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Marlins wins are piling up on and off the field


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http://www.sportingnews.com/yourturn/viewtopic.php?t=410914

 

Marlins wins are piling up on and off the field

 

Posted: May 12, 2008

 

The events that transpired surrounding the Florida Marlins last weekend should send shivers through the rest of the National League.

 

On the field, Florida swept a three-game series at Washington to extend its winning streak to seven games. The Marlins open a four-game series at Cincinnati on Monday with the lowest payroll ($21 million) and the best record (23-14) in the majors.

 

Off the field, the Marlins made an even stronger statement. The club reportedly worked out a six-year contract extension for superb shortstop Hanley Ramirez, who is among the best players in the game after only two full major league seasons. The deal reportedly is worth $70 million, the most the Marlins have ever spent on a single player.

 

If the Marlins can continue to keep young players such as Ramirez, a true five-tool player who has the charisma to be the face of a franchise, the balance of power in the league will soon tilt heavily toward South Florida.

 

Through three ownership groups, the Marlins have operated in a rapid boom-and-bust cycle. They won the World Series in 1997 and 2003, but each time immediately stripped the clubs down because of payroll concerns. As the home-grown talent entered its prime earning years, the Marlins could not -- or would not -- meet the going price.

 

The Marlins were left behind in the ballparks-as-cash-cows explosion of this generation. Their facility, remote and jury-rigged Dolphin Stadium, produced minimal revenue and dragged down the team. The team's owners -- most recently Jeffrey Loria -- have been unwilling to underwrite huge losses to field a competitive team.

 

The Ramirez deal changes things. It is the strongest indicator yet that the Marlins believe they will get a new ballpark -- and the influx of revenue that comes with it. They have financing in place for a retractable-roof facility in Miami on the site of the old Orange Bowl. The ballpark is part of an overall development project being challenged in court, but the Marlins believe they can get into the new facility by opening day 2011.

 

The ballpark will allow the Marlins to finally capitalize on their top resource: an outstanding player-development operation. Admin Beinfest, president of baseball operations, had the good sense to surround himself with top-notch talent evaluators, a group that includes general manager Michael Hill, vice presidents Jim Fleming and Dan Jennings, scouting director Stan Meek and special assistant Orrin Freeman.

 

There is no better group. The Marlins consistently draft well and make good trades. Unfortunately for the Marlins, those players do not linger. During more than six seasons on the job, Beinfest has traded away players who combined for 32 All-Star appearances while with the Marlins.

 

What if Florida had been able to keep even half of that group?

 

"I give them credit, because they really do their homework," says Detroit general manager Dave Dombrowski, who put together the Marlins' championship team of 1997. "When you have an organization like that, that doesn't have a big payroll, you have to have good player-development and scouting. They have it.

 

"It's apparently how these guys do it, and you tip you cap to them. They go about it working their tail off and doing a good job. And believe me, the type of talent they have, they will have a very good club."

 

The increased revenues produced by a new ballpark will allow the Marlins to keep the players currently in their system longer than two or three seasons. That could lead to a change in the cycle, with longer booms and briefer busts for the Marlins.

 

This season's club is a harbinger. They are playing well, but bad defense will eventually undermine the Marlins this season. This club, though, is not headed to the bottom again.

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http://www.sportingnews.com/yourturn/viewtopic.php?t=410914

 

Marlins wins are piling up on and off the field

 

Posted: May 12, 2008

 

The events that transpired surrounding the Florida Marlins last weekend should send shivers through the rest of the National League.

 

On the field, Florida swept a three-game series at Washington to extend its winning streak to seven games. The Marlins open a four-game series at Cincinnati on Monday with the lowest payroll ($21 million) and the best record (23-14) in the majors.

 

Off the field, the Marlins made an even stronger statement. The club reportedly worked out a six-year contract extension for superb shortstop Hanley Ramirez, who is among the best players in the game after only two full major league seasons. The deal reportedly is worth $70 million, the most the Marlins have ever spent on a single player.

 

If the Marlins can continue to keep young players such as Ramirez, a true five-tool player who has the charisma to be the face of a franchise, the balance of power in the league will soon tilt heavily toward South Florida.

 

Through three ownership groups, the Marlins have operated in a rapid boom-and-bust cycle. They won the World Series in 1997 and 2003, but each time immediately stripped the clubs down because of payroll concerns. As the home-grown talent entered its prime earning years, the Marlins could not -- or would not -- meet the going price.

 

The Marlins were left behind in the ballparks-as-cash-cows explosion of this generation. Their facility, remote and jury-rigged Dolphin Stadium, produced minimal revenue and dragged down the team. The team's owners -- most recently Jeffrey Loria -- have been unwilling to underwrite huge losses to field a competitive team.

 

The Ramirez deal changes things. It is the strongest indicator yet that the Marlins believe they will get a new ballpark -- and the influx of revenue that comes with it. They have financing in place for a retractable-roof facility in Miami on the site of the old Orange Bowl. The ballpark is part of an overall development project being challenged in court, but the Marlins believe they can get into the new facility by opening day 2011.

 

The ballpark will allow the Marlins to finally capitalize on their top resource: an outstanding player-development operation. Admin Beinfest, president of baseball operations, had the good sense to surround himself with top-notch talent evaluators, a group that includes general manager Michael Hill, vice presidents Jim Fleming and Dan Jennings, scouting director Stan Meek and special assistant Orrin Freeman.

 

There is no better group. The Marlins consistently draft well and make good trades. Unfortunately for the Marlins, those players do not linger. During more than six seasons on the job, Beinfest has traded away players who combined for 32 All-Star appearances while with the Marlins.

 

What if Florida had been able to keep even half of that group?

 

"I give them credit, because they really do their homework," says Detroit general manager Dave Dombrowski, who put together the Marlins' championship team of 1997. "When you have an organization like that, that doesn't have a big payroll, you have to have good player-development and scouting. They have it.

 

"It's apparently how these guys do it, and you tip you cap to them. They go about it working their tail off and doing a good job. And believe me, the type of talent they have, they will have a very good club."

 

The increased revenues produced by a new ballpark will allow the Marlins to keep the players currently in their system longer than two or three seasons. That could lead to a change in the cycle, with longer booms and briefer busts for the Marlins.

 

This season's club is a harbinger. They are playing well, but bad defense will eventually undermine the Marlins this season. This club, though, is not headed to the bottom again.

 

The last two sentences ruined the article for me.

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