The Miami Marlins were expected to be bad. With their best talent residing in minor-league towns such as Jacksonville and Jupiter, it was predictable. Most rebuilding teams stink, but the fish are historically horrible.
The team is so spectacularly atrocious that even loyalists' lowest expectations seem unreachable with 75 percent of the season to go. The Marlins are approaching legendary levels of inferior.
Things need to change and fast. It's time for the Marlins to cut bait, fire manager Don Mattingly, and bring in a new voice — possibly ex-Yankees catcher, Miami Marlins executive, and Derek Jeter ex-teammate Jorge Posada — for the remainder of the season.
For the sake of both the Marlins and Mattingly's sanity, a swift midseason divorce makes sense.
Mattingly — who is in the last year of his contract — should be sent away and replaced with someone who makes more sense for a team still years from contending. Things have clearly not worked out here for him. His time in Miami has been an unmitigated disaster, and the toll of all the losses and roster changes shows on the man's face.
Marlins Manager Don Mattingly categorizes this season as the single most difficult of his storied career. pic.twitter.com/6zuVDefrQd— Craig Mish (@CraigMish) May 14, 2019
#Marlins shutout for the second straight night by the #Rays 1-0, Fish lose for a 7th straight game. Haven't scored a run in 24 innings. At the quarter pole of the season, they're (10-31) on pace to eclipse the '62 #Mets 120 losses, the most amount of losses in #MLB history. pic.twitter.com/S4HiaUYfxk— Chris Fischer NBC6 (@FischerNBC6) May 16, 2019
Mattingly looks miserable, and the Marlins are approaching never-before-seen, holy-crap bad. Again, it's not a surprise, but is still shocking in all its terrible glory.
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When the Marlins hired Mattingly in 2015, expectations were low, but the team had obvious Major League-ready talent. Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich, and Marcel Ozuna convinced fans a jump to contention was just a good manager and a couple of pitchers away. But that talent departed, and the team has lost more games than it has won. Much blame can be placed on prior ownership, but Mattingly is not without fault.
Now, these far-less talented Marlins are flailing, and Donny Baseball looks as if he wants to be anywhere but here — awaiting talent in towns to the north.
The Marlins forced Mattingly to fire his longtime hitting coach, Mike Pagliarulo, earlier in the season and have seen next-to-no improvement since. It just makes no sense to let Mattingly run the show for 120 more torturous games with no contract beyond this season.
Both the Marlins and Don Mattingly could use a change.