The Miami Marlins do not do many things consistently, but the team often harps on one of its founding talking points over and over again. Under the leadership of Perry Hill, renowned fielding instructor, the Marlins consistently talk about defense as one of the key principles of the team.
“Twenty-seven outs, no more.”
That would be the Marlins’ mantra — engrained in each player’s mind and found on workout shirts with “DEFENSE” emblazoned in bold block capital letters.
“We’re not a team that really can overcome mental errors or mistakes right now,” Marlins catcher Jeff Mathis said. “We’re in tight ballgames every night, so it’s really on us to play some error-free ball on the field and take advantage of those runs that we get or tack on at the end of the game.”
Ever since 2003, when the Marlins boasted four Gold Glove-caliber defensive infielders, the team has emphasized fielding, at least to the media and to outward appearances. But as we have come to see in years past, the Fish speak one game regarding defense and act in another fashion on the field.
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