The long cold winter has come to a close for Miami Marlins fans.
Sometime today, Miami Marlins pitchers and catchers report to the Spring Training Complex in Jupiter, FL, in preparation for the upcoming slate of warm ups for the main event.
Pitchers and catchers, by the way, comprise nearly 60 percent of the players who are required today. There are 21 pitchers on the 40-man roster, joined by three catchers. Another four catchers will join the club for ST reps, along with 10 more pitchers.
That’s not to say the only players who will show up today are just pitchers and catchers. A lot of these players are as hard up for some baseball as we are here at Marlin Maniac.
Regardless of that, the other 26 Marlins, including 10 infielders, 13 outfielders, Jon Berti, Sean Rodriguez, and Brian Anderson, are not required to show until Monday for the first full-squad workout.
Our first look at an actual baseball game will have to wait until February 22nd, when the Marlins will visit the New York Mets spring complex in Port St. Lucie for a 1:10 PM EST gametime. And don’t forget, baseball’s regular season opening day is still about six weeks off, when all 30 teams get into the season on March 26th.
I’m tired of rumors and free agency talk and who’s a non-roster invitee and who has options left and ZIPS projections, aren’t you? Baseball’s a beautiful game that coexists with (in spite of) statistics.
The simple thing that drew me to baseball as a young child was the symmetry of every statistic. For every home run, there’s a pitcher who wishes he had that pitch back. For every strikeout, there’s a batter who’s disappointed in himself. This game of inches can be measured in years or in seconds. Were your heroes from some long-gone era actually better than the crop we have today? Do they really “not make them like they used to?”
For six months, the Boys of Summer hold court, and 29 teams begin the season with hopes of being better than they were last season. The Washington Nationals, of course, will hope to replicate their recent success. The Marlins hope to put a kink in their plan, but that’s not their main goal.
Everyone who’s an “expert” across the blogosphere, and every talking head on the MLB Network will tell you that these Miami Marlins don’t stand a chance. Isn’t it great that they actually play the games, though? Tell me you’re not secretly hopeful that the Marlins will outperform everyone’s wildest expectations and remain in the playoff race until the end.
They say anything can happen, and that is why they play the games after all. If the Marlins outperform and head into the trade deadline within five games of the playoffs, could they possibly become buyers at this still-early stage of this particular “rebuild?”
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I know for a lot of you, the answer to that particular question is a flat “no,” and the comment section will probably reflect some permutation of “What are you smoking, Maniac?”
But Spring Training is when we really shouldn’t be worrying about how the Marlins “can’t compete.” These 64 players in camp are amongst the best in the world, believe it, and they definitely have it in them to leave it all out on the field. Can this team compete? Of course they can. Can they get into the playoffs? Experts say no, but I’m not an expert. And wouldn’t it just be something?
Thanks for reading this rambling, nearly incoherent rant on the state of the Marlins. Keep checking here for all the latest in Miami Marlins news.