Peanuts, Cracker Jacks, and a Closer, Please

With the Florida Marlins in the middle of a pretty serious NL East race, it’s time to play “What Genius Move Will Larry Beinfest Make, and How Will Fredi Gonzalez Screw it Up?” So far this season, the Fish have been able to overcome a precarious bullpen, abysmal defense, and an insane ability to strike out like nobody’s business to stay within reach of first place. And with the trade deadline only days away, it seems like Florida will be buyers this year. The biggest need seems to be at closer — what with Matt Lindstrom’s elbow saying, “OK, that’s enough,” shelving the pitcher until at least mid-August. For now, it looks like Gonzalez might be pulling one of his patented “What The Crap?” moves and going with Luis Ayala and his Oprah-like ERA as the shutdown man. We’re gonna need more Beinfest Magic to get through this one.

Florida takes on the Atlanta Braves Tuesday night at Land Shark Stadium (2269 Dan Marino Blvd., Miami Gardens). First pitch is at 7:10. Call 877-MARLINS, or visit
Tue., July 28, 7:10 p.m.; Wed., July 29, 7:10 p.m.; Thu., July 30, 7:10 p.m., 2009

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