The Miami Marlins once again fail to meet expectations.

For nearly two decades, the Miami Marlins, previously known as the Florida Marlins, have failed to capture my interest in baseball in South Florida— and not for lack of trying on my part. Despite attending numerous games during my childhood, the hometown Major League Baseball team lacked the allure of other South Florida sports franchises. While the Miami Heat boasted star players and championship victories, the Marlins struggled to secure a World Series win since 2003 and gained notoriety for trading away budding talents. Even collegiate football and basketball programs like the Miami Hurricanes outshone them with passionate fan support and occasional conference titles.

Marlins Park, now LoanDepot Park, often sat half-empty, its closed roof shielding fans from the beautiful Miami night sky and the ambiance of outdoor baseball that drew crowds elsewhere in the country. Since their last World Series victory, the Marlins consistently disappointed, earning a reputation that proved challenging to shake off and causing me to distance myself as a fan.

However, last season, the typically overlooked Marlins gave me something to cheer for. I began paying attention around the All-Star break in July when they showcased numerous impressive victories. Players like Luis Arraez and Jorge Soler were selected as All-Stars, prompting me to follow the team more closely. I discovered a wealth of talent in the Marlins’ pitching rotation, with Sandy Alcantara leading the charge as the 2022 National League C.Y. Young award winner. Emerging talents like Eury Perez and Jesus Luzardo, along with established players like Braxton Garret, bolstered the pitching lineup. Meanwhile, Andrew Nardi and Tanner Scott excelled in the bullpen, and additions like Jake Burger and Josh Bell boosted the offense.

Despite a post-All-Star break slump that threatened their playoff hopes, the Marlins salvaged their season and clinched a playoff spot for only the fourth time in franchise history. Their resilience and spirited play made them endearing to me as a newfound fan. The 2023 Marlins were a joy to watch, rallying in crucial moments and energizing their indoor park with their improved performance.

Eagerly anticipating the 2024 season, I even purchased a jersey. However, just sixteen games into the season, my hopes were dashed as the Marlins disappointed once again. The off-season saw significant changes, including the departure of general manager Kim Ng, whose roster moves revitalized the team. Her replacement, Peter Bendix, adhered to a budget-conscious approach, resulting in key players like Soler leaving and Alcantara sidelined with injury. Despite an optimistic outlook, the Marlins stumbled out of the gate with a disappointing 3-13 record, leaving my fandom in a state of apathy.

While I still follow their games and celebrate rare victories with genuine excitement, my hopes for the future are tempered by the reality of the Marlins’ inconsistent performance.

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