Marlins Fans Left Searching For Positives

In a season that began with much promise, the fans from the Florida Marlins have been left unsatisfied and disappointed again. In April, the Marlins were hoping to have a solid rotation with ace Josh Johnson, Ricky Nolasco, and Anibal Sanchez anchoring it. Newly acquired Javier Vasquez was to join them along with Chris Volstad to secure the bottom of the rotation.

After dominant starts in the first few weeks, Johnson developed a spotlight around him nationally, only to go down with an apparent right shoulder injury in May. He’s been out and on the DL ever since. Sanchez was solid in the first half of the season and arguably could have been on the All Star team. But since the break, he hasn’t been good at all and perhaps the work load and pressure became too much for him. Nolasco, Volstad, and Vasquez have been extremely inconsistent throughout the season and in result the bullpen for the Fish have taken a hit in many of their starts.

As far as position players go, former NL Rookie of the Year, Chris Coghlan was expected to roam centerfield and solidify a young but talented outfield along with Logan Morrison and Mike Stanton. Hanley Ramirez, the most notable superstar on the team was an extreme disappointment and left Marlins fans frustrated throughout the season.

The Marlins started the season under Edwin Rodriguez, who impressed the infamous Loria/Sampson tag team after completing an interim position to end the 2010 season. During the struggles through the tough month of June (5-23), Rodriguez called it quits and in came 80 year old Jack McKeon to attempt to save the day. Marlins started the season with a manager who managed fewer than 100 ballgames in his career to “Trader Jack”, who had been a part of over 2,000 major league games in 15 seasons.

There is plenty more to complain about like Leo Nunez and his 4.63 ERA, other bullpen failures, or even the grumblings that go on in the management of this team. But I will choose to look into the positives (and I had to search …hard).

Mike Stanton. As of August 24 th, Stanton is 2 nd in the NL with 30 homeruns. His raw power has been exciting to watch and, honestly, gives me reason to watch these games. Since Mike has made his debut in June of 2010, he has 52 homers in 221 games and became the 11 th fastest player to reach 50 homeruns (216 games). In the beginning of the season, it was either a homerun or a strikeout for him. But within the last month or two in the season, Stanton has gained a patience that has shown in his walk numbers and now leads the team with 57 bases on balls.

Emilio Bonifacio has been someone who brought unexpected great play this season. It mostly came when McKeon took over and gave the green light to Emilio and allowed him to have the freedom to steal bases when he was on. Throughout July, he was on a lot while going through a 26 game hit streak, one of the best in franchise history.

There is a lot to look forward to next season with the Marlins opening up a new ballpark and apparently going into the offseason willing to spend big money. As a Marlins fan my whole life, it seems I enter each season with optimism and a positive look towards the upcoming season. This year, has been especially tough because of the talent that was supposed to be out there from the get go.

So I stand before any Marlins fans out there in the world, and tell you to keep your head up. Get through this wasted season and hope that Management can pull through for a fan base that shrinks by the year. Winning apparently puts fans in the seats, so let’s hope next year is filled with packed ballgames and victories. Until then, look for positives … if you can find them.

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