We have arrived at a curious and dynamic phase in the South Florida sports timeline. Fans are looking around and searching for which organization (e.g. Miami Marlins, Miami Heat, Miami Dolphins, Florida Panthers, and University of Miami) has a present and/or future to be proud of.
It’s an era of ambiguity without a team to feel completely comfortable about considering the current versions of each product.
The Dolphins? They have more questions than answers, and the fanbase is quickly losing faith. The Heat? Waiting on the Minnesota Timberwolves to make their upcoming season truly relevant again (i.e. is today the day Riley lands Jimmy Butler?). What about the Hurricanes and Richt? After their latest debacle, they are a few losses away from getting the Al Golden treatment (not that I agree with that). And the Panthers? Well, they are likely the most talented team in South Florida, though enthusiasm has been tempered by a slow start. This hasn’t traditionally been a hockey town, but the Cats still project to deliver their fair share of wins over the coming months.
The point is that we do not have a 70’s/80’s Dolphins, Big 3 era Heat, or the dominant ‘Canes from the early 2000’s. There isn’t a top-tier, legitimate championship contender in South Florida.....yet.
This is where the fun begins, because I am here to sell you on a somewhat polarizing opinion: the next dynasty in South Florida currently resides in Marlins Park. Already in Phase 2 of their building process, the Fish are a safer and more exciting bet to latch your sports fandom to than almost any other local organization. The Miami Marlins are about to be great; don’t be late to the party.
Let me be clear here—the purpose of this letter is not to invalidate any of the other franchises. I despise that some fans feel the need to do so. I also empathize with many of you who still find it impossible to put your faith in a brand that betrayed us under previous Marlins ownership groups.
Instead, I am here to simply let you know that there is a true, objective and sincere hope on the horizon. South Florida will experience success again, and it will be at the Park that sells Cafecitos and Cuban sandwiches.
Fellow Fish Stripes writer Josean Santos wrote an amazing piece on why the new ownership group is off to a great start. Accentuating those points, I’d like to simply state that all the signs of future success are currently present.
This current Marlins franchise is where the Astros, Cubs, Braves and other 2018 playoff clubs were three to five years ago. Some fans are angry with the recent trades, some are disappointed with the vets being sent away, and some are as happy as I was when Víctor Víctor Mesa—the No. 1 international free agent—decided to sign with the Marlins. Depleting the roster of established stars brought much-needed depth to the farm system, which will only improve next June when the front office holds the fourth slot in the MLB amateur draft.
Regardless of where you are emotionally, this franchise is on its way to making South Florida sports relevant again.
Víctor Víctor—No. 32, Víctor Jr.—No. 10 pic.twitter.com/wdd4siWMnv— Fish Stripes (@fishstripes) October 22, 2018
Everybody holds their own opinion on the state of the South Florida franchises. We need to see it in comments sections and on social media platforms. This topic always brings out engaging dialogue between fans at a time when we could desperately use a distraction from the ugliness that has been 2018.
Thank you for your read and involvement. All the best!