How Do You Solve A Problem Like The Marlins?

With the The Miami Marlins will soon have new ownership, and for most people it can’t come soon enough… but once the ownership change becomes official, that’s when the fun starts.

You’d have a hard time finding anyone who thinks that the past 15 years has been anything but a public relations disaster. Floridians hate Loria. Baseball fans hate Loria. When Loria is gone, there will be much rejoicing.

But the thing is that many people hate the Marlins because of Loria and his predecessors (who were not exactly guardians of the public trust themselves). So if you’re the new owners of the team, what do you do to put up a figurative “Under New Management” sign on Marlins Park?

Would you go as far as to change the team name? There’s enough brand recognition in the “Marlins” name that I wouldn’t expect a change, but we are dealing with an extreme situation.

Would you change the team’s logo and uniforms? I didn’t care for the Marlins logo or uniforms when they were unveiled, but they grew on me a bit and I will say that they’re better than the original black & teal uniforms.

But the other side of this is that the uniform also carries a Loria stench with it. He is the one who drove all the art-y changes involving the Marlins, from the uniforms to the garish Home Run sculpture. Keep in mind that licensing rules and obligations makes any change to a team’s visual branding like doing a one-eighty in a cruise ship, but if it were me, I would start the ball rolling immediately and get as much fan input as possible.

I don’t know how the fanbase feels about “Billy The Marlin”…

Me, I think he’s creepy as hell and if I were the new owner, Billy would be the first one out the door.

On the field… Job #1 is keeping Giancarlo Stanton happy. He is the face of the team, he is your primary on-field asset in terms of play and marketability.

Enough of my spitballing…

What would you do if you bought the Marlins?

Are We Not Stars?: 1993 Topps Future Stars Of The Florida Marlins

…Answering the age-old question, “Who are these guys?”

I recently scanned through my 1993 Marlins and Rockies, and thought these rookie cards would be an interesting “Are We Not Stars?” sidetrip.  For reasons that will become apparent, I’m going to triple-up on these cards.
1993 Topps Veneziale Kendrena

Mike Veneziale

Drafted by the Marlins in the 12th round of the 1992 draft.  Pitched 7 games and 28 innings in the Gulf Coast League in 1992.  That’s the entirety of his professional career, all before this card even came out.  Ouch.  It makes one wonder what happened.  Injury?  Realized he was overmatched?  Gunned down by a mysterious woman?

Ken Kendrena

Drafted in the 28th round of the 1992 draft.  Pitched 5 seasons,  mainly as a reliever, in the Marlins and Expos systems.  He made it to AA, playing with the Portland Sea Dogs and Harrisburg Senators.

1993 Topps Leahy Baugh

Pat Leahy

Drafted out of Notre Dame in the 6th round of the 1992 draft.  Pitched for 5 seasons, including one in an independent league.  Peaked at AA with the Sea Dogs.

Gavin Baugh

Drafted in the 17th round of the 1992 draft.  Played 5 years, primarily at third base, and peaked in High-A.  If nothing else, this is a card that Gavin over at Baseball Card Breakdown might want to get for his Gavin collection (if he doesn’t have it already…)

1993 Topps Petersen brown

Matt Petersen

Drafted by the Marlins in the 29th round of the 1992 draft.  Pitched for four seasons, reaching AA with the Sea Dogs and the Orlando Cubs.

Willie Brown

Fourth round draft pick of the Marlins in 1992.  Played four seasons, reached the Hi-A Brevard County Manatees.

Closest To Being A Star

Whenever I do an “Are We Not Stars?” post, I always select one player as the best of the bunch, but what do I do with six players who never made it past AA?  Baseball can be a cruel game, let’s hope we have better luck with the Rockies…

Oddball Set Du Jour: 1993 Stadium Club Team Marlins

Yesterday I featured the “Team Rockies” version of 1993 Stadium Club… Today, I’m going to feature some cards from “Team Marlins”.

One thing that strikes me about both teams, 20 years later, is that they had some talent.  They weren’t good teams, but they had some decent players… more so than previous expansion teams, I think.

One thing that was in play for these teams more than their predecessors was free agency.  For example, Benito Santiago signed with the Marlins as a free agent, rather than through the expansion draft or trades.

1993 Stadium Club Team Marlins Benny Santiago

I know I’ve said it  before, but the thing that always gets me about the early Marlins uniforms was the sheer amounts of teal.  I don’t have a problem with teal, and it certainly gave the team a distinctive look, but those hats and helmets that were solid teal were just tooooooooo much.  They also had teal caps with black bills, which at least took the edge off.  Going with solid black caps later on was too far the other way;  I would’ve liked to have seen black caps with a teal bill, but they never tried that.

