Miami Marlins: A goodbye to the 2023 season

Photo by Tony Ozegovich

Miami, Florida – Our Miami Marlins made it to the postseason, saying goodbye to 2023 there were times I didn’t think those words belonged in the same sentence. The more I think about it, the more I feel that this was truly a wild 2023. Without counting the COVID-shortened season, it’s been 20 years since the ballclub made it to the playoffs. 20. Years. I was a junior in high school, busy with a much simpler life, and overjoyed that I freed myself of the FCAT. If you know, you know. In fact, let’s take a quick snapshot of the last time they were in the playoffs in a non-shortened season.

Hottest Song: “In da Club” by 50 Cent

#1 Movie in 2003: Finding Nemo

Video Game Console Generation: Playstation 2, GameCube, Xbox

President: George W. Bush

Blockbuster was a thing

Average price of gas: $1.60

Apple launched iTunes in ‘03

Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Dawson’s Creek were at the end of their runs

Madonna and Britney Spears kissed in the VMAs

Looking back

Talk about a blast from the past. Sure, we can’t forget about the loveable Marlins making the postseason in 2020, sweeping the Chicago Cubs by the way, but they were greatly helped by a much shorter campaign. It was a success that the fans did not get to experience in person. Same as this season’s unfortunately for different reasons (more on that in a moment). This year’s achievement was made in spite of a lot of adversity. The Fighting Fish overcame a nightmarish start to the second half of the season, a gauntlet of a schedule in August finishing 10-17 for the month, and devastating injuries to Sandy Alcantara, Eury Perez, and Trevor Rogers to name a few on top of others like Jazz Chisholm Jr., who missed significant playing time.

Against all that you would think a team fades into the night. No, the Marlins fought on with guys stepping up becoming unsung heroes. Jon Berti went on a hot streak in September with contributions from trade deadline additions Josh Bell and Jake Burger. Jesus Luzardo stepped up in the home stretch putting in some great performances and we also saw outstanding work from the bullpen. Luis Arraez was absolutely phenomenal becoming the second player since 1900 to win a batting title in both leagues. Jorge Soler and Bryan De La Cruz had their moments too. We can’t fail to mention those who are no longer with Miami. Garrett Cooper also helped contribute to the team’s ultimate push into the wildcard round.

This new playoff format is actually pretty fun with one major mistake. The fact that the lower seeds don’t even get one single home game in the wildcard round is ridiculous. These ballclubs worked hard to get in and the league’s decision to make all three games no matter what at the home field of the higher seed is unfair to those players. In some ways, Miami’s playoff drought continues. We’ve seen playoff atmosphere baseball during the year but an actual postseason game never truly came to loanDepot park.

More than a game

Back in 2020, I wrote about the effects of what happens when people lose their sports. For many, baseball is their way of getting through rough times. Of having something to look forward to. A time when you kick back, relax, and enjoy the game without a care in the world. Throughout all these years, no matter how badly this team performed, there were fans still watching them play. And when the team finally achieves something of worth despite the odds, they don’t even get the opportunity to play in front of the fanbase that’s been pulling for them.

No matter. What’s done is done. And so comes the Miami Marlins goodbye 2023 part.

I am proud of what this team, coach Skip Schumaker, his staff, and GM Kim Ng have achieved. Some will call this “good feelings” nonsense but I’ll be honest with you, that sentiment was true when we clinched the fifth seed. Once Zack Wheeler threw the first pitch, my expectations elevated to advancing. The boys didn’t give it everything they had in September just to extend their season by three days. The early exit was certainly disappointing, however, it didn’t take away from a very fun year filled with ups and downs. For that I say to the Miami Marlins: thank you. Can’t wait until next year!

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