Baseball is a Funny Sport: The Musings of a Miami Marlins Maniac

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLORIDA - MARCH 03: Peter O'Brien #45 of the Miami Marlins grounds out in the second inning against the Atlanta Braves during the Grapefruit League spring training game at Champion Stadium on March 03, 2019 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLORIDA - MARCH 03: Peter O'Brien #45 of the Miami Marlins grounds out in the second inning against the Atlanta Braves during the Grapefruit League spring training game at Champion Stadium on March 03, 2019 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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Isn’t it funny that on Opening Day every year, every fanbase of every team is convinced that this could be the year?

I know that the Miami Marlins aren’t supposed to be competitive in a very strong National League East Division in 2019. I know the other four teams are just loaded with an embarrassment of riches. I know that the Marlins farm system is better than it has been in years, but their success, and the system’s status is predicated on future production. And that the improved minor league system will yield positive results in two or three years, maybe.

On the other hand, I know that our exciting starting rotation is, for the most part, a success in abstract; a group of players that should do well in the regular season. I know that Don Mattingly‘s new dedication to aggressively attacking the basepaths could yield positive results in time, but a successful stolen base’s contribution to win expectancy pales in comparison to the negative result in a failed attempt. I know that the strikeout problems of Peter O’Brien, Lewis Brinson, Monte Harrison, and Sean Reynolds could be stemmed by aggressive retraining, but that would take years, and may not ever really be “fixed.”

Miami Marlins
WEST PALM BEACH, FL – MARCH 14: Chad Wallach #17 is congratulated by Dan Straily #58 of the Miami Marlins after he hit a third inning home run against the Houston Astros during a spring training game at The Fitteam Ballpark of the Palm Beaches on March 14, 2019 in West Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images) /

All that to say this – on Opening Day, all that’s out the window, and all that matters is today.

As a fan, we have to believe that the Miami Marlins will be successful at returning to the postseason this year. They will accomplish this by focusing, as every other team does, on just one game at a time – today’s game, as it were. You can only root for them one day at a time, anyway.

Any team can win against any other team on any given day. It’s the nature of regression that a great team will lose 60 games a season, and the law of averages that a terrible team will win 60 games a season. The line between success and failure is very fine. Every player on the Miami Marlins is a great player.

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In fact, every player on every team is great, as are every player in every minor league system across baseball. The reason there is failure is that in each in-game transaction between a great pitcher and a great batter, there will be a loser. Each plate appearance will generate a winner and a loser. Face it. Even the best players fail seven-times-in-10 to reach base with a safe base-hit.

The Miami Marlins are going to have a great season, one that is not predicted by the number of wins and losses, but in the time spent playing (and for us, watching) the greatest game in the world. So relax, let go a little, and enjoy America’s Pastime.

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