Now might be a good time to go back and take a look at this fascinatingly stupid article from the Miami Herald about the Marlins, one-run games, the Easter Bunny, super-hot lesbian orgies and various other things that don't exist. If you were trying to pinpoint the exact moment Mensa decided to rip up Edwin Rodriguez's invitation to their annual picnic, this would be it:
The manager of the Marlins handed out an actual homework assignment to major- and minor-league coaches Thursday, asking them to produce a list of suggestions on ways the team can improve its record in close games – those decided by one or two runs.What an awesome idea that totally worked, because for the first 48 games of the season, those coaches were paying attention in class and getting straight-A's. The Marlins were 14-4 in one-run games through May 26th and the coaching staff had Edwin's homework assignment to thank. But, June, oh June, you heartless bitch. Classes begin winding down, coaches start thinking about their summer vacation plans and nobody gives a shit about homework anymore. No, June is when grades are already penciled in, so you drink at night, come to class hungover and pass out on your desk in a pool of your own saliva. Every. Single. Day. And after losing their last 12 one-run games, it's hard to argue that the coaching staff has been doing anything other than that.
But, let's give them credit. Maybe these were good coaches. Hard-working coaches. Coaches who didn't completely tune out the teacher in order to finger-bang the girl sitting next to them in the back of class. No, believe it or not, I'm actually more inclined to believe it was something much more innocent than that.
Edwin's resignation came as a surprise to everybody, but when you look back at that February 17th article, things become a lot clearer. It's obvious, now, that the increased pressures placed on teams to improve FCAT scores forced Edwin to abandon his usual homework assignments and focus mainly on FCAT study guides and testing procedures. And while Joey Espada's most recent FCAT scores showed marked improvements, Rodriguez's staff began to slip in other areas. Most notably, one-run games and preventing injury.
This became too much for Edwin, as he began to see the writing on the wall. That FCAT testing wouldn't allow him to be the teacher he felt he should have been all along. That he was fighting a losing battle. What was once a childhood dream now looked more like a low-paying, dead-end job. And so he walked away.
The Marlins have fallen to 14-16 in one-run games this year and substitute teacher, Mr. McJack, needs to figure out how to fix this. He needs to give more homework. He needs to pass out study packets. He needs to stand up to the idiocy of the No Coach Left Behind initiative and put an end to this madness. Because if the Marlins have anyone to blame for this month-long skid, it isn't any of the coaches and it isn't a particular player...
...it's that damned FCAT.