What a contrast in baseball we see right now, nationally with the delightfully unpredictable playoffs underway, and locally with the frightfully abysmal Marlins weighing whether to fire manager Ozzie Guillen as a penance. The postseason is full of feel-good, but the only feel-good here is that fans put out of their misery can feel good they no longer are subjected to the Marlins being shut out or blowing late leads.
The best stories in sports are about underdogs who remind us anything is possible, and four of those stories jumped into this 10-team postseason:
The Orioles, shedding 14 consecutive losing seasons to get into Fridays wild-card game
The Reds, trying to bring Cincinnati its first baseball championship in 22 years
The Nationals, who would bring World Series games to Washington for the first time since 1933
And maybe most of all the As, who overcame a 13-game deficit to Texas, never led their division outright until the final day of the season, and made it this far with a .239 team batting average and a roster of rookies and rejects comprising the second-lowest payroll in MLB.
Meanwhile, the big-money Marlins fizzled to a 69-93 last-place finish in what had been a season of high expectations in the first year of the new ballpark.
I dont wanna say Miami was woefully weak offensively, but Adam Greenberg, the guy they gave the one at-bat to (he struck out), ended the season as the teams third-leading hitter.
The club announced that Marlins Park next month would host an international soccer friendly between Venezuela and Nigeria. Perfect. No ballpark is more accustomed to hardly any scoring.
Postscript: As Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria weighs whether to fire Guillen, we might note that two of his previously fired managers here, Joe Girardi and Fredi Gonzalez, both made the playoffs.
Wonder if Loria has ever wished baseball had do-overs?
• Did you hear? A focus group comprised of former NFL replacement officials watched the first Barack Obama/ Mitt Romney presidential debate and awarded the victory to Seattle.
• As Loria mulled Guillens future, the Red Sox fired manager Bobby Valentine. Wait. Uh oh. Dont go there, Jeffrey. Do not even go there!
• The Dolphins signed Jabar Gaffney to replace Legedu Naanee. Naanee was the only receiver in the NFL with more vowels than catches.
• Tom Brady and Peyton Manning face each other atop Sundays NFL marquee. At the far opposite end of the QB scale, Jets coach Rex Ryan decided to stick with struggling Mark Sanchez after watching Tim Tebow try to throw a football.
• You had a bad week? Could have been worse. You could have been on the U.S. Ryder Cup team.
• No. 10 Florida hosted No. 4 LSU on Saturday. I tell you those damned Gators will do anything to steal the spotlight from Miami, wont they?
• FIU, preseason Sun Belt favorite, fell to 1-5 on Thursday night. Panthers are now frontrunner to take home the Marlins Cup as South Floridas most disappointing team.
• In other college football news, West Virginia QB Geno Smith awakened today in Morgantown and passed for 579 yards and six TDs during breakfast.
• Shawn Eichorst left his job as UM athletic director for Nebraska after only 17 months here, most of it spent not talking to the media because of the NCAA probe. Hey, nice not knowin you, Shawn!