I don’t make it a habit of saying I told you when it comes to sports team’s success and failures. I do think when it comes to the Miami Marlins, there is a reason for optimism 41 wins in 98 games and the final two games of the first half of the 2018 MLB season shows the needle is moving upward.
These Miami Marlins were predicted by many to win 60 games or less. Also, pundits claimed Derek Jeter could not make the transition from world-class player and Hall of Famer to a successful owner. The jury is still out on the later, but those who have scrutinized him from Day 1 may be slowly be changing their tune.
If you “Trust the Process” as the Marlins have proven with injuries this season and a lackluster pitching staff, this a franchise to watch in a couple of years. It may take time, which is something fans have been told for a decade now, with little results to show for it. Believe me, the results are coming.
The team’s last winning season was in 2009. The last time the Marlins played in a postseason game was the 2003 World Series. There is a chance to break those losing streaks this season, but the future is better than it has been in some time.
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As I watch minor league games here in Jacksonville, follow the other farm teams in Jupiter, Greensboro, and New Orleans, this is an organization that will make an impact. Like it or not, Jeter gets it. He believes in the process he has developed with both Michael Hill, the team’s President of Baseball Operations and Gary Denbo, Miami’s Director of Player Development and Scouting.
Could Jeter, who has been deemed another version of former Miami owner Jeffrey Loria, be hailed a hero when all is said and done? That answer is a resounding, “Yes!”
Out with the old, in with hope and the future. It’s beginning to take shape. A tougher hitting ball club. A pitching staff that continues to scratch and claw despite its problems with inconsistency. If manager Don Mattingly can find five starters without constantly changing direction, these Marlins should win 70 games. If Hell does not trade the future of the organization at the deadline to help other playoff contenders, this could a team on the rise as early as a year from now.
Jeter has been pushing patience with the fan base and shunning national media, the ones that portray him as the savant without a clue. If the Atlanta Braves can take a major leap sooner than expected, why not these Marlins? If the growth process can work for the Chicago Cubs, Houston Astros and Cleveland Indians, why not these Marlins?
Miami and the rest of MLB take a breather for the All-Star Break starting tomorrow. It’s well deserved. When Jeter and his staff step back and look at what has happened in the past four months, they can be proud of the direction of the decisions that have been made. Not popular by many, built for a marathon, not a sprint.
These Marlins are moving forward. Jeter is the one leading the way.