It's a little early, but yesterday's matchups were blowouts and it's usually slow around here on Friday's anyway, so let's get Day Three started.
If you're just joining us, check out the entry from Day One, which gives something of an overview for the whole process.
Yesterday's matchups were all blowouts. Even what we thought would be the closest race (Nen vs. Weiss) turned out to be very one-sided. Hopefully there will be more drama and intrigue today.
Teal (93-96) Bracket: Robb Nen advances
97 World Champs Bracket: Livan Hernandez advances
Ugly Years (98-02) Bracket: Derrek Lee advances
03 World Champs Bracket: Mike Lowell advances
#5 - Quilvio Veras - Dude was fast. But that was about it. And the people who were supposed to know, knew that Luis was going to be better. So Quilvio didn't stay long. But he sure was fun to watch run, wasn't he?
#12 Alex Arias - If not for Jeff Conine, Alex Arias might have held the title of Mr. Marlin early on. He wasn't the greatest player, but he was always around. He played everywhere and did whatever was asked of him.
1997 World Champions
#5 Moises Alou - A one year wonder, but what a year it was! I still have a hard time even reading Alou's name without saying "AAAAALLLLLLLOOOOOOUUUUU" in my head. Moises hit for power in 1997 and even filled in for a significant amount of time in center field when Devon White was down with an injury.
#12 Craig Counsell - Not many guys go from being waived by the Rockies to scoring the winning run in the World Series later that same season. Counsell did that though. Craig hit .299 in 1997, but fans generally liked him for his all out hustle and his funky looking batting stance (you do know that you're hitting, right Craig?).
#5 Ryan Dempster - Marlins fans will long remember Dempster as an All-Star and as the long time (hey, it's relative) franchise leader in wins. Most fans will overlook his relative poor ERA and high walk totals. Dempster even had to face the grim reality of being traded away before the team could hand out bobblehead dolls in his likeness.
#12 Matt Mantei - Not many Marlins have had their names painted on the chests/stomachs of fans(not with a t-shirt, but with teal body paint). Mantei inspired that. And it wasn't even drunk guys. Teenage (maybe pre-teen) girls painted letters of Mantei's name on their stomachs. It was a sad day (for them) when the Ice Man was sent to Arizona. He was pretty good too - posting a 2.69 ERA in 1998 and a 2.72 ERA in 1999 (although Dombrowski probably knew what he was doing in moving Mantei).
2003 World Champions
#5 Dontrelle Willis - Is it possible to vote against Willis in this matchup? I mean, seriously. Dontrelle debuted in the Majors on May 9th - only called up because of a series of injuries and misfortune. He soon took the National League by storm. He won the Rookie of the Year award and the hearts of fans throughout South Florida. Dontrelle's starts were events; walk-up, day of game ticket sales were huge - so huge that folks often complained that they missed the first few innings of the game while waiting outside to buy tickets. Willis also seemed to remind his teammates that baseball is supposed to be fun. Although the team was losing when Dontrelle first came up, things turned around fairly quickly. How much credit Willis deserves for the turnaround is debatable, but his fun-loving spirit is tough to argue. And the guy seems to be signing autographs or talking to kids whenever he has a free minute. What's not to like?
#12 Braden Looper - Technically Looper was the closer in 2003 (at least until Urbina got comfortable). Objectively, Looper's stats weren't bad (3.68 ERA - below the league average - and 28 saves). But actually watching him was a completely different experience. If nothing else, Looper always seemed to be good for some excitement - you know, the kind that comes from giving up a lead off single followed by a walk.
Use the links below to vote for your favorites in today's matchups. Even if you weren't a fan of the team in 1993 or 1997, you can still vote for someone in each pairing. Also, please feel free to spread the word and to encourage others to vote.
Who is your favorite Marlin?
Teal (93 - 96) Bracket: Veras vs. Arias
1997 World Champs Bracket: Alou vs. Counsell (featured matchup - main poll)
Ugly Years (98 - 02) Bracket: Dempster vs. Mantei
2003 World Champs Bracket: Willis vs. Looper
If you'd like to write the brief description for a particular player (or players), send me an email or create a diary with your text. I'll be happy to use it.
Feel free to use this thread to discuss who you voted for, who you think others should vote for, etc. Or, if you'd prefer, you can create a separate diary too. You can also feel free to include any objections/suggestions/criticsm in the comments.