The 2017 season for the Miami Marlins was one of unfinished business and one for a fallen teammate. With Dee Gordon and Giancarlo Stanton fully back and the pitching staff focused, the Marlins were ready to pick up where the New York Mets dropped their responsibilities. The year started out great as they finished the first month without finding themselves too far back, and for the better part of the last half of the season, the Marlins were in the wild card hunt.
But this is baseball, and one glaring issue could leave you on the outside looking in. For the Marlins, it was a lack of help for their two stars, Stanton and Gordon.
But just as fast as the season was over for the Marlins and their fans, there was still hope on the horizon. While there have been rumors before of a Stanton and Gordon trade, nothing ever became of them. How the Marlins finished the season it would seem that hope would be the perfect description for 2018. Gone was Jeffrey Loria and taking his spot was the iconic Derek Jeter.
If there was one person who could turn the organization around, it was Jeter. But then things got a little strange. The trade whispers got louder, and before anyone had time to grasp what was happening, Gordon was gone for minor league players. To add more salt to the wound, days later, his NL MVP teammate, Stanton, was off to the Bronx. Fans are left scratching their heads wondering how could Jeter do this to them? But then again, Jeter did say that he was there to rebuild a franchise, according to USA Today.
— NESN (@NESN) December 9, 2017
Imagine waking up one morning and the owner you hate is gone, replaced with a legend who actually knows and understands the game of baseball. You rise days later, only to find that one of the best second basemen in MLB gets traded for peanuts. If that not enough, you learn a few days later that one of the top two players in the league is leaving for players you must Google search to know who they are. Talk about a wild few months for Marlins fans.
While fans in Seattle and New York are rejoicing, what about the heartbroken fans in Miami?
Despite the team having fewer wins in 2017 than they did in 2016, it was still an improvement. Stanton and Gordon were able to stick around for the majority of the year, and the Marlins finished in second place in the NL East. This was the offseason where they became buyers instead of sellers, but Jeter must’ve missed that memo.
How hard would it have been to go after Jake Arrieta or Shohei Ohtani? Now, fans can only reminisce about what it was like to head to Marlins Park to see Gordon try to pass Ricky Henderson or Stanton do his best Ken Griffey Jr. impersonation. Now what? What will the fans have to look forward to now? How can fans trust in the new leadership when they didn’t let the momentum the Marlins built up in 2017 play out?
Just like that, the Marlins are officially, well, the Marlins of old. It’s not like they haven’t been here before, but how many Dee Gordons and Giancarlo Stantons are out there playing minor league ball waiting for a call-up? Jeter should know better than this. While the Yankees were going through their struggles, they always kept a player who represented either past success or the future.
#Marlins acquire 3 players from Seattle – including 2 of Seattle’s top 7 prospects – in exchange for Dee Gordon; Welcome RHP @NickNeidert, INF Christopher Torres and RHP Robert Dugger. pic.twitter.com/0gtaavwcPz
— Miami Marlins (@Marlins) December 7, 2017
What just happened to the Marlins was like Brian Cashman saying bye to Jeter before the Yankees won their first World Series with him. This was more than a roster fire sale, this was a Black Friday giveaway, and the fans are the ones left holding an empty bag. While management can now point to the hole in the Marlins’ payroll department, the bigger question is for what reason?
Loyal fans will still flock to Marlins Park but it just won’t be the same. Thanks for nothing, Jeter.