Charlie Hough was 45 in 1993, but he also was a knuckleballer, so he gave them some innings and pitched pretty well.  Hough finished out his career with two seasons in Miami.

1993 Stadium Club Team Marlins Charlie Hough

Like Brad Ausmus, who I mentioned yesterday, Trevor Hoffman was traded to the Padres halfway through the 1993 season.  Unlike Ausmus, Hoffman played for his parent club, getting in 28 relief appearances in before being traded as part of a package for Gary Sheffield.

1993 Stadium Club Team Marlins Trevor Hoffman

Yesterday I featured several 1993 Rockies who later got managing jobs in the Majors.  Today, I’m featuring a 1993 Marlin who much later got a job managing those Rockies…

1993 Stadium Club Team Marlins Walt Weiss

…Unllike yesterday’s future managers, Weiss wasn’t a catcher.  Weiss spent one year in teal after having been traded by the A’s to Florida for a couple of prospects who didn’t pan out.  He became a free agent after the season was over and signed with the Rockies.

These 30-card Stadium Club team sets were sold at Wal-Mart stores.  According to my 2008 Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards, other teams which got these sets were the Braves, Cubs, Angels, White Sox, Astros, Royals, Dodgers, Yankees, A’s, Phillies, Cardinals, Giants, Mariners and Rangers.

Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire! …Huh huh huh huh, that was COOL!

As part of the 2013 Nachos Grande contest (click here for details), I’ve been challenged to create a post about this Chris Coghlan Attax card. Coghlan was the 2009 NL Rookie Of The Year, and…
2011 Topps Attax Chris Coghlan

Hey, Chris… I think you’re getting a little too close to that fire, you might want to —


2011 Topps Attax Chris Coghlan After The Fire

…Ummmm… never mind.

1998 Pacific Online Gets Whacked!

I’ve always liked to get cards of current players that I don’t already have cards of, so over the years I’ve bought a lot of cards from sets like Upper Deck 40-Man or my beloved Topps Total (sniff… Died before it’s time, it did).

Pacific’s one-and-done Online set falls into the same category.  Thing about it is that I never intended to complete Online, it was a just a set that was all-too-easy to buy a cheap wax pack or two and see which rookie, utility guy or reliever I might get.  Also, it was a tempting target when going through dime boxes… “Oh, look!  Sean Runyan!  I don’t have a card of him yet…”

But now 15 years have passed, I need the space, it’s an ugly set, and at this stage of the game I really don’t need extra cards of Eddie Perez or Ricardo Jordan… so they have officially been purged from the collection.

Kurt Manwaring would normally fit into the “Do I really need extra cards of this guy?” category as well, but this is a cool-enough action shot that a reprieve was given by the Governor.  (All he wanted in exchange was for me to give him Michonne…)

1999 Pacific Online Kurt Manwaring
It’s also amusing to think that URL’s were novel enough to include on a card.  Too bad they couldn’t include a link or something, I have my doubts about how many people would’ve typed in those long URL’s.

The addresses are all dead-ends, by the way… There’s probably been a half-dozen complete revamps of the MLBPA’s website since then.

I’m also… for the time being , anyway… saving this card of Josh Booty.

1999 Pacific Online Josh Booty
It’s not a terribly exciting card, but Mr. Booty won MLB Network’s “Next Knuckler” competition a couple of months ago, so that’s good enough for me.

I also saved the card because Josh Booty’s name reminds me of a particular character from the movie “The Adventures Of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eight Dimension”…

1993 Stadium Club Bryan Harvey: How much more teal can this be? None. None more teal.

I was going through some Stadium Club cards the other day, and I ran across this Bryan Harvey card.  1993 was the Marlins first year, and I’d forgotten just how much they embraced the teal in the beginning.  Look at his cap, it’s completely teal, not even a black bill on it.  I don’t think this cap lasted more than a year or two.  It’s easy to forget about teal’s dominance in the inaugural Marlins unis, given that teal was phased out to the edge of non-existence.

Gotta give the Rockies props…  They’re the only 1990’s expansion team which continues to wear the same uniform.  Just think of how many changes the (Devil) Rays went through since 1998, and that really gives you an appreciation for the longevity of the style.  Now if they’d only lose those sleveless black jerseys…