The Marlins will probably lose more than 100 games this season. Players you've never heard of will take over for stars such as Giancarlo Stanton and Marcelo Ozuna, who were shipped off to save cash. There will probably be some nights that will take Marlins fans back to a time when they sat in a cavernous Pro Player Stadium surrounded by orange seats and foul balls nobody wanted. The Marlins might make history this season, and not the good kind.
And it's gonna be so awesome. All of it. Like a breath of fresh air on a smoggy day. That's because it's the beginning of something real, not the Ponzi scheme that in which Marlins fans have invested their time and money
Even if you're a Fish fan who has checked out for the past decade or so, you can comfortably check back in and trust the process now, for better or worse. Everyone gets a do-over. Everyone gets a fresh start. Whether or not you believe in Derek Jeter's plans for the franchise, there is no reason to think he will screw over the city and its fans the same way Jeffrey Loria did since 2003.
Really, you have two choices: Let Loria continue to haunt you and affect how you feel about baseball in Miami, or let Jeter and his team do what they feel is the best and fastest way to bring home a World Series title.
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People have been angry at Jeter since the day he stepped in and announced, quite openly, that the way things were built around here wouldn't last and had no chance to result in a World Series. Reality and simple accounting prove that fact. Stanton could have hit 80 home runs last season and it wouldn't have mattered. The Marlins' entire setup was doomed. The system was flawed. An incurable virus had infected the organization, and the motherboard needed to be wiped clean.
Loria and his terrible intentions are gone. He won. We all lost, not only lots of money but, more important, time and effort. Marlins fans have watched one rebuild after another, each promising some light at the end of the tunnel. None of them included anything close to a payoff for the suffering. The team hasn't sniffed the playoffs since 2003 and has accomplished nothing all that special beyond a few players like Stanton notching personal achievements in subpar-team seasons.
Now, we hope, each step the Marlins take toward excellence will count. If Lewis Brinson, or any the other young talent on this roster, ends up being the next Stanton, the team can keep him around for a couple of playoff runs. When you go to a Marlins game next month, you can trust that the team has good intentions, or you can hate everything because Loria made you that way.
Don't let Loria beat you twice. Give Jeter and the Marlins a chance.