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Justin Alintoff graduates from Gators‘ reliever to starter in Rollins

Sometimes it’s crazy how quickly things can change within a year. The Florida Gators started the 2020 season 16-0. Justin Alintoff was contributing to a bullpen that posted a 1.76 ERA with 12 strikeouts in five appearances.

They lose their first game of the season to Florida State on March 10 and the next day the entire spring slate has been cancelled.

“It was a real bummer,” Alintoff said.

Now Alintoff is in the South Florida Collegiate Baseball League working time go from reliever to starting pitcher with the Delray Beach Lightning. This is all in preparation for his final chapter as a college pitcher, not in Florida, but in Rollins.

“I could have gone back to Florida but I’m getting an MBA at Rollins College,” Alintoff said. “I value my education greatly.”

Justin Alintoff Transition to Starter

So far the transition to starter has gone well. Alintoff is 3-0 with a 1.28 ERA and 12 strikeouts in five games and four starts. His longest start came on Thursday against the Palm Beach Xtreme where he allowed only one run on four hits in four innings.

He leads the Lightning in starts and ERA, which is a big reason why Delray Beach (13-7) is only a game behind the Palm Beach Diamond Ducks (14-6) in the North Division.

While there are instances in which Alintoff finds himself facing off an Arkansas hitter, a Georgia hitter or one of the handful of LSU hitters prowling in the league, the overall summer ball competition doesn’t make up for the erased spring slate.

“The SEC is a beast of its own,” Alintoff said. “I don’t think there really is too much to compare in those regards. They’re two different intensities. Spring ball is way more intense than summer ball.

“In terms of the players, we have a great group of guys (in the SFCBL), really talented guys and same as the SEC. But the SEC is a grind every game.”

Alintoff Leaning on His Experience

Alintoff made a total of 21 appearances out of the bullpen for Florida as a sophomore and junior. He totaled 37 strikeouts in 39 innings. He credits the rigors of the SEC for setting him up for summer success.

“There’s no rest,” Alintoff said. “The teams in the bottom of the standings can come out and whoop butt. So the SEC is an animal and it has prepared me greatly for this league.”

Alintoff was originally a starting pitcher at Indian Hill Community College. He posted a 4.11 ERA in 57.0 innings with 77 strikeouts during his freshman year.

The SFCBL season runs through July 30 followed by the playoffs. Led by Alintoff as the anchor of the staff, a league title would be a great way to complete the transformation.

SFCBL title means bragging rights among Florida Atlantic players

In the SFCBL, South Florida Collegiate Baseball League, Owls of a feather compete together.

That’s the summer vibe for a handful of Florida Atlantic players who are competing with each other for the SFCBL title the ultimate prize that comes with it.

“I would like to hold bragging rights over my other teammates,” said FAU infielder Jared DeSantolo, who plays for the North Division leading Palm Beach Diamond Ducks.

Most of the 2020 FAU roster has been spread out throughout the league.

FAU Owls at SFCBL

DeSantolo has company within the Diamond Ducks in pitchers Jackson Vescelus and Adrien Reese, who pitched four shutout innings against the Boyton Beach Buccaneers on Tuesday while striking out seven. The Phipps Park Barracudas (pitcher Michael Schumer, infielder Cade Parker and outfielder Victor Castillo) is tied with the Diamond Ducks with having the most Owls players.

The South Division leading West Boca Snappers have two Owls in catcher Nick Toney and shortstop Wilfredo Alvarez. The Fort Lauderdale Knights (outfielder Mitch Hartiga), the Delray Beach Lightning (outfielder Jackson Wenstorm), the Florida Pokers (pitcher Dante Visconti) and the Pompano Beach Clippers (infielder BJ Murray) each have one Owl.

The Buccaneers have three incoming FAU freshmen on their team. Chief among the trio is infielder Nolan Schanuel, who went 2-for-3 against the Diamond Ducks to raise his batting average to .300.

“It’s exciting to watch the kids we got coming in and what they can do,” DeSantolo said. “It’s good to get to know them before we get to school.”

The stories that come from playing against each other have been bountiful. A game between the Pokers and Barracudas pitted roommates Visconti, Parker and Castillo against each other.

