This was going to be a new year for the Miami Marlins. The team formerly known as the Florida Marlins, would move into a new $550 million stadium with all the latest accouterments.
Of course, owner Jeffrey Loria had argued since buying the team in 2002, that it was pointless to spend money on top players without a domed stadium.
All that was in the past. Its was a new day in Miami.
Loria went out and hired a new manager in Ozzie Guillen.
The Marlins went on a shopping spree for new players.
They signed José Reyes to a six-year, $106 million deal , to play shortstop. They would ask Hanley Ramirez to move to third base, which he reluctantly did.
The Marlins decided they needed a new closer, Heath Bell to a three-year $27 million deal.
Mark Buehrle was signed to a four-year $58 million deal.
The team brought in Carlos Zambrano from the Cubs, because surely Guillen could help exorcise the demons Zambrano was sure to bring.
Houston Astros outfielder Carlos Lee was acquired in a trade in early July, again, Guillen had had experience with Lee.
The Marlins opening-day salary jumped from $56.9 million in 2011 to $118 million in 2012.
That’s what a new Stadium can do for a team. South Beach had become the land of milk and honey.
At some point during the last couple of weeks, the Marlins decided to change direction, not necessarily to a better destination, but to something more familiar.
It Was over Before it Started – Marlins Giving up on 2012
The new and improved Marlins organization lasted nearly to the end of July. As it turns out Guillen hasn’t endeared himself to the community.
Larry Beinfest summed it up this way “Let’s face it,” he said while announcing the deal according to The Miami Herald. “The current group that was here was not winning. We’ve lost contact with the division. We’ve pretty much lost contact with the wild card. It was time to restructure.”
And with that the fire sale had begun, something Marlins fans have seen before.
Furthermore , sources say the Marlins will “absolutely try and try hard” to move closer Heath Bell, but the team isn’t optimistic that such a move will happen.