Results tagged ‘ heath bell ’

THE FRANCHISE: A SEASON WITH THE MIAMI MARLINS (Full Preview Episode)

In its entirety, here’s the full 32-minute preview episode of Showtime’s “The Franchise: A Season with the Miami Marlins.” Enjoy it. Then let me know what you thought of it.

SET YOUR DVR

From the opening of Marlins Park, to the arrival of Ozzie Guillen, Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, Heath Bell and Carlos Zambrano, there’s never been a more anticipated season in Marlins history.

And for Marlins fans, there’s never been a better way to go behind-the-scenes and get an insider’s perspective on life with the club than “The Franchise: A Season with the Miami Marlins.”

The Showtime series, which debuts July 11, is produced by MLB Productions in concert with Major League Baseball and the club.  And for those eager for a sneak peak, Showtime airs a special preview episode tonight at 9.

Trust me: You’re going to want to see it. And I’m told tonight’s episode actually runs a few minutes long, so you’d be smart to set your DVR to record an extra 5 minutes.

For those who missed the first season of “The Franchise,” which followed the San Francisco Giants as they defended their 2010 World Series title, this is DEFINITELY a show worth watching.

Gary Waksman, Senior Producer of Original Entertainment for MLB Productions, is Supervising Producer of “The Franchise,” and I’ve been a fan of Gary’s work for years, since I first met him as he chronicled the Red Sox’ run to the 2004 World Series championship for MLB Productions and for the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary he directed, “Four Nights in October.” His stuff is tremendous.

Here’s how he describes “The Franchise”:

“It’s an up-close and in-depth perspective on a baseball team from inside the bubble looking out.  Throughout the years, baseball fans and sports fans in general want to be on the inside. They want to know what it’s like to be inside that clubhouse, to be part of the camaraderie, to be a part of the speeches to be as close to the action as they possibly can. To be that 26th man or woman on the bench.

“It also has a human-interest perspective it’s about the characters. It’s not just about the wins and losses. It’s beyond that. There are extra layers. Players, families, off the field, executives. There are a lot of moving parts, a lot of great characters and storylines. The objective is to just bring it all to life.

The beauty about sports is it’s the ultimate unscripted drama, and that’s why people love it.”

And as for why MLB and Showtime chose the Marlins:

“This was as close to a no-brainer as you could possibly get.  The new stadium, the characters involved. It was just a perfect storm of elements, something that no one could say no to.”

While Gary and his crew have been hard at work since before the start of Spring Training, the series itself is constantly evolving.

“It’s never what you expect. There are a lot of storylines. There are some things that no one could have foreseen with this ballclub already. You can account for certain things, but there are a lot of moving parts. The season is a marathon, and part of the marathon is you have people jumping to the forefront of that run every day, and it’s our job to determine which stories are best on a daily basis.”

When the show debuts in July, each episode will be an hour. Tonight’s preview will last almost 35 minutes.

Here’s a trailer. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWjmh6SOAr0&feature=showob

Set your DVR. This is going to be a lot of fun, and it promises to be incredibly interesting…just like this team.

For more on the Marlins, follow me on Twitter @GlennGeffner and friend me on Facebook at Facebook.com/GlennGeffner. To have new Fish Tales posts delivered directly to you via email, please “Follow” the blog above. And you can catch Marlins play-by-play on the radio all season long on 790 The Ticket and the Marlins Radio Network.

RELIEVED PITCHERS

Hanley’s multi-sensory 8th-inning home run (you could see it, hear it and even FEEL it if you were in the ballpark) may have decided last night’s game against the Cubs, but there was universal agreement in the post-game clubhouse that the biggest developments of the night for the Marlins came on the mound.

After a pair of rocky outings to begin the year, Josh Johnson worked 7 strong innings, limiting the Cubs to 2 runs on 7 hits.  And after Steve Cishek turned in yet another in a long-line of seemingly daily stellar outings to set down the side in the 8th, Heath Bell needed only 7 pitches (all strikes) to dispose of the Cubs 1-2-3 in the 9th to earn his first Marlins save.

For Ozzie Guillen, the performances turned in by his ace and his closer were the highlights of the night.

“To see JJ throwing the ball the way he did, I think personally, he needed that. And so did we, to get rid of those doubts and questions about him and how he performed the last 2 outings, especially the last one, it cleared a lot of people’s minds about how he is.

And second of all, to give the opportunity to Heath Bell to go out there and do what he does best. Those are the 2 things, besides the home run and the win, those are the greatest things that happened for us (last night).”

After allowing 21 hits in 9 2/3 innings his first 2 times out, JJ said last night felt different.

