Giants' Momentum, Giancarlo Stanton, Miami Marlins
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Benjamin: Hello and welcome back to the San Francisco Giants edition of the For The Fans By The Fans podcast where we bring you your weekly dose of all things, San Francisco Giants baseball from the Fan's perspective. I'm a lifelong Giants fan and your host, Benjamin Shapiro. As the Giants welcome back half of their roster and hope to build momentum before the All Star break. We welcome in Zach Routman. Zach is an inhouse fishing guide and a physical therapy student in Miami, Florida, and he's one of the very few Miami Marlins fans. Before Zach tells us about the Giancarlo Stanton Jersey, that he burned this winter, I want to remind you that this podcast is brought to you on behalf of our friends at fanatics. Fanatics is the global leader in licensed sports merchandising. They have the world's largest collection of official sports apparel from the leagues, teams and players you love, and while they provide Jersey Insurance, if a Jersey that you buy for a player is traded, they don't insure it. If you light it on fire. That said, if you're looking to pick up a New Jersey, maybe somebody on the Miami marlins whose name you probably don't know, if you're a giants fan, you can head over to ftfbtf.com/fanatics, or you can click the link in our show notes and they'll kick us a couple of bucks to help with the production of this show. So that said, Zach, welcome to the podcast.
Zach: Thank you. Glad to be here.
Benjamin: It's great to have you. It's wonderful to find a Miami Marlins fan, and I have to tell you, I had to search pretty hard to find one. It turns out you are my wife's last roommates younger brother. That's the third connection to find the Miami Marlins Fan. Where have you been hiding?
Zach: Well, not only did you have to struggle to find a Miami marlins fan, but you also the struggle
Benjamin: to find one that actually speaks English. That might be true. I guess that's life in southern Florida. Life in Miami. Yeah, so before we start talking about baseball and Miami Marlins, I have to tell you that there's a funny moment in giants, Miami Marlins, baseball history that I have to recap with you. When my now wife and I were just dating, I was falling asleep in the 10th inning of a baseball game, a closed my eyes trying to make it into the late innings and when I opened them, I saw Scott cousins barrel into buster Posey and I had no idea whether it was a nightmare or not. It's one of the worst moments in my baseball history, life, Miami Marlins, San Francisco giants. I was sleeping in the room next to where your sister lived for years and saw buster posey break his ankle. I thought the world was going down in flames. Tell me what the hell happened there.
Zach: It can't be sounding attraction and trans coming down, I guess, but he was blocking the plate and the throw came in and our guy just barreled into um, and had to make a play at the plate. It's kind of funny that that happened because it really set the stage for creating that rule in baseball where you can no longer block the plate. Pretty unfortunate in my eyes because to me that's one of the funner plays. Baseball,
Benjamin: you know, it's just a young guy that was trying to stick in the major leagues at the time. That's what the rule was. So I don't think you can call it a dirty player, but it was definitely aggressive and uh, definitely took the giants out of the 2011 season. We were just a train wreck after posey got injured.
Zach: Yeah. I'm sure it's different if you talk to giants fans, but I don't think he meant any harm or anything by taking them down at the plate. I think he was just trying to score a run for his team and a hard place.
Benjamin: I totally agree with you. In his reaction seemed genuine after the play where he went over to Posey and was genuinely concerned that he was injured. And if anything else, I felt first and foremost bad for posey uses a devastating injury and it was amazing how he bounced back, but I also felt bad for Scott cousins. He definitely hurt the face of the giants franchise and he sort of wore that one and I think that's what people think about him in his baseball career. Right. You never want to be that guy. Yeah. So to talk about a brighter note, tell me a little bit about life as a Miami marlins fan. How did you become a marlins fed?
Zach: Well, I don't know if that's necessarily anything brighter, but I will tell you how I became a Marlin's fan out, grew up in south Florida and kind of just a product of my environment. So was a Marlin's dolphins heat Florida Panthers Fan. Growing up we actually had season tickets to the marlins game at the old stadium when I was a kid growing up and one of my first memories of baseballs go to that stadium. And we even went to the world series in [inaudible] 97, which at that time I was
Benjamin: probably six years old. So
Zach: that was a good memory and then went to the world series in 2003. The good thing is that the Miami Marlins, I've never lost a playoff series. I've only been to the playoffs two times and both times that they want at all as wild cards as well.
