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October 3, 2012 at 11:56 am ET
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Adam Greenberg Part 3 – So It Happened

One, two, three strikes your out.

That wasn’t a quote from “Baseball Bugs”, one of the best Warner Brothers Cartoons ever, but instead the end result of Adam Greenberg’s comeback to the big leagues.

Yesterday was described by many as ‘inspirational’, while some of us that hold a jaundiced eye thought it was really more maudlin treacle than anything else. As I’ve written before, it smacked of shameless promotion by the Marlins more than anything. They got publicity and a ‘feel good’ story to cleanse away the bile of a heinous season.

The crowd reaction was nice and heartfelt. A lot of people were rooting for him. Heck, I was rooting for him to do something with his chance even if I took a very cynical view of the whole proceedings. Again, that’s mostly due to who was putting on the show. I firmly believe that had it been San Diego, or Toronto, or Seattle then I wouldn’t have caused any ripple in my head.

The Marlins did some things right. They got Fred Van Dusen, whose one plate appearance in 1955 was a hit-by-pitch, to throw out the first pitch. They gave $10,000 to the foundation Greenberg fronts. And most importantly, they got him his at bat against not some schlub from Buffalo up for the September clubhouse spread, but against probably Cy Young winner R. A. Dickey.

It wasn’t that important that Dickey whiffed Greenberg with ease. Heck, Marlins fans were used to seeing Hanley Ramirez take even worse approaches at the plate than what Greenberg displayed. The at bat was the thing, I guess.

Miami, though, bungled it up in some aspects.

They announced that Greenberg jerseys and t-shirts would be on sale. Gotta capitalize on the moment, you know. We’ve got bills to pay and Heath Bell isn’t going to buy out himself. Sure there’s a demand for those, but they didn’t waste any time on getting those out there. And there’s no word that I can find on if any of the proceeds will go to Greenberg’s foundation.

Then there was the mechanics of the at bat. Ozzie Guillen took to twitter before the game when asked why Greenberg didn’t start

“greenberg cant star the game and i cant play him all game sorry i no have a problem whit that but i can do anything ”

Why couldn’t Guillen start Greenberg. He’s probably a better outfielder than others that have seen time in left field this year. Seriously, Greg Dobbs, Chris Coughlan and Logan Morrison aren’t exactly Peter Bourjos out there.

Who made that decision that Greenberg got one at bat? Herr Bud and his tone-deaf minons? Moe Green Loria? Fredo Samson? The secret cabal of bad leftfielders? Who?

“This kid gets his at bat, and then he’s finished, bwah hahahahahah!”

It was rather awkward that Ozzie had to lift his starting left fielder for Greenberg instead of having him pinch hit for the pitcher. Jake Turner was dealing and there was no reason to take him out in the sixth – so Bryan Petersen was asked to take a seat for Greenberg. At least Peterson got a few swings in, unlike the unfortunate Frank Saucier who played the top of the first for the St. Louis Browns and then found Eddie Gaedel pinch hitting for him.

Despite the sideshow, the Marlins and Mets were playing an actual National League game. Miami won in the end against the Mets bullpen (of course) but there was a quintessential Miami Marlins 2012 moment in the eighth.

Turner was cruising but was lifted with two outs and a runner on second in the eighth. Mike Dunn gave up a single to Daniel Murphy, and then out came Bell.

Runners on the corners, two out with a 3-0 lead, and Bell does his thing. Single, walk, wild pitch, single, and it’s 3-3.

As loud as the crowd was cheering for Greenberg, they were booing twice as loud at Bell.

Those are your Marlins, South Florida. Talking shinola and turning it into, well, something.

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