Posted on: September 27, 2011 9:49 am
Edited on: September 27, 2011 3:24 pm

Report: Guillen to Marlins for two players


By Evan Brunell

Ozzie Guillen is expected to become the Marlins' new manager in exchange for infielder Osvaldo Martinez (MLB.com) and minor-leaguer Jahn Marinez (Chicago Tribune). To that end, Guillen tweeted Tuesday afternoon that it was "Weird to be in miami in this time but very happy ready to go."

Guillen Leaves White Sox
Guillen was let out of his contract after Monday night's game, capping an end to a tumultuous career as White Sox skipper. Winning the World Series in 2005, Chicago collapsed in 2011 amid high expectations. Guillen's relationship with GM Kenny Williams was by all accounts poisonous, leading to the parting. While Guillen was technically let out of his contract and free to negotiate with any team, the club had arranged a deal with the Marlins should Florida elect to make Guillen its new skipper, which is now clear will come to pass.

It's likely that Guillen will be introduced to the media after Wednesday's season finale for the Marlins, providing a bolt of news for a team that goes into a pivotal offseason with a new stadium, a name change (Florida to Miami) and new logos and uniforms. Guillen himself posted an article Monday night about becoming the Marlins' new manager before it was taken down, the Associated Press reported.

"The post quoted Guillen as saying he was thrilled to join the Marlins and couldn't wait to get started," the AP wrote. "The post went up Monday night, then was removed a short time later and replaced by a blog that discussed Guillen's departure from the Chicago White Sox while making no mention of the Marlins."

Only last year, it was rumored that Chicago wanted left fielder Logan Morrison in exchange for Guillen when the Marlins inquired as to the skipper's availability. That was a steep price to pay and its no wonder Florida passed, but the price dropped significantly once Guillen's future in Chicago was settled. Martinez, 23, is a solid defender but struggles with the bat. He's amassed a handful of at-bats each of the last two years, totaling 71 plate appearances with a .258/.300/.348 line. In Triple-A, he hit just .245/.296/.322 in 371 PA. Martinez figures to serve as a defensive replacement off the bench for the White Sox and could replace Omar Vizquel if the ageless infielder moves on.

Marinez had a 3.57 ERA for Double-A this season, striking out 11.5 per nine innings in 58 innings while also walking 6.5. If he can tighten up his command, he has the power potential to eventually become a top setup man or closer.

It's not yet known who the minor-leaguer is and that will truly determine the value of this deal. But already, both Florida and Chicago have won. The White Sox end the constant soap opera, while the Marlins finally get their man to lead the team into what they hope is a new beginning.

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Posted on: September 26, 2011 11:47 pm
Edited on: September 27, 2011 12:09 am

Ozzie Guillen's greatest hits

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Sometimes it seems like YouTube was made for Ozzie Guillen -- the always entertaining former manager of the White Sox has had plenty to say in news conferences, commercials and even if there's just a camera around. 

You can say a lot about Guillen, but he's never boring.

Of course, sometimes the mix of his accent and his favorite English words make it tough to understand exactly what his point may be, like in this clip:

But more often than not, he gets his message across loud and clear, such as his feelings about controversial umpire Joe West:

Or what happens when you have a bad bullpen?

And there's no question Guillen won't answer, or anyone too big to take on. Here he calls actor Sean Penn a "loser" for his comments about Guillen's native Venezuela and president Hugo Chavez:

Some cynics will tell you managers don't sell tickets -- well, take notice Florida Miami, Ozzie even sells tickets:

Of course, Guillen doesn't just deliver the hits, occassionally he'll take them:

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Posted on: September 26, 2011 11:30 pm
Edited on: September 27, 2011 1:15 am

Guillen speaks on departure from White Sox

By Matt Snyder

Ozzie Guillen has managed his last game for the White Sox, and afterward he spoke with the media in a news conference. He didn't seem even remotely angry or bitter whatsoever. Instead, he was calm, respectful and seemed very at ease.

