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Rebuilding the Marlins
After a 2012 that began full of promise and ended in a less-than-lackluster performance, the Miami Marlins are looking at the arduous task of rebuilding a franchise that started 2013 in shambles.
Things were certainly looking up for the Marlins in early 2012; the team moved into a spiffy new stadium and was sporting a stylish new logo and uniform that fans were beginning to warm up to. The team's roster included Heath Bell and Mark Buehrle on the mound, plus Dominican sensation Jose Bernabe Reyes as shortstop. Colorful team manager Ozzie Guillen was being more careful about his words and actions, and the Marlins were selected by cable TV network Showtime to be the stars of the sports documentary/reality show The Franchise.
The Second Fire Sale in Marlins History
Miami fans were ecstatic as the season began, but their cheer would quickly turn to gloom. The Marlins performed so poorly in the National League East division that Showtime pulled the plug on the show. They were simply not scoring runs, which eventually led to Ozzie Guillen's being dismissed and a chain reaction of controversial trades that looked more like a fire sale than the restructuring of a Major League Baseball team in distress.
The forced exodus of Miami players brought back painful memories of the 1997 Florida Marlins, a World Series Championship team that was subject to a series of questionable trades that depleted the team of most of its talent. Fans deeply voiced their displeasure, and sports journalists lamented the sad state of the MLB in terms of their decision to put profits before their fans' sentiment.
Fans are speculating the true motives of Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria at a time when baseball observers doubt that the team will be able to score too many runs in 2013. Other players no longer in the roster include Emilio Bonifacio, John Buck, Josh Johnson, and Hanley Ramirez. The latest rumor involves outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, whose solid .290 career average, combined with a 232 RBI may soon be courted by the likes of the Texas Rangers. At least Miami Marlins fans will get to see Stanton as part of Team USA in the World Baseball Classic later this year.