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Everything You Need to Know About the Miami Marlins' Opening Day

Marlins pitcher Jose Urena
Marlins pitcher Jose Urena
Miami Marlins
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One down, 161 to go. If the Marlins' Opening Day, 6-3 home loss to the Colorado Rockies is any indication, a little patience and understanding from fans will definitely go a long way this year.

The intrigue is there, but the odds will be against the team daily.

From now until at least around the time Walmart starts selling Halloween decorations, the Marlins will be back in our lives. Of course, baseball continues after the September 29 finale against the Philadelphia Phillies, but the playoffs seem unlikely. How about we just try to remember a couple of Marlins' names?

The Jeter boys' opener went about as well as an advanced class in Mandarin. First, there was some good news: The home team's Neil Walker, Jorge Alfaro, and J.T. Riddle hit solo shots. But from otherwise punchless bats to costly errors to the Rockies rounding the bases with ease, most everything else went wrong for the Marlins.

Before the game, things non-baseball related went well. Fans were treated to a surprise when a handful of Marlins greeted them at the gates. It was a nice, much-needed touch for a franchise starting yet another rebuilding project. If there was ever a way to win over fans who came out for a 4 p.m. opening day game, this was it.

Fans, meet Marlins players. Marlins players, meet fans.

The consensus on Marlin Park's sculptureless new look was also positive. Gone are the lime greens and circus themes, replaced with deep blues and new areas for fans to watch the game. Also gone: the plethora of mismatched ads and faux art, replaced by more subtle tones that say baseball, not acid trip.

The improvements are obvious, even if you enjoyed the prior look.

Oh yeah, there was a game. The Rockies' Kyle Freeland retired 11 straight batters before shortstop Starlin Castro got a hit. The crowd was booing by the fourth inning when the Rockies scored four runs with the help of two errors. Pitcher Jose Urena surrendered six runs in 4 2/3 innings. The Marlins started 0-1 for the fifth straight year and might be headed for their tenth losing season in a row.

So there you have it. Nine disappointing innings in the books, but an entire season for growth and rebuilding at the Marlins' disposal. As expected, it may not be easy to watch at times, but the Marlins are undergoing a painful process that hopefully will pay dividends in the future.

It has to get better than Opening Day, right? There's only one way to go from there. 

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