Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

The American Dream: Florida Marlins !

If you like the underdog you
must be the happiest person
on earth today a day after
the Florida Marlins took the
Yankees in 6 games in the
2003 World Series.

By Amaury Pi-GonzálezOctober 2003. The year
that the Florida Marlins
won the World Series
and that Arnold became
governor of the great
State of California.
Only in America !

The Florida Marlins history
can be written in four
small pages.

1-Born in 1993
2-Never won their Division
3-Had only 2 winning seasons
4-Only team to win two World Series
as Wild Card.

Do you think the Marlins like
the Wild Card ? If they win
another World Series as a
Wild Card I recommend they
change the name from Wild
Card to the Florida Position.
It is good for the Marlins to
be the best 4th team in the
National League. Every time
they have finished with the
fourth best record? They
have won the World Series.

The 2003 Florida Marlins fired
their manager early in the
season, they didn’t know
what to do with Josh Becket
who in 2002 had a 6-7 record
with a 4.10 era and was very
incosistent. The “book”on
Becket was that he “tends
to get down on himself when
things aren’t going well”.
He was without a doubt
the MVP of the 2003 World
Series, although without
Dontrelle Willis the Marlins
would have not made it as
a Wild Card team.
Do you remember Willis?
He was the key player in
the controversial spring
training deal that sent
pitchers Antonio Alfonseca
and Matt Clement to the

For the record: Prior to
Game One of the Divisional
Series between the Marlins
and the Giants on my pregame
commentary on radio I said
that the Marlins were a scary
team with nothing to loose
and that the Giants should
not take them lightly. No I
didn’t predict that they
would go on to win the
World Series. But I did
say that in my mind the
Marlins were a very dangerous
team. With a veteran and hungry
Iván Rodríguez.

Jack McKeon the manager of
the Florida Marlins who was
born in New Jersey and used
to visit Yankee Stadium
with frequency said after
the game six victory
2-0 over the Yankees:
“dreams do come true”
and admitted he believed
in this team but never
dreamed to be in
Yankee Stadium winning
the World Series. Jack is
an honest man.

The Marlins are a very
lucky team. Yes, lucky.
It seemed that everybody
“rolled over”during the
Post season, first the
Giants couldn’t do much
right, then the Cubs had
the lead and blew it, then
the awesome Yankees with
a starting staff of: Pettite-
Clemens-Wells-Mussina that
have close to 900 victories
in their careers (I think that
is a few more than the
Marlins had in their 10-year
franchise history)could not
do much. Pettite pitched
well, Wells left hurt, the
Yankees could not hit
with runners in scoring
position. Not to take any
credit away from the Marlins
but the Yankees were not
hitting well. And then, Jeter
made his first error in
his last 27 World Series
games. When I
saw that, I said:
“That’s it, Jeter making
errors? you cannot stop
this Marlins team”.

Josh Beckett had an under
3.00 ERA, and the rest of
the Marlins pitching staff
an over 6.00 ERA.

Was this a very exciting
World Series ? I do not
think so. The ratings were
not very good because
TV land out there could
care less about the Marlins
a team with an average of
16,000 per game (just the
Expos had a lesser attendance
this season)and a team that
was slated for contraction
together with the Twins.
The difference is that the
Twins fans do support their
team, they do have a fan
base in the Twin Cities.
I would tell you right now
a day after the Marlins have
won the 2003 World Series,
the Marlins will not sell out
opening day in 2004.
It will be interesting, they
have 65,000 plus seats to
fill, they better start selling
them now…

Marlins marketing came up
with the Willis Package Game
Deal, once the 20 year old
Alameda rookie pitched great
during the first half the
Marlins marketing department
designed a “special ticket
package”in which you would
buy 5 games in which Willis
was going to pitch and you
will pay just $75. That
should tell you how desperate
were the Marlins to sell tickets
in South Florida.
It was Willis filling the stadium
in Miami, not Josh Becket, it
was Willis that brought to the
Miami area a sense a feeling
that baseball was OK and the
Marlins were a good team.
I agree with McKeon on using
Willis as a reliever and not
as a starter during this
World Series. Willis control
was not that good, he was
better in game situations
specially in relief against
left handed hitter.

Iván Rodríguez did his
usually brilliant job
behind the plate directing
the young arms on this
Marlins staff making even
veteran Carl Pavano(who
was slated to pitch game
7) a much better pitcher.
We must give Iván Rodríguez
a lot of credit in this series,
since he stopped J.T. Snow
cold at the plate to close
the Divisional Series
against the Giants Pudge
didn’t do many things
wrong the rest of the way.
The Puerto Rican catcher
who will eventually be
in the Hall of Fame seemed
to be the Marlin having
the most fun after they
won it on game six.

It happened so fast for
these young Marlins that
Alex González admitted
after game six in an
interview in Spanish:
“Honestamente, yo no
creia que nosotros podiamos
ganar la Serie Mundial, los
Yankees son mejor equipo”
-Translation: “honestly I
didn’t belive that we could
win the World Series, the
Yankees are a better team”
No doubt, that Alex González
just like his manager Jack
McKeon is also an honest man.

Last year the Angels, another
Wikd Card team also won the
World Series. Which brings me
to this question: Do you think
that there is something to be
said that the Wild Card teams
are hungrier than the teams that
win their divisions?
Do you think because they’re
Wild Card nobody expects them
to win anything and therefore
they do have an advantage?
The Red Sox (Wild Card also)
took the Yankees to game
7 of the ALCS and If it weren’t
from Aaron Boone the Red
Sox might have been the team
that played the Marlins this
World Series…hence another
2 Wild Card World Series !

The season has oficially ended.
I for one didn’t expected the
Florida Marlins to wear the
crown, their second in ten
seasons. Jeffrey Loria the
owner is not going to break
this team up like Huzenga,
because there is nothing to
break up here. Iván Rodríguez
broke up the bank when he got
$10 million contract for this
season, he wants to come
back in 2004. Jack McKeon
deserves to be back, but
their payroll is going to be
just about the same. Miguel
Cabrera will be 21 next year
and still making a little over

The Marlins biggest problem
is the lack of confidence in
their community for this
team. It was only 6 years
that the old owner dismantled
a World Series champion and
although we all agree this
is not happening this year
this time, the people of Sputh
Florida (or so my contacts there
tell me) still have a bad flavor
in their mouth about that debacle
and it is going to take a very good
2004 season for the fans to
start coming back in force into
Pro Player Stadium.
A new park still what the Marlins
need, but (like I wrote in previous
article)there are no plans for that
in the near future.



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