Great Expectations: Marlins See 18th Opening Day

Just because the payroll hiked under pressure doesn't mean the Marlins will be okay without pitching help. But here goes!

By Janie Campbell
|  Monday, Apr 5, 2010  |  Updated 7:45 AM EDT
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2009 Marlins Opening Day

Twitter.com/joecapMARLINS

Palm Beach Post beat writer Joe Capozzi twitpic'd this image from yesterday's warmups.

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For all the grief we give the Marlins as a managerial entity -- deserved, all of it -- we absolutely adore those boys in teal. From Hanley to Jorge to Wes to...yes, even you, Renyel. It seemed like today's season opener at Shea would never come, but it's here! Baseball! Finally! All 8,549,843 games of it!

Wooooooooooo!

Of course, this euphoria will last for a bit, and then midway to the All-Star game we'll become fatigued, but that will revive us should any Fishies make the squad, and then we'll bog down again until the final white-knuckle games of Fall when the Marlins will attempt to make their 3rd-ever playoffs appearance before falling just short. Sigh. We've done this before.

And yet we still ask: will this year be any different?

Jeffrey Loria thinks so. "All the necessary talent is there," said the owner.

The crazy part is, he and president David Samson are exactly the only two people on the planet who think so. Nothing was done over the offseason to help the rickety bullpen, and the team that overachieved last season hasn't been made one tiny bit better.

In fact, all the expectations (Samson is on record predicting a World Series victory) seem to hinge on simply this: they retained a few players they've normally have traded away, and they're older now. 

"We know who these men are and they are no longer boys," Loria says.

Right. Honey, my mom is mature, and signing Josh Johnson before his contract was up doesn't clone him. Buuuuut if there's one thing we've learned, it's that the chaos that is the Marlins somehow manages to congeal and roll together, creating magical baseball glory, every seven years or so -- and this season's as good as any. We would never in a million years count them out.

Might as well predict that World Series victory ourselves.

The game is on at 1:10 p.m. in Flushing; you can catch it on Fox Sports Florida, or 790 or 710 AM. Josh Johnson gets the start. The home opener at Sun Life Stadium is Friday.

Janie Campbell believes in ballpark hot dogs, the pro-set, and the eternal damnation of the Jets. Her work has appeared in irreverent sports sites around the Internet.

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