchers Javier Vazquez and Joe Saunders, trying to solidify that 5th spot in the rotation. The Marlins have reportedly been the most aggressive team when it come to trying to aquire Cuban defecter and center fielder Yoenis Cespedes, Cespedes is expected to get a contrct worth between $30-$60 million once he is approved to become a free agent by MLB.

For right now here is a projected lineup for the Marlins in 2012 (based on players under contract):

  1. Jose Reyes - SS
  2. Emilio Bonifacio - CF
  3. Hanley Ramirez - 3B
  4. Mike Stanton - RF
  5. Gaby Sanchez - 1B
  6. Logan Morrison - LF
  7. Omar Infante - 2B
  8. John Buck - C
  • Chris Coghlan
  • Brett Hayes
  • Donnie Murphy
  • Scott Cousins
  1. Josh Johnson - RHP
  2. Marl Buehrle- LHP
  3. Anibal Sanchez - RHP
  4. Ricky Nolasco - RHP
  5. Chris Volstad (or Alex Sanabia/Wade LeBlanc)
  • Heath Bell - RHP
  • Mike Dunn - LHP
  • Ryan Webb - RHP
  • Edward Mujica - RHP
  • Randy Choate - LHP
  • Jose Ceda - RHP
  • Steve Cishek - RHP
  • Chris Hatcher - RHP
bcastaldo2000@gmail.com (BC Castaldo) December Sat, 31 Dec 2011 20:30:37 +0000
Zephyr Field Reviews http://marlinsbigcatch.com/2011-articles/december/zephyr-field-reviews.html http://marlinsbigcatch.com/2011-articles/december/zephyr-field-reviews.html Shrine on Airline



Just outside of New Orleans in the suburb of Metairie you will find what’s known as the "Shrine on Airline," Zephyr Field. Zephyr Field features 10,000 chair-backed seats with cup-holders, plus seating for nearly 1,000 on The Levee in center field. Most people when they think of New Orleans think of Mardi Gras, parties and good Cajun cooking. Well all of this and more can be found at and around Zephyr Field. The ballpark currently is the home of the New Orleans Zephyrs who are the AAA affiliate of the Florida Marlins. Zephyr Field is a great to place to catch a game, offering wonderful food, affordable prices, and plenty of entertainment for the baseball fan and his/her family.


Food & Beverage   4/5

The Zephyrs offer typical ballpark staples including hot dogs, corn dogs, hamburgers, chicken tenders, nachos, and popcorn. There are a few more interesting items like cheese enchiladas, tri-color supreme nachos as well as BBQ pork and beef, and pig nachos. The prices are all within minor league standards and you should definitely have no problems finding something to please the palate.

Atmosphere   3/5

I found the atmosphere to be pretty average. Nothing blew me away, but the atmosphere wasn't any less than you would see at any other basic minor league venue. The fans were decent, but the crowd was definitely on the small side especially for a AAA team.

Even though Zephyr Field has a couple of neat extras that you won't find at most ballparks like 16 VIP luxury suites, a swimming pool, two hot tubs in right field, the Coors Light Party Shack located in the right field corner and the Metairie Bank Home Run Porch located behind the left field wall, I still found it to be lacking that extra spark. The team has done a great job to provide a great ballpark and atmosphere for the fans. I'm sure on some nights it's a pretty great atmosphere as it definitely has the recipe to be good, but the night I attended I found it to be nothing more than mediocre.

Neighborhood   2/5

Since Zephyr Field is a good ten minutes from downtown New Orleans, I'll start by saying I won't include any of that as local stuff in the area to do. On the other hand I will recommend if you are attending Zephyr Field to definitely make the trip into New Orleans. It is one of the best cities in the United States with endless dining and entertainment options.

As far as in Metairie I would recommend a couple of places. One good place is Jaeger's Seafood & Beergarden located off Clearview Parkway. Jaeger's offers some of the area's freshest seafood and provides some enormous servings. Jaeger's seafood platter feast includes fried fish, oysters, shrimp, stuffed crab, fries, onion rings, jambalaya and garlic bread. If that's not enough to fill your belly then there is no help for you.

Another place I have grown to like in Metairie is New Orleans Hamburger & Seafood Company. It’s a Louisiana chain restaurant, but I have found it to be quite appetizing. Serving everything from burgers and po’boys to oysters and crawfish pasta, they definitely have plenty of options and you should have an easy time finding something to quench your appetite.

