A reunion with ex-Marlins resurrects some proper perspectives about the Marlins franchise
In November of 2005, Carlos Delgado was shipped off to the New York Mets. It was a deal that seemed to be made out of necessity, as the Marlins brass kept using the term ‘market correction’ in their rhetoric when discussing the move. And the possibility of future moves were painted in this light.
The media, as typical when regarding the Marlins, decided to smirk at this particular phrase, pointing out that the Marlins franchise have this sort of thing in their history, in their blood.
What they forgot to mention is that in the ’97 meltdown and fire sale, it was a different regime and a different owner that was calling the shots. Dave Dombrowski, then Marlins GM (and now GM for the Detroit Tigers), was forced to do it by his owner Wayne Huizenga – who continued on the path for the fire sale despite a heart felt plea from players Al Leiter, Moises Alou, and even Alex Fernandez to re-structure their contracts to keep the championship team together.
Loria and his bunch tried their best after the ’03 season and continued to keep as much of the core in-tact as they could, given their revenue constraints, for the next two seasons.
Then reality set in.
So Delgado was gone; Lowell, Beckett, Lo Duca, Encarnacion. Mota. Todd Jones. AJ Burnett (was he ever really here to begin with?). The list goes on.
There is an interesting quote from Paul Lo Duca that not only supports the current Marlins front office, but is sympathetic to their cause.
“I know Jeffrey didn’t want to do this, he’s a great person and a fan of the game, too. It’s just something where you don’t get a stadium, you’re losing a lot of money, and it’s a decision he had to make. He couldn’t avoid it. The organization is taking too much heat for it. It’s really a stadium issue. If they had a stadium, we’d still have the same team.”
This quote was taken from the Miami Herald. Which is amazing considering that the Herald has seemed to turn a blind eye whenever discussing anything related to the Marlins’ plea for a stadium.
Nevertheless, it is striking that Paul Lo Duca (at least according to a reader of the Herald and Sun-Sentinel may be concerned) is so supportive of the Marlins front office and what they had to do. Not just what they chose to do.
So it is that tonight, the new Marlins will face the Mets – who have several old Marlins on their roster. Ramon Castro, Paul Lo Duca, Carlos Delgado, Cliff Floyd. Castro was a member of that ’03 championship team. In fact, it was Castro that was supposed to be the replacement for Pudge once he left for the money in Detroit. That didn’t work out and Lo Duca was later traded for to help patch that void. And Delgado was essentially Derek Lee’s replacement – after Lee was let go following the championship season of ’03 since the Marlins didn’t have enough money to re-sign the entire team and keep them in place. Now, the Marlins couldn’t afford to keep Delgado either.
Yet, it is Cliff Floyd that can probably relate some to this new crop of Marlins – being that he was on that championship ’97 team and stayed behind to help rebuild with that ’98 team. The embarassment of being called the World Champions and still managing to lose 101 games.
So, there is a lot of issues and memories that can be stirred up here with tonight’s meeting. A lot of similarities in the sense that some things, at least for the Marlins, never seem to change.
Here’s hoping to change. May the Marlins finally start to get things right and get the means to do so. That is the wish, it seems, even of their former players.
And let’s start by beating the stinkin’ Mets!