“[Visconti] struck me out the first time and teased me for a whole week and then I told him the next time I faced him I was going to get a hit and the next week he through against me and I got a hit. We laughed about it for a while,” Castillo said. “We give him a hard time because he plays like he’s the best guy out there but we love it. He competed and makes us compete.”

“We have fun when we meet each other outside of the game,” Parker said. “We talk about our competition and it’s fun to get a couple hits off your buddy.”

“I actually faced my roommate Jared DeSantolo the other day and drilled him on my last pitch,” Hartigan said. “It’s interesting that we get to compete against each other.”

FAU Baseball in 2020

DeSantolo finds it a little weird to go from competing with FAU teammates to against them in the same year but it’s not something he’s no used to.

“We’re used to it because we do it in intersquads almost every day in the fall,” DeSantolo said, “so it kind of gets back to that feel of fall ball.

The Owls finished the 2019 season 41-21 in the Athens Regional. The Owls were 10-6 before the season was cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak. DeSantolo and other players are appreciative about getting to play during this time of crisis. The summer season doesn’t make up for the lost spring.

“Nothing makes up for losing basically a whole year of college ball,” DeSantolo said. “But they gave us back our eligibility back, which is cool. I’m excited for next year. I think we’re going to have a really good team, even better than last year.”

Summer Ball bridges the gap to CJ Dearman’s next opportunity

CJ Dearman was supposed to have his senior day at Florida International University.

He was supposed to take the mound one last time at FIU Baseball Stadium in May, strike someone out, and ride off into the sunset, possibly on a bus somewhere in the minor leagues.

Instead, the pitcher’s senior season was cut off shortly due to the COVID-19 viral outbreak. Now, Dearman’s senior day will have to come next year at St. Thomas University in Miami.

“Originally I was planning on just graduating from FIU with my bachelors,” Dearman said. “However with the epidemic going on and me being gifted another year to play, I definitely wanted to take advantage. Also. St Thomas was willing to give me an opportunity to attend grad school and play on a very good team. Two of my best friends from FIU are also going with me so it just seemed like an ideal choice.”

CJ Dearman at FIU

Dearman was primarily a relief pitcher at FIU, posting a 3.41 ERA in 24 career appearances with one save and 15 strikeouts in 29 innings pitched. At the South Florida Collegiate Baseball League, he is a starting pitcher for the Pompano Beach Clippers. He’s posted a 1.68 ERA in three starts with 12 strikeouts in 10.2 innings.

One interesting component of the summer league is taking on former teammates. A handful of Dearman’s FIU teammates are in the SFCBL but none of them play for the Clippers. Dearman’s introduction to the 2020 SFCBL season was versus a former teammate. He took on West Boca Snappers’ second baseman Derek Cartaya, who has a .305 career bating average in four years at FIU.

“To play against my former teammates is an absolute blast,” Dearman said. “It makes you bring the best out of yourself because no one wants to lose to their friend. We look forward to those games because no matter what. It’s always a lot more fun, especially when you’re striking your friends out.”

As great it is to be one of the few playing baseball at a time where the enigmatic epidemic hangs over the nation like a tropical storm hovers over Florida, Dearman says it doesn’t make up for the lost spring.

“It’s just because it’s not the same,” Dearman said. “Like for summer, I didn’t grind and do those tough 6 a.m. workouts with those guys. So I don’t know what I’m getting into. Also, I don’t get to go to the cool cities around the U.S. when I play summer ball as opposed to when I was at FIU.

“So it doesn’t really make up for it but it does give me that same fun feeling of playing the game I love.”

Villanova’s Jeff Manto reinvents himself at South Florida summer league

For players like Villanova’s Jeff Manto, the South Florida Collegiate Baseball League serves as a proving ground for reinvention.

Manto has largely been a backup infielder with the Wildcats, batting .102 in 52 career games and 32 starts. Despite batting .150 in six games in his shortened junior season, he slugged his first two career home runs, showing potential for power.

This summer, Manto is batting .324 in 16 games for the Delray Beach Lightning, exclusively as a catcher. He batted .202 the previous summer with the Lightning, trying to incorporate the new position while mainly patrolling the hot corner and second base. 

“I worked on it a little last summer but this summer is the first time I’m strictly catching,” Manto said.

