It’s hard to hate the Marlins as much as they should be hated. Again, the Florida Marlins have won two championships. Remember Will Clark’s last season with the Giants? Like it was yesterday for some of you, I’m sure. That was the first season that the Marlins existed. And they have two championships. Oh, and they ran over the Giants during both of their championship runs, metaphorically book-ending the playoff runs the Giants had during the Barry Bonds era.
The Marlins were responsible for some serious Giants-related trauma. Most of you came to this site because you knew of my off-Broadway plays. The Marlins inspired my most critically acclaimed work, "Dante and the Mound", which was a two-man play filled with existential dialogue and crises of being, with Forest Whitaker as Dante Powell and Matthew Broderick in an Obie-nominated performance as The Mound.
And even though my musical "Chuggin’" – a journey through the mind of J.T. Snow as he tried to score from second base in game four of the 2003 NLDS – wasn’t a huge hit, the soundtrack still sells well to this day:
1. Neifi Started the Fire
2. Hammond Eggs (Crack of the Bat)
5. I Could Have Stayed a Yankee
6. How Was My Dad a Wide Receiver (If I’m So Slow)?
7. Wherever I Jerome
8. Glynn, Oh Glynn, Is Waving Me In
9. Chuggin’ (Reprise)
10. The Ghost of Eric Young
11. Seriously, Why Wasn’t Eric Young on the Roster Instead of Two Left-Handed Specialists When the Only Left-Handed Hitter the Marlins Had in the Lineup Was Juan Pierre? What in the Absolute Hell Was That About?
12. Oh, Fudge! (It’s Pudge!)
13. Game Over
You can buy that here. It’s good road-trip music.
But when I think of the Marlins now, I don’t think pain. I don’t think Kevin Brown’s sinker of doom, and I don’t think of Josh Beckett. I think of a young team that’s a good argument against the salary cap – you can build a good team for pennies if your player development is good enough?
So nuts to that. I’m going to start ratcheting up the hate for this series. Grrrrrr. The Marlins are our rivals because they’ve humiliated us in the playoffs! Grrrrrrrr! I’m so angry! I’m so…
Yeah. Not really. Why is that?
Hitter to watch:
Ronny Paulino is in a time-sharing arrangement with John Baker. Paulino, like Yorvit Torrealba, is part of the grand Giants tradition of alternate universe catchers. Would the Giants still have Joe Nathan and Francisco Liriano if they had liked Yorvit more? Would Buster Posey be starting today if the Giants had kept Ronny Paulino? As a member of the GAUC club, Paulino is bound by the laws of nature to whomp on Giants pitching.
Pitcher to watch:
That young, tall guy with the good stuff and low salary. You know, that guy who always wears the hat? Him.
Also, Nate Robertson is a lefty who relies on control and command rather than stuff. Those guys scare me. Well, he scares me for other reasons, too, but I can’t shake the feeling that the Giants are forever paying back some sort of Rueter-based karma around the league.
No matter how many times I think about past playoff losses, I’ll suffer more when I remember that the Giants could have drafted super-prospect Mike Stanton with the compensation pick received from lefty-reliever Mike Stanton. Was there no sense of humor in that front office? No sense of destiny?