Sully Baseball Podcast – Talking Angels with J. Keith van Straaten – January 20, 2018

The Angels have the best player in baseball and signed one of the biggest stars in the world. There is plenty to get excited about in Anaheim.

I invited comedian, TV host and Angels super fan J. Keith van Straaten to join the podcast. We talked about his fandom, Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani, Mike Scioscia and what made the 2002 team so special.

Giving Orange County its due on this episode of Sully Baseball.

Visit the website for J. Keith van Straaten by clicking HERE.

Subscribe to the podcast Go Fact Yourself by clicking HERE.

Follow J. Keith van Straaten on Twitter by clicking HERE.

While we are at it, enjoy the In Memoriam video.

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Florida Marlins Team Picture 2006 Topps – Sully Baseball Card of the Day for December 8, 2017


The team pictured on this card was the 2005 Florida Marlins. There were still plenty of faces from the team that won the World Series in 2003 on the squad.

This team was supposed to be different than the team that was dismantled after winning the 1997 World Series. And to the team’s credit, they looked like they were going to be a legit Wild Card contender.

Dontrelle Willis was still there. As was A. J. Burnett, who was injured during the 2003 post season. Josh Beckett gave them another solid starter. Todd Jones saved 40 to an ERA of 2.10, one of the best seasons of his long career.

Miguel Cabrera was maturing into one of the game’s premiere sluggers. Juan Encarnacion could mash and the team acquired Carlos Delgado to give them power at first base.

Was it enough to unseat the Braves? No. They would win the final division in their 14 straight trips to the post season streak.

But Jack McKeon’s squad got off to a fast start, winning 14 of their first 22 games. On May 25th, they were in first place by themselves. By June 3, they were tied for first.

But they slogged through a mediocre June and July where they finished a combined 1 game under .500. Mike Lowell was becoming an albatross and an expensive one at that. And the bullpen other than Jones was unreliable.

But by August 19th, they were only 1/2 game out of a Wild Card spot. They finished 19-22 however and found themselves displaced by hurricane season. They played a set of “Home Games” at US Cellular Field in Chicago down the stretch.

They finished with a winning record, 83-79. Dontrelle Willis was a 20 game winner and there was hope for the future. Manager Jack McKeon stepped down and highly coveted managerial prospect Joe Girardi took over.

Then the floor collapsed. Owner Jeffrey Loria gutted the team, slashing their payroll to a comically low floor. The Red Sox took on Mike Lowell’s contract in order to acquire Josh Beckett. Both would help Boston win it all in 2007.

Delgado and other veterans were booted out and after 2006, Miguel Cabrera was gone as well. Marlin fans never forgave the new management and the cynicism lasts to this day. They have been cheated before. They know to not trust management. They know their players are as good as gone.

Had the 2005 Marlins made the post season, would the core have been held together? Or would there have been more good will with the Beckett/Willis/Cabrera crew making multiple October trips?

We will never know. New Marlins management have  a lot of wounds to repair. Many were opened after the 2005 season.




Sully Baseball Podcast – Questions about potential managers who aren’t getting hired – September 16, 2017


Rich Pilling/Getty Images North America

There are at least 4 and maybe as many as 7 managerial openings in baseball at the end of this season. A group of candidates, including Dave Martinez, Joey Cora and Jose Oquendo, are still available. Why aren’t they front runners for these jobs?

Pondering the hard questions on this episode of Sully Baseball.

While we are at it, enjoy the In Memoriam video.

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