The first weekend of the 2018 season for the Miami Marlins was a mixed bag. They split their opening four-game series against the Chicago Cubs, which for some not expecting much this season could be seen as a success.
There is no question that the Marlins organization has been lampooned by many leading into the season. Many have come out critical against new lead owner Derek Jeter for slashing payroll and trading all of the team's most prominent stars away.
The biggest problem with the moves Jeter made is how they look on a canvas of Marlins history. The franchise won their first World Series in 1997 and then almost immediately dumped most of their talent that off-season.
Flash forward to when the Fish won their second title in 2003 and again the same story was repeated with yet another firesale. As bad as previous ownership regimes have been, however, Jeter cannot be convicted in the court of public opinion for the sins of Marlins past.
He was not the one that made those decisions. While those other owners and front office executives did not restock the cupboard, Jeter deserves the opportunity to show everyone in Miami what he can do.
The optics of trading away stars like Marcell Ozuna and Giancarlo Stanton were not great, but they made sense from a business standpoint. The Marlins are in bad financial standing, so building the roster back up from the ground up is a viable strategy for turning the organization around.
As one of the greatest players in baseball history, Jeter has built up a certain level of credibility even if that does not necessarily extend to his nascent career as a baseball exec. In fact, he has an excellent opportunity to rewrite Marlins history.
If Jeter goes on to actually build a winner from the ground up, perhaps those deep wounds felt by the fanbase years ago will start to heal. That, honestly, may be the only way the franchise can thrive in the future.
Cover photo from Unsplash