TNB: What can Ozzie Guillen bring to the Marlins organization?
Fish Stripes: I think Guillen brings excitement and a certain level of respect from the players. I’m the type of guy who thinks that managers probably do not do a whole lot to earn their keep, but there has to be a reason teams keep paying for them, and it is likely tied to how they keep a clubhouse intact. In that respect, I’m happy with the pickup provided the money they spent isn’t holding the team up from acquiring someone else.
TNB: How is Hanley Ramirez perceived by the front office and fan base?
Fish Stripes: I would not be surprised if the front office perceived him as a valuable part of the team, even with his so-called shenanigans. The team knows that the Marlins go where Ramirez takes them, and that his play is necessary for the team’s success. The fan base, on the other hand, sees him as they do many athletes they resent: rich, spoiled, and lazy. That is mostly an unfair assessment of a player who probably puts a lot of effort into his craft, but such is the whimsy of a team’s fan base: the second you falter, fans side with the team and themselves before they sympathize with a player.
TNB: Where would you rank Josh Johnson among the leagues best starting pitchers?
Fish Stripes: When healthy, Johnson is among the elite starters in baseball. If I had to put a number, he would certainly be in the top 10 in starting pitchers. Unfortunately, he is not always healthy, and that has been difficult for the Marlins in the past and especially last season. Here’s hoping for a healthy year from Johnson again.
TNB: How did Logan Morrison end up in the teams doghouse last season?
Fish Stripes: Morrison said a variety of things that irked the front office and ownership, but none of them individually were all that offensive or gregarious. I think the team was upset at the package as a whole, which of course led to his much-publicized demotion. Perhaps his attitude angered the Marlins, but I am one for allowing Morrison to do as he pleases off the field to a degree before allowing those actions to affect the on-the-field performance of the team. That aspect counts the most.
TNB: What are the expectations for the Miami Marlins going forward?
Fish Stripes: The Miami Marlins are expected to draw an audience, do well in the ticket sales, and win some ballgames. How many ballgames? I have no idea, and it really depends on what the team accomplishes this offseason. However, it will be imperative that the Marlins attempt to rebuild a fan base by winning (again), so that must be in the cards to some degree.