By Dan Rosen
Who are the champs?
It's back, baby! Thank God.
It's time to hear the crack of the bats, the pop of the gloves and sweet sound of vendors selling beer for five times its normal price. Welcome back baseball.
As spring turns to summer, players and coaches will dream about suiting up in the middle of October to play for the world championship, dream of seeing their breath in the cold fall nights.
It's time for us to make predictions.
As we predict what will happen this season we have to remember one thing. Do we really have a defending world champion? Yes, the Florida Marlins did win it last year, but are they champions. NOPE.
Thank you very much Wayne Huizenga, you ruined one of the best questions that any baseball fan or media guy can ask at the beginning of April, "CAN THEY REPEAT?"
Now the facts ladies and gentleman, and believe me they are not pretty. Actually they are down right disgusting.
"They gave me 30 seconds to accept the award, we lost 12 players in 30 seconds this off-season," Jim Leyland said as he accepted his ESPY Award in January.
Gone are the likes of Moises Alou, Devon White, Jeff Conine, Darren Daulton, Al Leiter, Robb Nen, and Kevin Brown to name a few.
They even had a debate over John Cangelosi and his $550,000 contract. Talk about trying to save a buck or two.
The question of what they got in return might come up. Well here is your answer. One homerun. That's all, and I'm not kidding.
You have an obligation to the fans who come out to the park despite the Florida heat and players who got you there with a 92-70 record last season to give it another go. They are now stuck with a lineup of a couple of has-beens and a few never will be's and they're going to be lucky if they even reverse that record this year.
Yes, they do have Bobby Bonilla, Gary Sheffield and Charles Johnson, but if those guys think they can anchor this sailing ship they are sorely mistaken. Todd Dunwoody replaces Devon White in center, and Cliff Floyd replaces Moises Alou in left. Derrek Lee for Jeff Conine and Darren Daulton at first. Who are these guys? Definitely not defending champs.
The Fishs' problems don't stop with fielding and hitting. They have absolutely no pitching, except Livan Hernandez. In their five man rotation they have a combined 16 major league victories with the aforementioned 1997 World Series M.V.P leading the pack with a whopping NINE. Two of their starters have never won a gamein the majors.
The sad thing with baseball is that it has two seasons. During the regular season the business is part of the game, but what this reporter likes to call the "dreaded season of hell" the off-season, the game is just merely a fragment of the business. If it is even that much.
I don't think trading the heart and soul of the team in the offseason is what Abner Doubleday had in mind when he invented the national past time.
The Marlins disgraced the game of baseball this past winter and they disgraced their organization. What they did was down right disgusting. Mr. Huizenga, the Marlins' owner, who is a former garbage collector should have thought twice before quitting that job. He probably did it better than his current position of employment.
Dan Rosen is a sophomore majoring in Journalism. And will pay top dollar for tickets to see the Diamondbacks play the Mets at BOB.