by Alex Poletti
Photo by Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
In a season that has seen the Marlins come dangerously close to postseason contention, Miami finally came to their senses on Wednesday and remembered they’re one of the most pathetic sports franchises in North America, giving up a National League-record 29 runs against the Atlanta Braves.
“I was on the mound and it was a pretty close game,” starting pitcher Pablo Lopez says. “And then I started thinking, ‘Wait, why are we playing meaningful games in September?’ It just seemed so wrong, and suddenly I realized that we were the Marlins, we weren’t supposed to be winning games, or even come close to winning games. So I did what was best for my squad and gave up seven runs.”
Starting off the season with a week-long hiatus due to several players testing positive for COVID-19, the Marlins held the top spot in the NL East for some time. Even after today’s team-wide catharsis, the Marlins at 15-15 still claim ownership over the league’s second wild card spot.
“When we all got COVID, there was a weird mood in the clubhouse,” Marlins shortstop Miguel Rojas says. “All of a sudden, we started winning ball games and really putting effort into each play. Something was clearly off. I’m glad we’re getting back on track now.”
Like Rojas says, this marks a new direction for the Marlins, who had been experiencing unprecedented success as a mediocre team. Now, they’re back to the tried-and-true Miami method of making the creators of baseball want to come back to life just to kill themselves.
“Obviously, some things need to change around here,” manager Don Mattingly says. “I’m proud of Pablo and Jordan [Yamamoto] for doing the right thing and completely blowing the game. I think identity is a big part of this team. And our team’s identity is playing like absolute dog shit.”
Yamamoto was undoubtedly the team’s MVP, giving up an astonishing 12 earned runs in just 2.2 innings. The 24-year-old righty’s performance set the tone for the rest of the game and by extension the rest of the Marlins’ season.
“He’s all about efficiency, that’s what makes him such an asset,” Mattingly says of the Hawaiian hurler. “Some guys, it’ll take them 10, 12 innings to give up that many runs. But Jordan can do it in an instant. He can take a game from suspense to farce in a half-inning. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
No one is more thrilled at the results of this game than team owner Derek Jeter, who went through great efforts to blow up the team two offseasons ago. After a brief hiccup to start the season, his vision for utter disaster seems to be on the road to becoming a reality.
“I thought that trading Stanton and Yelich and anyone else who has ever shown any promise would get everyone in the right headspace,” Jeter says. “Now, we’re finally there. I can officially say I’m the Michael Jordan of baseball, at least from a team ownership standpoint.”