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My 2003 Season Outlook

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2003 Season Outlook

It's that time again for me to do my Season Outlook. Every off-season around this time, I tell you my thoughts on the prior season, my feelings on moves made since last season ended and my projections for the upcoming year. Without further adieu, here it is...

The 2002 Season

In 2002, the Florida Marlins went 79-83. They wound up 23 games out of first place. Not exactly a successful season by any means but then again, we couldn't expect much better. Going into the season, I figured we would be around the .500 mark and we wound up 2 games under the mark. Luis Castillo and Mike Lowell were our All Star Representatives. There's no surprise there, as if we take a more in depth look at these two we discover why.

Mike Lowell was a key part of the 2002 club. He hit .272 with 24 homers and 92 R.B.I.'s. He was also Fish of the Week for 5 weeks including almost the whole month of April. Sure, his production decreased after the All-Star Break but he did win the coveted Fish of the Week award for one week in September as well.

Luis Castillo was another key element of the team. He had a .302 Batting Average. Castillo also stole 45 bases during the year, successfully swiping 75% of his attempts. He was Fish of the Week for parts of May, June, and July. Castillo was also voted Fish of the Year by the MarlinsBaseball.com visitors.

Besides these 2 All-Stars, there were other key contributors, and key dissapointments.

Among the contributors was, A.J. Burnett who amased a 12-9 record with a 3.30 ERA along with 203 strikeouts. A stellar year from our ace.

The obvious choice for most dissapointing Marlin in 2002 would have to be our former catcher, Charles Johnson. He batted .217 with 6 homers and 36 R.B.I.'s. A horrible year in which he only took part in 83 games. If he would've been healthy and productive, who knows where the Marlins would've wound up last season.

2002 is not exactly a season to remember, but it is a season to build on. We said goodbye to Ryan Dempster and Cliff Floyd during the season, who I personally miss. 2002 could be a good bridge season. A bridge from medicority to greatness.

The Off-Season

This has been one of the most active off-seasons for the Florida Marlins. We have lost a bunch of players and gained a bunch of new ones. Let's take a look at these moves one-by-one.

Tim Raines retired from Major League Baseball after last season. "The Rock" was a shell of his former self but was still a nice guy off the bench and a good guy in the clubhouse. His contributions will be missed in 2003, I'm sure.

Eric Owens was not offered a contract by the Florida Marlins and moved on to Anaheim to play for the World Champion, Angels. Owens will always be the guy who we lost Mark Kotsay for in my mind. I still miss "Kid", and I don't see that changing anytime soon. I wish Eric luck in Anaheim but to be honest, him leaving won't really have an effect on the Marlins in my opinion.

Kevin Millar was sold to the Chunichi Dragons in Japan. Here's a tough one to swallow. Millar was a great guy to have on the team. We lost him for basically nothing besides cash. I don't like it, and I know plenty of my forum members feel the same way.

Graeme Lloyd who I will not miss at all signed with the New York Mets as a Free Agent. Lloyd didn't want to be a Marlin anyway so him being here aided us in no real manner.

Julian Tavarez is a Free Agent. He was not a consistent pitcher in his time with the Marlins and I don't see him leaving having an impact either.

Homer Bush left to sign with the San Diego Padres. There's no room for him on this club anyway and he rarely got playing time as it is. Him leaving has a minor effect as well.

Juan Pierre, and Mike Hampton were acquired via a trade with the Colorado Rockies. Pierre will be in the Marlins lineup in 2003, while Hampton will be a Starting Pitcher for the Atlanta Braves. Hampton spent very little time as a Marlin. This is one of the moves that leaves you scratching your head wondering why? The Marlins will pay a portion of Hampton's salary to pitch for the rival Braves. In this trade, Charles Johnson, Pablo Ozuna and Preston Wilson went to Colorado. Wilson, and Johnson should both have breakout seasons simply because they are in Colorado. I wish them the best of luck.

Tim Spooneybarger was acquired from the Atlanta Braves when Hampton moved through Florida. A solid addition to our bullpen. He's young and he's full of talent. A good guy to have on the club.

Mark Redman was acquired from the Detroit Tigers in exchange for Pitchers Gary Knotts and Rob Henkel. I, for one feel that Redman will have a good year for the Fish. He should contribute more then Knotts and Henkel would've.

The Marlins signed Todd Hollandsworth, Gerald Williams, and of course Ivan Rodriguez this off-season. Hollandsworth should be in the Opening Day lineup and he can be an asset for sure. Williams could be a good guy off the bench if he makes the club which I feel he will. Ivan Rodriguez was a fantastic signing. He is looking to have a rebound year and put up huge numbers since he is awaiting a big contract after this season. Who does this benefit? The Fish of course. Should be fun seeing I-Rod in the Teal in 2003!

Alex Gonzalez, Luis Castillo, and Carl Pavano were all re-signed during this off-season as well.

2003 Predictions

This upcoming season, I think Marlin fans will be pleasently suprised. Our dedication will finally be rewarded. I can see the Marlins pulling in a 95-67 record this season. That's right, 95 wins. Did I also mention that the Marlins will be making the playoffs as a Wild Card? I don't see them making it too far in the Playoffs this season but I do believe the Fish will be swimming in the Post-Season.

Our All-Stars will be Ivan Rodriguez, Luis Castillo, and A.J. Burnett.

I don't believe a Florida Marlin will win MVP or Cy Young this year but hopefully, one or two will contend for those awards.

Final Thoughts

We are in one of the toughest divisions in MLB but the signing of Ivan Rodriguez not only bolstered the lineup, but it bolstered the moral of the players and of the fans. More people will be in the stadium this year, there'll be more excitement and I think I speak for everyone when I say I can not wait to hear "Play Ball" again...
 