Benjamin: I think that's one of the things that sticks out to me as a giants fan thinking about the Marlins, is you've really experienced the highest highest that you've won two world series in the franchise's short history. On the flip side, you've also seen the lowest lows and I think that this year is probably emblematic of sort of the bottom of the barrel. When I look at the standings right now, the marlins are not the worst team in baseball. They're a half game ahead of the Cincinnati reds, but it can't be a fun brand of baseball. The run differential for the Marlin's, you've given up 100, nine runs more than you've scored, which leads major league baseball by a fair amount by six runs. What's the season been like this year and are you doing okay?
Zach: It's definitely tough kind of coming into the season, we weren't really expecting much, but this happens all the time with the marlins. Unfortunately it happened back when our owner, Jeffrey Gloria came in and even back to high Zang after the [inaudible] 97 world series. I mean that team dissolves instantly. It seems like anyone who owns the marlins never really wants to pay their players, which is unfortunate because we've always had really good players. Could've kind of turned it into a dynasty or at least a few years of making the playoffs, but it seems like every time we get a few good players, management and ownership wants to ship them off.
Benjamin: So what's causing that? Is it a factor of the management trying to make money and sell when the market's high or is it a product of the level of interest in Miami for baseball? Do they see that they can win and still not make money so they sell the assets and flip the team? I think it's a product of both. You look at L'oreal and he bought the team for the low hundreds of millions of dollars I believe, and then he just sold it to the theater group for. Okay, low 1 billion mark or somewhere around there. He met a couple of bucks. Yeah, he made plenty of money. It wasn't like he wasn't making any money
Zach: and it wouldn't have taken that much more to just page players a little bit. If you look in the history of the payrolls, the marlins are always at the bottom. Even though we had good players on our team. Even when John Carlos Stanton last year, we still weren't even at high in the payroll.
Benjamin: I do want to talk about John Carlos Stanton, formerly Mike Stamp, but before we get there, I was looking over the giant playoff series against the marlins in 2003. They played in the divisional championship and looking through some of the players on your roster and ours. There are some just amazing wayback machine names. You know, I looked through the Marlin's lineup. Then you have players like Yvonne Rodriguez, Hall of Fame Catcher, Dontrelle Willis, Josh Beckett, Carl Pavano, who dated it, Alyssa Milano, and my favorite is who gets Urbina name that you can't forget and there's Mr. Marlin, Jeff. So there was a lot of talent on those teams that not only was great for the marlins but also went other places and ended up being very successful. Miguel Cabrera, I forgot him. He was pretty good. I mean a ton of guys. Yeah, and just for the giants fans that are there, going back to the 2003 series, some of the names on our list also amazing Pedro follies, Edgardo Alfonzo against the Marlin's. Hit Five 29 in a playoff series, killed a navy Perez, marquis, grissom, Benito Santiago, Andreas Galarraga. Your Vittori Alibaba. I mean, obviously it was a while back, but some names that we haven't heard, you know, while playing in that series, what do you remember about the 2003 playoffs?
Zach: Obviously the Bartman issue comes to mind with that playoffs when we played the cubs, but it was just a team that, you know, young. We started the season. No one really thought that we were going to be much of anything and then we came in and just shocked the sports world really. I mean if you ask any panel of experts in the beginning of that season who's going to win the world series, I guarantee you nobody selected the marlins.
Benjamin: I don't think anybody knew who Josh Beckett was yet. Turns out he was a pretty good pitcher and no one knew who dontrelle willis was either and he came in with the high leg kick and
Zach: I don't even know if his stuff was that good, but it might've just been a factor that nobody had ever seen that kind of delivery and it just threw them off.
Benjamin: You know, Oakland's own Dontrelle Willis fan favorite mostly for probably his fans, but always a great personality and I think he grew up a giants fan
Zach: that would make sense. Growing up in the oil, either that or an a's fan.
Benjamin: I think he was a giants fan, so we've seen each other in the playoffs and the Marlin's haven't been there much. Doesn't look like you guys are going to make it this year. Let's talk a little bit about what your off season was like. That seems to be the most interesting thing about the Marlin's. What was it like to have the ownership group change and then there was a fire sale of the key players?