Here are some of the highlights.

Guillen Leaves White Sox
• The first question was simply: "Why?" In true Ozzie fashion, he replied with "why what?"

• "Jerry [Reinsdorf] gave me the opportunity to play in the big leagues and to manage in the big leagues. ... I respect him."

• Speaking on his treatment by the media: "When you balance between the bad and the good, I think all you guys [were] pretty good with me." Of course, then a reporter tried to ask a question and Guillen firmly interjected with "I'm talking right now."

• On the failure that was 2011: "All the stuff out there, whatever you guys wanna say, whoever you wanna blame, don't do that."

• Guillen gave high praise to the White Sox fans, saying they've been "great" throughout both his playing career and managing career. He then added, "I know they're not gonna forget me. They can't. Even if they want to, they can't. They'll walk through the ballpark, my picture's gonna be right there ... I hope they don't take it down."

• On if a deal is in place for him to manage the Marlins, Guillen said, "No, [the White Sox] just let me go to talk to anyone I want."

• "Hopefully they'll be better without me. I wish them the best," Guillen said of the White Sox. He also noted the hardest part of the move was talking to the players before the game -- which ended up being a victory. When asked what he'd miss the most, he said the players.

• Guillen said he didn't want to manage the White Sox next season -- despite having a contract through 2012 -- because he didn't earn it. He stressed it was his call and he appreciates the organization for allowing him to make that call.

• He brought down the house when someone asked Guillen if he expected to take some of his coaches with him to his next managing job. His response: "Hell no! They got me fired." (He was being sarcastic).

• And it wouldn't have been a Guillen swan song without him dropping an F-bomb on live TV.

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Posted on: September 26, 2011 8:56 pm
Edited on: September 27, 2011 8:40 am

Guillen out as White Sox manager, Marlins next?

By Matt Snyder

White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen has managed his last game for the White Sox. The White Sox have released Guillen from his contract -- which ran through 2012 -- but retain rights to his compensation. They announced the move after the White Sox beat the Blue Jays on Monday night. Prior to the game, Guillen had met with owner Jerry Reinsdorf for a half-hour, with Guillen saying he wanted to return but would only do so with a contract extension.

Guillen has long been rumored to be on the wish list of the Florida Marlins, especially now as they look for a fresh start heading into a new stadium for 2012. Earlier Monday night, Guillen had a colorful session with media before the White Sox hosted the Blue Jays. Now, a rumor has surfaced that Guillen is headed to the Marlins. Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting the White Sox are in talks with the Marlins to send Guillen to Miami -- citing "multiple sources." Nothing official has happened yet, though.

The Marlins have a managerial vacancy as Jack McKeon is retiring at the conclusion of this season.

Guillen Leaves White Sox
While very rare, it's not without precedent for a player to be traded for a manager, albeit unofficially. Tampa Bay sent outfielder Randy Winn to the Mariners for little return in 2002, but manager Lou Piniella went back to the then-Devil Rays as compensation. Last offseason, the big rumor was that the White Sox sought promising young outfielder Logan Morrison in return for Guillen, but the Marlins wouldn't cough up that much. Under the current circumstances, it's very doubtful the White Sox could get anything even close to a player of Morrison's caliber.

The Marlins are ready to make a big splash this coming offseason in anticipation of changing their name to the Miami Marlins, getting a new logo and moving into a new home. One report indicated they plan a huge movement in free agency, with increasing the payroll to close to $100 million a possibility.

Bringing in a manager with Guillen's pedigree would only increase the excitement in Miami.

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Posted on: September 25, 2011 11:45 pm

3 Up, 3 Down: Rockies raze Astros, Matusz bombs

Ianetta and Co.
By Evan Brunell

3 UpRockies hitters: Colorado exploded for 19 runs, led by Kevin Kouzmanoff who scorched the ball for two homers, driving in five. But there were plenty of other contributors, with seven of nine players getting at least two hits, six of them with three or more. And even Kevin Millwood got in on the fun with a home run, the second of the season. He now has a .474 slugging percentage with a .180 career mark. Ty Wigginton, Thomas Field and Jordan Pachecho each had four hits, while Chris Iannetta tied Kouz with five RBI and a three-run blast. Only the first and ninth marked scoreless innings for the Rox.

