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New Marlins: Suspiciously Not Like The Old Marlins?

Remember, remember, the eleventh of November,
Free-agent season and... uh...

Okay, that really wasn't going anywhere.

When I decided that starting an article with a reference to V for Vendetta was a good idea, I had a reason. The reason was to make a point, and the point is the following: the following couple of weeks are going to be very memorable for every Marlins fan out there, for reasons far beyond "hey, new stadium!"

Let's start with the obvious. The Marlins today feel almost completely indistinguishable from the Marlins that we felt we knew so well earlier this year. That is, of course, great news, as we've all been trying really hard to forget this past season as it is. The news coming from every direction is the sort of thing that's unheard of to Marlins fans far and wide. We are, of course, used to giving away our good players, not being in talks to bring some of the better ones over. More importantly, we're thinking of actually spending money. Real, actual money, the kind of money that we continually complain the front office of being so stingy with.

Let's be real for a moment. If you'd told me earlier this year that the Marlins were seriously considering adding Albert Pujols, Jose Reyes and Mark Buehrle to the team, I would've probably looked at you like you were an alien from another planet. Yet here we stand today, with all three of these players visiting Miami at some point or another, potentially taking a nice little walk through the about-to-be-finished Miami Marlins stadium. And that's just the beginning.

I guess we have Pat Riley to thank for laying out the groundwork for this kind of thing: apparently, in Miami, if you build it, they really will come. And the Marlins have just finished building a field of dreams all their own, and suddenly they're looking real interested in making sure some players of near-godlike caliber come to play on it on the Marlins' side. And that's why I'm excited.

But I'm also terrified. I may not be much of a historian, but -- and correct me if I'm wrong -- the last time a Marlins owner opened up the purse to spend like crazy, the team had a fire sale the very next year, and the Marlins sank into mediocrity in near-record time. Then again, the whole idea behind the previous spending craze was to try and make the team an appealing sale, and then that fell through before the team changed hands. Last I checked, Loria's not looking to sell the Marlins off to anyone, so this situation doesn't look quite so bad.

Finally, say what you will about Loria's weird tastes. Whether it's the fact that the Marlins' new (and surprisingly sharp) orange uniforms make you cringe, or whether the ridiculous atrocity of a home team home run celebration machine makes you gag every time you let it churn about in your mind after seeing a mockup of it in action on Youtube. It's all low-hanging fruit, ripe for the picking, and it's easy to poke at. But all of those bizarre offenses to our personal tastes will be forgiven if the Miami Marlins show us that they really do mean to win.

No amount of teal is going to make us happy if we're subjected to another disastrous season like the one we just finally got over (which took a good deal of therapy, Kleenex, alcohol and football for me to come to grips with). And you know what? I'll be completely okay with seeing that ugly monstrosity of a home run display all the damn time if it's because Stanton and Pujols won't stop making it show up twice per game.

What say you, Florida-- no, Miami Marlins fans? Has our front office finally turned a new leaf to go along with the dashing new changes to the Marlins brand?