Clearly, going 11-1 out of the gate was something of a false start for the ol' Marlins, who've since descended into decided mediocrity. The latest indicator? They shipped their starting centerfielder, Cameron Maybin, back to the minor leagues nearly the minute the last game ended, and plan to replace him with a pitcher.
And they still can't seem to pitch and hit on the same night.
But at least they aren't lonely. The National League East currently looks a bit like a five-person sack race (someone jumps ahead, then falls on their face in the grass; alternate; repeat), so they've got that going for them, which is nice. It's still expected to be the Mets and the Phillies at the top in the end - but until those two clubs get it together, Florida has a chance to do the same and stay in it.
The Mets (17-13) are wobbling along at the top, with the high points courtesy of Johan Santanta. But beyond Santana, the rotation's pretty suspect - prompting manager Jerry Manuel was to say of his starters, "I'm at the bridge. I'm not jumping. But if I'm at the bridge, I have to take some folks with me." (We nominate Spencer Pratt. He doesn't play baseball? No matter. Just push him off.)
Behind the second-place Marlins (now 17-15), are the 15-14 defending World Champions Philadelphia, which really tells you everything you need to know about how it's going in Phillie-ville. They can't phind their phooting on the mound, either.
Trailing the top three are Atlanta (15-16) and Washington (10-19), of whom we can only issue a "bless their little hearts."
Of course, the season lasts until
approximately 2011 October, so there's plenty of time for the denizens of the NL East to get their act together, get their heads in the game, and make a go of it. And if the Marlins aren't one of them, well, at least we'll always have the Nationals to cushion the fall.