Thursday, November 8, 2007

Sun not shining on Florida baseball

Hall of Fame baseball writer Murray Chass suggests eliminating the two Florida franchises. Six years ago, baseball owners voterd to contract two teams. I have a better idea- how about merging the two Florida teams and contract one other? The two Florida teams combine would produce a pretty good team:
1B: Carlos Pena
2B: Dan Uggla
SS: Hanley Ramirez
3B: Miguel Cabrera
OF: Carl Crawford, B.J. Upton, Delmon Young
C: Dioner Navarro, Matt Treanor
Bench/DH (if in AL) Josh Willingham (3rd C as well), Jeremy Hermidia, Akinori Iwamura, Brendan Harris

This leaves a slot open, (Elijah Dukes, Johnny Gomes, Cody Ross?) and allows for Miguel Olivo leaving via trade or after being non-tendered.

The Pitching wouldn't look bad either- Scott Kazmir, James Shields, Dontrelle Willis, Scott Olsen and Sergio Mitre would be a solid rotation with veterans Al Reyes and Kevin Gregg in the 8th and 9th innings. Mix and match setup guys and you'd have a pretty good pitching staff. Plus, the Marlins have Josh Johnson, Anibel Sanchez and Ricky Nolasco coming back from injuries. If one of the top two comes back to 2006 form- even in 2009, it would certainly stregthen the rotation.

You'd have the only team in Florida, the hope for a statewide TV and radio package, and even with Pena, Cabrera and Willis, an affordable mid-range budget. Playing in the NL, without the DH, and avoiding the Yankees and Red Sox in the same division, you'd have a team that could compete for a Wild Card post-season berth immediately.

Chass' NY Times article:

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