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Our Noticias: Derek Jeter seeks more fan support, first look at ballpark enhancements, 2019 Opening Day Marlins roundtable

Jeter reflects on his first year-and-a-half in charge of the Marlins and insists South Florida will fall in love with them once they build a winner.

MLB Network

Inside the new Marlins Park

Months after the initial renderings and on the cusp of the 2019 regular season, the Marlins opened their doors Tuesday afternoon for the world to see the latest renovations. They had already been hyping up the critical changes (Center Field Zone replacing home run sculpture, wider variety of concessions, lime green fences painted blue, etc.). Now, we have the full picture(s).

Let these tweets tell the story...

Derek Jeter’s sitdown with MLB Network

Aside from fielding questions from the media scrum during the ballpark tour, CEO Derek Jeter went one-on-one with MLB Network’s Harold Reynolds about his vision for the franchise. He made a point of empathizing with Marlins fans who were frustrated about enduring another rebuild, while drawing a distinction between breaking up a successful core versus how his administration is “fixing something that wasn’t working” in the first place.

Jeter admits that the Marlins still face an uphill battle in trying to earn back the community’s trust:

“Contrary to popular belief, we’re not in a war zone down here. I think people felt as though we were down here getting destroyed and I couldn’t leave my house!

“When I’ve gone out and about in Miami, when I’ve spoken to different groups here in Miami, people are supportive, but I think they are watching to make sure that we keep the promises that we say we’re gonna—things we say we’re gonna do, promises we make, making sure that we keep those promises. But we have gotten support. We need more—bottom line, we need more. As an ownership group when we’re trying to acquire this team, people said, ‘Baseball in Miami’s never gonna work.’ And first thing we said is, ‘Well, why can’t it work?’”

Listen to the full conversation below.

Fish Stripes Roundtable

Myself and 12(!) other writers shared our first impressions of the Marlins and expectations for them in 2019. On average, we predict a 70-92 record—and probable last-place finish—in the stacked NL East.

Spring Training winners and losers

MLB: Miami Marlins-Media Day Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Alex Krutchik (winners) and Daniel Martinez (winners and losers) go through which Marlins players were most heavily impacted by spring events. Every year, we try not to overreact to workouts and exhibition games, but now more than ever, MLB teams can extract valuable data from non-competitive situations and use it to inform their final roster decisions.

Walk-off Links

  • Never a doubt: the late, great José Fernández was selected by our audience as the winner of the 2019 Fish Stripes Bracket Challenge. The No. 5 seed in the Pitcher Region, he earned 61 percent of the vote in the Final Four poll after dominating to an even greater extent in previous rounds.
  • Meanwhile, our own Jose Miranda compares the 1999 and 2019 Marlins on several different levels
  • Coming down the home stretch of the player-by-player season preview series, read up on Tayron Guerrero and Friday’s starter Trevor Richards (written by Cornelius Thomas and Mitchell Custer, respectively)
  • Bryan Holaday is sticking around after all, SiriusXM/Five Reasons Sports Network host Craig Mish reports. The Marlins selected Chad Wallach as their Opening Day backup catcher rather than pay Holaday the $1.25 million major league salary owed on his contract. He will report to Triple-A New Orleans and surely be the next man up should Wallach or Jorge Alfaro miss any action in 2019.
  • We’ll have to wait and see about infielder Dixon Machado; the Fish released him on Tuesday, Fish Stripes has learned
  • Chris Towers of CBS Sports explains why the young Marlins starting rotation could provide good value in fantasy baseball leagues this season
  • Right-hander Brady Puckett is on the #roadtorecovery following successful Tommy John surgery
  • Julie Loria, wife of Jeffrey, has a new cookbook featuring testimony/input from many MLB players? And she also did another one several years ago, apparently? Alrighty then.
  • Lastly, be sure to follow Danilo Santos for live tweets covering Workout Day from Marlins Park on Wednesday afternoon