Don't be alarmed! It's only a temporary change. I know, you miss Steve already. Lets face it... him, Kobe, LeBron... they're in a different stratosphere. What's the first thing you think of when you think of MJ? Steve Nash. I know.
But I'd like to introduce you to my summer fling, my fiasco-de-Mask-o, my diamond in the rough. Hanley Ramirez. (Haha get it? Diamond in the rough? He's a baseball player... he plays baseball on a baseball diamond... ... what? not even a pity chuckle? OH... and I have no idea what the Mask thing is... so don't ask.) During the summer, some people like the blockbusters that hit the big screen, others like the new sitcoms that hit their plasma screen... but me? I like the free games that hit my computer screen. It's Americas Pastime streamed directly to my laptop. In low-quality, low definition.
Yes, it's baseball season. And it couldn't have come any sooner! As my Suns floundered around in 9th place in the West, not making the NBA Playoffs, I had no choice but to move to clearer waters in search of bigger fish. Marlins to be exact. I know what you're thinking... why Marlins? I could ask you almost the same thing but reversed: why not?
I've actually liked the Marlins since they came into the league in '93. I remember I bought the 'first season commemorative pack' that had all the players from that very first team. I also remember that I was in Dodger blue one Saturday and I struck out. The walk back to the dugout wasn't so bad because on the field next to us they were playing... and I couldn't take my eyes off those new, teal uni's.
I remember a few years later when they beat the Cleveland Indians in Game 7 of the '97 World Series. Nothing will ever compare to that first thrill of the unexpected, the miraculous. I still remember that Edgar Renteria hit the game winning RBI. This was my first taste of fandom victory. All of my bragging, taunting, and hoping had paid off. Because there is only one thing that matters at the end of the season: did you get the W? Did you win the last game of the season? If you did then there can be no disputing. There are no shoulda, woulda, couldas in victory. There's one winner, there's one trophy.
The Marlins have the lowest payroll in baseball. They find guys that want to play because they love the game, and they find ways to win. None of this Yankee brainwashing of paying outrageous amounts of money for less than stellar play. (I know Travis and Tricia are Yanks fans... and I love you guys... but seriously... the Yankees? I know they have a 'tradition' of winning... but when was their last WS title? 2001? They got close in 2003... but who'd they lose to? It's just not coming to mind... I think it starts with an 'M' and ends in 'arlins'... ?)
But this is 2009. And what a ride it's been so far. They started out the year 11-1... and are now back to a healthy 14-8. (Being too skinny is just as bad as being too fat.) But there is a lot of promise for this year. They've got power, speed, and some solid arms... watch out for these guys!
Got any fives? Uh, no. GO FISH!