Blog Entry

New Marlin Bell: We can beat the Phillies

Posted on: December 5, 2011 5:30 pm
Edited on: December 6, 2011 12:39 am
DALLAS -- Heath Bell, done. Jose Reyes, done.

Now owner Jeffrey Loria says the Marlins can add more, and you'd better believe it. The Marlins met twice with the agent for Albert Pujols on Monday, sources said late Monday night, boosting its nine-year offer in the process and giving the slugger even more to think about.

No decision was imminent as midnight approached, and one person with knowledge of the talks said they likely will play out more before a decision is reached. The Cardinals also met with Pujols' agent, Dan Lozano, on Monday, and so did the Cubs.

But it is the Marlins who have stolen the show early in these winter meetings, and it is their efforts for Pujols that have electrified the lobby here at the Hilton Anatole.

Pujols in the same lineup with Reyes, Hanley Ramirez, Mike Stanton and others?

"That would be great," Bell told Monday. "I'm telling you right now, we definitely can win the NL East, even with just Reyes."

Imagine that. Even with just Reyes.

As in, gee, even if we don't sign Pujols, we've got an embarrassment of riches.

"I think we can win the division right now," Bell continued. "The Phillies, I think we can beat 'em.

"Ryan Howard is hurt. They might not be getting Jimmy Rollins back."

It is a tilting landscape and a bizarro world. As Rollins continued to frost out on the free agent market Thursday, sources said the Phillies were discussing free agent third baseman Aramis Ramirez. Then they'd trade Placido Polanco, and maybe get a shortstop elsewhere

Whatever on the Phillies front. The Marlins are charging hard toward their new stadium and toward the top of the NL East.

Owner Jeffrey Loria would not speak directly about Pujols on Monday, but not because that's some crazy rumor.

"I don't want to talk about Albert," Loria said. "That's not the purpose of today. This is Heath's day."

Tuesday or, more likely, Wednesday will be Reyes' day, the day the Marlins introduce him formally here at the winter meetings.

Meantime, they're working hard toward another addition. The Pujols talks are serious. So are those for a starting pitcher. One person close to the Marlins suggested Monday night that free agent left-hander Mark Buehrle actually is above Pujols on the club's wish list. Loria has told people that the club's payroll, roughly $45 million last year, could zoom to the $100 million range in 2012.

When this winter started, that seemed like a bad joke.

Nobody, and I mean nobody, thinks the Marlins aren't serious now.

"I'm a serious guy," Loria said. "I don't know how many times I have to tell you guys that."

You cannot even begin to describe how different life is for the Marlins, whose executives arrived here about midday Monday. These are the guys -- Loria, president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest, general manager Michael Hill -- who sold their wares on the streets of the winter meetings in years past because they were so poor.

These are the guys who traded Miguel Cabrera to Detroit, Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell to Boston. ...

"We had a plan a few years ago," Loria said. "That's the reason why Mike Stanton is here, the reason why Logan Morrison is here, the reason why Hanley Ramirez is here."

As Beinfest says, the Marlins plan always was to compete, they just had to find extra creative ways to do so.


"It's fun," Beinfest kept saying Monday. "It's fun to come in here and sign an All-Star closer. There's nothing wrong with that."

In a perfect Marlins world, they'd leave Dallas on Thursday with Bell, Reyes and Pujols or Buehrle all done. But as quickly as they're moving, there's still some uncertainty.

"We'd love to get things done as fast as possible and achieve our goals," Beinfest said. "But we don't control everything. It takes two to tango."

Sure does. But the Marlins have entered the free agent market with swagger and are causing some folks to dance as fast as they can. Cardinals owner Bill DeWitt said earlier Monday that he remains "hopeful" of signing Pujols.

"We're making every effort" to sign him, DeWitt said.

Well if they're serious, the Cardinals had better get moving. Because the Marlins are as serious as a spring breaker hell-bent on ravaging the Fort Lauderdale nightlife.

