Oct 7, 2014; St. Louis, MO, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez (13) is congratulated by second baseman Dee Gordon (9) after scoring a run against the St. Louis Cardinals in the 6th inning during game four of the 2014 NLDS baseball playoff game at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Step one: Rewrite the history of the 2012 season, to begin the reshaping of the image.
The Miami Marlins were 45-53 on July 26th, 2012, the day the team shipped out Hanley Ramirez to the Los Angeles Dodgers. At the time of the trade, the Marlins were 9 games back of the Pittsburgh Pirates for a wild card spot in the National League.
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While the team was certainly not headed in the right direction at the time, they were a better team than the one that ended the season with 69 wins. If the front office kept the core together, there is a good chance the Marlins end up winning between 75 and 80 games that season. Not playoff caliber, but certainly not a 69 win team.
The Marlins argument after the 2013 season for 2012 was that “we won nearly the same amount of games as we did with a higher payroll in 2012.” They tend to leave out the part that they sold pieces off that made the team a 69 win team, instead of the mediocre team they actually were.
No, mediocrity was not going to be the best answer for the Marlins going forward and I maintain the Marlins made the smart baseball decision by ridding of the contracts that could have hampered their ability to contend. But the argument that the 2013 team was almost as good as the 2012 team is a farce. The talent on those two teams are not even comparable.
Next: Larry Beinfest, the scapegoat