Put your very well-earned dislike for Jeffrey Loria and David Samson aside, Miami, because something extremely cool is brewing at Marlins Park. Forty-two-year-old Ichiro Suzuki is chasing history wearing the orange-and-black of the Miami Marlins. Ichiro is just four hits shy of the magical 3,000
With the Marlins in town throughout the rest of July, it's likely he collects that record hit in front of the home crowd. While threatening the history books, Ichiro is also batting .337 and has continued to be a revelation for a team that was simply looking for a pinch hitter when it signed him prior to last season.
Despite all of that, fans aren't going to Little Havana to watch baseball. The Marlins are still the fourth-worst-attended team in MLB. It's time to change that, for Ichiro's sake.
Even better, Ichiro's amazing quest for 3,000 has been the cherry on top for what has been thus far an increasingly successful season for the Marlins. Nearing the 100-game mark, the team sits seven games above .500, right in the middle of the wildcard race.
Many of their projects, their maybe-he-could-be-decent-someday type of players, have finally blossomed into potential future All-Stars. The likes of Christian Yelich, J.T. Realmuto, and Marcell Ozuna have all had great seasons so far.
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Yes, this team has let fans down year after year after year — but this season has continued to be an outlier. Look at it this way: Even if the season tanks from this point forward, the Marlins have at the very least bridged the gap from the epic fail that was the Heat's offseason to the beginning of Dolphins training camp this week.
The Marlins undoubtedly are looking to cash in on Ichiro's milestone (they are still the Marlins), but it's been a breath of fresh air to watch him get the hits he needs in the midst of a pennant race. And the history itself is amazing. Only 29 other players have ever nabbed 3,000 MLB hits. And Ichiro will do so after spending eight seasons in Japan.
Ichiro was a fading player when he left the Yankees two years ago, and the Marlins have somehow squeezed 150-plus hits and some much-needed positive attention out of his time with the team.
You probably have your reasons for disliking the Marlins, but for the next few