Miami Marlins: Is It Time to Start Thinking About Next Season Already?
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For the second straight year, the city of Miami has hosted an experimental failure by combining superstars to form a "showstopping" team.
When the Miami Heat brought LeBron James and Chris Bosh to South Beach last season, the "305" was ecstatic over the possibility of bringing more NBA championships to the city. After failing to do so during their first year, the Heat bounced back and won the title the following season.
For the Miami Marlins, 2013 can't come soon enough.
With a brand new retractable roof stadium, new-look uniforms and a slate full of all-stars, the Marlins were expected to be a serious contender this season. Despite all of the new accolades, Miami fizzled out faster than you could say "Wayne Huizenga."
Closer Heath Bell, who was dynamite the past few seasons as a member of the San Diego Padres, has already blown six saves. Bell's inability to shut the door in save situations is only one of many flaws the Marlins have displayed this season.
After signing shortstop Jose Reyes to a six-year, $106 million contract in December, the Marlins have gotten nothing but mediocrity from him this season. His current .288 batting average isn't worth anything close to the amount of money the team is paying him.
Hanley Ramirez finally gave the Marlins all they could handle, and was shipped off to Los Angeles for basically nothing.
Josh Johnson hasn't shown any signs of consistency this season, but hasn't exactly gotten any run support either. The offense has been abysmal all season long and is near the bottom of every offensive stat in the majors.
Oh, and manager Ozzie Guillen has made more headlines for his "trademark" antics than his managerial skills. His colorful personality has shaped him as a person, but it's highly unlikely the Marlins' front office will keep paying him for his personality if he fails to win baseball games.
Guillen must get his team on the right track. Even if it means shutting his mouth for the entire season (which everyone knows is impossible), he must strictly be focused on baseball and nothing else.
It's hard to fathom that a team with so much talent, and such a promising future, could crash and burn so hard. Right now, Miami is 49-60 and is 17 games back of the first-place Washington Nationals. If the Marlins in played in the American League, they would be the 12th-best team out of 14.
Their -100 run differential is the third-worst in the National League, and with only 53 games left, the only thing left to do is throw in the white towel.
Not the rally towel, either.
In 2013, with a healthy Giancarlo Stanton back in the lineup and one horrible year of chemistry under their belts, the Marlins will hopefully regain the form they displayed in May when they won 21 games.
With the postseason out of the picture now, it's time for the Marlins to show their city that they still have heart. After all, as much money as the city of Miami put towards that new stadium, the least the team can do is win some games.
Could the Miami trend continue by the Marlins winning the World Series after their second year with an assortment of big name players?
It worked for the Heat.
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