With All-Star slugger Giancarlo Stanton out for the next four to six weeks after successful arthroscopic knee surgery on Sunday morning, team president David Samson expressed disappointment the Marlins will be the only major-league team without representation at the Midsummer Classic in Kansas City, Mo.
“I think there were a lot of different ways [National League manager] Tony [ LaRussa] or MLB could have gone,” Samson said. “I think it’s unfortunate. I think every team should be represented on the line in the All-Star Game.
“... If our guy had surgery, he had to have surgery. Obviously, it’s been a disappointing first half. That being said, there are plenty of other teams that have had a disappointing first half and they have All-Stars."
Samson said he spoke with Tim Brosnan, a Major League Baseball vice president, about why no Marlins were selected but wasn’t given an explanation.
Samson questioned why Nationals rookie Bryce Harper (.283, eight homers, 25 RBI) was named as Stanton’s replacement. He said he felt pinch-hitter Greg Dobbs (.300, 21 RBI), reliever Steve Cishek (4-1, 2.19 ERA) and outfielder Justin Ruggiano, who has been red hot (.410, 6 HRs, 17 RBI) since the team acquired him from the Astros on May 27, could all have been worthy replacements.
Asked who he thought could have replaced Stanton, manager Ozzie Guillen mentioned Ruggiano (but worried he didn’t have enough at-bats), Cishek and second baseman Omar Infante.
“Everybody else, they should be watching on TV,’’ Guillen said. “The funny thing about it is when we built this ballclub we thought we were going to have five guys in the All-Star Game. You look at the names we have, we should have a pretty good group of guys. They’re just not playing up to the caliber.’’
“But the way things went, I think we’re pretty happy to be this close to .500,” Samson said. “It could have been a lot worse. It took a record-breaking May just to get to this position. I’d like to see us consistently win series, and that’s how we’ll make the playoffs. This team is capable of it. Ozzie told the guys himself, there’s no reason to think other than we’ll be in the playoffs.”
Samson said a lot of the Marlins’ second-half success will hinge on Hanley Ramirez, who assistants expected would be an MVP candidate coming out of spring training.
“Hanley is the man on this team. But being the man — saying you’re the man and being the man — are two different things,’’ Samson said. “He has it in him to do it. I hope the switch goes on because he’s sort of the catalyst.’’