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Miami Marlins Tailgating
The Miami Marlins began play in the 1993 season as the Florida Marlins. They played home games from their inaugural season to the2011 season at Sun Life Stadium, which they shared with the Miami Dolphins of the National Football League (NFL) and which was also called Joe Robbie Stadium, Pro Player Park, Pro Player Stadium, Dolphin Stadium, Dolphins Stadium, and Land Shark Stadium during their tenancy. Since the 2012 season, they have played at Marlins Park in downtown Miami, on the site of the former Orange Bowl. The new park, unlike Sun Life Stadium (which was criticized in its baseball configuration for poor sight lines in some locations), was designed foremost as a baseball park. The new park’s name is a temporary one until naming rights are purchased. Per agreement with the city and Miami-Dade County (which owns the park), the Marlins officially changed their name to the “Miami Marlins” on November 11, 2011. They also adopted a new logo, color scheme, and uniforms.
The Marlins have the distinction of winning a World Series championship every year they qualified for the postseason, doing so in 1997and 2003 — both times as the National League wild card team. They defeated the American League champion Cleveland Indians in the 1997 series, which was notable for shortstop Edgar Rentería driving in second baseman Craig Counsell for the series-clinching run in the eleventh inning of the seventh and deciding game and the “fire sale” which occurred in the off-season following the dramatic win. The2003 season was notable for the firing of manager Jeff Torborg after thirty-eight games. The Marlins were in last place in the National League East with a 16–22 record at the time. Torborg’s successor, 72-year-old Jack McKeon, led them to the National League’s wild card berth in the playoffs; they defeated the New York Yankees four games to two in the 2003 World Series.
1990–1996: Birth of the Marlins
On March 7, 1990, Wayne Huizenga, CEO of Blockbuster Entertainment Corporation, announced he had purchased 15 percent of the NFL’s Miami Dolphins and 50 percent of the Dolphins’ home, Joe Robbie Stadium, for an estimated $30 million. Huizenga stated his intention to aggressively pursue an expansion franchise. MLB had announced a few months earlier that it intended to add two new teams to the National League. It was a foregone conclusion that one of them would be placed in Florida; the only question was whether Huizenga would beat out competing groups from Orlando and Tampa Bay. Orlando fielded a very spirited campaign bolstered by its family-oriented tourism industry. Tampa Bay already had a baseball park—the Florida Suncoast Dome in St. Petersburg, completed in 1990. However, on June 10, 1991, the National League awarded a Miami-based franchise to Huizenga for a $95 million expansion fee. One name considered early on was the Florida Flamingos.
In November 1991, the Marlins hired Fredi González as the Marlins first Minor League manager.
On December 16, 1991, they made their first-ever signing, inking 16-year-old Dominican pitcher Clemente Núñez to a contract. They selected catcher Charles Johnson of the University of Miami with their first-ever first round draft pick in June 1992. Later that year Marlins President Carl Barger collapsed and died at the baseball winter meetings in Louisville, Kentucky. The Marlins later retired the number 5 in honor of Barger’s favorite player, Joe DiMaggio.
The Marlins’ first manager was Rene Lachemann, a former catcher who had previously managed the Seattle Mariners and Milwaukee Brewers, and who at the time of his hiring was a third base coach for the Oakland Athletics. The team drafted its initial lineup of players in the 1992 MLB Expansion Draft. The Marlins defeated the Houston Astros 12–8 in their inaugural Spring Training game. Jeff Conine hit Florida’s first homer before a crowd of 6,696 at the Cocoa Expo Sports Complex. The Marlins won their first game on April 5, 1993, against the Dodgers. Charlie Houghwas the starting pitcher for that game. Jeff Conine went 4–4 as well, making him an immediate crowd favorite. By the end of his tenure with Florida, he would earn the nickname “Mr. Marlin.”Gary Sheffield and Bryan Harvey represented the Marlins as the club’s first All-Star Game selections, and Sheffield homered in the Marlins first All-Star Game at-bat. The team finished the year five games ahead of the last-place New York Mets and with an attendance of 3,064,847. In that season, the Marlins traded their young set-up reliever Trevor Hoffman and two minor-league prospects to the San Diego Padres for third baseman Gary Sheffield. While Sheffield helped Florida immediately and became an all-star, Hoffman eventually emerged as the best closer in theNational League. After the 1993 season, Donald A. Smiley was named the second President in club history. The Marlins finished last (51–64) in their division in the strike shortened season of1994 and fourth (67–76) in 1995. Lachemann was replaced as manager midway through the 1996 season by director of player development, John Boles.