Zach: Well, initially when it happened, we've had lauria for so long and he's been refusing to pay his players and then shipping out all our best players, so every south Florida Marlin's fan hated Lauria. So when he sold the group, the initial reaction was jubilation. Enjoy. Oh, finally, somebody else is going to come in. We thought they were going to come in and keep all their players and sign them. From my perspective, the only thing that the group had to do to come in was nothing. If you gave that team another chance, maybe added a few pitching pieces. We had a bright young lineup. I mean we had potentially arguably the best outfield and all of baseball. We had yellow Ozuna Stanton board, first place, good trio, Dee Gordon. Shortstop was a little suspect, but then Martine Pronto at third base and jt rail Hutto who is one of the upcoming catchers in this league. Okay, and if you just add pitching then that team could have really done something. I really would have loved to see one more year with that group together. But your life story as a Marlin's fan, it seems like that always kind of happens.
Benjamin: Let's talk about Giancarlo stand for a second. In the off season, the giants were actively trying to sign him how to trade on the table and he basically said, no, I don't want to be a giant. I'm going to go somewhere else. Obviously ends up being a Yankee and now he's crushing the balls in a park the size of a shoebox. Right. Were you excited to see him potentially get traded to the giants? Did you want to see him go to the Yankees? What's the other side of that trade look like?
Zach: Well, and my mind, I wanted to see him stay because I knew that if anything we were just going to get some prospects for them and unload a bunch of cash. Which it doesn't really help me, it just helps organization. So I didn't really care to see where he went. I really wanted to have him here. I mean I remember going to the game last year when he hit his 50th home run and that was the most lively. I've seen a marlins crowd and years. So he was a fan gather and hype the crowd and really revved up sales I thought and then we send them away. So it is kind, kinda tough seeing him in the pinstripes, like you said in a shoe box stadium.
Benjamin: It's devastating and I feel like the word that I think of every time I look at that Yankee's lineup is gluttony.
Zach: Yeah. And they were willing to spend the money for the big time players. And by all means, hats off to them for wanting to do that. I wish my organization would do that, but we don't.
Benjamin: So how does the team feel about the Derek jeter ship ownership group? Is it, hey, this is more of the same. You sold off. All the players are. Do you have a sense that they're trying to bottom out and build the right way?
Zach: Well, at first glimpse you think? Yeah. Oh, here we go again. This is the same thing that we've been used to, but at the same time it is an ownership group that is new to the organization, to the fans. So I think the only acceptable thing to do is in. The only thing we can do is give these guys a chance and hopefully they come in and turn us around and yeah, I understand. Starting from the bottom up, we'll see when time comes. If it gets to that point where we finally do have a few star players that we found some of our prospects turned into true athletes, things like that. If they keep those guys and then really kind of do what the Astros did and turning an organization around really quickly, but only time will tell.
Benjamin: So tell me what giants fans need to know about this Marlin's team we're heading in the first series of the season against them. Anybody that's any good. Obviously a lot of youth. What should we be looking for?
Zach: So j dot real muto, like I said, is one of the upcoming catchers in the league. He can do it all. I mean he's got, they'll say speed for a catcher, but he's got speed for anyone. I mean he can steal bases, he can do it all. Justin bore first baseman, no gloves, no problem. He can crank the ball out of the park. And then did you say no gloves? No problem. He doesn't wear a batting gloves so he can't catch the ball now. Not surprisingly, pretty nimble for a big fella. Then we got Anderson and the outfield who's a rookie playing right field normally plays third base, but we have products in there so he's doing his rookie role and playing just wherever he can get on the field, but just currently right field and he's got a pretty good arm and he's baton like to 70 something with a few home runs. He's in the discussion for rookie of the year right now. So the model is kind of have to hope that more guys like him develop and we had. One of the prospects that we sent to yellowish to the brewers for is a guy named Louis Brinson who had a promising spring training spend 300 and now he's baton, I think 1:50, one 68, 68. Yeah.
Benjamin: So looking at the lineup for the giants fans, I see J dot, t dot muto is batting 3:11 slash six home runs, 19 rbis. Brian Anderson almost hitting 300. It looks like Starlin Castro, who's been around. He was on the cubs close to 300 and Derek Dietrich hitting two 84. Uh, there's also Jason bore with 10 home runs. So not a lot of power in the lineup, but you have some guys that are inhibiting around 300. It's the, they can hit a little bit,
Zach: they can hit a little bit and make some noise. Pitching is very suspect. I mean we had Ziegler in their closing and I can't even count the number of times that he's blown a safe. But we do have this one guy who's probably one of our most exciting players to watch, I believe his last name Guerrero, and he's throwing it in the hundreds coming out of the bullpen for relief. Tehran Guerrero, he can really put some heat down to the plate. So
Benjamin: how about the starters? Anybody any good?
