Miami Marlins: Baseball is back tonight against Baltimore

Can the Miami Marlins pick up where they left off eight days ago and start winning baseball games again?

Can the Miami Marlins put the past eight days behind them and start over? That’s the $64,000 question on fans’ minds as they get set to take on the Baltimore Orioles tonight in their first game since COVID-19 affected the team’s makeup and has caused the organization to shut down the operation on the field.

According to Swings and Mishes, “The Marlins added 8 players who’ve been with the club since Spring Training to the 30-man roster — Monte Harrison, Matt Joyce, Jordan Yamamoto, Lewis Brinson, Eddy Alvarez, Josh A. Smith, Ryan Lavarnway, and Jorge Guzman.”

The redesign of the roster, coupled with the moves the team made this past week to add veterans to the 60-man pool should give manager Don Mattingly enough depth to keep the team competitive while it tries to overcome a huge gap in the number of games played this season.

The Miami Marlins are still 2-1 and have a .677 winning percentage. That’s something to build on.

According to MLB.com, “On Wednesday, the teams will play a doubleheader with seven-inning contests beginning at 5:05 p.m. The second game will begin approximately 30 minutes after the first game concludes. The Orioles will serve as the home team for Game 1, while the Marlins will serve as the home team for Game 2. The teams will meet in a series finale on Thursday, August 6, at 7:35 p.m. with the Marlins serving as the home team.”

If there was a time for someone to take the reins of the offense and make a statement that the ball club is ready to challenge for a playoff berth, let’s hope it begins tonight. I am curious to see what Harrison and Brinson do this week, especially since just before the regular season Mattingly and his coaching staff believed Harrison needed more time in the system and Brinson hasn’t panned out over the past two years.

This is a chance for the Marlins to once again make believers out of the national media that still believes this is a baseball team that is another year or two away from making a huge splash across the MLB landscape.

And hopefully, the talk of COVID-19 and the finger-pointing will come to an end.

“The Marlins appeared to be doing everything right before the season began. They had no positive tests during Summer Camp,” writes David Salituro of FanSided.com.

“While in Atlanta, [Derek] Jeter says some of them went out to get coffee and clothes; one had dinner at a teammates’ house without any other guests. But there were no visits to bars or clubs. He recognizes, though, that the club might not have been taking the protocols seriously enough.”

Now, there is a clean slate and the franchise can rectify what has happened, good or bad, by just winning baseball games. This could still be one of the best stories in the Majors this season and a run toward the playoffs – if possible – would add to a Hollywood story no one else could have thought of.

There hasn’t been a winning season in Miami since 2009. There hasn’t been a playoff berth since 2003. With everything against the organization right now and the team regrouping, it’s the kind of situation that makes me think something big is about to happen.

I just hope the “big” thing is something successful, not a potential set back once again.