Jeff Manto, the Catcher

The position change in search for a rare opportunity to crack the starting lineup may have led to Manto’s breakout. His junior season was cut short before the potential was realized. He started all six of the games he played and each of his three hits led to an RBI. His two home runs came during the Snowbird Classic in Port Charlotte. The first homer came against Eastern Michigan and the other against Western Michigan. 

The Wildcats were 5-1 during Manto’s starts (9-5 overall) and the Lightning are second in the league in wins with 12, tied with the Palm Beach Diamond Ducks for the top spot in the North Division Standings. To Manto, summer ball doesn’t make up for his lost spring season but the rare opportunity to play at a time where everyone else is reeling from the pandemic is still something he doesn’t take for granted.

“Obviously the spring season is more competitive,” Manto said. “There’s a chance to win a Big East championship, go to the regionals and stuff like that but this is awesome. I’m really grateful to be a part of this. A lot of kids aren’t playing right now and I am. There’s a waiting list for this league so whatever it takes.”

It helps for Manto to have players in the SFCBL coming from the same area he’s from. There are a handful of players from Eastern Pennsylvania schools in the league. He has a teammate with the Lightning from Lafayette College. One of the catchers with the Florida Pokers, another playoff contending team, plays at the University of Pennsylvania. Lehigh University sent four players to the SFCBL. It’s lead to moments of bonding, whether it’s in the weight room or hotel.

“It’s always cool to have someone that’s going through the same thing as you are,” Manto said, “especially coming down here in Florida. It’s a whole different culture playing baseball.”

Like Father, Like Son

Manto originally entered Villanova as a third baseman just like his father. Manto’s dad played in the big leagues for nine years with eight different teams, three of which went to the Wold Series. The senior Manto played college ball at Temple before being drafted by the California Angels in 1985. Safe to say the father-son dynamic provides a parallel path. 

“Being around baseball my entire life, I loved it right away. So he definitely influenced me in the beginning,” Manto said. “I do want to follow in his footsteps and obviously play play professional baseball later on in life.”

It’s one thing to play in front of your father with a strong sense of desire and pressure to impress. It’s another when your father was a pro in the sport he’s watching you play. Unlike the Florida Collegiate Summer League in central Florida, the SFCBL allows fans to come to the games, so long as they bring their own seat. Which means Jeff Manto can continue playing in front of his father this year despite it potentially not being possible due to the viral outbreak erasing college sports in the spring.

“Sometimes it gets a little nerve racking because you want to do well in front of him, try to live up to expectations and being like him,” Manto said. “When I got used to it and just do my own thing, it’s pretty awesome to have him by.”

The SFCBL season runs through this month with the playoffs following the final regular season game on July 30.

Five Reasons Sports

Martin Bater’s Intro to Five Reasons Sports

You pack your bags, you say goodbye, and you look back at that place you loved knowing you would eventually be back someday. On February 13, 2018, I started a 33-hour, 4-day road trip from Fort Lauderdale to Phoenix leaving not only the life I knew and my family behind, but also my passion of covering sports for ESPN Deportes to become an Interpreter for the Arizona Diamondbacks. That road trip took me to Gainesville, Mardi Gras and a close call in Texas, but that’s a story for another time, Five Reasons Sports fans.

Fast forward to June 18, 2020. I’m back to covering South Florida sports, this time for Five Reasons Sports, and damn if it doesn’t feel good to be reunited.

A little bit about myself: My name doesn’t sound very Hispanic, but I was born and raised in Argentina before moving to Miami in 2002. People say Andy Murray and Benedict Cumberbatch are my dopplegangers (thanks?), and I love going to Graziano’s in Coral Gables for a tasty Milanesa with French fries.

Fútbol is my religion, but I also am an unconditional basketball, baseball and football fan. I arrived in South Florida just in time for the Heat to steal my heart and for the Dolphins to break it.

Yup, I missed the entire Dan Marino era and the first NFL game I ever saw was Tom Brady’s Super Bowl upset against Kurt Warner’s Rams. I didn’t imagine that would be the first chapter of the next 18 years of my football fandom. On the bright side, I got started with the Marlins winning the World Series and I had the privilege of witnessing the Dwyane Wade era in its entirety. The Panthers? I do hope that this new decade and the brand-new opportunity that they are about to have in the playoffs show me what I missed back in 1996.

