The Miami Marlins are starting the 2016 season with some interest in their campaign, as Miami may have an outside shot at contention. But while the Marlins start up their quest for the playoffs, the staff here at Fish Stripes is going to be here, watching the games, providing you daily coverage, and keeping track of all things Marlins. Here at Fish Stripes, we plan on continuing our coverage of the team keeping with the standard that we have set in the last few years since I took over the site before the 2012 year.
Regular readers who have met and spoken with me know who I am, but for those who are more new to the website, I am a lifelong Marlins fan. I grew up in south Florida, and back in 1996, I started watching the Marlins at the age of nine because they were one of the few sports teams readily available for a kid who did not have cable at his house. I took a liking to guys like Gary Sheffield and Jeff Conine, Marlins from nearly the original team who lead the early charge, along with guys like Kevin Brown, who was more recently acquired. That fan experience led to the 1997 season, one of the most glorious sports memories for me to date. I still vividly recall Bob Costas's call on Edgar Renteria's single to drive home the winning run in Game 7 of the World Series. I shudder with goosebumps when I remember Livan Hernandez yelling out "I love you Miami!" when he won the MVP award.
Flash forward several years later and I remained a big fan. The 2003 season was bar none my fondest memory in terms of sports, because I endured the difficulties of the post-1997 fire sale and rebuild and truly felt like the 2003 team was my team. I enjoyed tracking the Marlins after that through 2005, and the disappointment I felt when that second fire sale happened was tremendous. Now it was an older me, a me who grew up with this crew of young guys, who was watching them be traded away piece by piece. It was heartbreaking.
So when the 2006 squad played well, it was almost like that 2003 team all over again. Once again, it was a team that I watched from the start, the first true era I could watch from the beginning and comprehend. There is a reason I will always defend Hanley Ramirez and Dan Uggla to this day, and it is because those two helped support the groundwork of the era of Marlins baseball I am most familiar with. The 1997 team is a foggy, flashing set of memories, like my baby steps. The 2003 team was filled with irrational, wonderful happiness, but it was a team of visceral emotions rather than thought. The 2006 era Marlins was the first group I truly traced and understood.
After a short period away from the game, I rekindled my interest in baseball via sabermetrics. I learned more and more about the statistical side of baseball and grew to love it, and I wanted to bring that type of voice to Marlins coverage. I started working at FanSided's Marlin Maniac, a site that I helped create from the ground up. For two-plus years, it was essentially me and a small cadre of writers who worked on the website to grow it from the ground up with FanSided's help. It was tireless, thankless, and fun, but it was beginning to cut into my day job. At the time, I was in medical school, and time was limited. But when I was approached by SB Nation to head the premiere Marlins blog on the internet, I could not pass up the opportunity. I introduced myself and the new Fish Stripes back then, and since then I have been trying to keep up one of the best Marlins communities on the web!
What to Expect from Fish Stripes
Fish Stripes is a place where you can watch Marlins baseball with like-minded fans. It is a place where you can catch up on Marlins news. It is a place where you will hear unique, interesting analysis on the Marlins, mostly with an analytic bent. Moreover, it is a place to join up all of these different things under one convenient banner. Fish Stripes isn't "the Marlins numbers blog" or "the Marlins message board" or "the Marlins news site;" it's everything that you could want as a Marlins fan.
As such, we plan on providing you unique content on a daily basis. Here is what you can expect to see on Fish Stripes.
Marlins Morning News: Formerly known as Fish Bites, this is our daily morning link dump. Here we feature news links for the Marlins from Monday to Friday, along with links to what happened the day before right here on this site. We also provide links all around baseball. We encourage readers to comment on the news of the day and, if so inclined, discuss anything else off-topic right here. The authors are always looking around to read your comments, and we'll be around to respond!
Daily Analysis: Whether it's about the latest bit of news or commentary or unique, interesting research, you can expect me to put out daily articles with an analytic bent here on the site. The expectation is one to two articles per day, usually posted once in the morning and once in the afternoon if possible.
News Coverage: Everyday, we will have our group of fantastic news writers point out the latest in terms of what went on in the world of the Marlins. Whether it is just a daily ink that needs discussion or it is breaking news for the big transactions and injuries, you can count on Fish Stripes to be ready and present to provide you coverage.
Game Threads: Game coverage is a staple among all SB Nation websites, and Fish Stripes is no less diligent in that department. We have a revamped game coverage crew who will be present for commentary and viewing of each and every evening's games and ready to provide recaps for each Marlins win (and losses, I suppose, too).
Ichthyomancy: Ichthyomancy has been a difficult thing to keep track of in the last few years for the site, but we strive to bring this tradition every season for the diehard Fish Stripers. We're working to bring this back again with more staff available for this critical role.
Injury Reports: John Butterworth has already begun the process of weekly injury reports, and we're hoping to continue that throughout the year. The Marlins have plenty of players whose injury situations are critical to watch, so weekly reports are a must.
Prospect/Draft Coverage: We are working on staffing this aspect of our website once more in time for the draft. In the meantime, I will be providing coverage as well.
In the days to come, we will feature more introductory pieces for some of our other writers as well, so keep an eye out for those this coming weekend! In addition, tomorrow we will talk more about what you, the reader, can do here at Fish Stripes and how we can serve you as well. And get ready, Marlins fans, because baseball and Opening Day is almost upon us! Keep your eyes glued to Fish Stripes all season long for the best coverage possible!