The Florida Marlins' 2007 season began with the team with the league's lowest payroll trying to improve on their promising 78-84 record in 2006. Despite the success of the team under manager Joe Girardi, he was fired and replaced with Fredi Gonzalez.
Marlins general manager Larry Beinfest said that the team's goal from the start of the season was to compete in the playoffs.
The Marlins had two goals to address during the 2006 offseason: they needed a new closer because '06 closer Joe Borowski signed with the Cleveland Indians as a free agent, and the Marlins saw the need for a new center fielder. They had platooned Eric Reed, Reggie Abercrombie, Chris Aguila, Cody Ross, and Alfredo Amézaga in the position in 2006, with backup shortstop Amézaga making most of the starts at that position later in the season. The Marlins had added some new relief pitchers since 2006, trading Chris Resop to the Los Angeles Angels for Kevin Gregg and shipping prospects Jason Vargas and Adam Bostick to the New York Mets for Henry Owens and Matt Lindstrom. Lindstrom has been a closer during his time in the minors and has a fastball that reached 100 mph on radar guns in winter league play during the 2006 offseason. The Marlins saw much competition for their closer role, with Ricky Nolasco, Renyel Pinto, Mike Koplove, Gregg, Lindstrom, and Owens all candidates for the job. In April, newly-acquired Jorge Julio was named closer, but on May 13, he was traded to the Colorado Rockies for Byung-Hyun Kim.
The Marlins signed center fielder Alex Sanchez to a minor league deal in the offseason, who competed for the Marlins' center field job with Reed, Abercrombie, Ross, and Amézaga. Beinfest said that the Marlins tried to trade for a proven center fielder but were asked for too much in order to get one. However, Sánchez was released at the end of spring training and the starting role was handed to rookie Alejandro De Aza.
Famous quotes containing the words florida, season, game and/or log:
“In Florida consider the flamingo,
Its color passion but its neck a question.”
—Robert Penn Warren (19051989)
“The landscape was clothed in a mild and quiet light, in which the woods and fences checkered and partitioned it with new regularity, and rough and uneven fields stretched away with lawn-like smoothness to the horizon, and the clouds, finely distinct and picturesque, seemed a fit drapery to hang over fairyland. The world seemed decked for some holiday or prouder pageantry ... like a green lane into a country maze, at the season when fruit-trees are in blossom.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)
“Peoples affections can be as thin as paper; life is like a game of chess, changing with each move.”
“There is hardly a pioneers hut which does not contain a few odd volumes of Shakespeare. I remember reading the feudal drama of Henry V for the first time in a log cabin.”
—Alexis de Tocqueville (18051859)