How many Miami Marlins can you name? Hopefully it’s more than Joon Lee, Gary Striewski and Clinton Yates. When the subject turned to Miami’s mostly anonymous roster on Sunday’s edition of Baseball Tonight Live, it was Struggle City for the trio of ESPN personalities, who could barely name two members of the NL East-leading Marlins.
“Sterling Sharp,” said Lee, stealing both Stiewski and Yates’ thunder. Sharp, a Rule 5 pick who debuted earlier this month, has emerged as a fan favorite largely because he shares the same name as former Green Bay Packers star Sterling Sharpe.
“Dude, you can’t take that one!” said Striewski, who later copped to knowing only a single Marlin.
“I was going to take Sterling Sharp! I texted him yesterday,” said an equally exasperated Yates. Between the three of them, only Lee could name another Marlin—former MLB stolen base champ Jonathan Villar.
"That is just a gosh-darn shame,” said studio host Caroline Fenton, clearly disgusted at her clueless ESPN colleagues.
Upon seeing this clip, my initial instinct was to chastise Lee, Striewski and Yates for their appalling lack of Marlins knowledge (one would reasonably expect better from the Baseball Tonight crew), until I tried the exercise myself. Turns out, I could only cobble together four names—Opening Day starter Sandy Alcantara, Jesus Aguilar, Lewis Brinson and the aforementioned Villar—before exhausting my entire supply. Pulling up the Marlins’ roster proved to be an enlightening experience, revealing a number of familiar faces including former Twins closer Brandon Kintzler, one-time All-Star Matt Joyce (playing for his sixth team in as many years), utility man Logan Forsythe, journeyman backstop Francisco Cervelli and switch-pitching novelty Pat Venditte.
It’s hard to fathom Miami’s hot start, particularly following the team’s highly-publicized COVID outbreak, but if the Fightin’ Derek Jeters continue their winning ways, it may be time we start learning their names.