Nobody, literally nobody: After a few days in to the season become the most hated franchise around baseball for outbreak among the team with COVID-19, fear of getting cancelled and maybe shutting down the league. Stay in a hotel for a week, hire guys nobody has even heard about. Play great baseball at times, get blown out in almost a record breaking way, secure a playoff spot after 17 years at Yankees stadium. Sweep the Cubs in a playoff series and then hit the wall facing the Braves. Win manager of the year award and then brake the glass ceiling by hiring a first female General Manager in Major sports.
Miami Marlins: Hold my Piña Colada.
Somehow the Marlins went from being MLB’s punchline with their Covid outbreak back in July to making the playoffs, sweeping the Cubs, earning Don Mattingly manager off the year, then hiring first female GM in US men’s pro sports history. That’s one hell of a four months.
— Molly Knight (@molly_knight) November 13, 2020
So that really happened over a four month period. I am exhausted to be honest. So much happened that it felt like a continuous sugar rush in your brain and then come crashing down again just to get that rush again. This really was a year to be a fan of the Miami Marlins. At times it felt like you were watching a showcase when they brought up so many young guys from the farm. Veterans were solid and when you heard Don Mattingly talking about the clubhouse, it felt like they really moulded into a close team. Family was the word you heard a lot and you saw that on the field. Overachieving? Please. Just jump onboard with the hype train. Bottom feeders are here to feast!
So the team gets in to the playoffs. “That is awesome!” I say. Don Mattingly wins a manager of the year award. “Wow, that is a huge honour for this crazy season. There is no way I could be more proud of this team” I think. Here comes owner Bruce Sherman and CEO Derek Jeter “Wait for it, Tomi”. Miami Marlins went out there and hired Kim Ng as the new GM for the franchise. First female to lead an MLB team. “I´m so damn proud of this franchise!” I yell. You need to read this great article by Rachel Steinberg about her career in the Majors. This is truly fantastic!
Now with the new GM Kim Ng it will be interesting to see how this offseason will fold out. There has been a lot of talk about J.T Realmuto reunion but the best catcher in the game is looking for big money and not sure that fits with the Marlins ideology. Also this is the worst year to be a free agent after no fans in the stands. Last year they showed that they are ready to spend some money but let´s see. I think it would have been fun to see how free agency would have turned out to be if universal DH would have been in place also for next season in the National League but you know how absolute-no-fun-allowed Commissioner Robert Manfred is with these progressive things.
I just spoke with my friend that it feels like it has been 10 years dealing with this COVID-19. It feels so long ago, that I was sitting in my backyard, in the sunshine watching Korean baseball on my phone and wondering if we would even get MLB this season. Now I sit in my living room, watching PAW patrol with my daughter, it´s dark and cold outside but I could no be more proud of my club and waiting for the Korean Series to begin. This has been a rough year for everybody but I would like have this opportunity to thank the baseball community. All the people who have read these pieces, engaging on Twitter. Not just Marlins fans but everybody around the globe. Thank you Bat Flips and Nerds for this opportunity. Hopefully we can continue next year (Errr, you better be coming back – Tom P). I tip my hat to everybody. Without baseball and without the community this year would have been thousand times worse than it already has been. Hopefully there is sunshine ahead of us next year. There is a new dawn in the South Beach!
Keep safe everybody!
Lets go Marlins!
Tomi Korkeamaki is covering the Miami Marlins during 2020 as part of the growing team of writers at Bat Flips and Nerds. Follow him on Twitter @TKorkeamaki