The Marlins had some bright spots on the mound and behind the plate in 1996. The team’s 3.95 ERA ranked third in the NL, thanks in large part to newcomer Kevin Brown, who finished the season with a 17–11 win-loss record and an impressive 1.89 ERA. On May 11, Al Leiter pitched the first no-hitter in Marlins history. Catcher Charles Johnson led the league with a .995 fielding percentage, threw out a league-high 48 percent of base runners, and collected his second straight Gold Glove Award for fielding excellence. After a slow start, the Marlins finished the year with an 80–82 win-loss record to place third in their division. Boles returned to his previous position as director of player development, and former Pittsburgh Pirates manager Jim Leyland was hired to lead the club in 1997.
1997: First World Series title/The Fire Sale
In addition to hiring Leyland as manager, the Marlins signed third baseman Bobby Bonilla, outfielder Moisés Alou, and pitcher Alex Fernandez to lucrative free-agent contracts, raising expectations to levels far beyond anything in franchise history.
The Marlins’ franchise got its second no-hitter from ace Kevin Brown on June 10, 1997. Brown nearly had a perfect game, but he hit the Giants’ Marvin Benard with a pitch in the 8th inning when Benard attempted to bunt. With Brown, Leiter and Fernandez heading the rotation, and Robb Nen closing out games, the Marlins’ staff was almost systematic during their regular season run. In 1997, the Marlins finished nine games back of the Division Champion Atlanta Braves, but earned the wild card berth. Veteran additions such as LF Moisés Alou, 3B Bobby Bonilla, and trade-deadline additions Darren “Dutch” Daulton and Jim Eisenreich added experience and clutch hits. Talented young stars provided solid defensive play with catcher Charles Johnson setting a major league record by playing in 123 games without committing a single error, while Luis Castillo (2B) and Edgar Rentería (SS) comprised one of the best double play combos in the League. Castillo did not perform to expectations offensively, and was replaced by Craig Counsell before the playoffs began. The Marlins swept the San Francisco Giants 3–0 in the National League Division Series, and then went on to beat the Atlanta Braves 4–2 in the National League Championship Series, overcoming the loss of Alex Fernandez to a torn rotator cuff, and Kevin Brown to a virus. Brown’s place was taken in Game 5 by rookie pitcher Liván Hernández, who had earned a spot in the rotation in the second half of the season, but was not in the rotation during the postseason. Hernandez struck out 15 Braves and outdueled multiple Cy Young award-winner Greg Maddux to a 2–1 victory and a 3–2 series lead. Brown returned to the mound for Game 6, pitching a complete game victory to secure the Marlins their first-ever National League pennant. The underdog Marlins went on to face the Cleveland Indians in the 1997 World Series, and won in seven games. In Game 7, Craig Counsell’s sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth tied the game at 2, then, with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the 11th, Edgar Rentería’s soft liner glanced off the glove of Cleveland pitcher Charles Nagy and into center field to score Counsell and give the Marlins the win.
Following the World Series victory, Huizenga dismantled the team, claiming financial losses despite having won the World Series. He traded most of the club’s best players in one of the biggestfire sales in sports history. The first deal came days after the World Series, when the Marlins traded outfielder Moisés Alou to the Houston Astros for pitchers Oscar Hernandez and Manuel Barrios. The team then traded Kevin Brown to the San Diego Padres for Derrek Lee and two minor leaguers. Finally, in May 1998, they dealt Bobby Bonilla, Gary Sheffield, Charles Johnson,Jim Eisenreich, and Manuel Barrios to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Mike Piazza and Todd Zeile, both of whom would be gone via trades by midseason. On the flip side, these trades brought promising youngsters Derrek Lee and A. J. Burnett.
