The Miami Marlins open the 2020 MLB season against the Philadelphia Phillies on the road tonight and we couldn’t be happier about it.
The Miami Marlins and Philadelphia Phillies are part of a 14-game schedule today and the rest of Major League Baseball begins their 60-game season in 2020.
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, BASEBALL IS BACK!
This might not be the season you wanted. It might not be the best situation as we are still dealing with COVID-19 and fears around the world. But for tonight, everything seems to be in order. The Marlins embark on a season they believe can end in a playoff berth. After the expansion of the playoffs was approved for 2020, anything can happen.
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“And as everyone who has watched the Miami Marlins in their two World Series runs, it usually does under the odds “The ‘Why not us?’ is, ‘Why not us getting hot right away?’” shortstop Miguel Rojas said via MLB.com. “Like in Spring Training. In Spring Training, we went [12-7] and we won a lot of games in a row.”
The Marlins are counting on Rojas to help this roster, which is young and still developing. Players who were brought in this offseason, Jonathan Villar, Jesus Aguilar, and Corey Dickerson, will be called on immediately to set the tone for the season with third baseman Brian Anderson and catcher Jorge Alfaro.
As I have talked with friends down in South Florida, the narrative the Marlins front office hasn’t changed. While this is still a work in progress and the foundation has been built and parts have been added this offseason, there is a feeling the roster manager Don Mattingly and his staff has put together can be a contender this season.
Is it a bit premature? That depends on who you talk to. There is talent at all four levels of this organization, with each stop along the way to the Majors another reason why those of us who doubted Derek Jeter two seasons ago may be eating crow in another year or two.
The move by MLB to expand the playoffs this season, adding more excitement to the track meet we are about to witness makes me and other Marlins fans even more excited to see what happens tonight.
“The Marlins base their confidence on a blossoming pitching staff filled with power arms and a revamped lineup that includes three proven veteran additions,” Joe Frisaro writes.
“Still, to make the leap from last place in the National League in 2019 (57-105) to reaching the playoffs will require many things to fall into place.”
But it can happen. The league office has made changes to make this season more exciting. It needed to. And if the changes – which include the designated hitter in both leagues – and a deeper roster, don’t get you just the little bit excited, then hopefully the team’s presence on the field will.
In just a few hours, the Miami Marlins will play their first game. It’s enough to make many of us who have been waiting for this moment fight back those onions we hate dealing with. But most of all it means this sport is back and normalcy may happen.
Either way, it will be great to see players on the field and games that mean something. The way it should be.