The Marlins mercifully finished their 2010 season this weekend, ending the year with 80 wins and 82 losses, good enough for third in the division. The longest winning streak of the year was all offour games
, and other than ace Josh Johnson leading the National League in earned run average (2.30), the season was pretty sad.
Most of the highlights were more surreal than anything else. There were fights, bloody accidents, awkward lapses in hustle, and, of course, one incredibly bad song.
For the sake of brevity (and web hits), we've assembled the five weirdest incidents of the year into one list.
1) Hanley Ramirez Dogging It
It was mid-May when a routine fly ball went over the head of the usually stalwart shortstop. Instead of turning around and sprinting to the ball, Ramirez casually jogged. Then-manager Fredi Gonzalez benched him, and Ramirez let the insults fly. In the dugout, to reporters, to anyone who'd listen. Then the powers that be had a quiet sitdown with the star shortstop, and two days later, he apologized to his manager and teammates. And not longer after, Gonzalez was fired.
This was during a September home game against the Chicago Cubs, with the Cubs at bat. Colvin was heading home from third, his eyes focused on the flying ball, when a sharp piece of the broken bat bounced up andpierced his chest
, inches from his heart. After getting treatment, Colvin lived, proving he isn't a vampire. The Marlins went on to lose the game, proving they aren't a very good team.
3) Selling Unused Tickets to a Perfect Game the Marlins Lost
Roy Halladay buzzing through the entire Marlins lineup three times without letting a guy reach base should have embarrassed the franchise. But ever the opportunists, the Marlins startedauctioning off unsold tickets to the game
, giving the sports world more reminders of a wonderful performance... by the other team.
4) Volstad Versus Morgan
It was a huge brawl, resulting in numerous suspensions (and torn jerseys). It began when Marlins pitcher Chris Volstad threw behind Nationals outfielder Nyjer Morgan for the second time in the same game. (The first time, Morgan stole a base and later scored.) The diminutive Morgan dropped his bat and set off for the mound. Here's how the Sun-Sentinel described what happened next:
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"Volstad spiked his glove as Morgan approached and ducked a left hand. Before Morgan could throw another punch, first baseman Gaby Sanchez entered from stage left and clothes-lined him. With Morgan on his back, Sanchez and other Marlins tried to get in a few licks as players from both sides joined the fray."
There's an obvious joke in there somewhere about this being "the most hits the Marlins got all season" or something like that. But we won't go there.
5) Scott Stapp's "Marlins Will Soar"
We should have known the entire season was doomed when it began with this, the Creed frontman's ode to professional baseball in South Florida. The mega-corny lyrics include: "One strike, two strikes, swing away/A diving catch, a stolen base/A perfect game, a triple play" and "Keep hoping and dreaming and you will soar/With a little faith and luck, you will soar."