HOT TAKE: The Marlins Will Win the NL East If Scott Stapp Is Their Manager
Written by Tim Nelson
With the longest winter ever finally behind us and last year’s World Series riots nothing more than a faded memory, it’s time to mark the true arrival of spring with the opening of the 2015 Major League Baseball season. It’s a time for renewed optimism and endless possibilities, when every fan can look to the standings and finds his or her team tied for first place.
While every team theoretically has a shot at the World Series, some will have a tougher mountain to climb. One of those teams is the Miami Marlins. The experts over at ESPN have pegged the Washington Nationals as odds-on favorites to win the World Series, while only two out of 87(!) picked the Marlins to beat out the Nationals for the NL East crown.
The Miami Marlins need to shake things up if they’re going to defy expectations this season, and that starts with their manager. It’s time to bring in someone who has an outsider’s perspective on the game, an immeasurable amount of dedication to the team, and who recently claimed that he was programmed by the CIA to assassinate Barack Obama.
That’s right. I’m talking about former Creed frontman Scott Stapp.
A native of Orlando, Stapp’s love of the Marlins became a matter of public record around opening day 2010, when the singer reworked some of his solo material in an effort to inspire his team to victory in the breathtaking opus known as “Marlins Will Soar.”
Not convinced that Stapp’s the right man for the job yet? Baseball’s a numbers-driven sport, and those numbers back me up.
Here’s a look at how the Marlins fared over the past 17 years, with the so called “Stapp Season” highlighted in yellow:
Did Stapp’s heartbreaking work of staggering Creedness inspire the Marlins to “anawwwwther playoff raaaaayhace (YES!)” in 2010, as promised? No. But they did finish with worse records in the three seasons since. With that in mind, we can use sabermetrics to calculate Stapp’s hypothetical value to the Marlins. Let’s use Stapp’s 2010 numbers as a baseline and assume the team replaced him with Pitbull in 2012 after moving into a baseball stadium that looks like it was designed by Mr. Worldwide after a few too many Bud Light Platinums. That season the Marlins finished last in the NL East with a record of 69–93. This gives Scott Stapp a staggeringly high WAR of 11.0, making him 39% more valuable than reigning AL MVP Mike Trout.
If you’re the kind of Creed fan who knows that jet fuel doesn’t burn at a temperature hot enough to melt steel, you may have also noticed that the Marlins won their first World Series in 1997, the same year as Creed’s debut album My Own Prison was released. What’s even weirder is that the Marlins claimed their only other World Series trophy less than a year before Creed announced their (first) breakup in mid-2004 .
Coincidence? There’s no coinciding in baseball.
An analysis of both advanced statistics and “the intangibles” proves that hiring Scott Stapp as manager would be a real home run for the Marlins. But what kind of approach to the game could we expect him to take? Luckily, we don’t have to look too hard for answers. Based on some of the lyrics of “Marlins Will Soar”it’s clear that Scott Stapp is a (somehow) more unhinged version of Royals manager Ned Yost. Let’s have a look:
Let’s play ball it’s gameday *loud crack of a bat*
We want strikeouts, base hits, douuuuuuhble plays
Stapp wants to win on the strength of pitching and defense. It’s a style of play very much in vogue among small market teams, much like last year’s Royals. While Miami would seem to qualify as a major market, Marlins owner Jeffery Loria is notoriously frugal, spending more like Missoula than Miami. This makes Stapp’s style of play a perfect match.
One strikes,two strikes swing a waaaaayuh
Scott Stapp doesn’t care about plate discipline. Regardless of the count, everyone in the lineup has the green light. Given his previously stated desire for base hits, the aim here is to have everyone slap some singles through the infield until Giancarlo Stanton gets up and drives runs in with a bomb every now and then.
A diving catch — a stooooooooowlen base
One thing Stapp does care, about however, is speed. With so much ground to cover in the outfield of Marlins Park, it’s important that his team has the wheels to get under any fly balls. If the Marlins pulled the trigger on Stapp a little earlier, you can be sure he would have pursued a player like Yoannis Cespedes in free agency, and would have at least called the Dodgers to see if Yasiel Puig was available. As the reckless Royals- who came within a run of winning the World Series — showed last year, aggressiveness on the basepaths can pay dividends. Stapp’s team will be no different. Perhaps “Marlins Will Soar” is some kind of coded message for base stealing, since marlins aren’t really known for their ability to fly.
A perrrrrrrrfect game
While most of Stapp’s approach to the national past time is built on the Royal’s winning formula, his dependence on rare baseball events in order to keep runs off the board raises some red flags. There have only been 23 recorded perfect games in Major League Baseball history over the course of more than 300,000 games. A conservative estimate reveals that perfect games therefore occur at a rate of about .007%. Statistics say it would take a bona-fide miracle for the Marlins to throw perfect games on a regular basis. But if Creed can manage to sell 53 million albums, then you have to understand that some statistics just don’t tell the whole story when it comes to Scott Stapp.
A triiiiiiiiple play
This is where things get even weirder. While I couldn’t find any statistics on the number of assisted triple plays, there have only been 15 recorded unassisted triple plays in major league history. He’ll likely draw confusion and ire by intentionally walking batters with a man on first and no outs. It’s a strategy that makes no rational sense. But when it comes to Scott Stapp and the Marlins, anything (or at least soaring) is possible “with a little faith and love.” CHECKMATE, ATHEISTS.
The rest of Major League Baseball has officially been put on notice. With Stapp at the helm, the 2015 Miami Marlins are either going 162–0 or 0–162. Anything in between is not an option.
World Series Champs We’ll BE
Maybe, Scott. Maybe.
Other Arguments in Stapp’s Favor
- Current Marlins manager Mike Redmond has a career winning percentage of .429. Scott Stapp has a winning percentage of infinity (but not really since God is the only thing that he would consider to embody the concept of infinity)
- Scott Stapp has already revealed his stance on bunting in Creed’s “My Sacrifice”
- The Miami Marlins are planning to hire the dude from Fuel to coach third base.