Fans   2/5

I have attended a Zephyrs game on more than one occasion, and I have yet to see a great turnout. The fans that do attend seem to be knowledgeable and love keeping score and having great baseball chit chat but there is just not enough fans, especially for a AAA ballpark and for as big as the New Orleans area is.

Access   4/5

Access to the ballpark is about as easy as you can find. Parking will run you $3 so that’s never a plus for me, but it is cheaper than most AAA ballparks I have attended. The ballpark does recover in score with the huge concourses that it has, making for easy access around the ballpark. Bathrooms were plentiful and due to the less than average crowd I never saw a line. Overall easy access in and out of the ballpark and the Zephyrs also do a great job of making easy access around the park.

Return on Investment   3/5

Tickets range anywhere from $9-$12 for fixed seats or $6 to get a seat on the levee. Overall with decent ticket, parking and concession prices the Zephyrs are on point as an average minor league experience. If you are in or around New Orleans I would say to check out the Zephyrs schedule. It’s worth the investment.

Extras   2/5

A couple of extra points to distribute out - one going for the pool and hot tubs out in right field. With Louisiana hot summers being able to take a cool dip is always a plus. The last extra point goes to Boudreaux the Zephyr mascot. He’s very energized and keeps the kids very well entertained.


bcastaldo2000@gmail.com (Paul Derrick) December Thu, 29 Dec 2011 14:56:19 +0000
Miami Marlins Sign Mark Buehrle http://marlinsbigcatch.com/2011-articles/december/miami-marlins-sign-mark-buehrle.html http://marlinsbigcatch.com/2011-articles/december/miami-marlins-sign-mark-buehrle.html Mark_BuehrleAlbert Pujols maybe taking his time to think about where he wants to play next year, but the Marlins are not just going to sit around and wait for him.  The Marlins signed left handed free agent Mark Buehrle this afternoon to a four year deal believed to be worth $58 million dollars.  Buehrle will definitely give a boost to a starting rotation that already includes Josh Johnson, Ricky Nolasco, and Anibal Sanchez.  Buehrle is also capable of being the ace of the staff if Josh Johnson is unable to break his string of injuries.

Buehrle is the third big free agent signing for the Marlins after closer Heath Bell and Jose Reyes, who had his introductory press conference this afternoon.  This has already been one of the best off seasons in team history and it could be better as the Marlins still have a six year contract offer out to C.J. Wilson and it seems like the pitcher will either end up in Miami or with the LA Angles.

This of course all comes less than 24 hours after intense negotiation battles between the Marlins and the Cardinals for the right to sign Albert Pujols.  While their are reports that the Marlins are still going after Pujols, and team president David Sampson said this evening on the Dan Lebatard radio show that the Marlins are still in it until he signs with another team, their are also conflicting reports that Pujols' agent has told the Marlins that they are out of the running.  It seems as though with ever Pujols report that comes out that their is another one from another baseball media member to contradict it.  

Best guess about what is going on with Pujols is that the Marlins are now out of the running and that is why they are able to sign Mark Buehrle and also go after C.J. Wilson.  The $200+ million that the Marlins were planning on spending on getting Albert is now being divided up so that the Marlins can get these two pitchers.  Personally I think that as much business sense as it made for the Marlins to try to acquire Pujols, this plan makes much more baseball sense and will result in more wins over the next four years.  If the Marlins are able to grab Wilson, that means that they will have a rotation of Johnson, Wilson, Buehrle, Sanchez, Nolasco and unlike the Phillies last year the Marlins will have the batting lineup that will be able to score a lot of runs as well. 

bcastaldo2000@gmail.com (BC Castaldo) December Thu, 08 Dec 2011 00:08:16 +0000
Following the Pujols Saga http://marlinsbigcatch.com/2011-articles/december/following-the-pujols-saga.html http://marlinsbigcatch.com/2011-articles/december/following-the-pujols-saga.html Okay so things over the last 36 hours have been kind of crazy with the rumors and news and everything following the Marlins recruitment of Albert Pujols so here is a quick summary of everything that has happened.

