Miami Marlins season review: Bruce Sherman Experience

Always something. Every time. Miami Marlins season wouldn’t be complete if it didn’t end in chaos even though there was some sort of success.

In a nutshell, the Marlins season went as follows;

  • Start the season with the best record since 2003.
  • Have a complete meltdown midseason.
  • Find help in the transfer market.
  • Book a place in the postseason.
  • End the season without your GM.

Welcome to the Bruce Sherman Experience!

Now that the season in in the books and the Texas Rangers hoisted the World Series trophy, it’s time to look a little bit at the Miami Marlins season.

Lets begin by looking the positive signs of the 2023 season – The Marlins finished the season with a 84-78 record, their best record in 20 years. They had a power hitter in the form of Jorge Soler with 36 home runs, Luis Arraez won the the National League batting title, Braxton Garrett and Jesus Luzardo emerged as solid starters and rookie manager Skip Schumaker found a way to have his team win close games. Marlins won the most 1-run games in the league with 33 wins.

As noted in the epilogue, the Marlins started the season hot but, after All-Star break, it collapsed. This is where the GM Kim Ng did her best job. The team acquired Josh Bell and Jake Burger, who brought fresh air to the clubhouse and in a way saved the Marlins’ season. With these deals, the team was able to book its place in the postseason for the first time in 20 years, and even though it exited the playoffs without a win and was manhandled by the Philadelphia Phillies, the season has to be marked as a positive. Well, this is how I felt a month ago anyway.

Now, you have to remember that we are talking about the Miami Marlins, who, for some reason, can’t get over itself. There is always something bad lurking around the corner when something positive happens to this franchise. There was a Bruce sign on the sky for Bruce Sherman to appear from the darkness!

Less than two weeks after the exit in the postseason, the Marlins announced that GM Kim Ng had resigned. In the reports, it said that there were talks about the owner wanting to reshape the baseball operations and this was not in line with her vision. This is now a second front office exit, the first one being the exit of Derek Jeter back in 2022, that has almost the same kind of quote coming from a person leaving this franchise. This is Kim Ng comment to The Athletic:

“Last week, Bruce and I discussed his plan to reshape the Baseball Operations department. In our discussions, it became apparent that we were not completely aligned on what that should look like.” 

Kim Ng

This is a quote from Derek Jeter in 2022:

That said, the vision for the future of the franchise is different than the one I signed up to lead.”

Derek Jeter
Embed from Getty Images

This is now and has always been the owner Bruce Sherman’s vision. He wants to run the circus, but doesn’t want to be in the front line. Well, it’s his money and he has the right to do anything he wants with that, but is he trying to run a business or a baseball team? I don’t know, but if they keep making drastic changes in the front office on a regular basis after something good has happened to this team, he has to carry the responsibility. It’s not like the Marlins have had a winning formula for years that has to be updated to match modern day winning baseball operations. They had one season of success and now they blow it open. Again.

I am not a millionaire like Mr Sherman, so clearly he knows how to make money. When he says to the media that he wants to bring quality baseball team to South Florida, is he really being serious though? This is a question on my mind when I look at his actions these past seasons. Two key people have been let go and they both talk about a difference in vision of this franchise that they have had with the owner. Does anybody who is actively working towards that vision actually know it other than himself? He knows how to make money. That is the vision, I guess.

The Marlins are currently without a GM and the free agent signing period is about to start. Jorger Soler opted out of his contract and former Cy Young Award winner Sandy Alcantara is about to miss the 2024 season with an injury. This is far from ideal. Two major holes to fill out for next season and all we have is Bruce’s ‘vision’.

Less than 24 hours after I had drafted this piece, Sherman showed a glimpse of his vision by making a slam dunk hiring to the Marlins organisation.

Marlins have hired Peter Bendix as the new head of baseball operations. Bendix, 38, comes from the Tampa Bay Rays’ organisation, where he last worked as a general manager. He knows how to win with minimal budget, something that the Marlins have tried to copy for years.

Got to give it to Sherman. This experience never let’s you get cold!

I asked deepAI to write a poem for Bruce Sherman and his vision:

Dear Bruce Sherman, owner of our team
We beg of you, hear our plea, our dream
It pains us to see our team downtrodden
A vision is needed, a plan to be taken

Stay safe and let’s go Fish!

Tomi Korkeamäki is the Miami Marlins writer for Bat Flips and Nerds. Follow him on Twitter @tkorkeamaki

Photo credit for lead image: Michael Reaves/Getty Images

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