While the Miami Marlins are one of the newest Major League Baseball organizations, they have still enjoyed their fair share of ups and downs since their inception in 1991. This team has also been one of the most successful when we consider their chequered track record. However, greatness on the diamond often arises as a result of trying times. It can be argued that their current status has been shaped in no small part due such tribulations and their 2007 season is a perfect example. Why do many consider this year to be the toughest that the Marlins were ever forced to face and perhaps more importantly, what did the team learn from such trials?
2007: A Year Defined by Injuries
We need to keep in mind that the Marlins enjoyed an immensely successful 2006 season. Thus, they entered 2007 with high hopes and a superior sense of cohesion. Unfortunately, this sense of invincibility was soon broken thanks to a plague of injuries which effectively ablated any hopes of walking away with a World Series title. This eventually led to the team placing last place in the National League East series (for the first time since their dismal 1999 season).
Players including Josh Johnson and Aníbal Sánchez needed to undergo surgery; crippling many of the strengths previously attributed to the Marlins. Thus, other teammates were forced to pick up the slack. Even though well-known names such as Miguel Cabrera and Kevin Gregg were pulling more than their weight, it seemed as if the die had been cast in regards to the season.
Another reason why 2007 represented the “perfect storm” involved trading decisions. The Marlins lost two of their most talented players—Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis—and even though they received six players in return, these personalities failed to make any real difference from a short-term perspective. It almost appeared as if the team would have had better luck by choosing to follow the latest online sports news and tips as opposed to relying upon decidedly counterproductive strategic decisions. Still, we need to keep in mind that many of the variables mentioned above were not in their control.
Coming Back from the Doldrums
To be sure, the Marlins are not the only team which has faced seemingly insurmountable challenges. This is one of the reasons why baseball is such a popular sport. They were eventually able to extricate themselves from the mire of their 2007 season and 2008 witnessed a meteoric rise to the point where the team enjoyed a .500 season. When we then take into account that this occurred despite the loss of their two most talented players, it becomes clear to see why the Marlins have always represented a force to be reckoned with.
It nonetheless needs to be mentioned that the Marlins have continued to struggle over the years. However, they are still formidable contenders within the world of professional baseball. This is why it will be interesting to see what future seasons have in store.