The Miami Marlins might not make the playoffs this year, but they will end three long running franchise droughts.
Two years ago, the Miami Marlins did what nearly everyone outside of their organization would have told you was impossible at the start of the season: make the playoffs.
In doing so, that 2020 Marlins squad snapped a sixteen-year postseason drought that had been an anchor around the neck of the organization since 2003. Even in a pandemic shortened season, it was a huge moment for the franchise. With a ten-year string of losing seasons also brought to an end, it was truly a watershed moment.
Fast forward to 2022, the odds are long on the Miami Marlins returning to the playoffs this year. And not just because there might not even be an MLB season. The NL East features the defending World Series champion, the team with the reigning NL MVP, the team with the best player in the NL, and a team with an owner that looks poised to shatter spending records in an attempt to field a winner. It’s a lot for Miami to overcome, even if only one of those teams can reasonably claim to have a starting rotation as dominant as what the Marlins project to be working with this season.
However, that doesn’t mean this year’s Marlins squad won’t be ending some other long standing franchise slumps. Naturally, nothing mattered more to the perception that Derek Jeter and Bruce Sherman might know what they are doing than ending those two slumps discussed above. But if 2022 doesn’t see a repeat of those, the front office will be able to point to these accomplishments as they load up to make a real run in 2023. Because ending these particular skids will unquestionably silence remaining doubters, and excite many a fan in the process.
Before diving in, let’s just be clear about what these are not: bold predictions. At least not outright. If the Miami Marlins do the minimum required to meet these benchmarks, all we’re talking about here is meaningful progress. Meaningful progress, and benchmarks that wouldn’t be worth getting excited about at all for many organizations in MLB. For the Marlins though, all of these are something that either hasn’t happened at all, or has just happened once, in at least ten seasons.
However, if these three barriers are blown past…then sure, I suppose you could label these as “bold predictions.”
Still, the minimum is all that’s being projected here. The 2022 Miami Marlins will turn heads and earn some well earned respect by doing three things fans haven’t seen in awhile, starting with…