1998–2002: Last Place Finishes, New ownership
The Marlins’ 1998 slumped to 54–108, the worst record in the major leagues that year, and the most losses in franchise history. They are the only team to lose 100 games a year after winning the World Series. Leyland resigned as manager in October 1998, and was replaced by John Boles. Huizenga soon sold the club to John Henry, a commodities trader from Boca Raton, during the off-season. The Marlins had the second overall pick in the 1999 draft and drafted Josh Beckett from the state of Texas.
In 1999, the Marlins were the first MLB team to host a game in which Instant Replay was used. While playing the Cardinals, Cliff Floyd hit a ball to the top of the left field scoreboard. Originally ruled a home run, NL Umpire Frank Pulli reversed the call to a double, after consulting a dugout TV monitor. The Cardinals won the game, 5–2. After the game, the NL League Office declared the umpires erred in using Instant Replay. MLB would not use Instant Replay again for almost a decade. The Marlins finished the 1999 season with the worst record in baseball at 64–98, and traded World Series MVP Liván Hernández to the San Francisco Giants. The Marlins also drafted P Johan Santana from Houston in the Rule 5 draft but traded him to Minnesota in a prearranged deal for P Jared Camp.
A month prior to the regular season, the Marlins hired David Dombrowski as the third President in club history, making him both President and General Manager. After posting the worst record in baseball for the 1999 season, the Marlins had the first overall pick in the 2000 first-year player draft and selected first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, a 16-year-old native of Bonita, California. The Eastlake High School product agreed to terms with the Marlins that same day. The Marlins went on that season to finish 79–82 and third place in the NL East. This was thanks to the emergence of OF Preston Wilson who had 31 home runs and 121 RBIs. Derrek Lee and Luis Castillo broke out this year as well, as Castillo posted a .334 batting average and Lee had 28 homers in his first full season. Antonio Alfonseca posted a then-club record 45 saves.
The club slowly worked its way back to respectability with a third place finish in 2000, driven by young stars such as A. J. Burnett, Brad Penny, Preston Wilson, Luis Castillo, and Mike Lowell. Burnett pitched the Marlins’ third no-hitter on May 12 against the Padres, 2001, despite walking nine batters and throwing only 1/2 of his pitches for strikes. Three weeks after the no-no, Manager John Boles was fired and Hall of Famer Tony Pérez was named interim manager for the rest of the season. The club finished 76–86 and in fourth place, thanks to Brad Penny’s and A. J. Burnett’s emergence.
The offseason following the 2001 regular season included an overhaul of the ownership and front office. Tony Pérez resigned and returned to his previous role as the front-office Baseball Operations assistant. About a month later, David Dombrowski resigned as President and General Manager of the Florida Marlins and accepted the position as President of the Detroit Tigers. Entering the new year, Henry sold the Marlins to Montreal Expos owner Jeffrey Loria, clearing the way for Henry to buy the Boston Red Sox. Loria brought the entire Expos management and coaching staff to the Marlins. David Samson became team president, Larry Beinfest became General Manager and Jeff Torborg became manager.
Prior to the 2002 season, the Marlins traded RHP Matt Clement and RHP Antonio Alfonseca to the Cubs for RHP Julián Tavárez, LHP Dontrelle Willis, RHP Jose Cueto and C Ryan Jorgensen. The Marlins had their ups as Luis Castillo had a team record 35-game hitting streak and Kevin Millar had a 25-game hit streak. Around the all-star break they made their second big trade sending OF Cliff Floyd to the Expos for RHP Carl Pavano, RHP Justin Wayne, INF Mike Mordecai, LHP Graeme Lloyd, RHP Don Levinski and INF Wilton Guerrero. The same day, the Fish dealt RHP Ryan Dempster to the Cincinnati Reds for OF Juan Encarnación and LHP Ryan Snare. The Marlins finished 79–83, second best season in team history up to that time, but their fifth straight losing season since winning the World Series.
