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Winter Meetings/Hot Stove: Scott Stapp for Manager of the Marlins

December 15, 2014

Note: It’s not my intention to be insensitive with regards to Scott Stapp’s mental illness (actual, or hypothetical).  It’s my hope that he – and anyone else, for that matter- can access the resources he needs to get to a better place. 

Each December, after the dying embers of the fires started during the  World Series riots are no more, Major League Baseball turns its calendar at their annual winter meetings.  With executives from every team concentrated in one location, this is the time of year when contenders try to trade for the missing piece they need for a playoff push and rebuilding teams try to stockpile prospects in hopes of returning to respectability.

A week prior to this annual gathering of baseball’s most powerful figures, former Creed frontman Scott Stapp released a bizarre (since-deleted) video statement on his Facebook page. In it, he claimed that he was “penniless” and “nearly homeless”.  In subsequent videos, Stapp also claims that he was programmed by the CIA to assassinate president Obama.

You have to feel for the guy.  Even if you aren’t a fan of his “art”, you should wish him well because (potential) mental illness isn’t really something you should laugh at.  I personally want to do whatever I can to make sure he gets back on his feet.

That’s why I’m here to help him find a new job. As manager of the Miami Marlins.

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.”

Here’s a look at how the Marlins fared over the past 17 years, with the so called “Stapp Season” highlighted in yellow:

Marlins Stapp Conspiracy

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.  We can use sabermetrics to demonstrate Stapp’s value to the Marlins.  Let’s assume the team replaced Stapp with Pitt Bull after becoming the Miami Marlins and moving into a baseball stadium probably designed by a drunk Pit Bull in 2012. 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.

If you’re the kind of Creed fan that knows 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” already prove 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? 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 Roayls 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 smaller-market teams.  While Miami would seem to qualify as a major market, Marlins owner Jeffery Loria is notoriously frugal (earning him the title of second worst owner in American professional sports)  So far, Stapp is a perfect match.

One strikes,two strikes swing a waaaaayuh

Scott Stapp doesn’t care about plate discipline.  Everyone in the lineup has the green light at all times. Given his coinciding 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 is big on, however, is speed. With so much ground to cover  in the outfield of Marlins Park (not to mention road games at the oversized monument to pyramid schemes and capitalist greed that is Citi Field), 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 trade with the Red Sox for Yoannis Cespedes, and would have at least called the Dodgers to see if Yasiel Puig was available (ok, that’s a bit unrealistic. But it could lead to a situation where Stapp joins Puig Destroyer, so I’m trying to will this scenario into existence).

As the  reckless Royals- who came within a run of winning the World Series – showed this season, 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 flying.

A perfect game

While most of Stapp’s approach to the national past time (America’s other past time- hating Creed) is built on the Royal’s winning formula, his dependence on rare baseball events in order to keep runs off the bored 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 are only thrown in .007% of MLB games.  Statistics say it would take a bona-fide miracle for the Marlins to throw perfect games regularly. 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 triple play

This is where things get even weirder.   While I couldn’t find any statistics on the number of assisted (i.e. throwing the ball from one player to at least one other) 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 as third base coach
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