2018 Miami Marlins
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2018 Miami Marlins / Franchise: Miami Marlins / BR Team Page
Managed by Don Mattingly
The 2018 Miami Marlins went into the season with a new ownership structure in place, the sale of the team from Jeffrey Loria to Bruce Sherman and the installation of Derek Jeter as team president having been completed just after the end of the 2017 season. However, for fans, there was a familiar and unpleasant taste in their mouths, as the first moves by the new bosses was to effect a fire sale, on the pretext that the team was losing money and absolutely had to cut its payroll dramatically. A series of trades quickly disposed of some of the most valuable assets on the team, including all three outfielders: reigning MVP Giancarlo Stanton, All-Star Marcell Ozuna and former Gold Glove and Silver Slugger Award winner Christian Yelich. Also gone was 2B Dee Gordon, and other like C J.T. Realmuto and IF Starlin Castro, acquired in Stanton's trade, were on the trading block as spring training opened. It was not just the fans who were disgusted. Player agent Scott Boras reflected what many were thinking when he asked why someone would spend $1.2 billion on an asset, as Sherman had just done, only to turn it into the equivalent of a pawn shop! Indeed, the Marlins of 2017 seemed on the verge of contention, with a slew of solid young hitters, although more pitching would have been needed to close the final gap. Instead, they were headed back to square one, with a bevy of youngsters vying for spots on a team that was unlikely to be competitive for a few more years.
As expected, the Marlins started the year slowly, even if a few other teams performed even worse, for example the Cincinnati Reds who fired manager Bryan Price less than three weeks into the season. But the bookmakers in Las Vegas, NV weren't fooled, as they placed very long odds on the Fish winning any of their games. That blew up in their face on April 25th, when the Marlins were facing Los Angeles Dodgers' ace Clayton Kershaw on the road at Dodger Stadium. They were given odds of -450, i.e. someone betting on the Dodgers to win would have to wager $450 to make a $100 profit. They managed to pull off an upset that day, however, with rookie pitchers Trevor Richards and Merandy Gonzalez quieting the Dodgers' bats and back-up infielder Miguel Rojas hitting his third homer of the year after never hitting more than one in any of his previous four seasons, for an 8-6 win. It was the biggest upset in Major League Baseball in recent Vegas history, given that it is extremely rare that a team goes into a game with odds of -400 or lower in the first place.
Awards and Honors