FIRST FISH TALES Q&A

We’ll experiment with our first Fish Tales Q&A on Tuesday, the off day in Philadelphia.

If you’ve got questions about the Marlins, life behind the scenes with the team or in the broadcast booth, Marlins Park or whatever else related to the ballclub, start submitting them in the comment section below, and I’ll answer as many as I can at various times throughout the day on Tuesday.

If the response is good and you guys are well-behaved, we’ll try to make it a somewhat regular Fish Tales feature.

In the meantime, if you’re new to the blog, hope you’ll get caught up on what we’ve done so far.  And if you click the follow button at the top of the blog’s home page, you’ll get my latest posts emailed directly to you.

Bring on the questions, and I’ll get back to you with some answers on Tuesday!

 

For more on the Marlins, follow me on Twitter @GlennGeffner and friend me on Facebook at Facebook.com/GlennGeffner. And you can catch Marlins play-by-play on the radio all season long on 790 The Ticket and the Marlins Radio Network.

31 Comments

1.Do the Marlins have their two World Championship trophies displayed anywhere in the new Park?
2. Zambrano didn’t have that great of a spring training. What are Gullien’s expectations for him this year, a .500 record?
3. How many people bought a personalized paver to be put in the new stadium? I received mine and it said No. 47 and it kind of surprised me.

Will check for answer to 1. Hope is Zambrano can be much more than a .500 pitcher this year. He doesn’t have to win 20 games, but if he can take the ball every 5 days and get deep into games, he’s going to be a huge part of this rotation. Pitched very well once he survived the first Sunday in Cincy. I love his passion and the intensity with which he approaches every pitch and every AB. I think they’re still selling pavers, so there’s no final number yet.

1. Who do you see being the breakout player on the Marlins this season? (Besides the obvious, i.e. Stanton)
2. What is a realistic expectation the Marlins should at least reach this year?
3. What aspect of the behind-the-scenes part of the job would surprise people the most?

I’d argue it’s way too late for Stanton to break out. He broke out 2 years ago. I’m a HUGE Steve Cishek fan. He got some big outs for this team last year. Looks like he’s been entrusted with the 7th inning when the Marlins have the lead to begin 2012. I could see him in the 8th and even later if the need ever arose. Nasty stuff. Uncomfortable AB’s, especially for RH hitters. Can get you to swing and miss and gets a lot of ground balls. Just has to keep pounding the strike zone. GREAT kid. I’m a BIG Cishek fan.

Everyone from ownership on down expects this team to be in the playoff hunt this year. No one–not the Yankees, the Phillies or anyone else–can sit here today and guarantee they’ll play in October. A lot can go wrong over 162 games. Got to stay healthy, first and foremost. But if this team does that, there is plenty of talent here, and there is no reason it cannot play in October this year. And once you get to October, anything can happen.

The thing I’d imagine most people wouldn’t know about my job is that the actual game broadcast is far and away the easiest part of my day. I spend virtually all day every day preparing for the broadcast, whether it’s crunching numbers; reading; doing research; talking to players, scouts, club execs, other broadcasters etc. I tell people all the time I do all this work for every broadcast knowing full well, I’ll probably use 5% of what I prepare on a given night. But I never know which 5% it will be, so I bust my tail pretty good every single day to be ready to do the game and hopefully bring some new and interesting things to each and every broadcast. What I also think a lot of people might underestimate is how hard it is to do about 4 hours of radio virtually every single day for about 7 months straight. No weekends, no holidays. A game at 7:10 basically every day for about 7 months straight. “Off days” are usually travel days. Staying fresh and remotely interesting with this schedule is a tremendous challenge. It’s a very cool job, but–like any job anyone does–there are challenges that go along with it that are hard to fully understand unless you do the job day-in and day-out. Good question.

1. Instead of having flags of the US, State flag, out next to the HR feature, why not have the championship flags out there, I don’t see any recognition of our past success in the ballpark anywhere during telecast?
2. You think Marlins regret lowballing Yoenis Cespedes, I mean the guy is showing himself to be the Cuban version of Giancarlo, immense power, strikeout prone, I’m dumbfounded they didn’t raise stakes a slight bit to get him.

Flags celebrating the 1997 and 2003 championships fly above LF at Marlins Park. They’re definitely there, even if you didn’t see them on TV.

