3.16.2007

"Wait, Is This One of the Years Where We Try to Win, Or Not?": 2007 Florida Marlins Season Preview

It must be exhausting to be a Marlins fan. They managed to win the 1997 championship, after five years of existence and immediately sold off the whole damn team. There were a few lean years as the organization and then they got back and won it all again in 2003, only to sell everybody off again. It's not hard to see why they have a hard time maintaining fans, but you have to respect a team that manages to get away with never signing big name free agent and still wining the occasional World Series. You know, as I was debating what to write in this post, I got to thinking about what that roster actually looked like in '97 and how they won. We all remember Gary Sheffield, but who else was there? Let's take a look...
C - Charles Johnson
1B - Jeff Conine
2B - Luis Castillo
SS - Edgar Renteria
3B - Bobby Bonilla
LF - Gary Sheffield
RF - Moises Alou
CF - Cliff Floyd/Devon White

Rotation: Kevin Brown, Al Leiter, Livan Hernandez, Alex Fernandez
Closer: Robb Nen
Wow, they certainly managed to get some guys at their peaks. Particularly Kevin Brown whose suddenly developed Scoliosis once he got out of Florida. Plus, Alex Fernandez won 17 games in 1997! Who, you ask? Well, Trout might remember because apparently he won 18 games for the southsiders in 1993. Anyway, he never came close to those numbers again and was soon sipping margaritas in Retirementville. Shit, they even had Nenn closing things out. And lest I not take advantage of mentioning the six-fingered wonder Antonio Alfonseca. Apparently, according to his Wikipedia page (the ultimate source on everything), his nickname back in the Dominican Republic is "El Pulpo" (the Octopus). So, yeah. This was a really solid team (obviously) of some up-and-comers and some players just hitting their peak.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that it seems like the Marlins have decided to use the basic rules of economics to succeed on a budget. Basically, "buy low, sell high" is all you need to know. They buy appreciating assets at then move them when the market is ripe. Contrast that with the Yankees who have gotten burned with the likes of Carl Pavano and the aforementioned Kevin Brown, guys whose stock can only go down.

Of course, the 2007 incarnation of the Marlins is no different. They have two established veterans, Dontrelle Willis and Miguel Cabrera (a legitimate superstar) and a bunch of young bucks. By the way, before I move on, did you know that Cabrera is only 23? Well, at least he claims to be only 23. The rest of the guys all have a full year under their belts and should be choping at the bit to get this one under way. Plus, I really can't help but love Hanley Ramirez' headshot. He just seems like he's thinking "Nobody will know, but I'm not wearing any pants right now." Past Willis they have this Sanchez kid who threw the no-hitter last year. Yeah, I think this will be a fun team to watch. Maybe even more fun because they appear to have nobody to close out games. Zoinks!

Now, the Marlins will be fun to watch, but where will they finish? Honestly, I think their one huge mistake was getting rid of Joe Girardi. He really pulled the team together and the young guys respected him. Will Fredi Gonzalez get the same out of the players? Who knows. Prediction: the Marlins won't win this division, but I think they'll be in the race for the Wild Card until the very end.

13 comments:

Tittle500 said...

Joe Girardi

2nd only to Kevin Maas in my all-time greatest players list.

A Cub. A Yankee. A cub. A Yankee again..... I love that man... and he hosted an awesome kids show I used to watch with my Dad on the YES network.

Btw... if you are looking for good, unbiased baseball reporting, look no further than YES!

trout said...

I do not like that picture of Alfonseca's stubby, gnarled sixth finger. Creepy.

Alex Fernandez, along with Wilson Alvarez, Black Jack McDowell, Jason Bere, and Roberto Hernandez were freaking AWESOME in 1993. You best recognize. (Do people say that anymore? Did people ever really say that? Probably not...). Anyway, check out the pitching staff's incredibly good 1993 stats here:
http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/CHW/1993.shtml

That was the beginning of my love affair with the Sox... freaking Blue Jays had to bounce the Sox in the playoffs. Funny thing is, I didn't connect that to Frank Thomas now playing for the Jays until just now. Freaking traitor. (Freaking).