The Marlins also turned their first ever triple play in franchise history on July 28, 2002.
2003–2005: Second World Series title/The Jack McKeon Era
During the offseason, the Marlins signed free agent catcher Iván Rodríguez – a 10-time Gold Glove Award winner – and acquired speedy outfielder Juan Pierre from the Colorado Rockies hoping to offset the loss of sluggers Cliff Floyd and Preston Wilson. The Marlins did acquire P Mike Hampton but dealt him and his hefty contract to the Braves for P Tim Spooneybarger.
The Marlins struggled in the opening stages of the season, going 16–22. During that span, Florida lost its top three pitchers: A. J. Burnett, Josh Beckett, and Mark Redman. On May 11, Florida replaced manager Jeff Torborg with 72-year-old Jack McKeon. On May 22, the Marlins hit bottom with a major league worst record of 19–29, having lost 6 straight games. However, help was on the way.
On May 9, the Marlins called up high-kicking southpaw Dontrelle Willis from the Double-A Carolina Mudcats and helped carry the injury-plagued Marlins with an 11–2 record in his first 17 starts. Miguel Cabrera (also from the Mudcats) filled in well, hitting a walk off home run in his first major league game, against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays at Pro Player Stadium. Both Willis and Cabrera would later prove to be essential parts of the Marlin’s playoff success. Jeff Conine – an original Marlin and member of the 1997 World Series team – returned from Baltimore, and closer Ugueth Urbina arrived from the Texas Rangers. These acquisitions helped to keep the team in contention, and although they finished ten games behind the Braves, the Marlins captured the NL wild card.
The Marlins won the Division Series against the favored San Francisco Giants three games to one. The series ended with a dramatic collision between Marlins catcher Rodríguez and Giants first baseman J. T. Snow, making it the first postseason series ever to end with the potential tying run being thrown out at the plate.
On October 15, the Marlins defeated the Chicago Cubs four games to three in the Championship Series, coming back from a three games to one deficit. A Beckett complete-game shutout in Game 5 kept the Marlins alive. Game 6 saw the Marlins play a role in one of baseballs most infamous moments: “The Inning” . With 1 one out in the 8th inning and the Cubs 3 runs ahead, Marlins 2nd baseman Luis Castillo hit a pop foul a row into the stands along the third base line. Cubs fan Steve Bartman reached for the ball, preventing Cubs LF Moisés Alou from making the out and setting off an 8-run Marlins rally. The incident with Steve Bartman and a come-from-behind win in Wrigley Field in Game 7 helped the Marlins capture their second NL pennant, keeping the “Curse of the Billy Goat” alive and well.
In the 2003 World Series, the Marlins defeated the heavily favored New York Yankees in six games, winning the sixth game in Yankee Stadium. Shortstop Álex González helped the Marlins in Game 4 of the series with a walk off home run in extra innings. Josh Beckett was named the Most Valuable Player for the series after twirling a five-hit complete-game shutout in Game 6. Skipper Jack McKeon became the oldest manager ever to win a World Series title. The Marlins became the first opposing team to win a Series championship on the field at Yankee Stadium since the 1981 World Series, when the Los Angeles Dodgers did it. The Marlins are also the last team to win a World Series at the Old Yankee Stadium. The Marlins won the series despite scoring fewer runs (17) than the Yankees (21).
The offseason after their second World Series title, the Marlins made a questionable cost-cutting move as Derrek Lee was traded to Chicago Cubs for Hee-seop Choi and pitcher Mike Nannini. The Marlins also lost key parts of their second championship team, Ugueth Urbina and Iván Rodríguez left via free agency (signed by the Detroit Tigers). Marlins third base coach Ozzie Guillénalso departed to be manager of the Chicago White Sox. The Marlins did get good news though as Dontrelle Willis was named NL Rookie of the Year and Jack McKeon named Manager of the Year. They also signed Mike Lowell to a new four-year contract.
