Friday, January 4, 2013

January 4- Miami Marlins

I remember when the new Marlins logo and team name was revealed to the public back in November of 2011, I sat and stared at it in the same manner I did when I first gazed upon a Salvador Dali painting. A slight crook of the mouth, and a subtle, “Huh” came out. I was quite perplexed. Even more so when the team changed from Florida to the Miami Marlins. Over the years I had become used to teams changing colors and uniform styles, but with the exception of the Angles, I honestly didn’t think any other team would go so far as changing the location name of their team after they flack that they had, and still receive. With that, there really wasn’t much that I, a fan, could really do about it. After all, how many teams do you know of that truly appreciate and incorporate fan input into their business decisions? Only one really, the Oakland A’s, but that’s beside the point. :)

Having started my mission of obtaining every hat, I knew at some point down the road I would have to acquire the one that is currently affixed to my melon. Much like the Dali reference earlier, over time I grew a keen fascination with the design. It has a futuristic-vintage look to it; by which I mean it looks futuristic as people from the 60s and 70s imagined how things would look 40-50 years from then. The colors work for the area they reside in, but I still think the original colors would have worked wonders for the rest of their existence.

When I picked it up in the middle of December of 2011, the major deals had just begun for the Marlins during the Winter Meetings. Not being one to boast an unproven experiment, I opted to mark my hat with players who were, not only established, but guys who I thought would be faces of the franchise for years to come. It also gave me a chance to pay homage to a favorite expression from high school and the first bar I ever drank at legally when I turned 21: Triple Nickel.

#5- Logan Morrison was interesting dude when I met him this last season in the MLB Fan Cave. The sketch we were working on featured Morrison giving a tour of New York City atop a double-decker bus. If you've had a chance to watch the video, great. If not, I highly recommend it. Not only for the sake of Morrsion's comedy, but it's also one of the few times I'm actually shown on screen.

Morrison was a 22nd round draft pick by the Marlins in the 2005 Amateur draft out of Slidell, Louisiana. He made his debut after the All-Star break in 2010 and was met with modest success. In his first 62 games he went .283/2/18, but also tacked on SEVEN triples. What's amazing about the triples is that Dexter Fowler led the Majors in triples that year with 14. LoMo was able to do half of that in only 1/3 of the time. And one thing that I know is not an easy accomplishment is hitting 20 or more triples in a season. It's only been done five times since 1985.

LoMo was originally #20 for his first two years in the Show, but asked permission to use #5 in honor of his late father whose favorite player was Kansas City Royals Hall of Famer George Brett. The #5 had previously been retired by the team in honor of the Marlins' founding president and COO Carl Barger, whose favorite player was Joe DiMaggio.

#55- Josh Johnson was a fourth round pick by the Marlins in the 2002 draft out of Jenks, Oklahoma. He made his debut in 2005 for a few games, but was thrown immediately into the rotation for the 2006 season. Johnson went 12-7 with a 3.30 ERA and 133 strikeouts; which was good enough for a fourth place finish for National League Rookie of the Year. 2007 was halted by injury, but he bounced back in 2008 going 7-1 with a 3.61 ERA in 14 games. 2009 and 2010 have so far proven to be the most notable years of Johnson's career. Despite making his only two All-Star Game appearances those seasons, he combined for a record of 26-11, a combined ERA of 2.80, 377 strikeouts combined and a fifth place finish for the NL Cy Young award.

Despite how new the hat was I still opted to mark it up with the two guys that I thought would be the faces of the franchise for years to come. In the after math of the fire sale it's rather apparent that my original thought will never come to be. Morrison can obviously still turn his fortune around this next season, but I imagine it'll be rather difficult with only Giancarlo Stanton as the other only other offensive threat, or so it seems. Johnson, on the other hand, will do well in Toronto with the Blue Jays. He still has amazing stuff if he stays healthy, and I honestly feel that he will be a deep threat for the 2013 American League Cy Young award and be the Jays' ace. Mark it!

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