What will the Marlins be able to accomplish once the start of the Major League Baseball season begins?
The decision by Major League Baseball to push back the start of the 2020 season has already had an impact on all 30 teams and the fans waiting for the games to start. Marlins fans are eagerly waiting to see if what this team showed everyone in a sample size of games will carry over to contests that matter.
As of last week, Spring Training games were halted, facilities were shut down, players were sent home. It now appears everybody is in a holding pattern, waiting for word that once again we will be able to see the beauty of balls and strikes at a ballpark near you. And in Marlins Park, it means the continuation of hope that winning will become the new norm.
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There was already success of the diamond as Mark Bowman of MLB.com points out.
"“From Day 1 of Spring Training, Miami’s front office and coaching staff preached competition. The players took the message to heart, which resulted in camp being among the most successful the organization has had in years. It was reflected by the club’s 12-6-2 Grapefruit League record and the intensity of the play,” he wrote."
It was an interesting start to what many believe will be the best season in Miami of the Derek Jeter era. Plenty of new faces, plenty of expectations. Don Mattingly has his best team in camp since 2017. There is an energy that this club has, which makes me and others think this could be a special season, even if the team does not make the playoffs.
There should be an impact on each team in the National League East division as there are plenty of uncertainties about how everything will fall into place once baseball ramps up once more. Everyone in the Marlins organization is waiting to prove this beginning in February and March was just the start of something, but just a brief interlude from what has happened the previous two seasons.
"“Manager Don Mattingly often says baseball is a game of adjustments. The challenge for the Marlins’ coaching staff and players will be how they transition back into action,” Bowman added. “Will they be clicking the same way they were when spring was halted?”"
It’s a question predicated on the players in camp getting back up and showing the same kind of success they started with. The worst thing about the work stoppage was momentum was lost. Mattingly and his coaching staff must help his players find that rhythm that proved to be the elixir this spring.
The Marlins have a team that is young, sprinkled in with veterans for balance. Those youngsters are the ones who will be the centerpiece of this roster for years to come. If Miami finds the same kind of pace it did to start Spring Training when play resumes, this could be an exciting season.
If the team takes a step backward, with the time away proving to be a real negative influence, it could be a long and hot summer in Miami.
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