  • Marlins meet the Pujols and his agent on Monday and then again durring the day on Tuesday.
  • News came out that the Marlins had upped their original 9 year offer to Pujols to a 10 year deal worth over $200 million
  • The biggest snag in the negotiations between the Miami Marlins and Pujols is that Albert wants a no trade clause, and the Marlins refuse to give any player a no trade clause. (Pujols can get one right away from the Cardinals thanks to the 10/5 rule in MLB)
  • It was at this time that Pujols went to the St Louis Cardinals to get their offer, and Marlins owners Jeffery Loria meet with the Commisioner's Office.  Loria said that it had nothing to do with the Pujols contract, but that was quickly contradicted by a source from the Commissioner's Office.
  • The Cardinals offered Pujols a 10 year deal close to $220 million
  • Albert Pujols and his agent had another two hour long meeting with the Marlins
  • It was at this time that rumors of a secret third teams involvement in the negotiations. Some believe it to be the Cubs, others the Angles, but no team has been confirmed.

So now it is all down to Albert Pujols and where he wants to go.  The Marlins have expressed that they want a quick response from Pujols because they are in on so many other free agents.  The Marlins say that they want both  Pujols and C.J. Wilson, but it is clear what the Marlins plans are as soon as this situuation is resolved.

-If the Marlins sign Pujols-- The Marlins then put Gaby Sanchez on the trade market and the first deal they will try is to send him to Oakland for Gio Gonzalez.

-If the Marlins don't sign Pujols-- The Marlins will get in a meeting room with C.J. Wilson and his agent as soon as possible and try to get him to sign with them.

bcastaldo2000@gmail.com (BC Castaldo) December Wed, 07 Dec 2011 13:55:18 +0000
Marlins Get Reyes http://marlinsbigcatch.com/2011-articles/december/marlins-get-reyes.html http://marlinsbigcatch.com/2011-articles/december/marlins-get-reyes.html jose_reyesThe Winter Meetings are usually the starting point in the MLB off season where you start to see the big time MLB free agents get serious offers and start to sign with teams.  Well the Marlins got things started early by agreeing to a six year $106 million contract with short shot Jose Reyes.  Reyes was the Marlins top priority this off season and made sure they got their man by increasing their original offer to a point that Reyes' old team, the New York Mets, had to bow out of the bidding.  The deal is the richest in Marlins history and will become official once Reyes passes a physical.

With the signing, it fills a couple of holes in the Marlins team that the front office was looking to fill.  First off it fills the hole at third base since now Jose Reyes will take over at shortstop and Hanley Ramirez will be moved over to third.  This move will alos continue to improve the Marlins defensively, which is something the team stressed last off season.  Also the addition of Reyes will give the Marlins a top of the line lead off man, and will make a batting order that already included LoMo, Stanton, Hanley, and Gaby even that more dangerous.  Maybe most importantly is that this move shows the fans that the Miami Marlins are not the Florida Marlins.  The Miami Marlins are not going to nickel and dime the fans, selling off its super stars.  Instead this is a team bent on winning now and is willing to go out and spend some serious money to get the top players in the league.

With the Marlins signing the top player on their wish list, Jose Reyes, the Marlins are now going down to their number two guy, Albert Pujols.  The Fish may have just spent a bunch of money, but that is not going to stop them apparently from still going after Pujols.  I still don't see him landing in Miami, but as of right now it is still just between the Marlins, Cubs, and Cardinals.  The other thing is that the Marlins have two other major holes that they need to look to fill.  The first being center field and the other being another front end of the rotation starter.  The Marlins are very much in the mix with the top free agents in both those areas, and while in the past it would have far fetched that the Marlins would get one of those guys this seems to definitely be a new day.

bcastaldo2000@gmail.com (Brian Castaldo) December Mon, 05 Dec 2011 05:05:34 +0000
Marlins Sign Heath Bell http://marlinsbigcatch.com/2011-articles/december/marlins-sign-heath-bell.html http://marlinsbigcatch.com/2011-articles/december/marlins-sign-heath-bell.html heath-bellWith the future of Juan Carlos Oviedo up in the air, the Marlins entered the off season looking for a closer for 2012 and they found him and made their first big move of the off season by acquiring closer Heath Bell.  The is reportedly three years at $9 million per year ($27 million total) with an option for a fourth year.  Bell is someone who the Marlins have been interested in for a number of years and had a chance to get him at the trade deadline a few years ago from the Padres, but decided to not to pull the trigger on a deal that would have sent Andrew Miller and Cameron Maybin to San Diego in return.