I’m convinced about certain things in sports, and one of them is that the Designated Hitter doesn’t belong in the National League. I spent two seasons having a great time with the Diamondbacks as the team’s Interpreter before they made their COVID-19 related employee cuts last month, and I had the privilege of seeing Zack Greinke dissect the craft of hitting in Arizona. Greinke isn’t just a great pitcher capable of owning the moment in Game 7 of the World Series, but a legitimately great hitter as well.

We are talking about a guy who called his first career home run and is fifth among active pitchers in  career homers. I remember a night in April 2 of last year in San Diego when Greinke struck out 10 in six innings while also going 2-for-4 with 2 home runs, the first one traveling 413 feet to center field at one of the hardest parks to hit in the Majors. Then he left on a trade to the Astros and I got to see Madison Bumgarner (you know, the only pitcher to ever hit two homers on Opening Day) in action every day.

I can tell you with 100% certainty that Greinke’s and Bumgarner’s passion for hitting rubbed off on the rest of the staff. Robbie Ray, former Marlin Zac Gallen and Luke Weaver all pride themselves on being able to drive in a runner from second as well. And we want to take that away from them and others out of fear of injury or because we want more offense? What you are doing is making the game more predictable and less strategic.

You can also expect my takes on how Inter Miami will be the first to win a championship for South Florida this decade, why Maradona > Messi and Pelé, and witness me hopping on the already crowded Tua bandwagon.

My main goal will be to make you forget all the B.S. the world seems determined to throw at us on a daily basis right now with fun interviews and opinions you can love or hate me for. I will welcome your comments and I look forward to getting on this ride with you.

Five Reasons Sports brought me back home, and I am elated to be here.

Universal DH

5 Reasons the Marlins Benefit from a Universal DH

Amid the contentious talk of Major League Baseball playing its 2020 season is a rule change that some traditionalists object to: a Universal DH. While some National League teams would have roster work to do in order to address this contingency, the Miami Marlins are not among them.

The Designated Hitter (DH) is something the American League adopted in 1973, and now it appears as if the National League may add it in advance of the new collective bargaining agreement for 2022. Players know it can prolong careers, while general managers see it as an opportunity to prevent pitchers from unnecessary injury exposure in the batter’s box or on the base paths.

Recast in the light of this development, offseason moves from the Marlins now seem prescient. The addition of hitters like Jesus Aguilar and Matt Joyce, even Matt Kemp, point to potential candidates at the position.

Sure, the Marlins have had success in the past with pitchers at the plate, but not recently. Long gone are the days of Chris Hammond and Dontrelle Willis. Jose Fernandez connected on two career home runs, but it’s been more than four years since a Marlins pitcher hit one out.

Since 2015, Marlins pitchers rank 14th out of 15 NL teams in On-Base Percentage (.137) with over 1515 Plate Appearances. In addition, they sport the highest strikeout rate of all NL teams (45 percent).

Should MLB come to an agreement with the Players Association for a truncated 2020 season, and should that agreement include this rule change, here’s a look at five reasons a Universal DH will benefit the Marlins.

Universal DH: Helps Solve the Outfield Logjam

The Marlins have 10 players for three positions. Of those 10, one, either newly signed Jonathan Villar or the returning Brian Anderson, will man third base. Anderson is the odds-on favorite to start in right field. Free agent addition Corey Dickerson will probably patrol left, though Miami manager Don Mattingly may elect to sit Dickerson versus left-handed pitching.

That leaves seven players for one spot. Even with an expanded 30-man roster and a 20-man taxi squad, that’s too many outfielders to carry. But with a DH in the lineup, the likelihood of these players sticking with the club increases considerably

Harold Ramirez and Matt Joyce immediately become options for consistent plate appearances. Jon Berti can remain in a super-utility role, and Magneuris Sierra sees his chances of staying with the franchise improve dramatically. Sierra’s out of minor league options and would need to be traded or released if he doesn’t make the team.

This also means the battle for center field, between Lewis Brinson and Monte Harrison among others, might not see the loser banished to Triple-A.

