Some close matchups yesterday -- particularly between Bobby Bo and Al Leiter -- and I suspect that we'll have some more today.
If you're just joining us, check out the entry from Day One, which gives something of an overview for the whole process.
Teal (93-96) Bracket: Gary Sheffield advances
97 World Champs Bracket: Bobby Bonilla advances
Ugly Years (98-02) Bracket: Cliff Floyd advances
03 World Champs Bracket: Ivan Rodriguez advances
#4 - Bryan Harvey - Harvey inaugurated the Marlins tradition of dominant closers with his 45 saves and 54 games finished in the team's inaugural campaign. His ERA of 1.70 was less than half of the league average. Starting in 1994, it went downhill pretty quickly and he was out of baseball by 1995, but 1993 was sure a great year.
#13 Kurt Abbott - Though not an original Marlin, Abbott's name fills the pages of the early years' record books. Abbott's best year as a Marlin came in 1995 when he hit 17 homers and batted .255. He started out his career primarily as a shortstop, but became something of a jack of all trades over the years.
1997 World Champions
#2 Jeff Conine - Yes, it's him again. 1997 was far from Jeff's best year, but he's still Mr. Marlin.
#15 Jim Eisenreich - Another one-year, Championship wonder for the Fish (who was included in the infamous Mike Piazza trade in 1998). Eisenreich was a solid player who filled in all over the field (he played four positions for the Fish, plus DH). His World Series line of .500/.636/.875 probably still keeps him smiling in retirement (and he'll never have to tell the grandkids that he logged just eight at bats).
#6 A.J. Burnett - In his early years with the Fish, A.J. was known as much for his nipple rings and tattoos as he was for his blazing fastball. He was pretty good too.
#11 Todd Dunwoody - It's hard to think of Dunwoody without thinking of the crummy Marlins teams that he played on (predominantly 1998 and 1999). There's not much to say about Dunwoody except that he was there and that he was 7th in the NL in triples in 1998.
2003 World Champions
#4 Juan Pierre - If you were excited about the Marlins acquiring Pierre before the 2003 season, raise your hand. If you raised your hand, you're probably a liar. Pierre wasn't that highly regarded when he arrived - rumors of his poor defense and questionable offense away from Denver's thin air were prevalent. But Pierre proved almost everyone wrong and has endeared himself so much that some have speculated the Fish won't trade him because he is Mr. Loria's favorite player. In 2003, JP hit .305, stole 65 bases, and appeared in every inning of every game. JP even hit over .300 in the 2003 playoffs. Pierre is typically popular with fans because he's undersized (for a Major Leaguer) and plays the game like most of us would like to think that we played Little League (we had fun, we were fast, and we made the most of our abilities).
#13 Alex Gonzalez - Where did that power come from? Sea Bass' slugging percentage jumped by more than 100 points from 2002 to 2003 and it was much appreciated by the Fish. In addition, his defense was impeccable.
Who is your favorite Marlin?
Teal (93 - 96) Bracket: Bryan Harvey vs. Kurt Abbott
1997 World Champs Bracket: Jeff Conine vs. Jim Eisenreich
Ugly Years (98 - 02) Bracket: A.J. Burnett vs. Todd Dunwoody
2003 World Champs Bracket: Juan Pierre vs. Alex Gonzalez (main poll - featured on the right side today)
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.