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Austin Brice, RHP Miami Marlins 6/19/1992. Height: 6-4, Weight: 205 baseballinstinct.com

Passion For The Game

Oct. 2, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Fans cheer as Miami Marlins outfielder Adam Greenberg (10) steps into the batters box during a game against the New York Mets at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Baseball is a very passionate sport –  in my opinion more than any other sport in America. A baseball fan can talk for hours about our Great American Pastime. Don’t believe me? Walk into Fenway Park and say the name Bucky Dent; or walk into Wrigley field and bring up Billy Goat or Steve Bartman and see if you get out alive. Try telling an American League fan that the DH ruins baseball (it does by the way). Ask a baseball purist who the better player was (not the most loved the better all around player), Babe Ruth or Ty Cobbs. Tell an old school Yankees fan that 1999 was the best Yankee team ever, or try telling a new school Yankee fan that Murders Row played for the best Yankee team. Get my point? In baseball you can have a heated discussion about anything and it can go on for hours. Most of them turn into books, movie, and even articles (like this one). Baseball fans will even have heated discussions about Austin Brice. Who?

 

So who is Austin Brice you ask? Austin Brice is a RHP that was drafted in the 9th round by the Marlins in the 2010 Amateur Draft. He has spent 2 seasons in Rookie Ball and last season he played for the Greensboro Grasshopper. He is a top 15 rank prospect in the club. He is an interesting pitcher with a high leg-kick, above-average velocity and lots of projection. He uses three pitches (from what I’ve seen) fast-ball, curve-ball, and a changeup. He shows some great promise. Given a few more years he will be ready to join the Marlins in the pros. So what would cause a heated discussion about this young player? Oh you’ll see.

 

Let me first start off by saying I LOVE to discuss baseball. Most people hate spending time with there in laws, but not me. I love spending time with my father in law. We have spent countless hours talking about baseball. We go on baseball road trips every year and spend hours and hours in the car driving from stadium to stadium talking about baseball. Sometimes we agree, sometimes we don’t (me and him don’t agree on the DH, but hey he is entitled to be wrong). The most fun I have with a baseball discussion is when me and the person I’m talking with have different opinions on something. Those discussions are my favorite because you can really see the passion someone has for what they are talking about. If you agree with someone, most times its just yea I agree, and we move on to the next topic. So with that said, I have been known to choose to fight for the wrong side of a discussion. When someone knows they are right and the person they are talking to is wrong they get more passionate than if they just were talking to someone who agreed with them. To me, there is nothing more fun than listening to someone speak or type so passionately about baseball. Michael Sonbeek found this out on Twitter a few days ago.

 

Michael Sonbeek (twitter handle @sonbeek) is someone who I have followed on Twitter and who has followed me for a while now. He is very knowledgeable on all the sports teams in Miami and he tweets about the Marlins a lot. So a few nights ago he reposted a tweet by Austin Brice saying that the Marlins are the greatest origination in baseball (I totally agree). I responded back to Austin tweet. Michael responded to my tweet and I knew I had an opportunity to get a great discussion going. So what was the catalyst for this heated discussion? I said “By the end of spring Austin will be in the Majors.” Michael didn’t think so. Now don’t get me wrong, Austin is a very talented young player but I think he’s maybe 2 or 3 years out before he makes it to the majors (I hope he proves me wrong and becomes the next Nolan Ryan for the Marlins). To keep the discussion going I made sure to take the side of yes he will make it to the majors at the end of spring. Now Michael knows his stuff. He knows that Austin is young, had an ok Single A season, knows no one has ever made the jump from Single A straight to the Majors, that Austin needs a little more work on his changeup, and all the things that prove Austin right now isn’t ready just yet for the majors but will be. I agree with him, but I wasn’t going to tell him that. The reason I kept this up was because it so nice to see a fellow fan so passionate about a team or a player, even if it’s a Minor League player. After our heated discussion, I sent Michael a message explaining what I was doing and he laughed and gave the ok to tell this story in this article. No hard feelings were had even though the discussion did get very heated.

 

So what is the point to all this? Yes, baseball fan are very passionate; and there are countless books about this fact. The point is the Miami Marlins need one thing that only the fans can control. The fans need to be passionate about their team! Look, I don’t agree with how the front office has been running things, but as a fan I can’t control that. What I can control and what we all can control as fans is our passion for the team. I’ve gone to games when early in the game my team was losing 10-0, 8-2, 5-0; very lopsided games, but we cheered for every single, every out, everything that was positive, and the players, no matter how bleak the game looked, were always giving their hardest out there. This young team that we are getting will need that boost. Trust me I know that unless the Marlins start winning that Stadium is not going to be filled, but the fans who are going to be there, me included, need to make those players feel like that Stadium is packed no matter how bad it looks. This is Miami we are not a quiet city. So in 2013 when you go catch a Marlins game make it known to the players that you are a passionate fan and that this is your team not matter what.

 

On a side note, if anybody ever wants to talk baseball feel free to look me up on Twitter. My handle is latinoloco4rwf. I follow any baseball fan that follows me and I am always willing to talk baseball. As a matter of fact, that’s all I talk about on Twitter. No baseball subject is off limits to me. Who knows, I might even choose the losing side when I’m discussing something with you and it might be my next article.

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