Editors Note: Excited to announce the addition of Justen Rosenberg to our Marlin Maniac family. You may know him from his work from the Miami Dolphins Fansided site, Phin Phanatic. Please welcome Justen to our staff and family!
Before I get into this article, I would just like to introduce myself to everyone. My name is Justen and I am the newest addition to the staff of excellent writers here at Marlin Maniac. I also write for PhinPhanatic.com, a site that revolves around the Miami Dolphins football team. Before I began writing for the Dolphins, I wrote for two sites for the Florida Panthers hockey team; therattrick.com and pantherparkway.com. I am excited to share with you my opinions and beliefs about the Miami Marlins and encourage you to write some feedback whether it is negative or positive! Now let’s talk about what I am expecting from the struggling Miami Marlins organization this year.
Not to be a downer, but I honestly believe this is going to be one of the worst years in the history of the Miami Marlins franchise. Let’s face it, last season every Marlin fan across the country was thoroughly disappointed with the Marlins on and off the field. The 2011-2012’ season was set to be a big one. With free agents such as Jose Reyes, Heath Bell, Mark Buehrle and champion head coach Ozzie Guillen coming in, along with current players such as Giancarlo Stanton, Hanley Ramirez, and Josh Johnson, many believed the Marlins would go onto win the National League East and have a possible chance to play in the Fall Classic (World Series). With the big money finally being spent and a brand new state of the art ballpark, Marlins fans were buzzing with excitement. Unfortunately the buzz was short lived, as the Marlins started off the season on a bad note, losing 3 out of their first four games. Despite this, people didn’t lose hope. Miami natives know that big time signings take time to develop as we are all familiar with the Miami Heat.
However, the Marlins were never able to take that next step in the process of being able to win the division, let alone a game. Towards the end of April, the Marlins were looking to begin like failures, as they lost 8 out of 10 games. Heading into the month of May, the Marlins weren’t looking like the team they were drawn out to be; however, something suddenly changed, and the Marlins started winning again. The Marlins were easily the best team in baseball during the month of May. With the team back on track, hope was once again restored in the Miami community. People were coming to games, the team was being recognized by the national media, and most importantly they were winning ball games. Unfortunately, this didn’t last long. In fact, when the month of May was over the Marlins continued to struggle as they started to lose grip of the season.
If you remember watching the Showtime series “The Franchise”, you might remember hearing owner Jeffery Loria saying he would put this team up against anybody. That was an obvious lie. During the trade deadline Loria might have been the busiest person in the league; however, he wasn’t trying to go out and get another player that could hopefully salvage the season. Instead, he was busy sabotaging the season. Hanley Ramirez, Omar Infante, Anibal Sanchez, Edward Mujica, and Gaby Sanchez were all traded away within the days leading to and on the trade deadline. The Marlins season was over and clearly at this point they were looking towards the future.
While it was possible to defend some of these moves at the deadline, it is impossible to defend what happened in the offseason. Not only did Loria lose hope from the players, but also from the fans. On November 19th, the Marlins sent Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Emilio Bonifacio, Jose Reyes, and John Buck to the Toronto Blue Jays for almost nothing. In fact, the only decent player in that trade was infielder Yunel Escobar. Oh, and guess what, the Marlins traded him a few weeks later for a minor league prospect. Not only that, but the Marlins didn’t really do anything in free agency. Asides from Juan Pierre, they didn’t exactly sign players that really have any relevance to the league.
This year is going to be a lot like all the other years in my opinion. Other than opening night, this team doesn’t have the ability to sell out games. I think it is going to be one miserable year for us Marlin fans. Recently Jose Reyes came out saying that he feels bad for Giancarlo Stanton and quite frankly, I do too. Stanton is one amazing ball player. He could literally do it all. At one point he was the future of the Marlins, but with everything that has gone on with this franchise; he could very well be the future for another team.
A few seasons ago I remember the Marlins doing a promotion called “Work Force Monday”. If you didn’t have a job, all you had to do was show proof and you would get free tickets. I remember going with my grandfather, who, at the time was unemployed. They were literally giving tickets away and you would still be able to pick where you want to sit, due to the fact that no one would go to the games. I’m expecting A LOT of that this year. Not necessarily the giving away free tickets, but the fact that this stadium will be empty. Sure, it is a beautiful stadium and if you haven’t had the opportunity to go to it, then you are surely missing out. Even though the stadium is very nice, I don’t think people are going to be attending these games.
This hurts to say, but I think the Marlins are going to suffer yet another last place finish. First year coach and former Marlins catcher Mike Redmond is certainly going to have his work cut out for him; however, I don’t think he will be able to succeed as a coach in the city of Miami.
Thanks for Reading!
Follow Me on Twitter: @JustenRosenberg