It's September. Divisions are up for grabs, wild card races are wild and half of MLB still has a chance at the playoffs. Over the next two weeks, we'll plan out how 16 contenders could win the World Series, "could" being the operative word. Some plans will be more absurd than others.
Team: Miami Marlins
Status: The fact that we're talking about the Marlins in September is a win for the franchise. They've lost at least 90 games each of the past three seasons. The Marlins chances at making the playoffs are pretty slim — they're 5 1/2 back for the NL wild card with the Pirates, Braves, Brewers and Giants all ahead of them. But that just means their World Series plan needs to be a little more aggressive, right?
THE MARLINS WILL WIN THE WORLD SERIES IF THESE FIVE THINGS HAPPEN
1. Giancarlo Stanton, the team's star slugger and MVP candidate, hits a home run every single at-bat from now until Halloween.
2. They figure out a way to disqualify NL Central teams from the playoffs, perhaps under a new statute that says "Stop bogarting all the postseason spots." Get rid of the Cardinals, Brewers and Pirates and the Marlins are the sixth-best team in the NL. That's the playoffs, y'all! The Marlins have played the Dodgers, Giants and Nats relatively well this year too, so getting into the playoffs could unlock a whole new world of possibilities.
3. Jose Fernandez reveals that he wasn't actually hurt and didn't undergo Tommy John surgery. Instead, he was in some crazy "Rocky III" type training program that transformed him into a mega-pitcher. He returns capable of throwing as many pitches as a Japanese teenager and is therefore unbeatable.
4. They figure out how to score LOTS of runs. Miami's -24 run differential isn't great compared to its fellow wild-card chasers, but the Cardinals are in first place with a -6 differential, so being in the red isn't a straight-up death sentence.
5. Manager Mike Redmond pulls something out of the "Major League" playbook and brings out a cardboard cutout of owner Jeffrey Loria with removable squares that would reveal Loria in the nude. Redmond tells Marlins players sternly, "Every time we LOSE we peel a section." The fear-stricken Marlins never lose again.
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