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I think 95 wins will be enough to win the division because every body its going to beat up on every body in this division...
 

Das Texan

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if the phillies, braves, met and marlins prove to be as good as many think.....


no team gets 90.
 
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I think 95 wins will be enough to win the division because every body its going to beat up on every body in this division...
Good point but for some reason, I think the division winner will need 97 or 98 wins.


if the phillies, braves, met and marlins prove to be as good as many think.....

no team gets 90.


Phillies will tank... :hat
 

Das Texan

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granted all 4 of those teams may not be any good....



we shall see....



:mischief2
 

RossInfoMan

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Great report, Admin, but heres my take on it.
First off, I dont see any way the wild card will come out of the East with how strong and balanced it might be.

Secondly, the Colorado deal didnt leave me scratching my head-I think it was the best move the Marlins have made in a while. I understand the part about giving Hampton to Atlanta and paying him. But, if the Braves didnt get him, they most likely would have tried much harder to keep Glavine or not have traded Millwood, so who knows how that will turn out. But, the best part of that deal is that, even with paying Hampton, we came out with a net savings of $25 million. That money allowed us to get Pudge and Redman, as well as being able to keep our team together, instead of trading away two players such as Castillo, Lowell, Lee, or Penny for prospects like we would have had to without the trade. All of this has renewed enthusiasm about the Marlins. Not to mention we acquired Pierre and Spooneybarger.

Without the trade, we would still be saddled with the huge contracts of CJ and Preston for years to come, we would have no Pudge, no Redman, and would have lost two of our top players. I can't see anyone being excited over that. I dont think the Marlins front office got enough credit for that deal given with what they were left with. All people talk about is Hampton. He was never going to stay a Marlin. If you look at the big picture of deal and the future events it has allowed, it was a great deal.

My prediction:
85-77
 
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First off, I dont see any way the wild card will come out of the East with how strong and balanced it might be.
Again that's a good point but I have a feeling Rune's Phillies will be the 2002 Mets all over again. Don't know why, just think so...

Secondly, the Colorado deal didnt leave me scratching my head-I think it was the best move the Marlins have made in a while. I understand the part about giving Hampton to Atlanta and paying him. But, if the Braves didnt get him, they most likely would have tried much harder to keep Glavine or not have traded Millwood, so who knows how that will turn out.


Yeah, it's just hard to look past the paying Hampton to beat you part but I can understand where you are coming from.

But, the best part of that deal is that, even with paying Hampton, we came out with a net savings of $25 million. That money allowed us to get Pudge and Redman, as well as being able to keep our team together, instead of trading away two players such as Castillo, Lowell, Lee, or Penny for prospects like we would have had to without the trade.
Solid argument that I can't argue with. It's a fact, and you are right.

If you look at the big picture of deal and the future events it has allowed, it was a great deal.


True, it still bugs me to pay Hampton to beat us. I may have felt differently if it was to another club especially an A.L. club.
 

RossInfoMan

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Im not trying to say trading him to Atlanta was the best of ideas. Im just saying, if you look at the overall picture, it has helped the Marlins on and off the field. Obviously it would be much better if we traded him to a team we dont play-unless he continues to stink. If he does, then its a brilliant move. And who knows how it will affect the Braves-maybe Hampton will be worse that Glavine and Millwood. But, then again, both of them are still in our division. Geez, doesnt anybody in the NL East know that you can go outside the division? This is going to be one crazy year.
 

Ramp

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wonderful article Admin

and

great response Ross

I also think the Phils will tank..... call it a hunch
 

AJBurnett34

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I think the phillies can reach 85-92 wins.I hope the marlins can contend in there division and we can go to the playoffs! ;)
 

DurableTear

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Great article Admin! Quality reading by MarlinBaseball.com.


My Prediction: 88-74


Btw... I do agree with Das.... if this division becomes what people think... no one will get over 90 wins.
 

83Gator

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Very well done, Admin. The only thing I don't think I agree with in a lot of the responses is that the wild card won't come out of the NL East since it's so tough.

Last year, the NL West had 3 really good teams (Arizona, San Francisco, and LA), one decent team (Colorado), and one bad team (San Diego). The AL West had 3 really good teams (Seattle, Oakland, and Anaheim) and one putrid team (Texas). Those were probably the two strongest divisions in baseball and both divisions produced the wild card.

If Montreal fulfills its role as the really bad team, then I think the wild card could easily come out of the NL East.
 

Rune

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Four teams tank all in the same division. Very unlikely as division games add up. The losses in the division would have to be spread out. My prediction the unbiased one:

86-76 if Pudge stayes REAL healthy by which I mean never staying out for more than a week.

BTW Great Article from The Man who runs the site I will soon take over. :mischief
 

Rune

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First off"]

Again that's a good point but I have a feeling Rune's Phillies will be the 2002 Mets all over again. Don't know why, just think so...
Never :mischief :mischief

The last time The Phillies waited till their Prospects were producing THEN signed Major Free Agents...

The Phillies Paraded down Walnut St in october. :D :mischief
 

Ramp

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BTW Great Article from The Man who runs the site I will soon take over. :mischief

never happen.

Meng has a better chance of ruling Smackdown

he he he
 

Das Texan

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First off"]

Again that's a good point but I have a feeling Rune's Phillies will be the 2002 Mets all over again. Don't know why, just think so...
Never :mischief :mischief

The last time The Phillies waited till their Prospects were producing THEN signed Major Free Agents...

The Phillies Paraded down Walnut St in october. :D :mischief
and that was what?



20 years ago?
 

Rune

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Ramp you do not know the extent of my plan and actually Admin will aid in it. :mischief :mischief

Your site is mine!
 

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