Let's flash back exactly one offseason ago. The Marlins had practically no chance. Two of its biggest stars were headed to Atlanta (including Fredi Gonzalez), its star pitcher was hurt, nobody was going to their home games, and the young stars weren't developing at the rate they wanted. So it looked like another 4th place season for Florida. And it was. Han-Ram slumped, Lo-Mo slumped, and it was a down year.
Flash forward to right now. One of baseball's most iconic current managers is presiding in the front office, there is talks of moving to a new stadium, and three of baseball's biggest stars are thinking of spending a few months there. Is this a Twilight Zone episode, or are the Marlins looking like a huge team for 2012?
I realize at this point that some of this may not happen, but lets assume for a post here. Because if Ozzie Guillen does eventually lure Albert Pujols, Jose Reyes and Mark Buerhle to Miami, it'll be one of the best power shifts in the game's history.
But that's only if this gets off the ground. Because Pujols and Reyes have a lot of options. Pujols has the option of angering his former team by signing with Chicago. Reyes has a similar option, due to a certain Philadelphia shortstop being low on a contract. Buerhle could stay loyal, but under the circumstances (Francona could take over, and the man still smells like Boston) he'll likely side with his former manager.
And if the new stadium idea works, this could be a renaissiance in Miami. People in the area could flock to Miami to see the huge stars, along with the ones they already have, swat homers and make plays. Hell, the Marlins could even be a challenge for Atlanta and Philadelphia for the throne (the Mets are kinda out of it). Hell, the only thing working against the Marlins are those terrible new uniform concepts floating around the web. A marlin does not look like that. To this, I would prefer the teal.
But back to the point- like I said before, this musing is not cemented just yet. Pujols and Reyes could sign with other, stronger teams. Buehrle could go back to Chicago, to be managed by Terry Stinking Francona (or someone else, like I care). And people may not even go to Marlins games next year even if they were playing in the Colliseum. But it's still fine to dream.
So the Marlins may not have a huge power shift next year. But wouldn't it be cool is they did?