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2008 Florida Marlins Schedule
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Florida Marlins History
The Florida Marlins joined the National League as an expansion franchise in 1993. The Marlins are notable for winning the World Series both times they've made it into the postseason(1997, 2003), although they have never taken first place in their division and have always gone into the playoffs as a Wild Card. Despite success in the postseason, the Marlins have suffered from low attendance and arguably negligent ownership. The attendance problems have been blamed on the venue. Marlins ownership has pushed for a new park, threatening to move if no agreement has been made. After a decade of hard work and failed attempts for a stadium deal, the push paid off when Miami-Dade commissioners approved a plan to help the Marlins build their $525 million stadium on the site of the legendary Miami Orange Bowl. As part of this deal, the Marlins, in the future, will be called Miami Marlins.
The Marlins opened the 2007 season with high hopes after a successful 2006 season in which most expected they would lose 100 or more games. The underdog Marlins had remained in the Wild Card race until mid-September before finishing a respectable 78-84. The 2007 rotation included Dontrelle Willis, Scott Olsen, Anibal Sanchez, Sergio Mitre, and Ricky Nolasco, and the Marlins entered spring training with hopes that this rotation would blossom into one of the best in the National League. Willis was a Cy Young runner up in 2005, Sanchez threw a no-hitter in 2006, and Olsen led the team in strikeouts in 2006. The Marlins also banked on starter Josh Johnson to come back from an arm injury suffered the season before. Things got worse for Johnson entering spring training as MRI's discovered he had nerve damage in his throwing arm. This injury prompted Ricky Nolasco's move to the rotation after The Fish planned on putting him in the bullpen. The Marlins got even more bad news as spring training went on. INF/1B coach Perry Hill retired, leaving the Marlins with a huge hole as Hill was considered to be one of the best defensive coaches around and was credited for the previous defensive success of Gold Glovers Luis Castillo and Mike Lowell. The Marlins also lost OF Jeremy Hermida when an MRI of his right kneecap revealed a deep bone bruise. Days before the opener, the Marlins, looking for a veteran closer, traded P Yusmeiro Petit for P Jorge Julio.
Julio struggled on the mound early on and went on the disabled list with a calf strain. P Kevin Gregg then emerged as the new closer. Injuries then became the center of focus for the Marlins as Opening Day center fielder, Alejandro De Aza had an ankle sprain, P Sergio Mitre had a blister problem and P Ricky Nolasco had a sore elbow. The Marlins entered the month of May and ran into more bad news. Marlins sent P Anibal Sanchez to the minor leagues, where he was put on the Minor League DL with shoulder tendinitis.He then went out for the remainder of the season due to a tear in his labrum. The Fish also put promising pitcher Henry Owens on the DL as well as 1B Mike Jacobs. They sought bullpen help, dealing Jorge Julio, who amassed 2 blown saves and 2 loses in his tenure, to the Rockies for P Byung-Hyun Kim. The Fish did get good news that May when Hermida returned with the ballclub and position players Hanley Ramirez and Dan Uggla avoided sophomore slumps by putting up great numbers.
As injuries amassed for the Marlins, they traded P Randy Messenger to the Giants for P Armando Benitez. Despite the trade, the Marlins put Benitez in the setup role and left Gregg as the closer. In the June Draft, the Marlins selected 3B Matt Dominguez out of high school; it marked the first time since 2002 that the Fish got a position player rather than pitcher in the first round. The Fish got good news with the return of Johnson and Jacobs, but also had the bad news when 1B Aaron Boone was sent to the DL with a season-ending knee injury, leaving the Fish without their main backup infielder. The team entered the All Star break with more injuries: SS Hanley Ramirez had a hamstring injury and Miguel Cabrera missed the Home Run Derby with a shoulder injury. The Marlins sent only one player to the All Star game as Miguel Cabrera went for a franchise record fourth time and fourth straight overall. The team had a record of 42-47 at the break.
After the All-Star break, the Marlins fell apart. The Fish went on to lose P Josh Johnson for the remainder of the 2007 and all of the 2008 season after undergoing Tommy John Surgery. After a July 20 game against the Reds, Scott Olsen was arrested by Aventura, Florida police and booked on charges of driving under the influence, resisting arrest with violence and fleeing and eluding a police officer. After completing the Reds series at 48-51, the Marlins sunk dramatically to last place in the NL East with a record of 23-40 the rest of the way and a 71-91 record overall. The Marlins had to deal with the struggles of both Willis and Olsen, the teams' top starters who both finished with ERA's north of 5.00 carrying 15 losses a piece. The Marlins did have some bright spots on offense as they set club records for runs scored (790), hits (1,504), doubles (340), home runs (201), RBIs (749) and slugging percentage (.448).
As the Marlins wrapped up the season they announced that pitching coach Rick Kranitz won't be back with the club and extended Larry Beinfest and Michael Hill to long term deals that run through 2015 along with promotions to President of Baseball Operations and Vice President/General Manager, respectively.
Information excerpted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florida_Marlins. All Rights Reserved.
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