I'm going to start following the Florida Marlins again -- and believe it or not my relapse has nothing to do with the fact the team is in first place.
It's all about Hanley.
The Marlins just signed Ramirez, a beautiful ballplayer, to a six-year $70 million deal. And it's enough to give me some faith that management cares at least a little about the team and the fans, rather than how much money they can squeeze out of a Major League franchise as they can without spending any money.
You see, I saw some of the best players of my generation destroyed by greed, starving on moneyball salaries, dragging themselves to other cities looking for a heavy major league niche, angelheaded sluggers burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry diamond under the night game lights ...
You get the picture (with apologies to AG). I speak of the Huizenga holocaust of 1998, the slow decimation of the 2003 World Series team, the unloading of Miguel Cabrera (along with Dontrelle Willis) last season, and all the small slaughterings in between. I kept following through most of it, hitting a handful of games a year with the fam. But this year, I was done. It was enough. I didn't really make a conscious decision, either, it just happened. I didn't care anymore.
But securing Hanley Ramirez has given me some new hope. The suspense now is to see how the franchise will crush it again.