Series 6-Pack: Gone Fishin’


You’ve got to respect the Marlins, a team that has existed for far less time than the Phillies but still has the same number of World Series titles.  Or maybe you don’t respect the Marlins.  Maybe you don’t respect anybody.  Maybe you’re your own guy and play by your own rules.  Good for you.

Regardless of your degree of badassness, the Phillies and Marlins meet for a three-gamer starting today, and I know what you’re thinking:  Do I drink an actual six-pack while answering questions to these series 6-packs I’ve started doing?  Yes, of course.  So thanks to Michael Jong of Marlin Maniac for answering these questions and not calling the police.

1.  How much will changing numbers affect Gaby Sanchez’s performance in this series?  Where do you see his number of clotheslines reaching this season?

Little known fact: Gaby Sanchez’s performance has little tie-in to him changing numbers, but a lot of tie-in to him clotheslining other punk ballplayers. In fact, Sanchez is projected to lead the National League with 12 Clotheslines Above Replacement this season, which is the primary reason why I have him in my obscure 20-team keeper league that measures fighting stats.

2.  Why do people in Florida hate baseball so much?  It’s awesome.

It’s not so much that they hate baseball as much as they love football and hate being told what else to watch. Seriously, Miami fans won’t even sell out Heat games, and I’ve heard the Heat have some pretty good players. So I don’t think it’s just baseball, the Marlins, the ownership, or the stadium, but the fans also play a big role. Plus, there’s a lot of New Yorkers, and that’s never a good thing.

3.  What happened to that doppelganger of your’s?  He hasn’t tweeted anything since February.  It was you wasn’t it?  You’re clearly insane.

I swear, it wasn’t me. I realized that I made it into the official blogosphere when that guy thought my condescending (yet legitimate) ripping of a Bleacher Report article was so outrageous it deserved a mock Twitter account. That’s when you’ve become a respected member of the blogging community. I’m really proud of that moment, and I want to thank that guy for making my dreams come true.

4.  How much pressure is on the new Marlins stadium to be awesome?  Does the franchise rest on it?

I don’t think the franchise rests on how awesome the stadium is so much as how much even having a new stadium will bring in the fans. PNC Park in Pittsburgh is widely considered one of the most beautiful parks out there, but it doesn’t Pittsburgh fans go and sell out every game. The team has to do well, the fans have to buy into Marlins baseball as more than a trendy thing to go to every time the team is in the playoff hunt, and the ownership has to commit to providing winning baseball.

The team will basically be forced to stay in South Florida thanks to the massive public funding the stadium is costing, but whether it will be successful is another story. But hey, the damn thing is going to have a seawater aquarium behind home plate. That’ll get the crowd pumping.

5.  Same question, but with “Greg Dobbs” instead of “Marlins stadium.”

When Greg Dobbs hits a pinch-hit three-run homer to finish off the New York Yankees in Sun Life Stadium in the 2012 World Series, I’ll rub your nose in this sarcastic question of yours. Or the team will release him in three weeks once he stops pretending he’s good.

6.  Would you say that Chris Coghlan’s diving catch of Rick Ankiel’s extra base hit and Ankiel’s sarcastic response to it are the start of a blood feud between the two center fielders?

I suspect that they will carry a sworn hatred towards each other that will build for months, coming to a head when Ankiel charges the mound against Javier Vazquez after being beaned by a 74 mph curveball. He will be met by Gaby Sanchez and his friend The Clothesline.

1. Obviously the biggest problem facing the Phillies today is the existence of Ross Gload…er, I mean the injury to Chase Utley. What’s his timetable, and how much do you expect you will hate Wilson Valdez by the end of May?

First, let me just say its pretty ballsy to lead with a Ross Gload burn after claiming Greg Dobbs will win you the 2012 World Series.

Michael–I’m gonna go ahead and call you Michael–I know you’re a  bit of a “stats guy” so I’ll lay some “stats”* down for you. Wilson Valdez will be playing in the field 85% of the time he is playing for the Phillies, and at bat and/or on base 3% of the time.  The other 12% he will be grounding into double plays.  So what I’m saying is, as a guy who turns second base into a primarily defensible position but hits like a frightened child fighting off bees, we’re aware enough of his abilities that we know he is valuable on the basepaths.  But only when he’s fielding grounders in the middle of them.

*The word “stats” is in quotation marks here because they are all entirely made up.

2. The Phillies rotation: overrated, underrated, just right-rated? Side question: can mere mortals even rate the Phillies rotation?

Rated X, for intense violence and gore.  And pornographically spectacular pitching.

As for your side question, no.  There are two Phanatics with shotguns waiting to execute me at the close of this interview for doing so.

3. Who is the real Coal Hammels?

He’s just a young man with a dream.  You try growing up with a body that’s mostly limbs and still make something of yourself.  It’s terrible.  Did this actually happen to Cole?  I don’t know.  But it happened to me, and like Cole, I’m a lanky dude wearing a Phillies hat who everyone has told to give up on an acting career, and as I keep shrieking at him from my seats in left field, “US TALL DUDES NEED TO STICK TOGETHER, RIGHT COLE?!  HA HA WE’LL TALK LATER.”

We’ve watched Cole mature these past few years, from a World Series MVP, to a World Series MVP who’d lost his way, to a World Series MVP with something to prove, to the guy in the rotation whose identifiable stat is “World Series MVP.”  His days of pissing and moaning are behind him, and his primary goal is to win–the fact that he feels like he needs to keep up with the rest of the rotation is a sexy bonus.

4. Bonus question: Why do Phillies fans torture themselves by loving Logan Morrison?

Because we’re a bunch of dirt-sniffing, eyelash-batting, baseball bat suggestively-gripping cleat chasers and we know a good mark when we see one.