After winning the 2003 World Series, the Marlins entered 2004 with high hopes and a retooled roster. Retaining a core of stars from their title team and hoping that newly acquired 1B Hee-seop Choi would emerge, the Marlins fell short of reaching the postseason, but they posted the third winning season in franchise history, boasting an 83–79 record. During the season, the Marlins to made one of the biggest trades in club history as Los Angeles got P Brad Penny, 1B Hee-seop Choi and Double-A left-hander Bill Murphy in exchange for P Guillermo Mota, C Paul Lo Ducaand OF Juan Encarnación. Pitchers Carl Pavano and Armando Benítez turned in record-setting performances. Pavano went 18–8 with a 3.30 ERA, and his 18 wins established a season high by a Marlin. Benitez became the club’s season saves leader with 47 (in 51 saves attempts). Pavano, Benitez, Mike Lowell and Miguel Cabrera each enjoyed All-Star seasons, with Cabrera belting 33 homers (second-most ever in a season by a Marlin) while driving in 112 runs.
While losing All-Stars Carl Pavano and Armando Benítez in the off-season, the Marlins signed P Al Leiter and 1B Carlos Delgado. Delgado’s contract was the biggest in franchise history at $52 million over 4 years, with an option for a fifth year. Meanwhile, play-by-play TV broadcaster Len Kasper was also lost to the Chicago Cubs and replaced by Rich Waltz (who had previously been with the Seattle Mariners), and radio announcer John “Boog” Sciambi was replaced by Roxy Bernstein.
With the addition of Delgado, many sportswriters expected the Marlins to finish the 2005 season in either first or second place in the NL East. However, at the All-Star break they were 44–42, and the NL East was unusually competitive, as all five of its teams had a winning record at the break. While Cabrera, Willis, and several others posted very good first-half numbers, Lowell was one of the least productive regular major-league starters, and Leiter went 3–7 with an ERA of 6.64 before being traded to the New York Yankees on July 15 for a player to be named later. Additionally, Guillermo Mota, who was acquired by Florida in 2004 along with Paul Lo Duca and Juan Encarnación and was expected to be their closer, was inconsistent, and the Marlins gave the closer job to veteran Todd Jones, whom they signed in the offseason. However, the Marlins did send four players to the All-Star Game (Willis, Lo Duca, Castillo, and Cabrera), tying a team record.
The club was expected to be quite active at the trading deadline (July 31), as Burnett was slated to be a free agent after the season and had already declared his desire to test the market like Pavano did. Burnett was mentioned in possible trades with the Chicago White Sox, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Toronto Blue Jays, and Texas Rangers, with many rumors also including Lowell or Encarnacion. The Marlins did not make a huge move at the deadline, instead trading minor-leaguer Yorman Bazardo to the Seattle Mariners for left-handed pitcher Ron Villone.
The Marlins did have some pleasant surprises during the season. Dontrelle Willis became the 13th member of the Black Aces when he defeated the Washington Nationals to earn his 20th win. He finished the season 22–10 with a 2.63 ERA, and he was considered a favorite to win the Cy Young Award for much of the season. Also, Jones, a journeyman who had been signed as a setup man, had one of the best years of his career as a closer; he earned 40 saves and had a 2.13 ERA. In addition, late-season call up Jeremy Hermida, a highly regarded prospect who has been compared to the Atlanta Braves‘ Jeff Francoeur, hit a pinch-hit grand slam in his first major-league at-bat and a game-tying two-run homer in the last game of the season.
The Marlins led the NL wild-card race as late as September 13, then lost 12 of their next 14 games. The Marlins closed the season by sweeping the Braves, and their final record for the season stood at 83–79. After the season, lingering stadium issues forced the Marlins to ponder big moves with their roster and also ponder possible relocation to Las Vegas, San Antonio, or Portland.
