It’s April 27th and the Florida-Joe-Robbie-Stadium-Miami Marlins sit at an underwhelming 7-11. For those of you keeping track of the National League East standings that would be the record of a last place team.
I’ll give you this moment to scream “its early” before I continue. Feel better?
Fact is, it isn’t that early anymore. We’re heading into May and the Phillies are starting to play better, the Nationals have the best record in baseball, the Braves have the fifth best mark in either league, and the New York Mets, haven’t bought into preseason opinion (mine included) that they are the worst team in this division, sit at a hard fought 11-8.
After the “its early” talk has settled the next line of defense is to blame the manager, right? Okay lets look at it this way, pre-Castro flare up the Marlins were 2-3, during the suspension 2-3, and since he’s returned 3-5 including a current five-game losing streak.
Nope, definitely not the manager. They have losing records in all three “mini-era’s” and we didn’t even include the 11-14 Spring Training record.
Lets look at this team for what they really appear to be: a team that isn’t ready for prime-time despite the glitz of the new stadium and shiny new acquisitions. They were 72-90 last season (also good for last place in the east) and expected Jose Reyes, Mark Buerhle, and Heath Bell to turn a 72-win ball club into a 90+ win contender; forgetting the combined 2011 WAR for the three players shipped in totaled 11.2.
As stated, the Marlins are currently on a five-game losing streak. The significance of that can’t be understated because so far their only series wins have come against the Houston Astros and the Chicago Cubs; two teams who are a combined 12 games under .500. The series losses have come against the team they are supposed to surpass for divisional supremacy (Phillies), an upstart for contention within their division (Marlins), the supposed heir to the cellar (Mets) and a Cincinnati team with more questions than answers on the mound.
Bright side? The good citizens of Miami don’t have to be witnesses to bad baseball because the Marlins are 5-2 at home. Unfortunately simple math reveals they are 2-9 on the road.
Hype was the only thing not lacking in Miami during the off-season and we all bought into it (again, myself included). But the beauty of sports is every now and then we are allowed a mulligan, right? No? Okay fine, but I will say I should have just stuck with my gut and realized that despite the flash and glamour this was the same team that finished 18 games below .500 and turned themselves into a .500 team at best.
So please, have a heart? Consider that mulligan, won’t you?