Gavin Floyd, White Sox: It was a good year for Floyd, who posted a career-low 4.37 ERA this season. The cap to his successful year came with an eight-inning, three-hit performance against the Royals. He allowed only two walks and punched out 10 over 121 pitches. The White Sox considered moving him earlier this year and if he hits the market this offseason, there should be quite a bit of interest, especially given the weak free-agent market. He ended up losing because minor-league lifer Luis Mendoza out-dueled him, but Floyd gets the up for not just the game, but his season overall.

Jonathan Papelbon, Red Sox: The outcome of the game isn't why Papelbon's here. In his longest outing since May 2010 (and before that, 2006), Papelbon dominated the Yankees by throwing just 29 pitches over 2 1/3 innings, striking out four. The stumbling Red Sox seem to have everything going wrong for them, but Papelbon is the one thing going right. Get Papelbon a lead this year and he will hold it. Until giving up a run in his last relief appearance on Sept. 20, Papelbon hadn't given up a run since July 16.

3 DownAstros pitchers: The Rockies did most of their damage against the bullpen, knocking Lucas Harrell out of the game after just three innings and five runs (two unearned). Then began a procession of four pitchers, each of whom gave up at least four runs before Juan Abreu stopped the bleeding in the ninth. Rule 5 selection Aneury Rodriguez was lit up for four runs in two innings and Lance Pendleton surrendered five in his own two innings of work. Xavier Cedeno gave up five runs in the eighth after two one-out appearances marked the start of his career. Cedeno's ERA is now 27.00.

Brian Matusz, Orioles: The left-hander's season is finally over. Coming off a strong 2011, the youngster was primed to take the next step toward becoming an ace... and instead now ends 2011 with a 10.69 ERA that was actually lowered Sunday when he coughed up six runs over five innings to the Tigers, with a three-spot in the fifth as Matusz's last taste. That ERA will set a record for a pitcher with at least 40 innings, STATS LLC reports -- but he's in good company, as the previous record of 10.64 was held by Roy Halladay (2000).
"I'm going to have a lot of motivation going into this winter, because I'm never going to forget what this has felt like," Matusz told the Associated Press. "I've got a lot of mistakes to learn from." I'd say so.

Ricky Nolasco, Marlins:
Wrapping up this edition of horrible pitching performances is Nolasco, who lasted just two innings and gave up six earned runs (plus another unearned). He was ripped apart for nine hits, spiking his ERA to 4.67. Nolasco has long been a pitcher whose peripherals have portended future success, but he simply can't put it all together, and it's time to stop expecting him to. He's a fine middle-of-the-rotation starter, but that's really all he can aspire to be at this point.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeonBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Colorado Rockies' Chris Iannetta (20) is congratulated by teammate Ty Wigginton (21) and Jordan Pacheco (58) after all three scored on his home run as Houston Astros catcher J.R. Towles (46) watches during the eighth inning of a baseball game on Sunday, Sept. 25, 2011, in Houston. The Rockies defeated the Astros 19-3. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Posted on: September 24, 2011 8:30 pm

Is this the Marlins new hat?

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Earlier this week we got a sneak peak at what appeared to be the Marlins' new logo -- and now a photo is circulating around the internet of the team's new hats.


I'm not sure how this makes it any better, that's for sure. The colors look a little different, maybe more red than orange? And it's tough to tell, but could the hat be navy instead of black? The Marlins aren't announcing the whole look until Nov. 11, but this seems to be further "proof" (as much as there is that on the internet) that the leaked image was legit.

