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Tag:Chris Coghlan
Posted on: July 5, 2011 6:37 pm
Edited on: July 5, 2011 6:42 pm
 

Marlins acquire Mike Cameron from Boston

Faced with a fading career and no playing time, veteran outfielder Mike Cameron got his Get Out of Jail Free card Tuesday: A deal to the Florida Marlins.

The Red Sox, who designated Cameron for assignment on June 30, will receive either cash or a player to be named later.

Cameron, 38, signed a two-year, $15.5 million deal with Boston before the 2010 season as the Red Sox were looking to boost their "run prevention" after the club's defense wasn't nearly as tight in 2009 as general manager Theo Epstein and his staff expected.

Problem was, Cameron suffered an abdominal strain shortly after opening day last summer and never fully integrated himself back into Boston's plans. He missed significant time in '09 with two different stints on the disabled list, which limited him to 48 games.

When Boston signed free agent Carl Crawford last winter, with Jacoby Ellsbury and J.D. Drew already on hand, it essentially relegated Cameron to a full-time bench player in Boston. At the time Boston whacked him last week, Cameron was hitting .149 with just two doubles, three homers and nine RBIs in 33 games.

He joins a Marlins team reeling from a staggering 5-23 June that knocked them into the NL East cellar. Within that, the Marlins have serious holes in part because center fielder Chris Coghlan has seriously regressed from 2010. Currently, Florida has Dewayne Wise playing center.

Cameron is expected to replace him and be given significant playing time by manager Jack McKeon. This will be Cameron's eighth team, following his time with the White Sox, Cincinnati, Seattle, the Mets, San Diego, Milwaukee and Boston.

Posted on: June 17, 2011 6:41 pm
 

Marlins managerial change surely coming soon

From the start of this season, no manager was more disposable than Florida's Edwin Rodriguez.

Hired mid-stream last summer without any prior big-league experience to replace the fired Fredi Gonzalez, the Marlins thought enough of Rodriguez to remove the "interim" tag and make him their permanent manager for 2011 ... but they didn't think enough of him to give him more than a one-year contract.

Now, with the Marlins in their worst skid since 1998, club history tells us that Rodriguez is a dead man walking.

No owner in the game has run through more managers than Florida's Jeffrey Loria since the start of the 2003 season.

Perhaps it's because, the first time he whacked a manager (Jeff Torborg), Jack McKeon came in on a puff of cigar smoke and led the Marlins to their second World Series win in five seasons.

Maybe it's because the impatient and temperamental Loria simply is George Steinbrenner on training wheels.

Whatever, Torborg was gassed in May of '03. McKeon, riding his World Series triumph and gutsy pitch-Josh-Beckett-in-Game-6 decision, managed two more seasons and left of his own accord following '05. Joe Girardi managed in '06 but clashed with Loria and was fired after just one season. Gonzalez made it through three full seasons but was fired last June.

Now, coming up on the one-year anniversary of the Gonzalez bloodletting (June 23), it is Rodriguez who is moving toward the guillotine. His Marlins have lost seven in a row, 15 of their past 16 and 18 of 21.

They already sacrificed a coach, firing hitting instructor John Mallee on June 8.

How'd that work out? They're 1-8 since.

The Marlins have lost close (six of seven losses between June 1 and 9, amazingly, were one-run defeats) and they have lost in routs (the Phillies hammered them by a combined score of 17-2 over two games of a four-game Philadelphia sweep this week).

With ace Josh Johnson on the disabled list (again), Hanley Ramirez producing a career-worst season (.205, four homers, 17 RBIs) and third baseman of the future Matt Dominguez hitting just .190 this spring and then fracturing an elbow, a club that needed everything to go right to contend hasn't come close to either.

Most things have gone wrong -- they shipped Chris Coghlan (.230) back to the minors on Friday -- and they've dropped behind the Nationals into the NL East cellar.

With Loria, this usually means goodbye, manager.

And barring a sudden turnaround this weekend against in-state rival Tampa Bay, sometime before the start of Monday's brief, three-game homestand against the Angels is a pretty good guess as to when.

Only question is, where the Marlins will turn.

