“If we can stay injury free, we’ll be in the postseason,” Dobbs said. “There is no reason why we shouldn’t. That should be our goal. That should be our thought every day, is we’re going to win. We’re going to win, we’re going to win. We’re going to get to the postseason.”
Playing in the NL East, this is certainly a bold statement. Along with the Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves, the Marlins also have to worry about the young and well improved Washington Nationals. Aside for the New York Mets, who look to be in “rebuilding” mode, it would not be a surprise at all to see any 2 of the 4 in the postseason.
“On any given day, any team is the team to beat. I’m not going to say the Phillies are the team to beat. I’m not going to say the Braves are the team to beat. It’s a whole new slate. A lot of things can happen over the course of 162 games, we’ve seen that.”
In a division with an abundance of talent, Dobbs does realize the goal will be difficult. Still, to say this team is on the level of last year’s would be crazy. Even though they have not done anything on the field worth judging, it is obvious the organization believes we can and want to win now. Signing Jose Reyes, 2 all-star pitchers, and a fierce competetor in Carlos Zambrano, the Marlins finally believe they have the pieces to capture their first division title.
“I think we’re the team to beat,” said Dobbs. “I want us to be the team to beat, quite honestly. There isn’t any reason we can’t be that team. With the talent and the character and the personality in this clubhouse, I don’t see why not.”
Just because Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, and Heath Bell captured the headlines this offseason, re-signing Dobbs was also an important task the front office wanted to get done. Coming off a year where the veteran earned a roster spot being a non-roster invitee, Dobbs hit .275 with 49 RBI’s filling in at a number of spots throughout the season. Still, with the new stadium, new players, and new look, the future of the Miami Marlins came to be too much to turn down for Dobbs.
“It was big for me,” Dobbs said. “I wanted to be a part of this from the start. We’ve got an exciting club. The front office, ownership made some big moves, some huge, huge moves. As I saw that throughout the winter taking place, I kept thinking to myself, more and more, this is going to be an exciting place to play. We are a much more exciting team, with a lot of expectation and a lot of promise.”
With the first spring training game right around the corner, the team is getting ready for what could be a real “fun year”. It’s not very often a player gets to put on a brand new jersey, play in a brand new stadium, while playing on lofty yet realistic expectations.
“The goal is to win,” he said. “The goal is to get to the postseason, and win in the postseason, that’s the bottom line. If you don’t have that goal, then I don’t think your heart is in the right place. With the guys we have, and the personnel we have, it’s going to be a lot of fun.”
Let’s just hope Dobbs is right. With the new pieces, and Josh Johnson and Hanley Ramirez being healthy, the sky is the limit for the Marlins. Assuming the players can mesh and gel together, there is no reason to believe this team cannot be AT LEAST a “wildcard” team. Anything more than that would be a dream come true for the whole Marlin fan base.