There aren’t many storylines in Spring Training that deviate too far from each other. Most of the time, they fit neatly into one of these categories:
1. Player A in best shape of his life
2. Player B outperforming expectations, may make team.
3. Player C suffers bizarre injury.
4. Team has new manager/general manager/players and is changing club culture.
5. Player D is still without a home.
Looking around, there are probably plenty of players who could fill the first category (I know David Ortiz is looking especially trim these days). It’s a little early for someone to fill the second, Jake Peavy has already given us the third by almost cutting his finger off, a few teams have new managers and overhauled rosters, and Ervin Santana and Stephen Drew are easily the best unemployed baseball players in the world.
And so it goes for Spring Training, which is typically five weeks of watching games in sunny locales with palm trees in the outfield and players with ridiculously high numbers taking the field. Soon it’ll be Opening Day, real games will start and real complaining can begin.
Unless the Miami Marlins are in the equation, that is.
All reports are that the Marlins are furious with the Red Sox for bringing a “substandard” lineup to their spring home in Jupiter, Fla., a game where the Marlins raised ticket prices to “super premium” rates. So Boston is obviously the villain here.
The Sox, clearly, denied the Marlins fans from seeing a Major League-caliber roster. The irony that the Marlins themselves haven’t fielded anything resembling a Major League roster for the past year is an obvious one, but it’ll be pointed out anyway.
The Marlins had no problem bringing this lineup to Washington last September in a game that obsenibly mattered. And of course, they had no issue with blowing up their roster after fleecing their county out of nearly $400 million for a new stadium. Or any number of the other sleazy, ridiculous things that the Marlins have introduced to baseball under the ownership of Jeffery Loria.
So, hey, they’re upset. Now maybe they understand how everyone else in the baseball world feels having to look at them every day.
On that note, it looks like the Tigers are in Jupiter on Sunday. Brad Ausmus isn’t looking for help, but in case he is, I’ve taken the liberty to draw up the lineup I’d like to see that day:
2B – Devon Travis
SS – Francisco Martinez
CF – Rajai Davis
3B – Nick Casatellanos
RF – Ezequiel Carrera
LF – Tyler Collins
1B – Danny Worth
C – Luis Exposito
P – Casey Crosby
It’s not all bad. I hear Nick Castellanos might be making waves, and that Luis Exposito is in the best shape of his life. The Marlins could easily rob their fans on all that. Regardless, I’m sure they’ll do their part to keep the spring interesting. Just bring money.