Things are about to get real interesting in Miami. The long rumored merger between the Florida Marlins and Manager Ozzie Guillen came to fruition September 29th and the ex- Chicago White Sox skipper signed a 4 year deal(10 million dollars total) to become the face of the franchise. Known as a fiery, feisty leader who laces interviews with four letter words, the ex Marlins Third Base coach brings energy and attention to a team that needs it. He guided the White Sox to the 2005 World Championship and the 47 year old was a 15 year major league player(12 years with the White Sox), making 3 all star teams. He clearly has established the number #1 goal of his regime: getting former all star SS Hanley Ramirez back on track. “To me, Hanley Ramirez is the biggest piece of the puzzle,” Guillen said. “My job is to make this guy put a smile on his face, enjoy this game and enjoy the game the way it should be played. Not the way Ozzie thinks it should be played, but the way it should be played. A lot of kids look up to him, I look up to him myself … but there’s one thing I’ve got to tell you: This kid is going to be back to where he was and he’s going to be playing the game the way it should be played. … This kid is one that might take off to the prime-time.”
MIAMI MARLINS: The team played its final home game at Sun Life Stadium as the Florida Marlins September 28th and the club’s name will officially change to the Miami Marlins on November 11,2011 as they prepare to move to their new retractable roof ball park in the Little Havana section of Miami. Since the Marlins inaugural 1993 season the team has shared homes with the NFL’s Miami Dolphins and more recently, the University of Miami football program, so this a big moment for the franchise.
JUMBO JAVY: Veteran RHSP Javier Vazquez was named National League Pitcher of the Month after winning all 5 of his starts and posting a 0.71 ERA. He tossed complete games in 2 of his last 3 starts and had a 29 inning scoreless string in mid month. The 14 year veteran has made hints that this season was his last but his post all star performance(10-4,2.15 ERA) show he can still do it at the major league level. Vazquez sites his desire to spend time with his family as reason he would walk away from the game.
MARLINS NOTES: Guillen is already at work, actively recruiting Chicago Cubs controversial RHSP Carlos Zambrano to join him in Miami. The volatile Cub has been in trouble off and on for about 5 years due to on field behavior and was placed on the disqualified list after telling teammates and members of the coaching staff he was going to retire after he was ejected from a game August 2nd for throwing at Braves star 3B Chipper Jones, The 30 year old was 9-7 with a 4.82 ERA in 24 starts and is under contract thru 2012. Zambrano is owed $18 million in 2012 plus he has a vesting option for 2013 totaling $19.25 million if he finishes in the top 4 in the 2012 CY Young voting. The Cubs would carry him to Miami if the Marlins ate this contract, big circus with him in Chicago…. Marlins resigned INF Omar Infante to a two year $8 million dollar contract September 27th and he should be the everyday 2B for the length of the deal.
FREE AGENTS: INF Greg Dobbs, INF Jose Lopez, RHP Javier Vazquez
ARBITRATION-ELIGIBLE: RHP Burke Badenhop, C John Baker, INF Emilio Bonifacio, RHP Clay Hensley, RHP Edward Mujica, INF Donnie Murphy, RHP Leo Nunez(on restricted list due to legal problems), RHP Brian Sanches, RHP Anibal Sanchez, RHP Chris Volstad
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