Of the Marlins' all-time top 25 players, by WAR -- Realmuto ranks 16th -- 23 have now been traded away, rather than held onto until they reached free agency. The other two truly are the exceptions that prove the rule: A.J. Burnett and the Marlins hated each other by the end, but Burnett made it to free agency because the "much-discussed" deal to send him to Baltimore "hit a snag" when the Marlins kept trying to throw more of their players into the swap. The other, Jose Fernandez, died in a boat crash before reaching free agency. The Marlins had tried to trade him too, according to former team president David Samson; it was the other team, Samson claimed recently, that stopped the deal.
This is not normal. The Rockies, who debuted as a franchise the same year the Marlins did, have held onto nine of their all-time top 25 through free agency or retirement, and an additional four of those 25 are still on their roster. The expansion Diamondbacks have traded only 14 of their all-time 25, and even the notoriously proactive Rays have kept seven of their all-time top 25 through free agency. The Marlins are genuinely weird. They trade everybody.
Every trade tells a story. But these 23 trades together tell three bigger stories. That's the first one: The Marlins are weird, all the time. In their own way they're the most stable franchise in baseball, because their weirdness is a permanent state. Each of these trades, on its own, could be justified for baseball or financial reasons, but none of these trades any longer stands on its own. They're all part of the ongoing story of the Marlins: Whoever owns them, whoever runs them, becomes, by definition, Florida Man.
I was thinking of taking my daughter to a Red Sox spring training game this year while we are in Florida (we're Tigers fans but For Myers is much closer to the in-laws house than Lakeland is) but when I looked up the spring training schedule there were no games to be had after March 26th and we don't get down to Florida until the 31st. I thought that must be a mistake so I looked up when opening day was this year and saw that it's March 28th.
Didn't MLB learn their lesson last season after all the weather delays and cancellations in April for teams in the Midwest? Why start the season even earlier this year?
1. Cut the season back to 154 games (or schedule more doubleheaders), and start the season later.
2. Try to schedule the first series or two in areas generally not affected by snow in early/mid April. Might be unfair to the northern/midwestern teams, but it'll even out for them at the end of the season with the last few series.
3. Get rid of the wild card.
4. Get rid of the DH.
(Okay, the last two have nothing to do with snow-outs. So sue me. )
After March 26th there should be some extended spring training going on (& with much less hype, but no MLBers unless in injury rehab. You'll probably be able to catch a Florida State League game. Port Charlotte is home to the Rays single A affiliate (the Stonecrabs).
You could run up the coast to St. Pete & watch the Rays opponent. Very easy access from the south over the Skyway Bridge. There's more away fans in the seats than Rays fans it seems and always tickets available.
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