The Florida Marlins kick off their 2010 campaign tomorrow afternoon versus the Mets at Citi Field, and while I’ll be in attendance armed with my Roberts transistor radio and an overwhelming sense of dread, the Palm Beach Post’s Greg Stoda comments on the misplaced optimism on the part of the visitors’ owner,
conniving scumbag art dealer Jeffrey Loria.
Here’s the groundwork Loria put down during spring training: He said he was disappointed the lowest-payroll-in-the-bigs Marlins didn’t make the National League playoffs last year, and said he expects Florida to make the playoffs this season.
Ownership’s expectation of playoff qualification is unreasonable. It invites the prospect of a decent season ” say, 87-75 again ” being considered a failure. It amounts to ownership’s implication that it has done everything possible to produce a good product, so any disappointment in performance is solely the players’ fault.
Is it reasonable to expect outstanding seasons as a norm?
“Absolutely,” said Marlins President David Samson. “We expect it from everyone in the front office, too. The philosophy never changes. The goal is to make the playoffs, and then the goal becomes winning a championship.”
But the in-house view doesn’t mesh with reality. The Marlins, by and large, last year fulfilled ownership’s mandate to outperform their contracts yet were still judged unsatisfactory.
“Are we going to hit? Is our bullpen a weakness? Is our bench so-so?” manager Ferdi Gonzalez said in repeating questions he has heard this spring. “Sometimes what you think might be holes aren’t, and places where you think you’ll be OK turn out to be trouble.”