Universal DH: Frees Up First Base

When the Marlins claimed Jesus Aguilar off waivers this offseason, most took it as a signal that Garrett Cooper may be destined for the outfield or the bench. Although Aguilar will need a bounce-back season, the former All-Star put up the best numbers of his career while playing for the Milwaukee Brewers in 2018. In 149 games, he slashed .274/.352/.539 with 35 home runs and 108 RBI.

Injury struggles led Mattingly to imply, back in December, that Cooper’s not an everyday player. In 107 games last season, Cooper slashed .281/.344/.446 with 15 home runs and 50 RBI. He started 66 games at first, and 31 games in right, with two turns at DH.

One of these two is likely the everyday first baseman, while the other can man the DH spot. Matt Kemp saw some time at first during Spring Training, and, at this stage in his career, he profiles more at DH than outfield.

There’s also a longshot for a 23-year-old prospect Lewin Diaz to play first. The six-foot-four Diaz came to the Marlins from Minnesota as part of the Sergio Romo trade last year. He’s a lefty with plenty of pop in his bat.

Universal DH: Jorge Alfaro

Jorge Alfaro landed with the Marlins as part of the J.T. Realmuto trade, coming to Miami with pitching prospects Sixto Sanchez and Will Stewart. In 2019, he connected on 18 home runs and drove in 57 runs over 130 games. Injuries affected Alfaro’s overall performance, but he showed promise handling the pitchers.

The addition of veteran catcher Francisco Cervelli, as well as the option to DH, should help Alfaro avoid some of the nagging injuries that wear on a catcher during a season, even a shortened one. Having Cervelli as a tutor should help Alfaro defensively, where he needs some improvement, and with calling a game.

Positioning Alfaro as DH and Cervelli as catcher immediately improves Miami’s defense. And while Cervelli isn’t known for his plate production, his 19.2 percent career-strikeout rate means he should put the ball in play more often than not.

James Rowson & the Future

Miami added James Rowson to Mattingly’s staff this offseason Not only will the former Minnesota Twins hitting coach be the Marlins bench coach, but he’ll also work with hitting coach Eric Duncan. These two have been tasked with developing a program to improve every level of the organization at the plate. And being from the AL, Rowson is very familiar with deploying a DH.

Last season, Rowson’s Twins hit a league-best 307 home runs. The Marlins? A paltry 146, a league worst. Minnesota sported one of the most potent offenses in MLB, and his signing with the Marlins may prove to be the best offseason addition of the year. The addition of a Universal DH will only aid in that development.

For the future, a prospect like Jerar Encarnación profiles well as DH. Encarnación was one of 13 Marlins prospects selected to participate in Captain’s Camp, and during Spring Training he flashed his potential power at the plate, connecting on an over 400-foot blast in his second at-bat. At 21-years-old, he could still use some minor league seasoning, but the DH spot may speed up his arrival to the bigs.

Yasiel Puig?

Yasiel Puig is on the record stating that the Marlins were among the teams to make him a contract offer. He rejected Miami’s advances, in part, because he wanted a bigger contract. Playing in a city with deep Cuban roots might mean fans would place unrealistic expectations on him.

Puig had an uneven 2019. Overall, he slashed .267/.327/.458 between stints in Cincinnati and Cleveland. Prior to the trade, Puig connected on 22 of his 24 homers for the year. But afterwards, his batting average and on-base percentages improved dramatically (.297/.377).

Having a DH slot would allow Miami to bring in this high-profile name to excite the fan base. If Puig performs well, once fans are allowed in again, there could be an attendance spike not seen since the days of Jose Fernandez on the mound.

Uncertain Future for MLB Among Rule Changes, Labor Differences

Baseball is at a crossroads.

From the no- spitting rule to the trade deadline fast approaching, there are a huge number of changes coming to the MLB that have rustled the feathers of the union and players at this time. With a huge amount of speculation from the MLB and the rush towards returning to sport after the Coronavirus pandemic, the uncertain future and ongoing disagreements continue. In this article, we will be looking at the changes to the MLB and what to look forward to for the return to sport.

 

The Return To The MLB Following The Pandemic

A return to the MLB is something that is being strongly considered at this time as a number of the worlds leading teams to head back to training in the coming weeks. With a number of the New York’s major teams such as the Yankees training in Florida until the pandemic dies down in the heart of New York, there are many wondering when a safe return to the MLB will continue. With many in the league hoping for a quick return to the league, there was an ergonomic plan for the return to sport sent to the Union on the 25th of May. This will, of course, determine when the league will return in a safe manner. This is something that the MLB higher-ups have been criticised for throughout this process as the union as well as some players who believe the higher-ups are pushing for a return to the sport without considering the health of players and the staff involved.

