That the 2008 Marlins did as well as they did which is looking more and more like a squarely .500 run, no better than it is worse is a bit of a miracle. After 145 games, they were near the bottom of the National League in most of the relevant statistical categories, including batting average and earned run average (both 13th among 16 teams). One clue might be their strong slugging; they may not hit the ball often, but when they do, they knock the seams back into the horsehide.
Forget, then, the how. The existential question that Marlins fandom provides will be on display no more prominently than when the Phillies come to town. Is it more enriching to root for a scrappy, overachieving team that still has only the barest of shots at the postseason? Or for a stacked, costly team that could make a run at the World Series but which will, realistically, break your freakin heart year in, year out? Perhaps theres a cosmic answer, and perhaps not. All you can be assured of is that the Marlins win more than their talent suggests they should. And the Phillies, desperate, ought to win more, and need a win now. See if nature rights itself on Friday at 7:10 p.m. at Dolphin Stadium (2269 NW 199th St., Miami). Tickets start at $9. Theyre abundant at the gate, but you can also get all technological at florida.marlins.mlb.com, or by calling Ticketmaster at 954-523-3309.
Fri., Sept. 19, 2008