I think it is GROSSLY INACCURATE to say the Marlins low-balled Cespedes. They were insistent on having 6 years of control–as they’d have with any player they draft or sign internationally. The difference was not about dollars. It was about years. The player wanted 4 years so he could hit free agency again sooner and at a younger age, ralizing that if he has success, his next contract will be much bigger than this one. The Marlins felt on this ballclub–with the talent that’s here right now and with the immediate expectation of success–Cespedes was likely to need minor league seasoning. The A’s can afford to let him endure ups and downs in the big leagues immediately because, frankly, they’re not going anywhere any time soon. If he spent a year, or even half a year, in the minors on just a 4-year deal, you’re missing out on a significant amount of the time that you control the player. That’s why they insisted on 6 years–as did all other clubs who offered him a deal except the A’s. I know the guy’s hit 3 home runs already. He’ll hit more. He’s a great talent, That’s why the Marlins and others pursued him as hard as they did. But there will also be some significant struggles for him along the way. Oakland can afford to let him endure those struggles in the big leagues. A team trying to win this year cannot.

BTW, I think Marlins should put the years 1997 and 2003 in that blank green lime area below Budweiser Bar and to the right of the seats in left field, between HR feature.

You can send suggestions like that to the Marlins at feedback@Marlins.com. They’re eager to hear ideas from fans.

Glenn, what is your favorite food stop on the road? Is there a restaurant that when MLB releases the schedule every year you circle the date on the calendar and know you’ll be dining at a certain spot?

Shake Shack of course

Where to begin? This is going to a LONG answer. Having traveled in the major leagues for 16 years now, there are great places to eat everywhere. For me, it’s not always about the fanciest meal, the biggest steak, etc. (although the Metropolitan Grill in Seattle immediately comes to mind!). I like places that have personal meaning to me for one reason or another. For example, I went to college at Northwestern. When I get the schedule each year, the first thing I do is check when we go to Chicago and try to figure out when I’ll have the chance to jump on the El, ride up to Evanston, and enjoy buffalo wings, cheddar chips and an RC at Buffalo Joe’s, an old favorite college hangout of mine. I also don’t mind staying downtown and getting a deep dish pizza at Geno’s! I love Scoma’s, a great seafood place on the Wharf in San Francisco. Have had many great meals with many great baseball friends there over the years. I’ve got a cool place I like to go to post-game in Milwaukee, Elsa’s. A couple of friends introduced me to it 2 or 3 years ago. They have tremendous pork chop sandwiches and strawberry shortcake. Several of my favorite places to eat in NY (outside of Shake Shack) are BBQ joints. I have a great friend who works in the Commissioner’s office, and she introduces me to a new BBQ place on almost every trip in. My favorite is probably Southern Hospitality, and we’ve got plans to go there in a couple of weeks. Fried pickles! I have a fried chicken and waffles spot open til 2 a.m. in Atlanta (Gladys and Ron’s…as in Gladys Knight and Ron Winans). Don and Charley’s is a great sports-themed ribs place in Scottsdale. All kinds of memoribilia all over the place. Used to eat there all the time during Spring Training in my Cactus League days with the Padres. It is THE place for baseball people every night in the spring. It’s a lot easier to get a table in the summer when it’s 110 degrees and the snowbirds and the baseball folks have gone north. I’m not much of a bar guy, but Foley’s is a great spot in New York. It’s claim to fame is it is the only place on this list with a Glenn Geffner autographed baseball on display. O’Brycki’s is a TREMENDOUS crab house in Baltimore. They paper up your table and just dump dozens of crabs out for you to hammer away at. I’m a big fan of anything I can eat with my hands (ribs, crabs, lobster, peel-and-eat-shrimp, etc). On the subject of Baltimore (but not things you should eat with your hands, I LOVE Sabatino’s and Chiparelli’s in Little Italy. Is that a good start? Got to go. I’m starving now!

Notice that the bullpen coach is always holding a clipboard with some papers whenever a pitcher is warming up. What information might he be writing there?

I thought I knew the answer, but I actually confirmed with Reid Cornelius today just to make sure you’re getting the best info possible! One, he’s keeping track of every time someone gets up in the pen and how many warm-up pitches he throws. It’s one thing for us to count pitches when a guy gets into the game, but you’ve also got to know how much he’s thrown in the pen. Reid is also following the game closely, essentially scoring the game, so he can tell a reliever who’s coming into the game who he’s likely to face and what those hitters have done. He’s also got scouting reports on hitters he’ll review with the relievers to further prepare them for when they’re called upon. There are those who think a bullpen coach’s job is simply to answer the phone and tell a pitcher to start warming up. There’s a lot more to it than that. The Marlins are lucky to have Reid Cornelius. Many in the game think he’ll be a big league pitching coach someday soon.

How is Bobby Ramos adjusting in Miami? He’s a good guy, us Rays fans really miss him in Tampa.