 

Ongoing Negotiations At The MLB

As the talks continue for the resumption of the league ion the near future, there is a vast amount of uncertainty surrounding the league at this time. With the resumption of the league still up in the air as well as changes to the league with new rules and legislation, the 2020 season is set to be a huge year for the sport. In addition to this, there are ongoing talks for the contract to the minor leagues. With the contract coming to an end in September, there is a vast amount of talk surrounding the future of the MLB purchasing the minor leagues and giving it a revamp. This will provide the minor league with the stability that it needs at this uncertain time with the sponsorships and funding for the development of the leagues. With the rosters expanding, in the new season, the MLB is looking to make the most of the downtime and come back stronger when the game returns soon. Though this is proving to be difficult at this time with disagreements between several teams as well as the unions, there are soon to be some major news with the resumption of the baseball league to screens.

 

The Oncoming Trade Deadline

Whilst talks for the beginning of the 2020 league continue, there is also the deadline for trades fast approaching. Despite there being no live sport played at this time a number of the major basketball leagues are looking to sign brand new players. With the deadline fast approaching on July 31st of this year, all signings have to be secured at this time. One of the most high-profile trades at this time is Kris Bryant. With several MVP players being moved in the offseason with several clubs in the league already approaching the Cubs to purchase the player for the 2020 season, this is definitely one to watch in the near future. Many have been placing bets on the MLB season as well as popular trades on the 2020 transfer market in any of the different betting sites available.

 

The Proposal Of The Non-Spitting Rule

The final major way that is being changed is the implementation of the non-spitting rule. This is one of the newest legislation to come out of the Coronavirus pandemic and is proposing that players are not able to spit in the dugout. This, however, is a rule that may not be able to be enforced as there are different reasons that players spit. This has had many players upset with fans unsure as to what the future holds for the MLB as a whole.

With this in mind, there are a huge number of changes coming for the MLB that are set to see them come out stronger in the near future.

 

Sports Betting Rules You Need to Know in 2020

Since the removal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) by the Supreme Court in 2018, sports betting has been legal in the United States. There’s no doubt that the decision represents a watershed moment and will be historic when we look back on the sports betting market in the country.

On May 14, 2018, the Supreme Court decided the PASPA law was defunct. It’s worth remembering the law had stood for 25 years and prevented states from implementing sports wagering industries. Only four states who already had sports betting markets were left: Nevada, Delaware, Oregon and Montana. However, out of that group, only Nevada had traditional single-game sports betting markets.

Since the abolishment of PASPA, 18 states have developed their own sports betting frameworks and others are working on legislation for their systems. Sports betting is already big business, and as Legalbetting points out, online sports betting websites are becoming increasingly popular around the country.

A new industry is being formed around sports betting and heading online is the next frontier from many states. As we look to a future of super-connectivity from 5G, the growth of online sports betting is predicted to skyrocket and reach tens of millions of people

Below are the things you need to know about sports betting in the United States.

Is Sports Betting Legal in the United States?

Yes. In 2018, the Supreme Court overturned the PASPA law that prevented states from allowing sports betting. Individual states are now free to develop their own sports betting industries and by the start of 2020, 18 states had launched their markets.

Is Sports Betting Legal Online?

Sports betting websites have been available in the United States since the late 1990s. However, they were not legal in the strictest sense because states did not allow sports betting operations. In 2006, most of the online venues for sports wagering had been closed in the country. However, users were still allowed to play on sportsbooks in other countries or from states that maintained legal betting (Nevada).

Why Was Nevada Able to Keep Sports Betting Legal During PASPA?

Nevada was exempt from falling under the legal umbrella of PASPA because it already had legalized sports betting available before the law was introduced in 1992. Three other states, Delaware, Oregon, and Montana were also grandfathered into the law because they too had betting allowances. However, only Nevada had traditional single-game sports betting as the other three states had games like bingo and sports-based pull tabs.

So, If Sports Betting is Legal Now Why Isn’t It in My State?

