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Fish Food: Post-season drought, Derek Jeter “firings”, José Fernàndez

Some Marlins meanderings at week’s end.

Miami Marlins v Atlanta Braves
A metaphor for 2017
Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

Post-season drought

Although it was later than usual thanks to an epic August, the Marlins were officially eliminated from the playoffs this past Friday the 22nd and will once again be consigned to that proverbial playoff couch, it’s cushions lovingly embracing the Marlins’ players like old friends.

The official tally is now 14 straight seasons without a post-season appearance, going on 15. It’s the longest drought in the National League, pacing the San Diego Padres by a good four seasons, and the second longest streak in all of baseball, behind the Seattle Mariners who will now be on 16 straight seasons without making the playoffs, going on 17.

Make no mistake, 14 seasons is a long time, but if you want some historical perspective, it’s not quite at the level where we need to be talking about it as one of the all-time worst droughts. That honor, in the expanded playoff era, belongs to the Washington Nationals, who as a franchise ran off an insidious 30 seasons from 1981 to 2012 without a post-season appearance.

They did move from Montreal during that stretch and had a huge transition in their fan base, so maybe that one doesn’t cut so deep. How about 28 years for the Kansas City Royals who won it all in 1985 and then didn’t sniff the playoffs again until 2014, or the Toronto Blue Jays who were coming off of back to back world championships in ‘92 and ‘93, respectively, only to fail to reach the playoffs again until 2015. The Pittsburgh Pirates were notably dreadful for twenty straight seasons from 1992 until their 2013 appearance.

The Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Angels, and Seattle Mariners have all logged longer droughts in this era, so the point is, I suppose, is that it could be worse?

Fish fans have logged many a season at this point being disappointed by the end of it, but I’ve got to think that this one stings a little bit more, watching the team climb all the way back to be in the thick of things just to completely fall off the map in September. When we bear witness to such a depressing turn of events, it’s hard not to get caught up in the length of the drought.

The lone player remaining in the league from the 2003 World Series is, of course, Miguel Cabrera, who now seems destined to play out his career on a string of rebuilding Detroit Tigers teams. A couple other players from that series are still involved with the Miami Marlins. One of them runs the franchise now and just had the other fired.

Derek Jeter makes David Samson fire the legends

I don’t have too much to say about this subject that wont be gone over later in the week by some of our other writers, but I will say this: From a purely baseball perspective, it is entirely reasonable to want your own people making important decisions that impact the health of the franchise. From this angle, it is hard to fault Jeter for letting go of the legends, even if he had Samson pull the trigger on it.

I very much doubt that their dismissals from a direct baseball capacity with the franchise means that they’ll disappear off the Marlins map entirely. Jeff Conine doesn’t need to be employed by the Marlins to be Mr. Marlin. Jack Mckeon is still the winningest manager in franchise history and will continue to be treated as such in ceremonial fashion.

It made for a great story (and popped a ton of views on the site, which I appreciate), but in the end it really amounts to much ado about nothing.

José Fernàndez

Tomorrow will mark an unwelcome anniversary in baseball: It’s been one year since that horrible day when we learned the Jose Fernandez had passed away.

Fish Stripes will mark the event by looking back on the world-wide reaction, but also by focusing on the things we loved about José, including some of his greatest moments. These pieces will come tomorrow and also in the days to follow.

Say what you will about the departing Jeffrey Loria, but no one can deny that he loved that kid, and I’m confident in saying there would be no Jeter/Sherman ownership today if José were still alive. For better or worse, the tragic events that unfolded 9/25/16 will shape the franchise’s fortunes for years to come.