Marlin fans can likely relate with Hall of Fame second baseman Rogers Hornsby, who when once asked what he did during winter, answered “I stare out the window and wait for spring.” Pitchers and catchers will be reporting in just a few short weeks, and for many, that likely isn’t fast enough. So to help take the edge off, why not take a moment to look back on the notable February moments from seasons past? Who knows- the club might even have one or two more moves in the works that will one day stack up with the selections listed below. Just like last month (click here if you missed it and feel you missed out), the list will be rounded off with a poll. Vote away, comment, and heckle us on Twitter with your thoughts.
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A scouring of February records produced- just like last month- seven particularly notable occurrences. Total transactions for February were much higher though, as this is the month you see a lot of Spring Training invites sent out to the minor-league ranks, as well as to the Island of Misfit Veteran Free Agents (just southwest of Fiji). Following on Pudge and Ichiro’s heels, another seeming certainty for Cooperstown signed on with the club in the year’s second month, as well as a couple fan favorites. And in many ways, the two most notable February moments didn’t even involve a player at all. Let’s dive in.
- February 25th, 1993: Billy the Marlin makes his debut.
- February 6th, 1998: Marlins trade Al Leiter…for A.J. Burnett.
- February 1st, 1999: Marlins trade for Mike Lowell.
- February 12th, 2002: MLB agrees to Jeffrey Loria buying team.
- February 18th, 2002: Marlins sign Tim Raines.
- February 15th, 2008: Marlins sign Marcell Ozuna.
- February 2010: Marlins invite Logan Morrison and Mike Stanton to Spring Training.
So Loria wins hand down right? But in all seriousness, stealing Lowell away from the Yanks seems like the clear winner. A “Franchise Four” winner, he was an All-Star force that provided stellar defense and a potent bat for seven seasons, and was key piece on a championship squad. And speaking of championship squads, if you want to feel a little better about that post-1997 dismantling, all three prospects sent to the Yankees for Lowell were pieces acquired during that process. Picking A.J. wouldn’t be unreasonable either- have to love the symmetry of one franchise no-hit hurler being flipped for another. Or is it Billy? Weigh in.
And again, please go in depth on your reasons in the comments or on Twitter.