We keep telling ourselves that the Miami Marlins are a second-half team and hoping the Fish will shake their nine-year slump and make a playoff run. After all, we deserve it. Taxpayers spent far too much money building a new ballpark for a team that teeter-totters around .500. Sure, it’s common knowledge that the National League East is one of the toughest divisions in baseball, but a first-place Washington Nationals squad is unacceptable. Jeffrey Loria didn’t sign Jose Reyes to a six-year, $106-million deal so the Marlins could hover about last season. We want championships. But things could be worse. At least the Marlins’ first half wasn’t as dreadful as the San Diego Padres’, who went into the All-Star break tied for last with an abysmal 34-53 record in the National League West. The Marlins and Padres will square off in the final game of a three-game series Sunday at 1:10 p.m. at Marlins Park (1380 NW Sixth St., Miami). “This group — we’ve got some good players here,” Padres GM Josh Byrnes recently told San Diego’s North County Times. “The two free agents [Carlos Quentin and Huston Street], there is some appetite to try to keep them. But the answer we give a lot is even though our record isn’t very good, this is a team we want to keep together more than people would think.” We’ve all heard the saying “If ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” But “Let it rot if it’s clearly not working”? If it adds some wins to the Marlins’ record, we’re all for it.
Sun., July 29, 1:10 p.m., 2012