Getting to know the 2015 Miami Marlins

In the last 20 years, there have been four Major League baseball franchises that have won multiple World Series championships: New York Yankess (5), San Franciscio Giants (3), Boston Red Sox (2), and…. the Florida (now Miami) Marlins (2).

When you think about this franchise, your first thought is them dumping players and salaries, and being perhaps a bit of a “shady” organization. In 2013, Miami made a blockbuster deal with the Toronto Blue Jays that looked like a steal for the Jays. But in hindsight, maybe Miami was onto something. Here is that trade summary:

Toronto Traded:

shortstop Yunel Escobar,
infielder Adeiny Hechavarria,
right-handed pitcher Henderson Alvarez,
veteran backup catcher Jeff Mathis,
outfielder Jake Marisnick,
left-handed pitcher Justin Nicolino
and right-handed pitcher Anthony DeSclafani.

for (Miami traded):

shortstop Jose Reyes,
right-hander Josh Johnson,
left-hander Mark Buehrle,
catcher John Buck,
infielder/outfielder Emilio Bonifacio
and cash considerations.

What Miami did was dump over $200 million in guaranteed salary for Adeiny Hechavvaria (their current starting SS), Henderson Alvarez (now a key component in their rotation), some other castoffs and some cash. In turn, they took that money and used it on signing their key young prospects, especially Giancarlo Stanton, who they just signed for 13 years and $325 million.

The Miami fans were pissed, but it’s now turning out to be a Miami steal, and not the other way around. The way Miami had it figured in 2013/14 was they weren’t going to make the playoffs anyway with these players and their payrolls, so they might as well move them for some prospects and use that money to sign Stanton.

The Marlins build prospects, win a championship, and them dump their players for money. And then they start rebuilding again. They perhaps are not as dumb an organization as I originally judged and thought.

And what did Toronto get for that trade?: Josh Johnson was the key and he bombed as he got hurt from his opening start and didn’t do a thing (perhaps Miami knew that). John Buck was moved to pick up R.A. Dickie’s knuckleball catcher. Bonifacio lasted half a season as he couldn’t play on Toronto’s artificial surface. Buerhle is Buerhle and fine, but any team would rather have Alvarez instead. And Jose Reyes? He’s okay, but for all the money he’s making, Toronto could have 3 similair in production players on their payroll for the price of one Reyes.

So Miami is now ripe for the picking in getting that Wildcard spot. And what happens when the Marlins get a Wildcard spot? They win the World Series. 2 for 2 in playoff appearances.

This team should scare the rest of the National League. Young players and a terrific starting rotation.

Game 7 World Series 2014

Wow! Perhaps one of the greatest achievements in sports happened last night with the performance of Madison Bumgarner. And the amazing thing is that this guy is to casual.

Last night after the game one of the MLB.com guys, who was interviewing him, told Madison that he’s one of the greats. And Madison just smiled and said. “Thank you for saying that.”

Perhaps he doesn’t know what he’s done. 3 wins in one World Series. Threw over 290 pitches. Gave up 1 run in over 20 innings pitched. And the most amazing thing of all is he did something that pitchers aren’t allowed to do anymore – he pitched on 2 days rest. He took the ball in the 5th inning and rode his team all the way to the World Series.

The guy is so hard not to like. Wow!

The funniest moment of the night was the heavy set GM guy giving Madison a brand new Chevy truck during the MVP presentation. He seemed so nervous and started mumbling things like “It’s got awesome stuff. “And, you know, things like that.” I thought he was going to pass out. Don’t know if it’s a YouTube viral moment, but it sure was funny.

And I have to admit, I like the way FOX presents a baseball game. Joe Buck has always been a favorite of mine, plus I don’t mind Harold Reynolds at all. Yes, he talks too much, but he’s figure it out next year. But the way they direct a game is solid.

My top 10 GAME 7s in my lifetime I was fortunate to watch live:

10. 1997 World Series Marlins/Indians
9. 1988 NBA Finals Lakers/Pistons
8. 2003 ALCS Yankees/Red Sox
7. 1986 World Series Mets/Red Sox
6. 2012 NHL Playoffs Bruins/Capitals
5. 1998 NBAL East Finals Bulls/Pacers
4. 2004 ALCS Red Sox/Yankees
3. 2014 World Series Giants/Royals
2. 2001 World Series Diamonbacks/Yankees
1. 1991 World Series Twins/Braves