The Rays Rant- http://yossif.mlblogs.com/

While Bobby was with the team all spring and lives in Miami, he serves as the Marlins’ Latin Coordinator and spends the bulk of the season traveling in the Caribbean evaluating, scouting and instructing while also working with Marlins minor leaguers. So we won’t see a lot of him at Marlins Park. Talking to those who have known him for a long time, sounds like he’s a great addition to the organization.

Any reason why Loria and Samson thought championship flags would fly in a closed dome ?

Perhaps he should install a fan to make them fly, or put them in left field when the panels are open to the wind blows them.

That’s an idea. You can send it to feedback@marlins.com. They’re always looking for suggestions.

Would you have have preferred they not put championship flags or, for that matter the American Flag, in the park? If there’s no wind with the roof closed (or even outside in any open air ballpark), the flags aren’t going to do a whole lot. Not sure how else to answer that one.

I saw Ozzie taped the lineup, pitching rotation and bench lists onto a wall in the dugout, how come the Marlins didn’t put a touch screen monitor in the dugout (iPad) since the ballpark is all about the future?

My first thought is that it could get pretty expensive replacing electronics in a place where they are under constant threat from foul balls and foul moods. I’m all for progress, but the hand-written lineup card is a baseball staple. You’ve got to write out cards to give to the home plate umpire and the other club anyway. It’s an interesting thought though. I give you credit for that. I’m not sure I’d characterize Marlins Park as “all about the future.” I’d say it’s all about the present. It’s a contemporary ballpark that reflects a contemporary city.

What should the Marlins do with Ozzie Guillen? Should they make him make another public apology in front of reporters, suspend him? At least to send a message that type of speech won’t be tolerated.

I’m glad it’s not my responsibility to make those calls. I know Ozzie is taking this extrememly hard. He is sad and embarrassed and has traveled back to Miami to make another apology and answer his critics face-to-face tomorrow.

What are your early thoughts on the rotation? It seems that Ozzie would have a bit of flexibility with all of the veterans on the club. Do you seem him moving Anibal up? Possibly dropping Zambrano down a spot to set up more favorable matchups?

I think the rotation fared very well the first time through. The whole 1 to 5 thing is totally irrelevant after the first couple of weeks of the season. Days off, rainouts, injuries, etc., jumble the order up. It’s not about moving people up a day or back two. It’s simply a matter of trying to keep people on or near their personal 5-day schedule. As soon as you start trying to line up favorable match-ups, someone gets hurt, your opponent makes a change, and that stuff never works out. Look at today. Less than a week into the season, the Marlins’ “#5″ faced the Phillies’ “#3.” The key is getting as many starts as possible out of JJ, Buehrle, Ricky, Zambrano and Anibal. The order doesn’t matter. The total number and the quality of those starts is what matters. The number and quality of starts from those 5 may go farther toward determining the success or failure of this season than anything else.

Glenn, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports wrote an article saying that the Marlins should suspend Ozzie for his Fidel Castro comments. What is your take on this issue and what, if anything, do you think should be done? Personally, I feel this has been blown way out of proportion.

As I’ve said a couple of times above, my take is I’m glad those decisions are not my responsibility. Ozzie is doing his best to clean up the mess he realizes he created. He feels worse than any of us can imagine. Having sat right next to him as he addressed this at length earlier today, I can say that anyone who doubts his sincerity is wrong and doesn’t know Ozzie. The Marlins will do what they deem appropriate. Not my job to decide what that might be.

1. What should happen to Ozzie Guillen after his recent remark? (There is a good size of the Marlins fan base that is Cuban so it is clearly offensive but regardless, a simple “It’s Ozzie being Ozzie” shouldn’t be an excuse for that kind of remark.)
2. Where does morality rank with winning? (Similar with the recent incident involving Arkansas football head coach Bobby Petrino, who has brought the team back into the national spotlight but recently revealed having an inappropriate affair.)

I’ll let any possible discipline fall to the Marlins. It’s a very interesting question, and I’m glad I’m not the one who has to answer it! As for winning and morality, what’s better than winning–AND doing it the right way? I went to school at Northwestern, where they try to do just that. We’ve got the “doing it the right way” thing mastered. Still working on winning consistently. But when we do win, yeah, it’s pretty sweet. I’m not going to pass judgment on Bobby Petrino when the only thing I know for sure is I don’t have all of the facts.

Do you have a favorite place to eat in Miami?

There are many–and I know far more I’ve never even been to–but among places I’ve enjoyed, if I had one meal to eat in Miami, I’d go to Prime One Twelve.

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