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Former Marlins make up a genuine All-Star team - Through The Fence Baseball

Former Marlins make up a genuine All-Star team

by Mark Moran | Posted on Wednesday, August 17th, 2011
| 814 baseball fanatics read this article

Ah, the good old days. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

“Break up the Marlins!”

Nobody ever said that … they just did it … twice. After their 1997 World Series Championship. And again after their 2003 World Series Championship. What would have happened without those two fire sales?

For fun, let’s take a look at some of the best seasons these Marlins champs had after they left Florida. Because most of these guys were traded in their prime, or even before their prime, the result is an All-Star team — a better team than the 1927 Yankees. Maybe the Marlins could have been a dynasty. Check out this lineup.

The Lineup

1. Juan Pierre, CF. How can you have 699 at-bats, a .292 average, 58 stolen bases, and score only 87 runs? Who was hitting behind Juan, me?

Year

Team

AB

R

HR

RBI

Avg.

SB

2006

Cubs

699

87

3

40

.292

58

2. Edgar Renteria, SS. Alex Gonzalez was my second choice and probably the better defensive player. But he never had an offensive season like the one Renteria had in 2003.

Year

Team

AB

R

HR

RBI

Avg.

SB

2003

Cardinals

587

96

13

100

.330

34

 3. Gary Sheffield, RF. Sheff batted cleanup for the 1997 Marlins. Imagine adding the stats below to the 2003 team, which won without him? Wow.

Year

Team

AB

R

HR

RBI

Avg.

SB

2003

Braves

576

126

39

132

.330

18

4. Derrek Lee, 1B. Down here in Florida, they used to say that Lee had that great glove, but would never hit enough homeruns for a first baseman. On my team, he’s batting cleanup.

Year

Team

AB

R

HR

RBI

Avg.

SB

2005

Cubs

691

120

46

107

.335

15

5. Miguel Cabrera, 3B. In May 2003, Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis came up from the minors and sparked the team. In the playoffs, Miguel played rightfield and batted fourth … at age 20.

Year

Team

AB

R

HR

RBI

Avg.

2010

Tigers

648

111

38

126

.328

6. Moises Alou, LF. Moises was the first guy traded in the first sell-off. (I guess I should say “sell-off,” not “fire sale,” since there was no fire.) In November 1997, just a few weeks after bringing home the trophy, the Marlins sent Alou to the Astros for three pitchers — Oscar Henriquez, Manny Barrios, and Mark Johnson.

Year

Team

AB

R

HR

RBI

Avg.

SB

1998

Astros

584

104

38

125

.312

11

7. You pick the catcher. Charles Johnson

Year

Team

AB

R

HR

RBI

Avg.

2000

Orioles/WSox

421

76

31

91

.304

… or Pudge Rodriguez.

Year

Team

AB

R

HR

RBI

Avg.

2004

Tigers

527

72

19

86

.334

8. Luis Castillo, 2B. An exception, “Little Luis” had his best years with the Marlins. He’s still the Marlins’ career leader in hits, walks, triples, and stolen bases.

Year

Team

AB

R

HR

RBI

Avg.

SB

2006

Twins

584

84

3

49

.296

25

(Quick trivia before we move on to the pitching staff: Which three players were on both the 1997 Marlins and the 2003 Marlins? Answer below.)

The Starting Rotation

We’ll need five starters.

1. Kevin Brown. In 1996 with the Marlins, Brown should have won the Cy Young award, when he had a Sandy Koufax-like 1.89 ERA. (John Smoltz won instead.)

Year

Team

IP

W/L

ERA

K

1998

Padres

257

18-7

2.38

257

2. Josh Beckett. You remember Game 6 of the 2003 World Series in New York, right? Complete game, on three days’ rest. Josh was a big-game money pitcher for the 2007 Red Sox, too … after he won 20 during the regular season.

Year

Team

IP

W/L

ERA

K

2007

Red Sox

201

20-7

3.27

194

3. Brad Penny. From Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, Brad was a bulldog on the mound, like Kevin Brown. Penny is still in the Majors (Tigers), but hasn’t had a good year since 2007.

