One quick look at the MLB offensive leaders this year indicates one glaring tidbit.
Miguel Cabrera is very good
Of course, you didn’t need to read the last two sentences to know that Miguel Cabrera is a fine baseball player. After coming off a Triple Crown season in 2012, he has possibly put up better numbers in 2013. If not for Orioles slugger Chris Davis, Cabrera would have an unheard of back-to-back Triple Crown in his pocket.
BE SURE TO LISTEN TO THE RED TICKET BLUES PODCAST! JUST CLICK HERE!
But long before Miggy had the Tigers as perennial playoff participants, he was a skinny kid (in fact, when he was brought up to the Marlins, he weighed in at a “soft” 185 pounds) with superstar writing on the wall in Miami.
From the ages of 20-25, the Venezuelan-born slugger hit to the tune of .313 average, 842 hits, 138 HR, and 523 RBI. Obviously, his potential danced around all-time great status. So, if your name is the Florida Marlins how do you handle such a prodigy?
You trade him, of course.
In a warped reality where team’s fire sales are as common as Opening Day, the Marlins sent their biggest prospect ever along with pitcher Dontrelle Willis to the Detroit Tigers for a wholesale lot of well-packaged crap. To make matters worse this was actually when Dontrelle Willis was somewhat good and long before he entertained metropolis size crowds like Bridgeport, CT, Waldorf, MD, and Bridgewater Township, NJ in the Atlantic Independent League.
Of the six minor leaguers the Tigers shipped to Florida, three remain in the majors (Cameron Maybin, Andrew Miller , Burke Badehop), two haven’t played professionally since 2008 (Mike Rabelo, Dallas Trahern) and none of the players remain in the Marlins system.
In a rare defense of Marlins owner Jeffery Loria, Miami fanbases are notoriously hard to please (Who could forget Heat fans trying to get back in to a Finals game after they had give up hope on the team?). Most would rather be enjoying Art-Deca sculptures, indulging in MDMA fist-pumping laser shows, or worshipping at the shrine of Dan Marino and Dwayne Wade. But, at the same time building gaudy taxpayer financed stadiums and trading away any remote talent, let alone a possible all-time great, certainly doesn’t endear your fans to walk through the turnstiles.
So as Cabrera hacks away at offensive records, the Marlins sit in the basement of the NL East with the second lowest winning percentage (.366) in the majors behind the lowly Houston Astros. And to one’s surprise, they also have the second lowest attendance in the majors with 19,039 souls a game. I don’t even buy that.
So while Frank Costanza might have been livid over the Yankees sending Jay Buhner to the Mariners for the greatness of Ken Phelps, that trade looks like a steal compared to the parting gifts the Marlins received for a soon to be Hall of Famer.