2006–2011: Market Correction and Rebuilding
After a disappointing back to back seasons of 83–79 records (2004 and 2005) which were expected to be seasons of contention by the Marlins along with failed attempts to get state financing for a new ballpark, the team began a controversial dumping of players for prospects.
The “Market Correction” (as dubbed by David Samson) yielded a wave of new players who would signal the start of a new era in Marlins history. In a trade considered one of the best in team history, the Marlins acquired Hanley Ramírez and Aníbal Sánchez among others from the Red Sox for World Series MVP Josh Beckett and fan favorite Mike Lowell in a Thanksgiving blockbuster. The Marlins would also trade Carlos Delgado (who signed a five-year deal the offseason before), Juan Pierre, and Luis Castillo in separate deals.
The Marlins were asked about ace Dontrelle Willis after his Cy Young caliber campaign in 2005 amid the “Market Correction” but rejected an offer from the Detroit Tigers that would have landed them now 4× MLB All-Star and 2011 AL MVP pitcher Justin Verlander and five-tool outfielder Curtis Granderson, both prospects with some major league experience under their belt.Afterwards, the Marlins offered Willis to the rival New York Mets for Major-league ready third baseman David Wright but they declined and then opted to keep Willis who represented nearly a third of their 2006 payroll of $15 million.
The Marlins would be a sub .500 team for two seasons (2006, 2007) following the Market Correction, and in a span of three seasons (2005–2007), the team had three different managers (Jack McKeon, Joe Girardi (fired after spat with owner Jeffrey Loria), and Fredi González. The Marlins were building upon a young nucleus revolving around Dan Uggla, Josh Johnson, Ricky Nolasco,Aníbal Sánchez, and Hanley Ramírez alongside Willis and Cabrera. However, after increasing demand of salary in their arbitration years and uncertainty of stadium situation, the Marlins pulled the trigger on dealing slugger Miguel Cabrera and southpaw Dontrelle Willis to the Detroit Tigers for outfielder Cameron Maybin, southpaw Andrew Miller, reliever Burke Badenhop among the six players received by Florida. (Willis became a victim of the so-called “Steve Blass Disease” shortly after the Marlins traded him.). However, the front office’s demand for quantity over quality in their return for their cornerstone players hurt them dearly. The Marlins had garnered serious interest from the Los Angeles Angels and Los Angeles Dodgers and both had major league-ready and minor league prospects to offer among the likes of Howie Kendrick (Angels), Ervin Santana (Angels), Matt Kemp (Dodgers), and Clayton Kershaw (Dodgers). Both of the LA teams would bow out because of the quantity demand of the Marlins and they again would miss out on getting All-Star caliber players, namely Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw who the Marlins could have obtained if their demands were lowered.
The franchise got back to .500 baseball in 2008 despite trading their cornerstone players in the offseason. The Marlins were nearly close to dealing for slugger Manny Ramirez from the Boston Red Sox at the trade deadline but backed out after Boston insisted the trade include promising outfielder Mike Stanton. Marlins declined and Ramirez was dealt to the Dodgers where he would slug 17 home runs, drive in 53 runs with a .396 batting average in only 53 games. The Marlins infield became the first in major league history to have an entire infield hit 29 home runs or more (1B: Mike Jacobs – 32 /2B: Dan Uggla – 32 / SS: Hanley Ramírez – 33 / 3B: Jorge Cantú: 29).
In 2009, the Marlins remained in the playoff chase until the middle of September thanks to Rookie of the Year Chris Coghlan and the breakout season of Hanley Ramírez who won the National League Batting Title. In 2010, the Marlins continued the trend of changing managers when they fired Fredi González midseason and gave Edwin Rodriguez the job through the remainder of the season. Rodriguez was later named manager for 2011. After the 2010 season, the Marlins continued their string of dealing players when their contracts became too much to bear, dealing power-hitting second basemen Dan Uggla to the Atlanta Braves after his insistence on an extra year in his possible contract extension went nowhere with the front office. The Marlins received second baseman Omar Infante and southpaw reliever Mike Dunn from the deal.