HT to the Sun-Sentinel

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Posted on: September 24, 2011 2:12 pm

Marlins closer could face jail time

Leo NunezBy C. Trent Rosecrans

You can look up Leo Nunez on Baseball-Reference.com, but his real name is Juan Carlos Oviedo, and that could result in the Marlins' closer spending time in jail, the Miami Herald reports.

Oviedo returned to the Dominican Republic on Thursday after the Marlins placed him on the restricted list.

A spokesperson for the Dominican Attorney General's Office, Jacqueline Lamarche, told the newspaper that Oviedo faces jail time if convicted, but didn't know if he would be charged. However, a with a false identity on his record, he could face difficulties obtaining a visa to return to the United States and play baseball, even though others have done it in the past.

Oviedo had claimed to be born in 1983 and was from Jamao del Norte, although he was born a year earlier than he claimed. He signed with the Pirates in 2000. Leo Nunez is the name of his best friend.

Hector Bienvenido Pena was arrested Friday in the Dominican Republic, charged with providing false birth certificates to Oviedo, among other players.

According to the report, Oviedo called the Dominican consulate in Miami on Sept. 7 to come clean after the Marlins had learned of his true identity.

"He came in and made a sworn declaration saying that he was not from Jamao al Norte but from Bonao, a town in the Dominican Republic, and that when he was young -- still a minor and a prospect about to be signed -- a coach who managed his league recommended that he assume another name, one of a person a year young, so that he could get a better contract," consul general Manuel Felipe told the Herald. "So he became Leonel Nunez Morales, who was his best friend since childhood. That made it easier for him, because Leonel was 16, which was the appropriate age for a Dominican baseball player."

Marlins reliever Edward Mujica told the newspaper that the age difference could cost you $100,000 or $150,000 if you're 17 and if you're 18, you'd be lucky to get $5,000 and a chance."

MLB offered amnesty to players signed under false names in 2008, but Oviedo didn't come forward at that time. Minor-league players face a one-year suspension if found to have signed under a false name, while major leaguers are subject to discipline to be determined by the commissioner's office.

Oviedo said he couldn't go to the funerals of some family members because of his assumed identity.

Oviedo has 36 saves for the Marlins this season and 92 since being acquired from the Royals in exchange for Mike Jacobs in 2008. He signed a one-year contract worth $3.65 million for 2011 and is arbitration-eligible for 2012 and could be a free agent before the 2013 season.

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Posted on: September 23, 2011 10:00 pm

Report: Marlins ready to spend big this offseason

By Matt Snyder

As the Florida Marlins say goodbye to Sun Life Stadium and look to usher in a new era as the Miami Marlins, they're apparently going to change the way the front office has done business for a while: By spending big. Some major players like Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder, CC Sabathia and C.J. Wilson will be free agents and we evidently shouldn't count the Marlins out as suitors for anyone.

It might sound ridiculous that the Marlins could land a player the caliber of a Pujols or Fielder, but according to Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post, the Marlins aren't ruling anyone out.
"Basically, what [owner] Jeffrey [Loria] has instructed all of us is that no stone will be left unturned in order to make this year a memory and make next year unforgettable,' said team president David Samson, who would not discuss possible free-agent targets.

"He said, 'I want people to forget about '11, forget about Sun Life Stadium, forget about the Florida Marlins, and I want the Miami Marlins to have their franchise start by making history.'
Capozzi further reported that the Marlins' payroll in 2012 "could approach $100 million." It's at $58 million this season. If they're dead serious about doing that, there is plenty of room to land two or three impact players with a near-$42 million increase in salary per season.

Despite some really bad stretches of baseball this year, the Marlins have a good group of young players. What if they get a bounce-back out of Hanley Ramirez, a full season of health from Josh Johnson, natural progression from youngsters like Mike Stanton and Logan Morrison while adding, let's say, Fielder (in which case they could trade Gaby Sanchez for bullpen help), Wilson and Aramis Ramirez? That's a team that could win the mighty NL East.

The only question is how serious the Marlins are about doing so. It will be an exciting time in South Florida if they proceed with a plan like this.

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Category: MLB
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