You know, it wasn’t that long ago that the Florida Marlins held the division lead over your Philadelphia Phillies, causing the city to fly into a mass panic and demand that the team trade for fifty players stapled together to replace Jayson Werth. The Marlins had good young pitching and seemed to be on the verge of having one of those years they have every decade where the kids grow up quickly and make a deep playoff run before bolting for free agency.
Then everything went to hell. Before beating the Angels on Tuesday, the Marlins had dropped NINETEEN of twenty games, a stretch of incredible futility that included an eight-game losing streak and an eleven-game losing streak. That was enough to force the team to fire manager Edwin Rodriguez and replace him with Jack McKeon, who is 80 years old and who is comprised of 85% bifocals at this point. But it gets worse from there. Now shortstop Hanley Ramirez is acting up again, showing up late for meetings and getting blasted openly by teammates.
When Hanley Ramirez was late to appear for new manager Jack McKeon’s pregame meeting Monday, Logan Morrison blasted him in front of teammates, telling the shortstop that his tardiness is one reason he’s struggled all season.
You might remember Ramirez making waves last year when he was benched for openly dogging it on the field, then blasted then-manager Fredi Gonzalez for making the move. What is it with baseball players named Ramirez? MUST THEY ALWAYS BE SO FLIGHTY?
The last time McKeon took over the Marlins on an interim basis, they ended up winning the World Series. But it’s late June and the Marlins are dead in the NL East cellar right now, and suddenly the Phillies find themselves in a division where their main challengers seem to go out of their way to shoot themselves in the foot. With the Nationals destined to cool off at some point, only Atlanta stands as a real threat to the Phillies cruising into another postseason. So if you’re still pining for the Phillies to make a bold trade that somehow makes them even more powerful, be grateful for what you have, and be grateful Jack McKeon wasn’t busted out of storage to chomp cigars in your dugout.