Dave Sheinin writes about his first job as a baseball beat reporter with the Miami Herald covering the 1998 Florida Marlins.
The 1998 Marlins, whom I covered for The Miami Herald, lost 108 games, but it remains the most fun I ever had covering baseball. Partly, that was because I frequently witnessed things I never thought I'd see in baseball. (One thing that comes immediately to mind was how, one night in Houston, a Marlins pitcher named Brian Meadows put the team behind 5-0 after seven pitches. Afterwards, Leyland seemed almost in awe. "That's gotta be some kind of record," he said. "That's hard to do.")
I can completely understand Dave's appreciation for the 1998 team since that was the year I started following the Florida Marlins. When I was younger I grew up as an Astros fan listening to their games on the radio and seeing many of the games in person. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, I moved to one of the lowest levels in Purgatory on earth and could no longer follow the Astros. Being a baseball fan I had to find a new team to follow and for some reason I chose the Florida Marlins in 1998. Even when bad times hit, every now and then you find something good.
I do take one exception with something he said in the article.
It was the infamous year Wayne Huizenga tore down his World Series champs and fielded a glorified Double-A team--still managed by Jim Leyland...
The 1998 team was far from being a Double-A club. Though the results of the season made it appear so. It took Dave Dombrowski two seasons to dismantle the 1997 World Series Champion team, which was a mistake that hasn't been repeated since. To clarify, the Marlins were able to get better prospects earlier in the dismantling than they did later on. Initially, the other clubs jumped at the chance to get some of the talent and offered up some of their best prospects. As time went by, they realized what was going on, i.e. the Marlins were desperate sellers and started offering less.
But all that aside, click on the link and read the article, it is a nice walk down memory lane.