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Inside Baseball

Think I'll just talk baseball today, but first I want to point out an article I should have linked yesterday, Scott Wyman's story in the Sun-Sentinel about the firing of two airport managers for accepting money from a baggage handling business called Bags to Go.

This is an indication of how low the county has sunk, especially on airport matters. Remember when that aviation director candidate used the word "clueless" to describe a certain somebody? Well, the whole county is clueless right now. But the two airport managers, Briyan Malinowski and Doris Enriquez, got the boot and should get prosecuted over their petty connections to a lowly baggage company. If you look at who Stacy Ritter is lined up with, via her husband Russ Klenet, they're the big boys: URS, which oversees all construction at the airport, and Vista, the county's sole health insurance company.

Michael Satz is going to get involved in this stuff sooner or later. Let's just hope it won't take the feds to do the job right, ala Ken Jenne.

Now onto a more important matter, baseball.

Here's a few thoughts on the Marlins:

-- I'm not all down on Fredi Gonzalez yet, but it's hard not to wish Joe Girardi wouldn't have been run out of town after a year he was voted National League Manager of the Year. Marlins GM Larry Beinfest shamelessly took the credit for Girardi's success. Will he take the blame for Fredi's


-- Not that I consider Fredi a failure. He hasn't been masterful, that's for sure, but he's had some tough luck, too. Josh Johnson has been hurt and ineffective and Anibal Sanchez is out, as well, leaving the starting rotation in tatters. On top of that, Dontrelle Willis has had his worst season as far as I can remember and his little buddy, Scott Olsen, has been out of control on and off the mound. I'm not in the Kill Olsen crowd, but Fredi made the worst managerial decision of the year when he didn't sit Olsen at least a game after his embarrassing arrest. The upsides are Sergio Mitre and Byung-Hyun Kim. If you watch Kim compete (like last night) you understand why he was a fan favorite in Phoenix the year the Diamondbacks won the World Series.

-- If Willis and the bullpen turn it around (I'm looking at you Benitez), the offense is there. Hanley Ramirez is a wonder, one of the best young players I've ever seen. Cabrera is sensational as always. Uggla and Willingham are both solid. The bench could use another veteran hitter (though Jason Wood has proven good in the clutch). One thing about this team, they have enough pieces to make games interesting. There's still a chance for a run, albeit a slim one.

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Journalist Bob Norman has been raking the muck of South Florida for the past 25 years. His work has led to criminal cases against corrupt politicians, the ouster of bad judges from the bench, and has garnered dozens of state, regional, and national awards.
Contact: Bob Norman

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