Everything You Need to Know About the 2016 Miami Marlins

The Miami Marlins kick off their 2016 season tomorrow, making this as good a time as any to brush up on our hometown baseball team. It's like when your iPhone asks you to update. You put it off until you're sick of seeing the alert and just give in. That's what the Marlins are like: an annoying computer update that we just accept isn't going anywhere and that we know we'll barely understand. 

So here are the CliffsNotes of all the Marlins questions you should probably be able to answer in case of an emergency, like a fire or whatever.

All right, who is the new future ex-Miami Marlins manager?  

His name is Don Mattingly, and he's here to change the Miami Marlins culture. His first line of business: no more facial hair. 

Wait, what? Ichiro, a Japanese man born in Kasugai in 1973, is being told by another man he can't grow a mustache?

Yes. None of that nonsense will be tolerated in Mattingly's clubhouse. 

That's totally f%*@ed. Give me the good news — what's there to be excited about this season?

All the Marlins you know are healthy and ready to put together a season that makes you think it might be the one until you realize it's not the season — three seasons from now might hopefully be the season. It's like wondering when Rick will die on The Walking Dead. (Spoiler alert.) 

Opening Day is Tuesday. What time does Jose Fernandez take the mound? 

A person named Wei-Yin Chen will throw out the first pitch. 

But, I mean, after the pregame ceremonies, what time does Cuban Jesus toe the mound? 

Hold onto your butt — Fernandez is the Game 2 starter. Chen will start Opening Day against the Detroit Tigers and their former Cy Young winner Justin Verlander. First pitch is at 7:10 p.m. 

What? Huh? Why?

The Marlins know fans will show up for Opening Day and a Jose Fernandez start, so they are milking this thing. They have actually invented a new way to tell Marlins fans to eat their ass. It's actually impressive. 

Holy hell. Didn't I hear something about Barry Bonds doing something? I saw a tweet. 

Barry Bonds is the Marlins' new hitting coach, which will be cool for 97 games until the Marlins emotionally break him and the next place you see him is on an infomercial explaining how you can get cash quick with no credit check. 

Dee Gordon is back, right? That guy is fun to watch. 

He is indeed back. The Marlins and Gordon agreed to a five-year, $50 million extension this offseason. (Disclaimer: Gordon won't see the big money for a few years, so don't buy his bobblehead just yet.) 

What's that disclaimer even mean?

The Marlins always backload contracts knowing someone else will eventually pay the big bucks down the road. For now, fans see headlines about a $50 million contract and pat Jeffrey Loria on the back. Then the Fish package Gordon and a young prospect to the Red Sox in 2019 for a 29-year-old, six-foot lefty in Single A before they have to pay the piper. 

Why should I believe the Marlins might be good this year?

When they're healthy, on paper they really do have an offense that should be able to score some runs. The problem is baseball players are made up of joints and other annoying parts, like faces, that baseballs sometimes hit or just flat-out break on their own. If the Marlins can stay healthy throughout the Oregon Trail-like MLB season, they should be able to contend for a Wild Card spot. 

OK, on the flip side, why won't this season be any different from every playoff-less season since 2003? 

The Marlins play in the same division as the Mets and Nationals, both World Series-caliber teams that the Marlins will have to face a bazillion times this season. It's tough to fancy yourself a playoff team when you are borderline the third-best team in your division. 

You mentioned Ichiro earlier, so he's still on the team, right? 

Yup. He's actually only 65 hits shy of 3,000, so you can be damn sure the Marlins will get him enough at-bats to make history. If it means starting someone else at third base for three weeks at the end of the year, the Marlins will get him those hits. The team will sell Ichiro Build-a-Bear plushes and signed coffee mugs all season in anticipation of history being made. 

Anything else interesting or different happening this season I should be aware of? 

In May, the Marlins and Pittsburgh Pirates will play a two-game series in Puerto Rico that will honor Roberto Clemente. The Marlins and Atlanta Braves will also play at Fort Bragg July 3 in a military appreciation game. 

I'm not exactly opening a new browser window to buy tickets. I thought the Marlins promised to spend more money and have a better roster once they moved into Marlins Park. 

Yeah, the thing about the Marlins is their promises are about as useless as tits on a bull. They did promise that, but, not shockingly, they lied. They remain at the bottom of MLB in team payroll and have invented new excuses for why they can't afford better players. The good news is that terrible trades and overall incompetence have made the team one of the worst minor-league systems in all of baseball, so no help is on the way to supplement their cheapness either.

OK, then. 

Go Marlins. 

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