In the offseason, the Marlins also pulled the plug on their returns from the disastrous Cabrera/Willis trade dealing Andrew Miller to the Red Sox for a minor league prospect and Cameron Maybin to the Padres for a pair of reliever to aid a struggling bullpen from the 2010 season.
With a new stadium on the horizon, the 2010 offseason marked a change in direction for the franchise, as they it became a buyer all over in anticipation of a higher payroll and more revenue. In 2011, The Marlins brought in several relief pitchers (Randy Choate, Edward Mujica, Ryan Webb, and Michael Dunn among them) to revamp a depleted bullpen; All-Stars John Buck and Omar Infante, and former All-Star Javier Vázquez were also added to their roster. It began a change in direction for the Marlins as they looked to be more aggressive on the trade front (for their short term benefit) and free agency.
However, the club faltered in 2011 with injuries to Josh Johnson and Hanley Ramírez (shoulder) after showing promise in the months of April and May. After an infamous home plate collision involving outfielder Scott Cousins and Giants catcher Buster Posey in late May, the team began a downfall. Manager Edwin Rodriguez resigned in June, Chris Coghlan revealed his lingering knee issue when the club was to demote him and never returned to 25 man roster that season, and Jack McKeon returned as manager where he would reclaim title as most wins as Marlins manager.
2012-Present: New Ballpark, New Identity, New Firesale
On September 28, 2011, the Marlins introduced Ozzie Guillén as their new manager. On the same day, the Marlins played their last game at Sun Life Stadium with Charlie Hough and Benito Santiago being the first pitch battery, the same battery from the first Marlins game. The team also brought back former Marlins greats and released the All-Time Florida Marlins team and top 10 moments from the franchise’s 19-year history.
On November 11, 2011, the Marlins officially rebranded themselves the Miami Marlins with a new logo, uniform, and color scheme. The VIP event was held at the site of the new ballpark at night, featuring a private concert by Pitbull and a fashion show featuring the new uniforms worn by various Marlins players and coaches, including Ozzie Guillén, Logan Morrison,Hanley Ramírez, and Josh Johnson.
With a new ballpark and increased revenue stream, the team showed rare interest in the top free agents on the market which included slugger Albert Pujols, pitchers C. J. Wilson and Ryan Madson. During the baseball Winter Meetings, the Marlins signed All-Star closer Heath Bell, followed by All-Star shortstop José Reyes signed to the longest and most lucrative contract in team history. After negotiations with Pujols fell through, the Marlins also signed Mark Buehrle. After failing to sign C. J. Wilson, the Marlins pursued other pitchers and eventually settled on volatile pitcher Carlos Zambrano in a trade with the Chicago Cubs for Chris Volstad.
Two Marlins players changed their names during the offseason. Leo Núñez, who was playing under an assumed name in 2011, is now officially recognized as Juan Carlos Oviedo. Mike Stanton is now known by his birth name of Giancarlo Stanton. Coincidentally, “Giancarlo” translates from Italian to Spanish as “Juan Carlos.”
The team struggled for the majority of the season, despite setting a franchise record for wins in a month (21) in May. By August, a few high-profile players, such as Hanley Ramírez, had been traded, and others, such as Giancarlo Stanton, were injured. On August 12, the Marlins only had one player from their opening day line-up, Jose Reyes, in the game’s starting line-up. On October 23, 2012, Guillen was dismissed as manager of the Marlins, despite three years remaining on his contract.
On November 19, 2012, José Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, John Buck, and Emilio Bonifacio, were traded to the Blue Jays in exchange for Jeff Mathis, Adeiny Hechavarria, Henderson Álvarez, Yunel Escobar, Jake Marisnick, Anthony DeSclafani and Justin Nicolino.
In the 2013 season the Marlins went 62-100. they were lead by the star Giancarlo Stanton, and the rookie José Fernández.