While PASPA has now been removed, there is no obligation for states to introduce sports betting. Because of the economic expansion associated with legal sports betting, it is believed most states will eventually introduce legislation supporting it. By early 2020, 18 states had already officially announced their sports betting market, and many predict 80% of states will allow sports wagers by 2025.

Unfortunately, Florida is not one of the states moving quickly on sports betting, so don’t expect to be voting on the Miami Heat’s NBA Draft picks next season. In fact, Senate President Bill Galvano has confirmed 2020 is too soon for the state to think about legalizing sports betting.

Can I Use Out-of-State Online Sports Betting?

The simple answer is yes, but it’s a situation worth explaining.

While sports betting will come to most states in the future, some will remain holdouts. For, example, Utah has said it is unlikely to ever legalize betting, at least not in the foreseeable future. However, in those states, the law says it is illegal to run a sports betting operation within state lines. In other words, there is no law preventing individuals from betting on sports. If you live in a state where making wagers on sporting events is illegal, you can still visit online sportsbooks out-of-state and offshore.

 

So, who is the Marlins’ All-Star?

Let’s be honest, the Marlins haven’t been the best team this year, but they haven’t been the worst. For having the fourth worst record in baseball, they have a few legit All-Star candidates that could represent them this year in Cleveland. Here are my three candidates, let’s start with Caleb “Doctor K” Smith.

 

Caleb Smith

Caleb Smith has been one of the biggest surprises so far this season for the Marlins. After coming off season ending surgery to repair a Grade 3 Lat strain, he holds a 3-4 record with a 3.41 ERA in twelve games started for the Marlins this season. He also ranks 26th among qualified starters in strikeouts with 82 strikeouts in 66 innings pitched with a 28% strikeout rate. Caleb Smith is ranked 6th among qualified starting pitchers in batting average against with hitters only hitting for a .198 average against him. Nobody expected him to be as good as he has been coming off that surgery, but here he is exceeding expectations.

 

Trevor Richards

Next possible All-Star candidate is another starting pitcher in Trevor Richards. Richards is quietly having a superb season this year for the Fish. In 13 games started he holds a 3.31 ERA with 68 strikeouts in 73.1 innings of work. Opposing hitters are finding a difficult time barreling up pitches or even getting hits against Richards. Hitters are putting the barrel on the ball only 6.6% of the time. His 3.31 ERA is ranked 10th in the National League among qualifying pitchers and his 6.6 Hits per 9 is ranked third in the National League. Richards is also ranked 11th in batting average against with hitters hitting only .206 against the right hander.

 

Harold Ramirez

Harold Ramirez has been an absolute steal for the Marlins since they signed him back in December and then proceeded to call him up to the big league club on May 11th. In his 26 games played and his 106 plate appearances he is batting a .327 average (entering tonights game) with one home run, and twelve RBIs. He has a hard hit rate of 39.5% along with a .784 OPS. He definitely has my vote for the All-Star game and he should have your vote as well. All three of these players deserve our vote. So go ahead and click this link to vote for your favorite Marlins into the 2019 MLB All-Star Game.

All-Star ballot: https://www.mlb.com/all-star/ballot

Photo by Cinco Razones Podcast. Follow them for all our baseball coverage (@CincoRazonesPod). 

You’re a Marlins fan? Really? What kind?

Sometimes, all the snark isn’t saved for this site.

Our friend Ryan Yousefi (who goes by @Rizzmiggiz on Twitter) has compiled a list of the five types of Marlins fans, which is a challenge when you consider that Wednesday night, there didn’t seem to be five total Marlins fans at the stadium — not with all the New Yawkers there.

(Mets fans are a special breed, entitled and yet defeatist and whiny all at once).

Rizz has divided the Marlins faithful into five types, which sounds a little like what we do here, not that we’re filing a legal claim this week. (Next, maybe.)

There’s the first-time longtime fan, the loyalist, the stalker ex-girlfriend, the “I’m just here for the love of baseball” fan, and The Instagram fan.

We’ll let you check it out, so we don’t get accused of just stealing other people’s stuff for clicks, kind of like what we’re expecting The Miami Herald to do to us.

Enjoy, here’s the link. 

And if you can identify the person in the featured photo, you get season tickets for the next five years, from Miami New Times.