Right now the way certain teams are playing and the way injuries have shaken up other teams, it seems as if the surest pre-season prediction most likely to hold up during the 2013 season is the doom and gloom predicted for the Miami Marlins.
I’m not sure how many among us felt that the Marlins might be the worst team in baseball history since we were at least partially distracted by the Houston Astros‘ likelihood to contend for that title, too, but the Marlins are off to a flying start in their quest to replace the 1962 New York Mets for the worst record of all. The Mets finished 40-120 that year and the Marlins started 4-16, so if they can maintain their pace we can all hope.
I would think it should stay pretty quiet in the owner’s box in Florida for the foreseeable future. After stripping his team of almost anyone with any background of success, Jeffrey Loria told his fans not to worry about it because the young guys he acquired would prove to be better.
Cheaper, yes, better no.
Thus far the Marlins have attacked their National League schedule looking about as well equipped as a three-wheeled wagon about to head overland across the Plains and Rocky Mountains. The Marlins would seem to be better off if they brought Ozzie Guillen back–not to manage, but to play. And he’s 49.
As an aside, it has been interesting to note that the former All-Stars sent to the Toronto Blue Jays in the infamous Miami trade aren’t exactly thriving either. Most of those guys are having their own problems and the pre-season American League East Division favorites are in last place. Maybe Loria was right about one thing–he could finish last with or without Mark Buehrle, Jose Reyes and John Johnson.
Certainly the Marlins are trying. The biggest miracle of the 2013 season, especially after Miami’s great start, would be if the Marlins did not finish last. We haven’t even reached the end of April and that’s a given. It’s more a question of by how much and a question of how bad.
So far, pretty bad. The team batting average is .221. The opponents’ team batting average is .273. Those two numbers probably sum things up as neatly as possible. The more you break down the team’s statistics the uglier it gets.
Giancarlo Stanton, the one future star that Loria forgot to trade, was injured and is hitting .200. Juan Pierre, a free agent silly enough to sign with the Marlins, is hitting .194 after batting over .300 for the Phillies last season. Four other players who have appeared in at least 11 games are also hitting under .200.
On the pitching side of the world, the Marlins’ team earned run average is 4.50.
Baseball is about the long season and the best teams lose at least a third of their games, so any time a series starts the odds suggest that the Marlins might win one out of three games. Their winning percentage is even lower than that so far. To play at a record-setting worst level Miami will have to keep it up, an no doubt the other teams salivating to feast upon the Marlins will be happy to help them.