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At 7-19, the Miami Marlins have a .269 winning percentage, giving them the worst record in the NL East standings. And the National League standings, as well. And the MLB standings, for that matter.
That is "the bad." The Fish have also experienced "the ugly."
On opening night at Marlins Park, many Marlins fans came to the stadium just to protest the salary purge the team underwent during the offseason. Joe Capozzi of The Palm Beach Post reported that some fans were ejected from the stadium for "causing a disturbance."
Eric Adelson of Yahoo! Sports was there that night and noted that the actual attendance looked suspiciously lower than the announced attendance of 34,439. After the game, Adelson spoke to some Marlins players about the attendance that night. Miami stating pitcher Kevin Slowey said "the crowd was amazing, for all the turmoil. A lot of people love baseball here." Despite seemingly benign questions and equally benign answers, Adelson was escorted out of clubhouse by Marlins team officials before interviewing any more players.
But things took a turn for the surreal when owner Jeffrey Loria mandated a pitching lineup change on a recent doubleheader in Minnesota. According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, sources said Loria wanted prized rookie Jose Fernandez to pitch in the warmer temperatures predicted during the day game. The pitching assignment for that game had originally been selected as veteran Ricky Nolasco, as is customary.
Here is Passan's analysis of the incident:
By overstepping boundaries no other owner in baseball would dare, Loria presented Redmond with a Catch-22: listen to the man who signs his paycheck and risk drawing the players' ire, or refuse to kowtow to Loria's requests and find himself at the mercy of the owner's short fuse.
"He was embarrassed," one source said of Redmond, who nonetheless claimed publicly the decision was an organizational choice. "He tried to fight it. He had nothing to do with it."
That bizarre episode undermined Redmond's authority and may have also been the final insult to Nolasco, the Marlins' best pitcher and an impending free agent. During the offseason, the 30-year-old asked to be traded by the Marlins, with whom he has spent his entire eight-year career. Nolasco will most likely ask to be traded again, this time by the July 31 deadline. If that happens, Marlins fans will be ready to look to next year. Or the year after that.
RESULT: First Pick in 2014 MLB draft