Editor’s note: More excitement announce. We are about to debut two new authors here at Marlin Maniac today. First off, we have Will Stanifer. Will is a diehard Marlins fan and even has a blood relation to a former Marlin. Who is that? Read his post to find out.
Hello my fellow marlin maniacs! My name is Will Stanifer and I am new to this site. Just hired, I look to bring opinions and views from a young but experienced fan. While I am just 19, I have been obsessed with the Marlins ever since the 1997 championship team. My uncle, Rob Stanifer, pitched for the fish five years and that has a major impact on me. To this day I never miss a game, stay involved with the farm system, while trying to improve my baseball IQ everyday. Enough about me though, there is a lot going on in Miami that has grabbed the attention of the national media.
Born on November 11, 2011, The Miami Marlins started fresh with a new coach, a new stadium, and new uniforms. With tickets selling rapidly offering a financial backbone, the fish are looking for an exciting off-season with the hopeful signatures of some top free agents. As we all know, Jose Reyes has drawn the most interest from the Marlins. With a contract already offered, the fish are believed to be the front runner in his services. Now of course they know Reyes is always a risk to injury, but his talents overall are too abundant to pass on. Just assuming Reyes signs with Miami, let’s talk about the opportunities he could bring to the 305.
For one, Reyes adds another superstar name to the line-up card. While just a name cannot produce results, it can make a huge impact. Not only will Jose get a pitchers best battle four times a game, but he will put butt’s in the seats. Playing at dreadful Sun Life Stadium, the fish were never used to playing in front of a true home-field advantage. In a brand new stadium with a brand new superstar, attendance is expected to improve dramatically. With more screaming fans in Miami, the players will now have more support and another reason to play hard. As little as this seems, the impact could be magnificent. It is actually proven that players play better in front of a supportive crowd, and it will be no different in Miami.
Not only is Reyes’s name important, but the man has serious skills. Coming off the best year of his career, Reyes won the NL Batting Crown hitting an impressive .337 and edging Milwaukee Brewers star Ryan Braun. Truly in the prime of his career, Jose Reyes is hot and shows no sign of slowing down. “Literally”. With a beautiful contact first swing, Reyes is a threat to reach base the moment the ball hits the bat. Reyes is the best in the NL in putting the ball in a position to help his team win. Whether it’s his famous line drive in the hole, his hard to field ground ball, his rare and unique power, or his impressive bunting skills, Reyes seems to do it all. With his superstar speed, Jose can turn a bunt into a single, a single into a double, and a triple into a inside the park home run. With this speed comes stolen bases and more runs for the Marlins!
Anyone that knows baseball will tell you Reyes is a rare talent. The question now is, how will the Marlins benefit from him? We see it all the time. A star goes to a new environment and is pressured to do so well that he loses his basic touch. Carl Crawford and Jayson Werth are perfect examples last year. The Marlins need to assure Reyes he will not be required to put the team on his back. Being able to take the field having fun makes a huge difference from being constantly pressured. With Mike Stanton, Hanley Ramirez, Logan Morrison, and Omar Infante back, Reyes will have plenty of help. If Jose can produce without the added pressure, the surrounding team will benefit from his presence. With another guy in scoring position, Stanton will have his chance to show the league he’s a star and Hanley will have his perfect shot to return to his usual self after a disappointing season. Being close friends from the Dominican, Hanley can start to actually have fun again. This has been a problem for H2R, and even himself will admit it.
Not getting the job done at the appropriate time is the common plague that has haunted the Marlins for a while now. Not only is Jose Reyes capable of coming up with the clutch hit, but his leadership can do wonders. Being a leader does not necessarily mean you have to be the hero. Making a big defensive play, constantly hustling, and talking up your teammates can be very influential in a teams overall effort. Adding a Jose Reyes would add this new dimension every game for our beloved Marlins. Reyes is proven to be a good team player and will do wonders for the team moral.
Though he will not come cheap, the organization has made it very clear they want to win right away. Pursuing almost every top free agent, the Miami Marlins are not trying to be conservative. If Reyes does sign, it is clear he wants to win right away. He will bring a mindset that is championship focused. Of course this is my opinion, but the Marlins need to ink Reyes as soon as possible. Like I said, he is an injury prone player but the talents are too polished to pass up. Reyes with Marlins could be that rare X-factor the fish need in the fast rising NL East. Thoughts?