Loria could go back to old buddy Bobby Valentine, the hot rumor a year ago, and see if their two nations can come together this time around.

He also could wait until this winter and see what happens with Ozzie Guillen. The White Sox manager -- and former Marlins coach -- remains a highly popular figure in Loria circles. And being that Ozzie keeps a home in the Miami area, the Marlins wouldn't be the worst thing in the world for him if things go south on the South Side of Chicago. Guillen's contract runs through this summer, with an option for 2012.

When this season started, the Marlins thought they could win now, and they felt like they had to win now because they needed to build momentum and translate that into ticket sales when they move into their new park next year.

Those plans are now in shambles. And when that happens in South Florida, usually, whatever comes next involves Loria, and an itchy trigger finger.

Posted on: May 29, 2010 10:07 pm
Edited on: May 29, 2010 10:08 pm
 

Roy Halladay, Perfect Phillie

Roy Halladay blew through South Florida on Saturday night with hurricane force and a surgeon's precision. Perfect? It was an understatement.

The way Halladay was hitting the corners and moving the ball in and out, it's a wonder 16 Marlins even put the ball in play against Dominant Doc. Halladay struck out 11 and dazed everybody else. You will not see a pitcher more sharp than this.

"I don't know what to say," Halladay sputtered to Phillies' television analyst Gary Matthews seconds after the lights went out -- literally -- in whatever they're calling Florida's stadium these days.

It was the perfect visual.

The Marlins were clicking out the lights for a postgame Saturday night concert.

But Halladay beat them to it.

It is the first time in modern baseball history that two perfect games have been thrown in one season, let alone in one month. Halladay's perfecto, though, was nowhere near the surprise that Dallas Braden's Mothers Day masterpiece was. Not even close.

The only surprise here is that Halladay has been pitching more than a decade and hadn't yet thrown a perfect game. Or a no-hitter. Or started more than one All-Star Game.

His years of taking a backseat to Roger Clemens, Pedro Martinez or anybody else in the game have long since been over.

It's just that, because Halladay was buried up in quiet, out-of-the-way Toronto for the past decade, lots of people were late to pick up on it.

As 2008 World Series MVP Cole Hamels said this spring during Halladay's first few days with the Phillies, "Roy Halladay is the greatest pitcher in the big leagues. To be able to see how much he goes the distance. You envy a guy who pitches nine, 10 complete games every year. It's so unheard of in this day and age."

Saturday's already was Halladay's fifth complete game, more than twice as many as any other pitcher in the majors. Nobody else has more than two.

As he was closing in on Saturday's masterpiece, Halladay opened the seventh by punching out slumping Chris Coghlan on a 91 m.p.h. cutter away, then closed it by punching out batting champion Hanley Ramirez on a 92 m.p.h. cutter in at the knees. In-between he threw a full-count curveball -- curveball! -- to induce a harmless pop fly to left from Gaby Sanchez.

That's one snapshot of what the Marlins faced all night. Plate umpire Mike DiMuro's strike zone was liberal, he was calling pitches two or three inches off the plate at times. Didn't matter. Halladay was the Invisible Man on this night. The Marlins weren't going to touch him.

Besides, DiMuro's zone worked great for Florida starter Josh Johnson, too. And Johnson was very, very good -- the game's only run scored when center fielder Cameron Maybin butchered Chase Utley's long fly ball to center in the third, allowing Wilson Valdez to score from first.

But Halladay, whose closest previous brush to immortality came when he no-hit Detroit for 8 2/3 innings on Sept. 27, 1998, before Philadelphia-native Bobby Higginson broke it up, was as dazzling as a pitcher can be.

"We felt like we got in a good groove by the fifth or sixth," Halladay said, referring to himself and catcher Carlos "Chooch" Ruiz. "I was just following Chooch. I can't say enough about the job he did.

"By the fifth or sixth, it was a no-brainer. I was just following him."

Braden, and now Halladay. What a month for pitching. What a month for perfection.

"It was awesome," Halladay said. "I don't know what else to say."

No need. On this night, his slider, cut fastball and other weapons spoke for him.

Perfectly.

 
 
 
 
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