A song to play while you’re reading about the Marlins: “Hurt” by Nine Inch Nails

Some things are more important than baseball. If the game ceased to exist, we would miss it terribly, but we’d be mostly okay. Physical and mental well-being is all that really matters anyway. Our value as human beings derives from self-worth, health, happiness, and helpfulness. No doubt, the Marlins are a terrible baseball team, but these things are fleeting in the long run. It’s much more important to lead a fulfilling existence.

Compared to most other franchises, the Marlins are still in their adolescence. This is a time of self-discovery, when so many of the swirling feelings of self-esteem and one’s place in society begin to cool and harden. It’s a critical period in any life cycle. Without positive influences to guide us, we all could wander down a dangerous path. This is why I’m worried about the Marlins.

You see, the Marlins are an at-risk youth.

According to youth.gov, there are several warning signs. Sadly, the Marlins check a lot of the boxes.

  • Marked fall in school performance – The 2017 Marlins finished second in the NL East, with a not-terrible 77-85 record. After trading away their outfield consisting of MVPs Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich as well as All-Star Marcell Ozuna, they dropped to 63-98 — last in the standings.
  • Poor grades in school despite trying very hard – In spite of the precipitous decline (which apparently is what happens when a team trades all their best players), Derek Jeter went on record a month ago claiming he wants the Marlins to “win now.” His comments came about a week after he traded J.T. Realmuto to the Phillies. If this is what “win now” mode looks like in Miami, let’s hope we never see a full-on rebuild.
  • Severe worry or anxiety, as shown by regular refusal to go to school, go to sleep or take part in activities that are normal for the child’s age – The Marlins definitely have an attendance problem. As explained by Ely Sussman, Daniel Martinez, and Josean Santos at Fish Stripes, their 10,014 fans per game average is the lowest by any team since the 2004 Expos. Several minor league teams came close to topping them, and at least one university actually succeeded.
  • Frequent physical complaints – The Marlins placed 24 different players on the DL last season, and Martín Prado visited twice. The injury impact was roughly average compared to other MLB teams; Roster Resource rated them 17th in roster effect rating. In a way, one might have hoped to place higher on the list. It would be easier to dismiss the poor win-loss record to injuries. Alas, they cannot.
  • Marked changes in sleeping and/or eating habits – It’s difficult to speculate on how well the Marlins sleep or eat, but here are some tips for eating healthy at Marlins Park.
  • Extreme difficulties in concentrating that get in the way at school or at home
  • Sexual acting out The Marlins have a new look in 2019, and I have to admit, those powder blue alternate jerseys are pretty sexy.
  • Depression shown by sustained, prolonged negative mood and attitude, often accompanied by poor appetite, difficulty sleeping or thoughts of death – When the Marlins traded away the best outfield in baseball a year ago, they thought they were getting back a haul of prospects around which they could build again. Every single one of them failed to meet expectations. Some were awful in the majors such Lewis Brinson (56 wRC+), while others floundered in the minors like Isan Diaz (.232/.340/.399 in Double-A and Triple-A). Magneuris Sierra managed to disappoint above deck (.433 OPS in MLB) and below (.628 OPS in Triple-A). With the future of the franchise predicated on underwhelming young players, negative moods and attitudes are understandable. It’s going to take a lot longer than expected to turn the franchise around.
  • Severe mood swings – The Marlins have a history of lashing out, such as José Ureña’s beanball that resulted in a suspension. A few weeks later, Dan Straily and manager Don Mattingly were suspended for similar reasons. This is not a productive way to communicate feelings. They need a better outlet for emotions. Perhaps they should take up yoga or water colors.
  • Strong worries or anxieties that get in the way of daily life, such as at school or socializing – With a projected payroll just under $64 million, the Marlins are near the bottom of the league in spending. Even worse, this number is roughly $28 million lower than 2018. Whether the lack of offseason spending was caused by worry and anxiety or extreme frugality, the only two major league free agents they signed were Sergio Romo for one year, $2.5 million, and Neil Walker for one year, $2 million. (Curtis Granderson signed a minor league deal that will pay him $3.5 million if he makes the roster, which is likely).
  • Repeated use of alcohol and/or drugs(1)– Nope, not going there, even in jest.

The Marlins are in need of intervention. They’re spiraling out of control, and they’ll only get worse without proper support and treatment. We should speak with the Marlins’ spiritual adviser or pediatrician to discuss the best ways to get them back on track. They need love and understanding more than ever, even if they act like they don’t want or deserve it, before it’s too late.

Win total prediction: 60

What is the Marlins’ most recent accomplishment? 

It’s easy to miss, because the Marlins are the Marlins, but they’ve managed to develop some fine young pitchers. Trevor Richards (3.57 DRA), Caleb Smith (4.05 DRA), and Pablo López (4.58 DRA) proved they belong in a major league rotation. Combined with José Ureña (4.01 DRA), who is only 27 years old, they have the makings of a decent pitching staff. None of them will contend for a Cy Young Award, but back-end pitchers are a valuable, necessary commodity for every team.

How do the Marlins define success in 2019?

The only success that matters comes from the farm system. Player development is the entire season for the 2019 Marlins.

The most Effectively Wild player on the Marlins: Tayron Guerrero

The distinction between intimidation and terror is subtle, yet profound. Stepping into the box against, say, Max Scherzer is intimidating, but the batter does not fear for his safety. Conversely, Tayron Guerrero intimidates no one, featuring a 107.3 DRA-, but is the most terrifying pitcher in baseball. In 2018. There were exactly 50 pitches thrown harder than 103 MPH: 39 by Jordan Hicks, nine by Aroldis Chapman, and two by Guerrero. His velocity rates in the 100th percentile on Baseball Savant. However, with a ghastly 11.2 percent walk rate (plus three very painful hit batsmen), he has little idea where his blistering fastballs are going. Scherzer can make you look foolish, but Guerrero is more life-threatening than a volcano full of trampolines.

2019 promo that’s worth the price of admission

The best promo item is Bucket Hat Day on Saturday, April 13 against the Phillies. If you see anyone you know at the game, you can just pull the bucket hat over your face so they don’t recognize you.

…and finally, a haiku for 2019

Marlins are a joke
But the punchline never comes
Really, it’s just sad

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