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Today's forecast: Pigs fly


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The Marlins became the National League favorite on Tuesday after getting Carlos Delgado for $52 million.

 

Find a more surprising sentence in the sports world than that today.

 

I can't believe I typed it.

 

I can't believe you're reading it.

 

I can't believe the Marlins pulled off the stunner of this baseball winter, from owner Jeffrey Loria spending this kind of money to Delgado coming with this kind of impact to these Marlins -- these small-market, low-budget, no-stadium, payroll-watching Marlins! -- now having as balanced and dangerous a lineup as any in the National League.

 

Excuse me while I step outside and check for flying pigs.

 

A month ago, the question was where the Marlins could turn after small-watt free agents like David Dellucci and Tino Martinez turned them down.

 

A week ago, the question was how the New York Mets would swoop in with a bushel of money to sign Delgado.

 

An hour ago, Loria was being asked whether the Marlins were favored to win the pennant.

 

This is how suddenly the winter was won by the Marlins, what it means to get one of the baseball's best sluggers.

 

"I can't predict any of that stuff -- who's favored -- but I like to win and winning is what it's all about," Loria said. "My role here is what goes on the field, being competitive and putting a winning product on the field."

 

Loria can't be a Rotisserie League owner like those of the Yankees, Red Sox and Mets. He can't keep throwing money at problems to solve them. He and General Manager Admin Beinfest have to win on smarts, pick their spots, be bold when warranted.

 

Two years ago, they outsmarted everyone by signing Pudge Rodriguez to a one-year deal that carried them to the World Series. This time, they outsmarted everyone in a different manner. Somehow, they negotiated better.

 

Some way, they always put their best foot forward while the Mets and Texas Rangers were offending Delgado and his agent, David Sloane. Money had most to do with it. Let's not kid ourselves. But so did staying in the game long enough to make it matter.

 

And so now the Marlins have the kind of left-handed hitter they've never had and this lineup desperately needed. Delgado's bat is a precious metal. His home run totals going back in recent years at Toronto are 38, 44, 41, 39, 33, 42 and 32 last season in just 128 games due to a pulled side muscle.

 

Suddenly, the Marlins aren't the team that finished 11th in runs scored and 12th in home runs in the National League. Now they stack up against anyone in it and have a better lineup than either of the franchise's World Series winners.

 

The '97 team had a middle of Gary Sheffield, Bobby Bonilla and Moises Alou. The 2003 team had the all-righty core of Rodriguez, the rookie Miguel Cabrera and Mike Lowell.

 

Now a seasoned Cabrera, the left-handed Delgado and the consistent Lowell anchor the middle every night.

 

Maybe Paul Lo Duca (80 RBI) bats sixth. Maybe Jeff Conine (83 RBI) does seventh.

 

Do you see what's at work here? What Jack McKeon can pencil in each night? From Juan Pierre at lead-off, through Alex Gonzalez in the eighth spot, there isn't a wiffle bat among the Marlins.

 

Last season the Marlins had a hole at catcher. They traded for Lo Duca. This winter they had a hole at starting pitching, as well as its maturity. They signed Al Leiter.

 

Every team has bullpen questions to start a season, but the Marlins spent this offseason adding enough arms with enough background to carry them well.

 

If Loria had done nothing after that, everyone would have understood. These are the small-market Marlins with payroll limits and no home to call their own.

 

But on Tuesday, Loria took one from the Mets. A big one. The kind of player that can change hopes, teams, full seasons.

 

Carlos Delgado is a Marlin for four years and $52 million.

 

Today's forecast: Pigs fly.

 

 

Good article...nice to see something positive from the Sun Sentinel.

 

David Hyde wrote the article

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Well it's obvious that Rodriguez couldn't have written that...

 

I like Hyde. I hear that radio commercial where he says "I am the Sun-Sentinel."

 

I am stoked about this season, and i will be going to many games.

 

Krispy Kreme better adjust that hit count to like 15, because 12 is too easy.

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It will suck when the Marlins move out of PPS...its been tradition to play there.

 

You know what I was just thinking...the Dolphins (one of my fav. sports teams) use to run this city when it to sports but now...

 

Miami Heat get Shaq

Marlins win WS and get Delgado

 

and that leaves the Fins as the worst team in South Florida Sports Wise, usually it was a tossup between Heat or Marlins. Wow have times changed. Maybe the Dolphins will go out there this Free Agency and sign a big name player or trade for one...Moss.... :p

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Great article - Good work, Dave Hyde.

 

I'll be interested to see what kind of spin Bernadino puts on this signing, though. Who knows what ways he will find to be negative about it.

668240[/snapback]

I was thinking the same thing but about FAT HANK. I am interested to hear his show tomorrow morning, so I can hear what kind of "MULARKY"; lack of a better word, can come out of his mouth. And if Bumadino is on FH show tomorrow it would be awesome.

Atleast 790 is an upbeat station and pro Marlins too.

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It will suck when the Marlins move out of PPS...its been tradition to play there.

 

You know what I was just thinking...the Dolphins (one of my fav. sports teams) use to run this city when it to sports but now...

 

Miami Heat get Shaq

Marlins win WS and get Delgado

 

and that leaves the Fins as the worst team in South Florida Sports Wise, usually it was a tossup between Heat or Marlins. Wow have times changed. Maybe the Dolphins will go out there this Free Agency and sign a big name player or trade for one...Moss.... :p

668214[/snapback]

 

 

 

The Panthers are on top of that list, I'm afraid :(

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