Notorious B.O.B. said...

Oh that rotation was wonderful. Like you Brian, that was about the time I really started getting into baseball. In '93 they had all these collector cups w/ all the stars on the team on em. I had Black Jack, Alex Fernandez, Frank, Carlton Fisk, and Robin Ventura.

Oh how I loved that team. I went to soxfest '94 and was way to lazy to wait 4 hrs to get guys like Craig Greyback's autograph but my parents got me a few guys autographs that they ran into at the bar.

Why am I telling you this pointless story you ask? Because Im bored at work and the memories of the '93 team are fond. But anyways I got Roberto Hernandez's (Hes still pitching?), Darrin Lewis, Darrin Jackson (I should rub it off the ball), and Mr. Ozzie fucking Guillen.

At the time it was a pretty sad excuse for a signed baseball but the Ozzie autograph has appreciated nicely.

Fin

Gage said...

Well, we all have stories...

trout said...

Oh, come on, Gage, wax nostalgic about Chris Sabo. You know you want to.

Notorious B.O.B. said...

Ok just for that I'm telling another '93 White Sox story. That season my dad and I went to a game and had awesome seats through his work. Which didn't matter since the game was in rain delay and it was a week night so everyone left.

But we waited it out even though we were down like 5-0 going into the delay. But once the game restarted the late inning heroics of one Craig Greybeck (previously mentioned) and his two HRs won the game. He was Craig Counsil before there was a Craig Counsil! He averaged about 5-6 HRs a year but brought the lumber for that rain delay game. I have no other memory of the game except Craig Greybeck's big balls.

Also, possible idea I'm tossing around for my blog entry (oh, I didn't forget) is a running diary of our fantasy draft. It will basically consist of me ripping all your picks and me patting myself on the back for mine. It will be the balls.

Fin

Tittle500 said...

I remember the 1993 Indianapolis 500 very well. I went to a different catholic church than I usually did so that I could go to an earlier mass than usual. This allowed me to get home about 3 hours before the actual race began. Just the perfect amount of time to cool my nerves and read the fuck out of the Indy Star race preview. Then Danny Sullivan went on to finish dead last. 33rd. Even worse than my own Little 500 results years later.

Also... 1993 was the last year that Kevin Maas played for the Yankees as a member of the Major Leagues. You may remember that he hit .205 that year. I remember each one of those hits well.

Also II... I was 11. And I was really fucking cool. That year I was on the Klondike Red team. I played outfield and rode on the bench while Trout was an all-star. Imagine that.... talk about a reversal of athletic fortunes.

Trout may have had more tallies on the "Its getting hotta, bitch" board... but I'd take him to school now.

Which is funny... because he is still in school... and I'm working in the real world buying airline tickets. Fucking hoes. You know. Rolling.

fin

Tittle500 said...

Bob... you can certainly have fun with my picks.... My team will have as many cubs as possible.

trout said...

wait, are you claiming you would take me to school on the court or on the marathon-running pavement? i'll give you the latter, but i'll still put up tallies on your scrawny ass in the former.

Notorious B.O.B. said...

Man, Kevin Fuckin' Maas. That name brings me back to my baseball card collecting days. He was supposed to be the next Mickey Mantle so when his rookie card came out they were selling for alot. keep in mind, alot, when you're 12 is like $10.

But anyways I remember finding a Kevin Maas Upper Deck Rookie - in Faggity USA Olympics uni - and thinking that was just about as good as it gets in life...and it pretty much held true.

But poor Kevin Maas pulled a Scott Ruffcorn and pooped his pants in the bigs.

I hope you draft you draft both Wood & Prior in the late rounds thinking you're getting a steal. I will enjoy making fun of you silly Cub's fans.

Tittle500 said...

late rounds??? you mean 1 and then 2?

of course!

Gage said...

What about Ben Sheets?

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