I wanted to get all parochial and outraged here, hop the media soapbox and invoke a form of the famous sports phrase traced to fight manager Joe Jacobs, who supposedly first uttered it on June 21, 1932 after a dubious judges decision went against his boxer, Max Schmeling.
We wuz robbed! cried Jacobs, the phonetic integrity of the middle words spelling now essential to its place as an American idiom.
Too many perceived injustices to count have followed, and Marlins fans might nominate the latest as Miami somehow being the only team in the Major League Baseball without a representative in Tuesday nights All-Star Game.
We Wuz Robbed!
Well, no. No, we wuznt.
Not in the least. Justified, as a matter of fact.
Club president David Samson can complain about it being unfair, but a Marlins player was not chosen to replace injured outfielder Giancarlo Stanton because no Marlins player other than Stanton deserves to be on stage in Kansas City.
The Marlins, as a team, deserve to be right where they are: Sitting punished in a corner while the rest of baseball celebrates itself. So far from All-Star caliber have Miamis supposed all-stars been that they shouldnt even be allowed to WATCH the game, let alone play in it except to the degree it might inflict some deserved pain.
The Marlins alleged All-Star caliber players we saw in the seasons first half have (save for Stanton) been a bunch of fraud-stars, leading the league in nothing but disappointment. Fans, buoyed by the new ballpark and soothed by air-conditioning, have not booed this team nearly as much as its performance has merited.
Its weird. In previous years marked by penurious under-spending on player payrolls the Marlins have been lovable overachievers. Now the club finally spends big (or relatively so) on a roster it could legitimately trumpet as playoff-caliber, and its as if the teams biggest stars are wearing that pressure like a yoke.
I feel like I could start to get a little mean here, but this is a team that deserves to be called out, and that starts at the top with marquee first-year manager Ozzie Guillen, whose most notable contribution thus far has been dropping a poked hornets nest into Cuban-exile Miami with his Fidel Castro nonsense.
It could not have been more fitting how the Marlins oozed into the All-Star break at 41-44 after Sundays loss, with two of their 2012 fraud-stars melting in plain view.
There was third baseman Hanley Ramirez a would-be team leader but for the absence of any leadership skills or desires yanked from the game after going all Amare Stoudemire and punching a dugout cooling fan, requiring two stitches on his hand. That was after his latest groundout dragged his batting average to a desultory .248.
And there was closer Heath Bell with yet another blown save, his majors-leading sixth to go along with five losses and an outrageous 6.75 ERA.
Bell needs a timeout. He is proving too costly to continue using him as the closer no matter how much owner Jeffrey Loria and president David Samson remind Guillen how pricey Bell was to sign. Steve Cishek should be the closer for now, or Juan Carlos Oviedo (the former Leo Nunez) upon his return from suspension.
As for Ramirez? Well, he is not the star who made fantasy owners swoon in 2007-09; there have been diminishing returns since. I dont count out his rediscovering his .300 touch, but in the meantime Id no longer consider him untouchable in trade discussions. A two-season slump combined with temper/attitude issues is an ugly place to be.