How many times am I going to be wrong on the Miami Marlins?
They just don’t fit any trustworthy pattern. Never have, either, throughout their entire history.
When they’re supposed to be good, they go belly up and get broken up. When they’re
supposed to be mediocre, they overperform. And when they get a real hot streak going, they run into a brick wall against the lowly Braves.
Just took a look at my 2016 season preview column written at the end of spring training. Ouch.
My most reliable prediction was that Dee Gordon, the defending NL batting champion, would continue to be everything a team could want in a leadoff hitter. Wrong. In the season’s first month he got caught for using PED’s and was slapped with an 80-game suspension. Oh, and he’s ineligible for the playoffs, if there are playoffs.
Next I surmised that the Marlins didn’t have enough pitching to hang with the Nationals and Mets for an entire season. What else are you supposed to say when Wei-Yin Chen is your opening-day starter and Jose Fernandez is still working his way back from 2014 Tommy John surgery and Carter Capps, a strong candidate to close for Miami, blows his elbow out in spring training?
So far, however, that’s another big fat wrong. Miami’s team ERA is seventh in the league and A.J. Ramos is second on the NL saves list, with another closer, Fernando Rodney, just added by trade.
Oh, and I figured Giancarlo Stanton would have a big year but he’s scraping the bottom of the barrel with a batting average that didn’t climb past .200 until a few weeks ago.
Put it all together and my bottom line prediction of 76-86 also appears headed for the shredder. At this point the Marlins are within striking range in the NL East and in solid contention for a wild-card spot.
You know what it means if the Marlins qualify as a wild-card team, right? They win the World Series, every time.
When that’s your most trustworthy pattern, absolutely everything is wacky, which means being wrong about this franchise does actually feel just about right.