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The Party Starts on Nov. 11 at New Ballpark for Miami Marlins: Fan’s Take
Although I've already begun to call them by their new name, the Florida Marlins won't officially be changing their moniker to the Miami Marlins for another week. Set to happen during a special ceremony that will include the unveiling of the new team logo and uniforms on Friday, Nov. 11 at the new retractable-roof Marlins Ballpark in Little Havana, the name-change will usher in a new era of South Florida baseball.
Miami fans can only hope this isn't really the new logo being unveiled next Friday. Combined with the atrociously tacky home run sculpture by Pop Artist Red Groom that has fans of the South Florida club cringing, such a hideous logo could alienate the new fans owner Jeffrey Loria hopes to attract to the next home of the Marlins.
As one fan named Drew Housman wrote about the sculpture (and whose feelings are mirrored by most Marlins fans about both it and the supposed logo I've come across) on the county department's Facebook page, "This HAS to be a joke."
Unfortunately for fans of the South Florida team, the sculpture at least is real; a testament to how badly the team management can think at times. If the "leaked" logo turns out to be official as well, it could be a bad start for the club.
One thing the Marlins management has seemingly done right is the renaming of the streets around their new ballpark. As Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports in one of his latest articles, the Miami franchise unveiled four names on Wednesday, Nov. 2 for the thoroughfares bordering their gleaming new stadium built on the old Orange Bowl site. While none of them will carry the history of such storied baseball streets as Waveland Avenue outside of the Chicago Cubs' Wrigley Field or Landsdowne Street outside of the Boston Red Sox' Fenway Park, they'll carry plenty of local history for the city of Miami.
Of course there's Marlins Way, which is just west of the ballpark on N.W. 16th Avenue, and on the opposite side will be Orange Bowl Way in honor of the former home of the Miami Dolphins. The last two streets to the north and south of the stadium will honor Felo Ramirez—the Marlins Hall of Fame Spanish-language broadcaster—and Bobby Maduro; the late baseball aficionado who was extremely instrumental in getting Hispanics interested in baseball in the region.
Another "home run" Loria and his team hit was in hiring former Chicago White Sox skipper Ozzie Guillen to be the team's new manager once they do move into their new digs. He will be leading a talented young team that will include Mike Stanton(notes) (whom the Marlins need to sign to a contract extension soon in order to lock him up at a good price for years to come), Gaby Sanchez(notes), Logan Morrison(notes), ace pitcher Josh Johnson(notes), and superstar shortstop Hanley Ramirez(notes) among others.
With the right tweaking—especially by acquiring the right free agents during the offseason—Miami could quickly go from a last-place team in the NL to a true contender.
As Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports in a recent article, the Marlins are even being talked about as a dark horse destination for superstar first-baseman Albert Pujols(notes) of the World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals. I myself proposed this idea a couple of weeks ago in an article you can read here. However, as I've thought about it—and as Rodriguez explains regarding how much he would take up of the $85-90 million payroll the Marlins are likely to have in 2012—it might not be something that happens.
The Texas Rangers' left-handed starter C.J. Wilson(notes), on the other hand, is a far more likely target of the Fish, as might be the Boston Red Sox' closer Jonathan Papelbon(notes) (as I suggest in an article linked to below). Whatever the South Florida club does, though, when they change their name to the Miami Marlins next Friday, the party will have started.
Here's hoping the management knows how to dance.
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Read more by Daniel Barber aka Hotnuke at TFS Sports.
*Daniel Barber has rooted for all Miami teams since he was a child or since their inception having been born right above Miami.
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