The Miami Marlins have been known to the let the walls fall down immediately after putting them up.
Case in point: the team’s last two World Series victories. In the first title run, it was see you later Garry Shefield, Moises Alou, Kevin Brown and Bobby Bonilla. After a second championship, Carlos Delgado, Mike Lowell and Josh Beckett were all asked to pack their bags. During both “fire sales,” Miami did change hands in ownership and looked to rebuild, watching players such as Miguel Cabrera and Dan Uggla also find new homes. As frustrated fans watched the Miami Heat go out and get the likes of LeBron James and Chris Bosh, winning an NBA championship one year after obtaining the superstars, their baseball team was back to their old ways of extreme ups and even more extreme downs.
The seats of the once sold out Sun Life Stadium were empty. The team’s faithful followers simply quit believing. Miami management used its usual solution for this reoccurring problem, though, throwing more money at the troubled franchise. So one multi-million dollar new stadium later and a fresh, new name change, gave us the Miami Marlins. A new start and a new hope was marketed to Fish fans as the front office frivolously spent its newly acquired cash to obtain highly touted free agents like Jose Reyes, Mark Buerhle and Heath Bell.
With the addition of three new stars, a snazzy new stadium and a rebranded image, the Marlins had some high hopes for 2012. However, as in the past, the wheels fell off. Players under performed. Newly-hired manager Ozzie Guillen was more of a headache than a leader. The latest fire sale could be seen from miles away. The blazes began with a blockbuster trade that could easily trump the monster move of 1998 that sent Sheffield, Bonilla, Charles Johnson and Jim Eisenreich to the Dodgers for Mike Piazza (traded to the Mets just months laters) and Todd Zeile. Miami showed its former colors, shipping Reyes, Buerhle, Josh Johnson and John Buck to the Toronto Blue Jays for practically peanuts. The trade, which actually followed another deal that landed Bell in Arizona, was Miami’s white flag. They clearly weren’t going to continue down the path that saw them finish dead last in the N.L. East in 2012. (more…)