Archive for the ‘Miami Marlins’ Category

Cincinnati Reds v Miami Marlins

2012 Record: 69-93, 5th NL East
2012 Pythagorean Record: 68-94
Impact Player: RF Giancarlo Stanton
Impact Pitcher: RHP Ricky Nolasco
Top Prospect: RHP Jose Fernandez 

Significant Acquisitions: RHP Henderson Alvarez, 3B Placido Polanco, LF Juan Pierre, SS Adeiny Hechavarria, RHP Jon Rauch, RHP Kevin Slowey, 1B Casey Kotchman, C Jeff Mathis, RHP Chad Qualls, RHP John Maine, IF Wilson Valdez, LHP Scott Maine, UT Matt Downs  

Significant Departures: SS Jose Reyes, RHP Josh Johnson, LHP Mark Buehrle, UT Emilio Bonifacio, 1B Carlos Lee, RHP Heath Bell, C John Buck, OF Scott Cousins, RHP Carlos Zambrano, RHP Chad Gaudin

With a brand new, publicly-funded stadium and a decent core of players like Giancarlo Stanton, Logan Morrison, Josh Johnson, Hanley Ramirez, and Anibal Sanchez, the Miami Marlins ownership—led by the detestable Jeffrey Loria—finally decided to spend some money on the Major League roster and committed $191-million to three free agents last winter. Those free agents—Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and Heath Bell—were supposed to turn an already decent up-and-coming team into a true contender.

Then everything went wrong. New manager Ozzie Guillen—whom the Marlins spend $10-million on and also sent to prospects to the White Sox to acquire—made some questionable decisions on and off the field and the stars of the team either got hurt or underperformed. Things went south quickly. In June, Miami sent Matt Dominguez and another prospect to Houston for first baseman Carlos Lee, thinking maybe it would turn around, but within a few weeks, they waved the white flag and began dismantling.

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Chicago White Sox v Seattle Mariners

The Chone Figgins era in Miami has come to end before it ever had a chance to begin. Figgins’ stock has taken quite a dive since he put up a 6.9 fWAR season with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in 2009. The 35-year old was employed by the Seattle Mariners since 2010 to the tune of four-years/$36 million, but he became a permanent fixture on the club’s bench last season, which led to his release in November.

The Miami Marlins signed Figgins to a minor league deal, which included an invite to Spring Training in February. Don’t cry for Chone Figgins, as he earned a lot of money over the last few years to more or less sit on the bench. It’s not necessarily the end of the line for Figgins as an MLB player, although, it probably is. Figgins hit .181/.262/.271 with two home runs in 194 plate appearances with the Mariners in 2012.

New York Yankees v Miami Marlins

It appears as though the lowly Miami Marlins are facing some difficulty in attracting fans in advance of the 2013 season. Maybe, just maybe, this due in large part to the club selling off nearly every serviceable asset, save for Giancarlo Stanton, in an effort to cut costs for their billionaire owner. According to the South Florida Sun Sentinel, the Marlins season ticket holder total has fallen from 12,000 in 2012 to under 5000 this year. How about that publicly funded neon ballpark? What a country.

The Marlins are so desperate for fans to attend the club’s home opener that they’re actually offering a free ticket to any game in April or May to anyone willing to pay for a ticket to the April 8th game versus the Atlanta Braves. As Chris Davis notes in the Sun Sentinel piece, Marlins fans that did not purchase a season ticket plan last season had to enter a lottery for a shot at attending the team’s inaugural home opener.

The free ticket offer reportedly applies to all sections of Marlins Park, with the “Home Plate Box” excluded. Seriously, Jeffrey Loria should just replace the Home Plate Box with a shark filled aquarium.

At least you still have Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins fans. Free Giancarlo Stanton.

Philadelphia Phillies v Miami Marlins

When single game tickets go on sale, you usually see a pretty good crowd show up on the first day, with the fans full of hope and promise.

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Not only did Jeffrey Loria get taxpayers to buy him a stadium, but they bought him the most expensive stadium ever built.

This what we call a “pull quote” from Deadspin’s post on the growing debacle that is the Marlins stadium financing. The Miami Herald did the heavy lifting, noting that the sticker price on Marlins Park is going to be significantly less than what the taxpayers of Miami-Dade county end up forking over for their beautiful new stadium.

The bonds used to pay for the stadium were issued at such a time that they will end up costing Miami more than billion dollars by the time they’re paid down. The entire thing is well beyond my paygrade but it certainly serves as a stark reminder that, hey, publicly funded stadia is always a bad deal. Who’d a thunk it? Jeffery Loria seems like such a stand-up guy.

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Free money and you get to do THIS all year!

As one might expect, the Miami Marlins’ ongoing efforts to bring their 2013 payroll as close to “zero” as possible is not going over well in the greater baseball community. The Marlins fans will voice their collective displeasure via deafening silence at Marlins Park this year.

The Major League Baseball Players Association — the membership of which might exceed the total number of Marlins season ticket holders — is equally disconcerted by the Marlins decision to eschew paying anybody much of anything. It isn’t as though the Marlins just closed up shop after trading away Josh Johnson, Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle this fall. They signed a few free agents, inking Juan Pierre to a one-year, $1.6 mil deal and Placido Polanco to another one-year deal, this one worth $2.75 million. That’s not nothing!

But the union is not happy, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. While the union is unlikely to follow-up with a grievance, their displeasure is well known. This isn’t the first time the Marlins and the MLBPA have gone down this road.

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It is easy to understand why a fan of the Miami Marlins might be conditioned to expect the worse. Like fans of the Toronto Raptors patiently awaiting their team’s fourth quarter collapse, Marlins fans just count the days between faces of the franchise being dumped for prospects. Life as a Marlins fan is just space between Ice Ages. Not totally unlike other teams, it is just the on a more condensed timeline.

After dumping their roster to the Blue Jays, Marlins fans now must contemplate life without Giancarlo Stanton, the biggest piece left for the Marlins to deal, should they see fit. Much has been made about Stanton’s relative levels of happiness, mostly without any actual input from the man himself. But the sharks continue circling, recognizing the Marlins trading Stanton is all but inevitable. SB Nation Marlins blog Fish Bites has the topic covered from multiple angles, only one of which is realistic.

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