Zach: Nah, there's no one that's really your quote unquote a. So that's going to come in and can maybe get you a no hitter or something like that. We actually had this guy, Harland Garcia, we called them Harlan. The marlin or starling, the Marlin. We get those two guys going for us. But Harlan actually had a no hitter through seven, but we took them out with like only like 70 something pitches because he was normally a relief pitcher. He actually just got designated to assignments. So I think caters caught up pretty quickly too.
Benjamin: Well, I won't beat you up too much about asking you who we should look for on the pitching staff. That sounds like the answer is there's not much except a couple of guys that throw the ball real hard. So for giants fans, it's looking like we should have the bats ready, but we might need to score a couple of runs because there's some guys on your team who can put the ball in play. Tell me a little bit about the stadium experience for the Marlin's. It looks like the stadium is relatively empty and uh, you know, when somebody hits a home run and there's like fish dancing and fireworks and a carnival rides or whatever the hell that thing is.
Zach: Yeah. They got the home run sculpture. I heard somewhere that the jeter group is doing away with that. But last I checked, it was still in use, but we haven't had too many home runs this year. But is there collecting dust? Yeah, I think it's collecting dust back there. I don't know what they're gonna do with it, but yeah, like you said, there's not too many people at the games. It's very easy to get a ticket. You don't have to pay a lot of money. I even have a friend of a friend who works with the marlins and she gets tickets to the game, so I don't even really pay for tickets when I go to the games fortunately, but even if I did, you know, you're not paying more than 10 bucks for a ticket and it's not like you really have to pay for a premium seat because it's not as if they're really care who's through sitting anywhere. Yeah. So they just want people in the seat so you can kind of buy a seat in the outfield and work your way around and by the fourth or fifth inning they don't even care and you can kind of just go sit wherever you want.
Benjamin: Hey, if it makes you feel better. The giant sold out the stadium for five years or something in a row. And my dad, who has been on this podcast multiple times and lives two blocks away from the stadium, scalps a ticket for 10 bucks, walks around and sits wherever the hell he wants. So that's not necessarily just a Marlin's thing, right? Maybe it's just the Jewish dad thing.
Zach: Well, maybe just Jewish in general, I'm also Jewish, so there you go with a name like Routman, but the stadium is cool. I mean there's a budweiser bar in the back and some place to eat and other little concessions all the way around the main concourse of the stadium and you can really see the game from any one of those places. You don't even really have to be sitting in a seat to see the game or get a good perspective, but you know, it's just like anywhere else that you go there are going to get you on concessions. It's $12 for a beer or something like that. $15 for personal pizza and all that stuff.
Benjamin: So it sounds like a little bit of a ghost town in terms of watching the marlins games, Gimme a Gimme, a parting shot. Any good stories about going to a marlins game? Good time. You had a game. Anything giants related? She sent us out on a high note.
Zach: So recently when I was at a game, it was raining outside. Pretty Typical Marlin's game. Not Too many people. There were a packet, the Budweiser Bar, and they stopped beer sales and the seventh inning or so. Yeah, I don't want people driving drunk or whatever and they desert the budweiser bar. There's no one behind there. There's no one working. So next year now I just see somebody go up there and go to tab, pour himself a beer so the rest of us don't think that's too bad of an idea. And so we had free beer the seventh of the night.
Benjamin: Then he at the end of the game there. So you heard it here folks. Free Beer, the Marlin's game from the seventh to the ninth inning. Everyone drive home safely. And that's a wrap for today's show. Our plan is to do this a couple times a week, so if you want more giants baseball on your podcast feed, click that subscribe button. Also, since we're just ramping up, we'd love for you to give us a rating in the itunes store. Have any questions for us? You can reach us at four. The fans by the fans.com. Go to FTF, btf.com where you can find us on twitter. Instagram or facebook at FTF BTF. Thanks again to our friends at phonetics. If you're going to go buy your giants gear or your myelins gear or you're not Giancarlo stanton gear, click the link in our show notes or go to FTF BTF.com/fanatics, and our friends at fanatics will kick us a couple of bucks to help pay for the production of this show. That's it for this time. Go giants and until next time, swing and a miss, and that's it.