"We want to do more," Beinfest said. "We'd like to do more. There are some things we'd like to achieve.

"We're still in conversation with free agents and with clubs."

Every door is open, including trades -- with players both going and coming. Loria mostly remained tight-lipped regarding diva superstar Hanley Ramirez, who now must shove over to third base to make room for Reyes.

"Hanley is a super-professional," Loria said. "That's all I will say. We will work with him, make everything comfortable for him."

You bet they will. They're making everything comfortable for Bell, Reyes and others as they go. Loria anticipates attendance bumping up to somewhere between 2.8 and 3 million in 2012. They drew an NL-low 1.5 million last year.

They win like Bell says they can, maybe there really, finally, will be a buzz around the Marlins.

Said Beinfest: "It's time for this organization to play October baseball."


Since: Nov 14, 2006
Posted on: December 5, 2011 10:17 pm

Mark Buehrle to Detroit

Since: Mar 21, 2009
Posted on: December 5, 2011 10:01 pm

New Marlin Bell: We can beat the Phillies

EASY NOW, Reyes had a pretty good line-up arround him in NY. That really didn't translate to wins.

Since: May 15, 2007
Posted on: December 5, 2011 9:56 pm

New Marlin Bell: We can beat the Phillies

Florida Marlins,

 Please send a good address for fans of other NL Central teams to send money in. I will gladly help pay his salary if I know Dusty Baker won't be challenging him anymore.  

Since: Jan 22, 2009
Posted on: December 5, 2011 9:54 pm

New Marlin Bell: We can beat the Phillies

As a Braves fan, I must say I have long admired the Marlins formula for developing talent. They have always found a way to develop the most interesting talent. Now since they are moving into a new stadium, have a new manager, and have acquired Jose Reyes and Heath Bell. They have really made themselves a nice lineup as well as having someone who can finish games. Like one previous poster pointed out. You can acquire all of the free agent talent out there, but if that team doesn't gel and doesn't have team chemistry. You are pretty much stuck with the MLB's version of the Philadelphia Eagles circa 2011. With Reyes and Bell signed, and Ozzie Guillen's connection with Mark Buerhle. It is possible he could be added aboard as well, but even with Ozzie Guillen helping the White Sox win the World Series in 2005. The question boils down to, can Ozzie Guillen manage a team who has superstar type talent, but has super star type egos as well. Egos that have to be nutured. It takes a special manager to nurture egos, and I am not sure if Guillen has ever had to do that with someone who has as big of an ego as Hanley Ramirez. You also move Hanley Ramirez to third base after coming off his worst offensive year in the majors, so learning the new position at 3rd Base is a daunting task in itself then trying to rediscover your swing after a not so good offensive showing compounds the problems and already gives Guillen a monumental task from the out set.

As for the Phillies comparison, I think it is a different situation. The Phillies geniunely seem to have great chemistry, albeit they are getting older. The Phillies really do bring in not only good players, but ones that have great characters (with the exception of Jonathan Papelbon which was more to fill a need and not brought in for his character). The Marlins meanwhile have Hanley Ramirez who has shown to be amazingly talented, but doesn't feel the need to hustle and constantly has to have his ego catered to. Jose Reyes has shown at times to be a prima donna, Logan Morrison has shown a lack of discipline in being able to stay away from the Twitter page and just concentrate on playing baseball, and last but not least the manager Ozzie Guillen who has passion, but also has proven to be immature and childish at times with his name calling. This is the Captain of the ship for the Marlins, and with the variable components The Marlins have between those 4, it could become a combustible situation. While the Phillies have Charlie Manuel who is generally adored by his players, and really doesn't have players who are major problems, but are professionals through and through. The Marlins meanwhile have talented players, but you question the professionalism of their major talent with the exception of Mike Stanton and Heath Bell.

