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Jason Stark needs some better baseball wise men

Jason Stark, who does a good job, enlisted the help of 22, how did he put it?

So -- with the help of 22 of our favorite baseball wise men (or, at least, the first 22 to agree to vote on all these categories) -- it's time to take a look at the people and story lines that will start unfolding any second now as Spring Training 2008 gets rolling.

So let's take a look at how the Marlins fared in the voting.


Most unimproved teams (NL)
  1. Pirates
  2. Marlins
  3. Giants

Okay, I can accept that.  It is probably true that the Marlins won't be better in 2008 after having traded Willis and Cabrera.  Now, that doesn't mean the Marlins won't be better off in future.  But it is difficult to believe that trading young players who were All-Stars for some highly touted younger prospects will be an immediate advantage.  Of course, over time it could prove to be a brilliant move, or maybe not.

Time will tell.

The second:

Least recognizable teams
  1. Athletics
  2. Astros
  3. Marlins
What a free-for-all this category was. The Astros might have been the most stable team in baseball for the past decade. Now they've killed off all their Killer Bees except Lance Berkman. Then there are those post-Dontrelle, post-Cabrera Marlins. Now they're a team only the Rick VandenHurk Fan Club could love. We could have made compelling cases for the Twins, Giants and Orioles, too. But how could anybody out-anonymous these 2008 A's -- especially if they deal away Blanton? If you've ever wanted to see Chris Denorfia, Santiago Casilla and Jeff Fiorentino on the same field, A's camp is the place for you this spring.

First off, if the only two players your wise men knew on the Marlins were Willis and Cabrera in 2007, you need better wise men of baseball.

While Hanley Ramirez, Dan Uggla, Jeremy Hermida, Josh Willingham and Mike Jacobs, may not be household names, they should be known to anyone who follows the sport more than casually.  Heck, every fantasy baseball player on the planet knows who they are.  Not to mention Scott Olsen, Anibal Sanchez, Sergio Mitre, Kevin Gregg and the injured, but recovering, Josh Johnson.

Second off, don't be dismissive of the Rick VandenHurk Fan Club.  While it may have very few members located in the U.S., it has a very loyal following abroad.

When VandenHurk pitches FishStripes gets a lot of hits from Europe.  Okay, maybe not a lot -- but definitely more than when he doesn't.

And anyway, I'm sure the "Incredible Hurk" line of action wear is flying off the shelves, where ever it is sold.

It is true that the Marlins players are not well known to the casual fan, anywhere, including South Florida.   But to the "wise baseball men", they should be.