Baseball Toaster Bad Altitude
2005-05-06 12:17
by Mark T.R. Donohue

There was a time when the Rockies and the Marlins were often referred to as sister teams, since both entered the league together in the expansion of 1993. Since then, Florida has two World Series championships and Colorado has...a nice stadium. Although neither team has ever won a division title, the Marlins have been much more productive with their wild card appearances. Nowadays, the Florida state expansion team the Rockies are more likely to be compared to is the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

The 2005 Marlins (15-10) are again competitive thanks to a pitching rotation that ranks second to none in the MLB in ERA and opponents' OPS. Their offense has been good enough to win led by Miguel Cabrera, Carlos Delgado, and a hot start from Juan Encarnacion. Usually steady third baseman Mike Lowell has been a disaster, however, posting a .196/.235/.337 line with only two home runs thus far. Florida is coming off of a two-game split with division-leading Atlanta, losing Wednesday on the strength of a dominating Tim Hudson performance.

The most important game for the '05 Marlins, however, is playing out in the Florida statehouse (registration required), where the future of a new ballpark for the '97 and '03 champs hangs by a thread. A subsidy bill for the Fish's proposed new retractable-roofed aquarium has been passed in the state House but stands to die a slow death in the Senate. The biggest news for the Marlins' long-term future in the state of Florida may well come down during this series with Colorado. However, it is unlikely to help the Rockies any on the field.

Of more immediate concern to the purple-and-black are Dontrelle Willis, he of the corkscrewing motion and Juan Marichal leg kick, and Josh Beckett, he of the World Series MVP award. This duo will start the two night games in the series, on Friday and Saturday. The Rockies counter with Joe Kennedy and Shawn Chacon. The Sunday matinee may be Colorado's best chance to get a road win in, as fading veteran Al Leiter will face Jeff Francis. A Miami sportswriter gives a Marlins'-eye view of the Rockies here (registration required).

Comment status: comments have been closed. Baseball Toaster is now out of business.