Since: Sep 19, 2011
Posted on: December 5, 2011 9:50 pm

New Marlin Bell: We can beat the Phillies

Unlike the players this Miami team is buying, talk is cheap. Heath Bell is funny, not only how he runs onto the field and slides his overweight butt onto the mound but with his comedic stand-up he entertained reporters with. Are the fish better....yes. Are they better than the signed a closer from a last place team and a shortstop from a 2nd to last place team. Reyes helped the Mets finish 25 back of the Phillies(who had an off year) and Bell helped the monks to 71 wins, 29 games behind the Phillies(did I mention they had an off year--you know injuries forcing them to play only a couple dozen games with their actual line-up)....oh they still won 102 games, don't credit them too much for that, thank god for teams like the Mets, Marlins, and Padres, who combined to lose to the Phillies 30 times. Heath Bel, seriously, you have an career era over 3.00, your a novelty at best, however I guess that is a good thing opening a new stadium and begging fans to come watch your team play. I know buying championships has worked in the past for the fish but I can't see it happening again, I do see them finishing better than 30 games out. Lastly, Amaro is a genius, he signed the best closer availble rather than Heath bar, he wanted nothing to do with Reyes because he knows Jose is a loser despite his gawdy contract year stats. Forget Pujols, invest the money in Johnson and Johnson band aids , to help Josh Johnson actually reach 10 starts this year......championships are won on grass not paper- just ask the 2008 Mets.
I also don't think that Miami is better then the Phillies just yet, Miami need some Pitching help and if they some how sign Pujols. Phillies look like they be a good team next year if they find another SP and a SS

Since: Jan 30, 2011
Posted on: December 5, 2011 9:42 pm

New Marlin Bell: We can beat the Phillies

Well....he is forgetting about the Braves..I am sure that quote will make it to their clubhouse. The Braves have the best young pitching in baseball. The Marlins pitching just does not stack up with the Phillies or the Braves, and don't forget the Nats either. Bell won't be pitching in the San Diego ballpark against the mediocre NL West. As usual, Bell is flapping his jaws just like he does all the time on MLB radio. I really think the Marlins need to go after pitching. I don't know why they are going after Pujols. The have one of the best 1B in baseball with Sanchez.

Since: Aug 4, 2011
Posted on: December 5, 2011 9:40 pm

New Marlin Bell: We can beat the Phillies

no chance he11

Since: Jul 9, 2009
Posted on: December 5, 2011 9:35 pm

New Marlin Bell: We can beat the Phillies

Fellow Phans, don't let Bell's remark get to you.  What were you expecting him to say--that he doesn't think his new team can win the Division?  He didn't say they would win, just that they were capable of it.  And I'm sure he wouldn't deny that the Phils are capable of it as well.

Certainly the Marlins have improved themselves.  Bell is a pretty good closer (even if he has spent his recent career in a pitcher's park), and we have to admit that Reyes hit pretty well last year (whatever his antics on the last day of the season).  And if they did those things on bad teams with little help, that's not necessarily a point against them as one poster suggested.

So, bring it on, Heath.  And remember: you don't know yet just who the Phils will be next year.  They may not be finished dealing yet, either.

Since: Dec 2, 2009
Posted on: December 5, 2011 9:18 pm

New Marlin Bell: We can beat the Phillies

bell is delusional.
but does he seriously believe the marlins
will be better than the phillies ?!  even with "just" reyes ?!

marlins might be in for a rude awakening in 2012,
when they struggle to stay in contention,
even with a team full of potential all-stars.
like others have mentioned in other words,
both hanley & reyes are known MALCONTENTS,
and will probably either get hurt, flat-out suck,
or be in the managers dog-house, sulking.

they should all take a lesson from the cardinals.
just shut up, and play the game(s) till the last out,
let the results speak for themselves.

all this pre-season miami marlins hype is getting ridiculous.
it ain't like they went out & got randy johnson & curt schilling.
although, if they somehow landed pujols...
they just might have a shot at the playoffs,
once they add a couple more wild-cards.  lol

Since: Sep 20, 2011
Posted on: December 5, 2011 9:14 pm

New Marlin Bell: We can beat the Phillies

Couldn't of said it better myself lol

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