The Florida Marlins attendance reached a new low on Wednesday when 347 fans "packed" Sun Life Stadium for the first game of a double header.
I don't care if this game was unexpected or not, low attendance has been a recurring theme for this franchise and for their fellow Florida based team, the Tampa Bay Rays. Its not so much that the city of Miami can't "support" a team, its that they don't deserve one. Its strange because the Marlins have been very successful in their short history...they won two championships in a span of six years! If their new stadium doesn't increase the numbers next season then all hope will be lost.
Greg Kaplan gives us his forecast for the 2012 New York Mets.
Health has always been the issue for the Mets, so we've never seen the true potential of this team. On paper the Mets look like they should compete, and I think they will, but I would look for other options at closer since Bobby Parnell is still a thrower, not a pitcher. Its a tricky situation for Justin Turner and Daniel Murphy, who, despite their incredibly surprising seasons are probably better suited for the bench in a utility role.
Jim Thome's resume is missing something...a World Series ring, would a move to the Phillies be the right decision?
A sure first ballot Hall of Famer, Thome is at the stage in his career where he wants only one thing, to win a championship. He has done virtually everything else becoming one of the most feared and dominant home run hitters of our time. With Ryan Howard at first, Thome would be that home run or bust pinch hitter late in games, a job Matt Stairs did so well for them in their championship season. I think this experiment would work since its unlikely the Twins will hold onto Thome for the rest of their disappointing year.
Tommy Hanson of the Atlanta Braves is working his way back to the majors with a scheduled Class-AAA rehab start.
Hanson was one of the best pitchers in the league before he went down. He is an essential piece to the Braves puzzle so he needs to be healthy if Atlanta wants to make any noise in the post-season, especially when going up against the Phillies starting pitching.
Even though the Washington Nationals haven't been winning many games since Davey Johnson's takeover, its becoming more likely that he will return to the dugout for the 2012 season.
Johnson isn't here to win games, its to help develop the young players and help GM Mike Rizzo plan for the future. Originally I thought the Nats should find their manager for the future at the end of this season, but I have changed my stance since then. This isn't a decision that should be rushed or forced, Washington needs to do a thorough job searching for the perfect candidate, and I don't see the "perfect candidate" available right now.