If the Marlins could actually put together a consistent product that made serious attempts to win for years to come, it all would have been worth it.
Of course, that's not what ended up happening. The Marlins went on a ridiculous spending spree in an attempt to drum up the necessary interest to initially fill the ballpark, but once things started to go south, they sold off every key piece ... again. Once again, Marlins fans were caught in the ruse.
Only this time, they had to foot the bill for an expensive new ballpark, put up with a manager that publicly supported the biggest villain of so many residents and watch a disappointing on-field product.
Indeed, this is a quite succinct summarization of what transpired in the 2012 season. Given the disappointing nature of the entire year, 2013 should be a welcome sight to see for Marlins fans. But the upcoming 2013 season will only serve as a reminder of the problems the team will be facing this year. The fire sale trade with the Toronto Blue Jays will lead to a number of scrubs and young minor league talents taking over positions with the Fish in 2013. Giancarlo Stanton is mad and trade rumors about him persist. The product the Marlins will boast in 2013 will be an ugly one in the wake of the actions of 2012.
Still, a new year should be a new beginning, and despite my cry to boycott the Miami Marlins, I am still a supporting fan at heart, if not in person and with money. With the calendar turning, I think it is best for me to spell out my new year's resolutions regarding the Miami Marlins and attempt to let the past rest in 2012's peace.
1. I resolve to watch every Giancarlo Stanton plate appearance with awe and wonder.
It feels almost inevitable. At some point within the next two calendar years, Giancarlo Stanton will be traded. It is likely he has made it clear that his future does not lie with this organization. Even if the Marlins wanted to, they will not be able to commit money to him long-term. Their actions in the offseason of 2012 have alienated Stanton and created a gap that is unlikely to be closed within the next season or two. Thus, the Marlins are likely to refuse to commit any amount of money, short- or long-term, to Stanton, particularly in the midst of an otherwise losing product.
So if that is the case, I resolve to cherish every plate appearance that us Marlins fans have left with Giancarlo Cruz-Michael Stanton. We have precious little time left with him as a member of the Fish, and there is a decent chance he becomes one of the premier players in baseball in a few years' time. Just like with Miguel Cabrera, we should all appreciate his talent while he is still here, even if there is no hope that he will remain here for the rest of his career.
2. i resolve to stay updated with Jose Fernandez and Christian Yelich.
These two players are the futures of the Miami Marlins organization. The Fish acquired a number of decent prospects in the trade with the Blue Jays, but Fernandez and Yelich remain the critical cogs of success for the next Miami Marlins era. Once Stanton departs via trade, the keys will be left to these two players to become the stars necessary to lead the new Marlins to contention. With the future in their hands, I want to be as updated on their progress as much as possible as they both start Double-A.
3. I resolve to forget 2012.
Part of moving on to this new year is to forget the past, and as such, I plan on letting go of 2012 and focusing on the present. The Miami Marlins are irreparably damaged, but their chances of competing again are certainly present. If the team can begin sewing the seeds of competitiveness with some positive results in 2013, we can all move on and try to forget the ugliness of 2012 and the disappointment that it brought. For the Marlins, I would like to use the turning of the calendar year to really turn a new leaf with the organization.
It does mean that I will forgive or forget what Jeffrey Loria and company did to harm the organization. Nor will I forget the important lessons in how not to run an organization and plan out its long-term future. But with the new year here, I think it is best to allow my fandom for the team to move forward, even as I consider the lessons of the past.
4. I resolve to be the most supportive Marlins fan I can be to the current cast.
Part of accomplishing the third resolution is to do this fourth one. The current crop of Marlins is young, and being a fan since 1997, I have seen many overly young Marlins teams in the past. This group may be a part of the Marlins' core for the next three or four years, so it is best if I give them my best support possible from my end. There is no reason Adeiny Hechavarria or Jacob Turner should be booed when the real target is the team's front office and ownership. For the players, I will have nothing but fan support, even in what appears to be a very difficult season to watch.