As the final game of the World Series is played tonight, the 2019 MLB season comes to an end for the Marlins and the other 29 teams.
As players on the Miami Marlins roster watch the World Series come to an end, Major League Baseball closes another chapter on the Grand Ole Game. One game between the Washington Nationals and the Houston Astros to determine who walks away with glory and the other will wait for next season.
The Marlins ended their 2019 campaign with 57 wins, a new contract for Don Mattingly and plenty of questions about what direction the team will travel in 2020. It saw the rise of budding stars in Zan Gallen, who was traded, Isan Diaz, and Jordan Yamamoto. It also saw the end of an era as Martin Prado hit a home run in his final game in Miami.
There were bumps and bruises along the way, questionable calls and decisions and the constant volley of whether or not Derek Jeter knows what he is doing in the front office. If you haven’t taken a look at the loaded talent in the minor league system, then you can’t see the inroads this organization has taken to develop a contender in the next three seasons.
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The Marlins and 29 other teams have decisions to make about rosters, the coaching staff and player development. Free agency is soon upon us. The natives here in South Florida want to see the checkbook opened and money spent to bring a winner to this community. It’s something they deserve. They want the Marlins of old, the memories of teal and white and the hope that these prospects we have written about over the last eight months finally pay off.
Baseball is a game of hope. It starts in the backyard and little league fields. It’s about a dream that one day a little boy – or girl – becomes Brian Anderson or Jorge Alfaro. It’s about watching minor league games in 100-degree heat on a Sunday afternoon in Jacksonville, watching Yamamoto pitch a gem or watch Caleb Smith on a rehab assignment with youngsters getting a look at the parent club’s future.
That’s baseball, my friends. In its simplest form and its most beautiful grace. It’s the one place I feel at home and at peace, where the world around me in closed off. To hear the slap of the mitt and the smack of the bat. To hear the fans cheer for spectacular catches and even better walk-off moments. It’s romanticized and real all in one big package.
As the Marlins look toward next season and have hope for greater things, the MLB season becomes even once more after tonight. Thirty teams with one goal of winning that ring, to be called the best in the world. To watch our heroes become icons, to create family memories. We cherish this game and the team we support.
Regardless of the record and the unfulfilled dreams to date, the Marlins are still a team on the rise. I believe that. I watch and listen and ask questions and hope just like everyone else. I have also bought into the process and think it will work in time. We all just have to wait and see it through.
In the meantime, the sport we all love comes to an end tonight. And with it comes the hope of a better tomorrow for this organization.