“I felt like I could let it go. When my timing’s off, this past month, it hasn’t really felt quite there. It was close, but it wasn’t quite there, and I wasn’t really sure what it was until we went back and looked at the video and saw that my hands weren’t breaking at the correct time and doing what I’ve always done through my career. Just to get deep into the game, and again, I gave up a couple of hard-hit balls, but there were some balls that just found holes and found ways to get through.  But I went out there and battled and got through 7.”

For Bell, who led all of baseball in saves over the last 3 seasons, earning his first save in a Marlins uniform took a little longer than he would have liked with a pair of blown saves to begin the year, but following a Sunday morning throwing session with pitching coach Randy St. Claire, the righthander was confident he was back on track, and he didn’t try to hide the relief he felt following last night’s performance.

“This is like a huge weight off my back, plain and simple. I went out there and blew the first 2, and I’m big on trying to get my teammates to trust me in any situation at any given time. This is a good start.

Between talking to Buck and St. Claire, and me and St. Claire working out and playing catch, we fixed it on Sunday, It’s not something that’s going to come back. It’s fixed.  It’s done with. We’re going to go on and get a lot of people out.”

For more on the Marlins, follow me on Twitter @GlennGeffner and friend me on Facebook at Facebook.com/GlennGeffner. To have new Fish Tales posts delivered directly to you via email, please “Follow” the blog above. And you can catch Marlins play-by-play on the radio all season long on 790 The Ticket and the Marlins Radio Network.

MUSIC TO THEIR EARS

With the Marlins returning home to begin their first Marlins Park homestand tonight against the Astros, it’s time to answer one of the questions I hear at the start of every year: What songs will different players “walk up to” this season?

Different players choose different songs for different reasons. Some like the sound. Some like the artist. Some like the message.

Some change their song seemingly every at-bat.  Others will use the same song all season, and even year after year. (I’m reminded of former Red Sox back-up catcher Doug Mirabelli, who hasn’t played in the big leagues since 2007. He now sells real estate in Michigan, but I think every time he enters a room—to this day—you likely hear Tim McGraw’s “Live Like You Were Dying.”)

A couple of Marlins players shared interesting stories with me about their chosen songs.

When Heath Bell was in Triple-A with the Mets in 2002, his Norfolk Tides trainer Brian Chicklo suggested he enter games to “Blow Me Away” by Breaking Benjamin.

Bell loved the song, but said, “That’s a big league closer’s song.” He told Chicklo as soon as he became a major league closer, he’d break it out.

It took 7 years, but when Bell replaced the departed Trevor Hoffman as San Diego’s closer, he first entered to “Blow Me Away,” keeping his promise to his former trainer, who’s now an assistant trainer with the Mets.

“Hopefully he hears it a lot this year,” Bell told me.

Emilio Bonifacio will use a few different walk-up songs this season, but Boni’s primary song, which debuted Opening Night against the Cardinals, is an original composition.

Boni’s “Lo Viste?” (Did you see that?) caught on in the clubhouse last season. He passed out Lo Viste T-shirts to his teammates this spring and is now selling them online, complete with the official Lo Viste logo.

Prospecto y Respeto, a duo from Boni’s hometown in the Dominican Republic, wrote and recorded a “Lo Viste” song that mentions Boni, Hanley Ramirez and Jose Reyes.  You can check out the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=asdu26Fymns

And you’ll hear it a lot at Marlins Park this season.

Here’s a list of the walk-up songs I’ve been able to collect so far with a special thanks to the Marlins Entertainment Department for their help in compiling much of this list:

Heath Bell: Blow Me Away (Breaking Benjamin)

Emilio Bonifacio: Lo Viste (an original by Prospecto y Respeto)

John Buck: 100% Cowboy (Jason Meadows)

Steve Cishek: Send Me/Represent (116 Clique)

Mike Dunn: Kiss it Goodbye (Nickelback)

Chad Gaudin: Red Rock (Smokin Armadillos)

Brett Hayes: Bangarang (Skrillex)

Logan Morrison: Everybody Get the F Up (Yelawolf)

Edward Mujica: Rescate (Alexis y Fido)

Hanley Ramirez: No Love (Lil’ Wayne” and El Duro (Don Omar)

Gaby Sanchez: Triumph (Pitbull)

Giancarlo Stanton: Lord Knows (Drake) and Look in My Eyes (Obie Trice)

Ryan Webb: Hysteria (Muse)

Carlos Zambrano: Enamorado de Ti (Rene Gonzalez)

If you could recommend a song that you feel is especially appropriate for any one player, what would it be?

For more on the Marlins, follow me on Twitter @GlennGeffner and friend me on Facebook at Facebook.com/GlennGeffner. To have new Fish Tales posts delivered directly to you via email, please “Follow” the blog above. And you can catch Marlins play-by-play on the radio all season long on 790 The Ticket and the Marlins Radio Network.

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