The Florida Marlins now have the best record in baseball and lead their division. New speedster Emilio Bonifacio just might be the hottest player in baseball.
And that giant Chris Volstad has made us forget Scott Olson.
Could it be this team is for real? Yesterday's 5-1 defeat over the pretty dang good Atlanta Braves -- led by the more than pretty dang good Javier Vazquez, who pitched 12 strikeouts -- left me with the feeling that this team is better than last year's, and, if we can build up a lead, well, who knows? Can you say 2003?
OK, so $674 million and the worst deal for taxpayers in America on the new park (in a lousy location) is still ridiculous. I'm still pissed. But watching the Marlins win -- amid economic torment -- might be a better stimulus than anything Washington has to offer.
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SHOW ME HOW
Make the jump to see Volstad's stats.
Volstad has a 1.5 ERA this year and a 2-0 record. He stands six feet eight inches and last year had a 2.88 ERA. You read it here: The guy will be one of the great pitchers in history. That is unless he turns into another Mark Fidrych -- which I really hope is not the case, given his horrible death at age 54 just the other day.
Well, that's unlikely. Fidrych was an odd bird in a time when there were a lot of odd birds in baseball. Now, the bigger money, bigger contracts, and more corporate-style ownership would make it hard to re-create the flash-in-the-pan thing that Detroit's tragic hero had going on in the 1970s.