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There are plenty of reasons not to see the Florida Marlins play. It’s hot (no, really, it’s hot!), it’s rainy, they play in a football stadium, and they field minor-league players until one of them emerges as a superstar and then gets traded to another team for more minor-league players. But those days just might finally be behind us.

Last week the Marlins agreed to terms with über-shortstop Hanley Ramirez on a six-year, $70-million contract. It guarantees Ramirez will average $11 million a year, making it the most lucrative contract in Marlins history. This deal flies directly in the face of the way things have been done by owner Jeffery Loria, who killed baseball in Montreal and who’d rather spend his money on pretty sculptures and paintings than on fielding a competitive ball club. Yet there it is. They have the best shortstop in baseball and he’s going to be a Marlin for a long, long time. Perhaps the days of getting rid of guys like Miguel Cabrera are finally behind us. Perhaps it’s time to start taking this team seriously again and coming to the games more often. Unless, of course, it’s too hot. Tonight they face the San Francisco Giants. First pitch is at 7:10.
Fri., May 23, 7:10 p.m., 2008


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