This recent set of games has been a reunion of sorts. Remember back in 2003 when the Marlins defeated the Yankee$ in 6 games to take the whole enchilada? That’s ok, no one in the media seems to remember either – and why would they? There is no one left from that team that is still on the Marlins.
Mike Lowell, Josh Beckett and Brad Penny (huh?) are now all on the Red Sox. We just ran into them and they took two games from the Fish before letting them escape town with a merciful 2-1 rain shortened win. It is good to see the old fish having success, even if it is with another team.
Which brings us to another ex-Marlin, Joe Girardi. He brings his Yankees to town this weekend for a Father’s Day super-duper matchup series. And every New Yorker posing in Miami will be out in full force complete with gold chains, overly tight black shirts and douche-like hair and attitudes. Probably sporting a Yankee cap or two with alternate colors, like orange and red or something.
Despite the New Yorkers coming out like cockroaches, is there any other reason to not like the Yankees coming to town? At least the front office will have a chance to make some cash this weekend, probably upwards of 30% of their total revenue on the season – so as a lowly Marlins fan, I would like to thank the Yankees for keeping our doors open.
But let’s get back to Girardi for a second – should we be rooting for this guy? After all, he came to Miami to take over in the post-McKeon era and got started by implementing some Yankee rules like no facial hair and arguing with the team management. Jeffrey Loria, by the way, was a part-owner in the Yankees at one time and hails from NYC as an art dealer. Girardi though won 2006 manager of the year with the Marlins, leading the team to a 78-84 record. After a public blowup with the front office at a game, allegedly telling owner Jeffrey Loria to calm down after yelling at an ump for his pitch calling, Girardi was gone.
Seemed like Girardi was leading the Marlins up the totem pole again giving us a credible manager at the helm. I for one was extremely excited the day we got Girardi as a manager for this franchise – he was one of the “young” managing talents mentioned around baseball. Then there was his player management – he almost ended Josh Johnson’s career early on by bringing him back out after a rain delay. The rain delay was an hour and in a game against the Mets that proved crucial for the Marlins that season. To be fair, Mets’ pitcher Oliver Perez was also brough back into th game. Johnson, however, would get Tommy John surgery in the offseason and that was one of the reasons cited for Girardi’s dismissal. Ironically, the Yankees will be facing Johnson this weekend.
It was a mixed year for Girardi. He was given his first opportunity to manage, and in the National League where played most of his years, but instead of coming in with a team that could contend the players where scrapped down to a $15M payroll that season just after his committment to the franchise was made. Nevertheless, the focus was on winning with that ballclub.
So this weekend we get to relive the memories of the litle Marlins overcoming the massive Yankee force in the playoffs (remember, they got there with Aaron “Bleeping” Boone’s home run miracle – who eventually played for the Yankees himself). But we also get to remember that most of those players are gone and the manager that once started here is back in the visiting dugout. We will be constantly reminded of it by the charming fans from New York that always seem to come out to games here in Miami just for the sake of torturing the rest of us who live in south Florida. Play ball.