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A Very Marlins Thanksgiving


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Thanksgiving is one of the best times of the year. It brings families, delicious foods, and football together all on one single day. Turkey, yams, mashed potatos, stuffing, apple pie, I'm salivating at the mere thought of it. One of the key things we do during Thanksgiving is to think about the things we are thankful for in life. Although the baseball season has only just ended, there has already been a great amount of activity within the Marlins organization. Uggla, Maybin and Miller are out while Buck, Webb, Mujica, Robertson, Infante and Dunn are in. Despite the fact that some fan favorites are gone, there is still a lot to be optimistic about when it comes to the Marlins present and future. Here are some of the things that I am thankful for...


The Bullpen


Last year, Marlins fans collectively groaned whenever a Marlins starter was taken out of the game. The bullpen was atrocious, giving up games every chance it could, and was a major reason for the team not making the playoffs. Since the offseason started, the Marlins have picked up two pieces from the San Diego Padres MLB best bullpen (Webb, Mujica) and one piece from an excellent Atlanta Braves bullpen (Dunn). Add these pitchers to those that are already in the Marlins bullpen, and you have yourself an elite bullpen. Next season we won't have to complain when Josh Johnson is taken out after 6 innings, because the bullpen is in much safer hands this time around.


Superstar Players


When starting a franchise, there are two things that a team desperately needs first and foremost. An elite starting pitcher and an elite hitter. Right now, the Marlins have two Superstars who are potentially the best players at their respective positions in Hanley Ramirez and Josh Johnson. Hanley Ramirez is coming off a down year by his standards, but he is the best hitting shortstop in all of baseball, and plays a position where it is extremely hard to find elite hitters such as himself. Hanley has the ability to steal bases as well as Jose Reyes, get on base as much as Albert Pujols, and hit as well as Miguel Cabrera. He's a five tool player that is extremely hard to find in the sport. Josh Johnson is coming off a year where he led the league in ERA and proved that he is one of if not the best pitcher in the National League. He is guaranteed to pitch at least 200 innings each season when healthy and strikes out batters at an unbelievable rate. The best thing about these two players is that Hanley Ramirez is in the middle of a 6 year $70 million contract while Josh Johnson is in the second year of a 4 year $39 million deal, so we have our star players locked up well beyond next year.




On March 23rd, 2009, the Marlins franchise changed forever. On that day, the Marlins stadium deal was approved, and we finally had a place to call our own. The name of the stadium hasn't been chosen yet, and we don't actually play in the stadium until 2012, but finally a season begins with the understanding that the Marlins will be playing in Miami in 2012. After talk about the Marlins moving to Las Vegas among countless other places, it is nice to finally know that the Marlins will be here for the foreseeable future. For years, the fans have had to suffer through countless rain delays that have made going to Marlins games unbearable at times. With the new stadium, there will be a retractable roof that will cover the entire field within a matter of minutes. Those rain delay's that we have come to dread will become a thing of the past. There has been a lot of criticism headed the Marlins way for their unwillingness to disclose their financial documents and the subsequent leak of them on Deadspin, but all Marlins fans care about is that Jeffrey Loria was able to do one thing that no other owner of the Marlins was able to do. He gave us a home. And for that, I am thankful.


Young Studs


For a long time, people have associated the Marlins with young talent. That hasn't changed. However, the Marlins currently possess some of the best talent in their entire history. Chris Coghlan is the 2009 Rookie of the Year, Gaby Sanchez finished 4th in this year's Rookie of the Year voting, Mike Stanton was rated the 3rd best prospect in all of baseball and Logan Morrison the 22nd best prospect by Baseball America before their promotions. The majority of this Marlins team is filled with hugely talented 1st or 2nd year players who have put up really good numbers at the major league levels already. Stanton is projected by baseball statistician Bill James to hit 38 home runs next season after having already hit 20 home runs in half a season as a rookie this past season. Morrison nearly led all of baseball in on base percentage as rookie. Sanchez was one of the Marlins best run producers, and Coghlan hit .372 in the second half of the 2009 season before winning the Rookie of the Year Award. This team definitely isn't short in players who can produce big numbers. The last time I was this excited about this team's young players was 2003, and we all know how that season ended.


This Thanksgiving, while you sit at the dinner table, think about some of the things you are grateful for. When I sit down to have my Thanksgiving dinner, I will not forget to think about my beloved Marlins. So many things happened this past season that made all of us sad. However, the future looks ever so bright will all of the excellent players currently in place. The Marlins still have many questions that need to be answered this offseason, but everything seems to be setting up for a very successful 2011 season. There are more things than just the ones mentioned above that should make people thankful to be a Marlins fan. The front office, the improvement to the defense, the hiring of Perry Hill, signing an all star catcher long term; there are so many reasons why I am so proud to be a Marlins fan. I am not only thankful for what the Marlins future holds, but also all the thrills and all the fun they have brought to my life. They are not only a team I follow, they have become a part of my life. For that, I am thankful.


Happy Holidays everybody!


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