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June: The Streak [Fukubukuro 2011]
January 9th, 2012 by Dan

When your favorite baseball team is in its final year of its current incarnation and ready to change its name, stadium, logo, and identity, you want to pay attention. When they’re the dark horse contender for the wild card in the pre-season, it thrills you to your core. Then June happens.

For a little more background, the Florida Marlins were holding a strong second place in the NL East going into June. That’s about two months into the season, or about a third of the way done, and things were looking good. Then disaster struck.

The first of June was the beginning of an eight game losing streak to start the month. Seven of those losses were by one run. Over the entire month of June, a month containing 28 games, the Marlins only managed to win five.

Five.

They dropped from a competitive second place to fifth, last in the division. Their manager retired and they dug up an ancient fossil to lead the team. Nothing. The season was essentially over. They were able to pull up to fourth place for a short spell, but they quickly lapsed back into last place for the last ⅔ of the season.

It killed the season for me. I entered the 2011 baseball season with high hopes, savagely devouring all kinds of baseball information through the off-season to prep for the 162-game marathon and I was maintaining that interest all the way to June. It’s not like I stopped paying attention to baseball, but I wasn’t able to muster the same enthusiasm. I still enjoyed watching the games, but I no longer looked forward to catching them each night.

Maybe that means I’m not a real fan, but it wasn’t easy to swallow the bitter pill of the 2011 season. I didn’t want the Florida Marlins to enter their off-season cocoon on such a down note. This is a team that I love and, although the spirit of the team remains and I’m firmly in the Miami Marlins camp, I know that it’ll never be the same. They have new colors, new uniforms, and new swag, but that came at the cost of being the scrappy underdogs. No one likes the Miami Heat. Will everyone hate the new-look Marlins? I mean, it’s not like we had much of an identity before. It was more of a, “Oh yeah, the Marlins are in the NL East too, huh,” kind of vibe for a long time (aside from the aberrant 1997 and 2003 seasons where we kicked ass). Now things aren’t the same and I didn’t get to love them on their way out.

I think that’s for the best. Despite my nostalgia and love, I’m ready to see that old team reborn into something new. I’m tired of being a fan of the laughing stock of baseball. Considering the population in the area, Miami should have an interesting, successful baseball team. Let’s hope the new year brings legitimacy and success for the Fish.

Give The Ball Back - Florida Marlins at Baltimore Orioles 22 June 2010

Hanley Ramirez, our former short stop and soon-to-be 3rd baseman


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