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The Miami Marlins are baseball’s first professional team in Miami, Florida. The Marlins play in the National League’s Eastern Division, in the newly-constructed (and much maligned) Marlins Park. Their manager Ozzie Guillén made major headlines near the beginning of the season, after making pro-Fidel Castro statements in one of his first interviews as the team’s manager. Since Miami’s fan-base is largely made up of Cuban-Americans, who are vehemently opposed to Fidel Castro’s Communist regime in Cuba, Guillén’s statements were the biggest news of the early 2012 season, and brought the newly-formed team the worst kind of publicity. Unfortunately for Marlins fans, the team’s performance thus far in 2012 hasn’t done much to erase the memory of their manager’s thoughtless remarks. The Marlins are sitting in next-to-last place in the division, with a losing record both at home and on the road.

A little history on the Marlins franchise: the team started in 1993 as an expansion squad called the Florida Marlins. That team played their first fourteen seasons at Sun Life Stadium, known better as the home of the NFL’s Miami Dolphins. The name change, from Florida to Miami, came as part of the move to the new stadium, built on the site of the former Orange Bowl. The new park was designed with baseball in mind, in an attempt to drive up attendance. Sun Life Stadium, built for football, was one of the worst parks in the major leagues. Football and baseball require completely different stand configurations, and the shared stadium was always meant to be temporary; no one knew it would take over a decade for the Marlins to find their own home. Along with the new team name came a new logo, a new color scheme, and new uniforms, not to mention a controversial new manager and several new players.

For such a young team, the Marlins have had a surprising amount of success, winning World Series championships in both 1997 and 2003 as the National League wild card. The team’s world championship in 2003 was one of the most unlikely in all of baseball history; manager Jeff Torborg was fired after just thirty-eight games, at which point the Marlins were dead last in the NL East with a 16-22 record. 72-year-old Jack McKeon signed on to manage the team, earning the squad a National League wild card berth before beating the perennial powerhouse New York Yankees to bring the 2003 World Series title back to Miami. For a team that’s won two world championships, it may come as a surprise that the Marlins have never finished better than 2nd in their division, and have done that just twice in eighteen seasons.

So far in 2012, the Marlins have put together a 33-36 record, not by any means the worst in the league, but not good enough to make noise in the highly competitive NL East. A turnaround like the team’s 2003 championship season seems unlikely, with no batter in the lineup hitting better than .290 as of this writing, and not one pitcher with a winning record. Marlins bets are not wise, considering the team’s -60 run differential, unless you’re talking about a bet placed against Miami’s new team. The team is losing by an average of 4 runs, a good stat to keep in mind when considering Miami Marlins totals bets. Unless you’re a Marlins fan or like to gamble on unlikely outcomes, betting on the Marlins is a good way to burn up your bankroll. The 2012 season may be a wash, but there is reason to expect the team’s performance in 2013 to improve; the young Giancarlo Stanton is putting together an impressive performance at the plate, and at age 22, he could be the foundation of the team’s future success.






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