Year

Team

IP

W/L

ERA

K

2007

Dodgers

208

16-4

3.03

135

4. A.J. Burnett. A.J. pitched only four games for the 2003 Marlins before having Tommy John surgery. In the post-season, he watched all those terrific games against the Giants, Cubs, and Yankees from the dugout — in uniform, with a warm-up jacket on, and a white towel around his neck. What could be more painful?

Year

Team

IP

W/L

ERA

K

2008

Blue Jays

221

18-10

4.07

231

5. Rick Helling. The fifth starter is another 20-game winner. (You forgot about Helling, didn’t you? So did I.)

Year

Team

IP

W/L

ERA

K

1998

Rangers

216

20-7

4.41

164

The Bullpen

Livan Hernandez. Let’s make Livan, an innings eater, the long reliever.

Year

Team

IP

W/L

ERA

K

2003

Expos

233

15-10

3.20

186

Robb Nen. Raise your hand if you knew that this closer’s father, Dick Nen, played first base for the old Washington Senators in the 1960s.

Year

Team

IP

W/L

ERA

K

SA

1998

Giants

89

7-7

1.52

110

40

The Bench

Mike Lowell, IF. Like Beckett, Mikey Lowell got the best of both worlds — a 2003 World Series Championship with the Marlins … and a 2007 World Series Championship with the Red Sox.

Year

Team

AB

R

HR

RBI

Avg.

2007

Red Sox

589

79

21

120

.324

Kevin Millar, IF. It hurt me when Millar, one of my all-time favorites, missed the 2003 Marlins’ Championship after being traded to the Red Sox. But the very next year, he was in important part of the 2004 Red Sox, who won their first World Series in 86 years. Good for Kevin.

Year

Team

AB

R

HR

RBI

Avg.

2003 Red_Sox 544 83 25 96 .276

 

Jeff Conine, OF. Mr. Marlin still works for the Marlins.

Year

Team

AB

R

HR

RBI

Avg.

SB

2001 Orioles 524 75 14 97 .311 12

 

Cliff Floyd, OF. What would Cliff have done without all those injuries? From 1993 to 2009 — 17 seasons in the Majors — he had only four with 500 or more at-bats. One of them was 2001, when he scored 123 runs for the Marlins. Here’s one of the other three.

Year

Team

AB

R

HR

RBI

Avg.

SB

2005 Mets 550 85 34 98 .273 12

 

Carl Pavano, P. In 2004, Pavano won 18 games for the Marlins. Then he signed that four-year, $40 million contract with the Yankees. Then he won a total of 9 games in those four years. Then the Yankees declined their option for a fifth season.

Year

Team

IP

W/L

ERA

K

2010 Twins 221 17-11 3.75 117

 

Honorable Mentions

These three guys were not part of either championship, so they weren’t, technically, part of either sell-off. But they are all part of the “good-young-guys-the-Marlins-traded-too-soon” club.

Ryan Dempster, SP. Dempster was also the Cubs’ closer for three years.

Year

Team

IP

W/L

ERA

K

2008 Cubs 207 17-6 2.96 187

 

Trevor Hoffman, RP. The all-time saves leader (until Mariano Rivera passes him) started his career with the Marlins. Of Trevor’s 601 career saves, saves number one and two came for the Marlins … in 1993.

Year

Team

IP

W/L

ERA

K

SA

1998 Padres 73 4-2 1.48 86 53

 

Preston Wilson. In 2003, Preston led the NL in RBI.

Year

Team

AB

R

HR

RBI

Avg.

SB

2003 Rockies 600 94 36 141 .282 14

 

Let’s make Ozzie Guillen our manager. Ozzie was the third base coach of the 2003 Marlins. And he won the World Series as manager of the 2005 White Sox.

Trivia answer: Luis Castillo, Jeff Conine, and Rick Helling. (But Conine and Helling both left and came back.)

Did I miss anyone? If so, let me know in the space below.

Finally: A big thank you to PlayerProfiles.com and baseball-reference.com.

Post By Mark Moran (5 Posts)

Mark Moran is a full-time editor and part-time freelance writer. He also contributes to another baseball web site, http://baseball.playerprofiles.com (check it out). He has been playing fantasy baseball since 1987, when his league’s commissioner compiled the weekly stats from the Tuesday USA Today and mailed them to each owner.

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