Some people are criticising the Marlins for over spending at a position that the Marlins have demonstrated over and over again that you can just plug in someone and get solid results.  The Marlins have had success in the past with guys like Brandon Looper, Ugueth Urbina, Armando Benitez, Todd Jones, Joe Borowski, Kevin Gregg, Matt Lindstrom, and Leo Nunez.  And their is also criticism that the Marlins are buying into a player that is older and on the decline.  Their is some truth to that in that Bell has just turned 34 and his strike out per nine innings ratio has dropped the previous two season.  However Bell's WHIP and ERA are both still strong is the only play in baseball with a minimum of 40 saves in each of the past three season, and it is important to point out that the Padres were one of the worst teams in baseball two of those three years.

Some people have compared this signing to that of John Buck, but that is not the case at all.  I said prior to last year that I was not a fan of Buck and the Marlins were over paying for a player coming off a career year.  That is not the case with Bell.  Heath Bell has been one of the top closers in the majors the past three years and overall his numbers have not fluctuate all that much, all though their is some difference between his home and away numbers.  Even with those home/road disparities, Bell was still a better than average closer on the road.

I believe this to be a good move for the Marlins.  While this is not a move that will automatically launch the Marlins into the playoffs, combined with one or two other key additions it could be a move to put the fish over the top.  Also, yes, every year you do see teams have a closer that comes from no where to get 40+ saves in a season, but at the same time you also have teams that try to plug in just an average closer and it turns out to be disastrous.  Bell is a player who will be a solid closer and someone who the team will really not need to worry about for at least two of the three years of this contract.  Bell is also a player who has some personality and it will not take long for him to become a fan favorite.

bcastaldo2000@gmail.com (BC Castaldo) December Sat, 03 Dec 2011 04:43:00 +0000
Marlins Weekly Free Agency Update http://marlinsbigcatch.com/2011-articles/december/marlins-weekly-free-agency-update.html http://marlinsbigcatch.com/2011-articles/december/marlins-weekly-free-agency-update.html With baseball currently in their winter meeting now is usually the hot bed for hot stove talk in MLB.  The Marlins have vowed to make some big moves this offseason, and while they have certainly been one of the loudest teams in terms of hot stove talk they have yet to close the deal on any major players.  Here are the latest updates form players the Marlins are supposedly interested in acquiring.

Albert Pujols- The Marlins are still the only team that has offered Pujols a contract thus far, but this week the Chicago Cubs have begun their courtship of Pujols.  This brings the total number of teams that have expressed interest in the All-Star first baseman to just three (Marlins, Cubs, and Cardinals), so while it is expected that the Cardinals and Cubs will offer Pujols more money, the Marlins are technically still very much in the running to acquire him.

C.J. Wilson- The Miami Marlins played host to the lefty pitcher on Monday.  Their has not been any news on whether or not the fish has offered him a contract or not.  Right now C.J. Wilson is the top free agent pitcher on the market so if the Marlins want him they are going to have to fight off teams like the Rangers, Yankees and Red Sox to get him.

Jose Reyes- It has become clear that Jose Reyes has become the Marlins top target in free agency.  While many fully expect the Mets to offer him a contract for more money than what that Marlins had originally offered, some where less than $100 million, the Marlins are then expected to make a counter offer.  A  good sign for the Marlins might be that their are rumors that Reyes could be making his second visit to Miami today.

Carlos Guillen- According to ESPN the Marlins maybe taking a look at Guillen, the 36 year 2nd baseman who has played the last few years for the Detorit Tigers.  Guillen can also play some corner outfield, but even still he does not make that much sense for the Marlins to acquire as the team stands right now unless as a backup role.

Heath Bell- According to a tweet sent out by Joel Heyman of SI.com the Marlins have begun to talk to free agent closer Heath Bell.  The Marlins are looking to add a closer as they are preparing for a scenario where Juan Carlos Oviedo, a.k.a. Leo Nunez, will not be allowed to return to the U.S. and play next year.  According to the Miami Herold, Bell is looking for a deal that would be around 3 years at $30 million.

In other news the Marlins have finally shown images of Billy the Marlins new look for this up coming season.

Billy2-200x300                         Billy6-200x300

bcastaldo2000@gmail.com (BC Castaldo) December Thu, 01 Dec 2011 15:38:59 +0000