Savor the beating your Phillies gave the Florida Marlins yesterday gang. It was a victory that gave the Phillies an even more commanding lead in the division, a lead that could widen after today’s doubleheader. But ah, you may find that the Marlins will not always be such ready pushovers. Indeed, the team that already has an inexplicable two World Series titles could soon find themselves with many more, at least if you believe Jim McCormick of Philly Sports Daily:
With a new $525 million stadium set to open next spring and with a new name as well – the Miami Marlins – this is a burgeoning team that the Phillies are well aware of, if fans and pundits are just now recognizing their ascension.
The Marlins have some coveted winning ingredients already; a proven frontline ace in Josh Johnson, who had the lowest ERA in the NL last season. Hanley Ramirez, despite his sluggish start this season, is a superstar shortstop adept in slugging and speed, and who still has his best years in front of him. They are a young talented team with bats that average 27.3 years old and arms that just a year older by average age.
The Marlins won two titles by keeping payroll miniscule and riding young talent just as it began to ripen. But now that they’ve bilked taxpayers into giving them a fancy new stadium, people are expecting owner Jeffrey Loria to open his pocketbooks and actually retain some of the prospects the organization always seems happy to give away.
And that’s hilarious. I think it’s so cute the way people expect cheap owners to stop being cheap after handing them increased profits. Haven’t you people learned this lesson before? Have the Pirates or Bengals or Clippers taught you nothing? A new stadium doesn’t change the culture of a franchise, not when it’s run by someone as outrageously cheap as Loria. He’s not gonna spend more money. He’s gonna COUNT more money, then he’s going to do what he always does, which is sit back and hoard it all. And if the team loses a lot or wins a World Series title, it’s immaterial to him. What matters to him is that he has a reliable profit generator that he can access at any time. The Marlins won’t change. They’ll be subjected to same ebbs and flows they always have. And maybe they’ll be a threat some years. But if you think they’ll turn into the Yankees of the Southeast, that’s never happening.