Derek Jeter and the South Florida Rebuild

Image via Getty

Miami, Florida. Two championships in the first 10 seasons. Two fire sales immediately after. No playoff appearance since the last championship in 2003, and no winning record since 2009. The Huizenga era and the Loria era of the Florida/Miami Marlins effectively drove most of the baseball fandom in the South Florida 6 feet under. The die-hards who have been brutalized and betrayed by the ownership group deserve something worth their hard-earned dollars and time.

Another ownership group, another fire sale with the departure of now, two NL MVP’s in Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich. Along with them went Marcell Ozuna, Dee Gordon, JT Realmuto, Cameron Maybin, Justin Bour, Kyle Barraclough, and Nick Wittgren. The belief and trust of Marlins fans are crushed again with beloved players, mine included. I guess this is one of those, if you love it set it free moments, again.

Although the return on the trades were questioned, as all trades should, the key is that no one knows what these guys will become until they actually develop. Hindsight is always 20/20. So what’s the difference in this ownership group from the ones before that violated the trust of so many Marlins fans? They seem genuinely interested in creating a culture, brand, and organization that is a top tier in the league both on and off the field.

We’ve seen some of these investments through park renovations in the 2018-2019 offseason. This included an emphasis on upgrading the experience of the park-like improving social areas such as The Club: DEX Imaging, the AutoNation Alley Deck, and Standing Room Only Social Sections that allow fans multiple observatories to experience the action in different, interactive perspectives.

Other actions taken off the field is the integration of language. For the English speaking players and coaches, they are being taught Spanish as the Spanish speaking players and coaches are learning English. This aims to integrate the diversity of cultures that a baseball organization has.

Some on-field action is securing pitching depth. This is starting to develop into a reality in the major league level with the entire rotation 27 or younger: Ureña(60-Day IL), Caleb Smith(10-Day IL), Pablo Lopez, Sandy Alcantara, Trevor Richards and now Jordan Yamamoto.

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 Image via Miami Herald

Don’t forget the prospects like Zac Gallen, Sixto Sanchez, and Jordan Holloway who could be in the bigs soon. The starting rotation is ranked top 10 in ERA, BAA, HRs, and WHIP, while the relievers aren’t even in the top 10 in any of those categories. There’s been speculation as to bringing up some of the starting prospects to place in the pen to help the rotation out, but we’ll see how this plays out.

If Derek Jeter wants to truly build an organization and culture with sustained success, that will mean earning the trust of every Marlins fan that was driven into the ground from the broken history of this organization. Personally, I think he’s got the Marlins on the right track with his vision for the future, but some of the others will be harder to convince that this isn’t another play to just be heartbroken again. There seems to be more people interested in the Marlins this season with the re-brand and investments that ownership has made. The biggest thing the fans need to understand is that this re-build is going to take time. You do not fix a broken organization overnight with money and overpriced contracts for a couple years. Jeter aims to fix the entire organization, top to bottom, and build it for sustained success for years to come. Will Derek Jeter become the South Florida Savior? The Marlin Messiah? Only time will tell…

About Cam Eanes 11 Articles
Engineer, Mentor, Coach, Friend. The Volunteers, Titans, Predators, Marlins, Cigars, Comedy, and Whiskey. Twitter: @CameronEanes Please direct all business inquiries and grammatical errors to @Hutchttsm as he cannot read.

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