Now that the lyrics to “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” by Guns N’ Roses are running through your head I will elaborate. After spending the Labor Day weekend in downtown Atlanta attending Dragon*Con, or what I like to affectionately refer to as “Fantasy Land,” I started thinking about what kind of soon-to-be-available free agents I would like to see as Marlins next year. After all they are ushering in a new stadium, and the fish need new blood on the field because things didn’t go so well this season, that I won’t elaborate on because I don’t have any alcohol handy at the moment, nor do I have a spoon.
Marlin Maniac lead writer Michael Jong doesn’t want to play the “what if” game in his great post “No easy fixes for the Marlins in 2012.” I, on the other hand, have absolutely no qualms about allowing my imagination to run wild about some awesome players wearing a Marlins uniform next year. Playing with fiction can be great fun and assuming that both Hanley Ramirez and Josh Johnson are healthy next year here are some potential free agent faces I would like to see playing along side them wearing the Marlins colors (whatever those colors may be!).
DISCLAIMER: The following suggestions are based on my own personal preferences, and as some of you may have noticed by now, I am not a stat whore; metrics are math, and math is boring. I am also not simply throwing out the best player on the list just to throw him out there. It is HIGHLY unlikely we would sign Albert Pujols, nor do I think we really want to, as I have full faith in Gaby Sanchez. I do believe the Marlins have a legitimate and reasonable chance to sign these guys in the off-season. I am also not saying that adding these players will ensure the Marlins another World Championship. What I am saying is that adding them wouldn’t hurt.
1.) C.J. Wilson: A 31 year old left-handed ass-kicking pitcher who has been the Texas Rangers (and my own fantasy team) ball-buster for a few seasons now. Yankees and Red Sox, (makes Jedi hand waving gesture) move along, this is not the pitcher you are looking for.
2.) Dontrelle Willis: Another left-handed pitching option. The D-Train is only 30 and appears to still have some life left in his arm, plus how cool would it be to have him back in the new stadium? Also, the D-Train can hand the game off to the Leo-Coaster, WIN, WIN!
3.) Heath Bell: He’s a dominant and consistent closer, and we desperately need one of those. Playing AC/DC’s “Hell’s Bells” in the new stadium while he is running towards the pitchers mound is also an Epic Win for fans.
4.) Todd Coffey: Speaking of running pitchers, it would be worth the price of admission just to see this 31 year old battle a heart attack every time he runs to the pitchers mound. As an added bonus, think of all the anti-obesity ads he could be the poster boy for all over south Florida.
6.) Laynce Nix: If only to keep this guy from belting home-runs and triples off of our pitching staff like they were putting the ball on a tee. This 31 year old would make an excellent Marlin drone if we could assimilate him into our collective (Star Trek reference FTW!)
7.) Re-Sign Omar Infante: This should really be a no-brainer at this point. Slick-with-the-glove Infante is a welcome sight at second base because we know that, more than likely, he’s going to prevent any ball that comes near him from going into the outfield. He can also play numerous positions on the field and he’s not too shabby with a bat in his hand.
8.) Re-sign Greg Dobbs: Also a no-brainer. Dobbs is clutch and can be called upon to play whenever he may be needed and he comes through. Also, my seven-year old daughter would be crushed if he left the team.
9.) Re-sign Mike Cameron: I like this guy, he brings veteran leadership (think Obi-Wan Kenobi) to the clubhouse which is something the Fish also desperately need.
I hope you guys have had as much fun playing in Fantasy Land as I have!