This past offseason, to me, seemed to go by very fast. I can't explain why; perhaps it had to do with the NFL or NBA lockouts and their seasons starting later. While others may feel differently, it moved pretty fast from the end of the postseason to free agency to the start of spring training. Maybe the local runs of the New York Giants and the success of Jeremy Lin of the Knicks gained enough media coverage to bridge the gap. Whatever the case, I can't be any more excited for the start of another baseball season.
The Marlins will be unveiling their new name, logo and uniform in an official game for the first time as well as their new ballpark. From what I've seen and heard, it is a nice looking stadium. Of course, the Marlins have their new identity with new manager Ozzie Guillen and free agent acquisitions Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and Heath Bell. Expectations are going to be high for a team that failed to make the necessary progress last season, finishing last place in the NL East division. Things are expected to be better this year, with some picking the Marlins to win the division or win one of the two NL Wild Cards. I personally have the Marlins finishing just out of the playoff picture, but 2nd place in the NL East.
Josh Johnson will make another opening day start for the Marlins against their spring training rival Cardinals who will be pitching Kyle Lohse. Of course, the Cardinals and Marlins share the same spring facility in Jupiter, Florida.
The Cardinals will run out SS Rafael Furcal, RF Carlos Beltran, LF Matt Holliday, 1B Lance Berkman, 3B David Freese, C Yadier Molina, CF John Jay, 2B Tyler Greene, RHP Lohse. The Marlins will go with SS Reyes, 2B Omar Infante, 3B Hanley Ramirez, RF Giancarlo Stanton, LF Logan Morrison, 1B Gaby Sanchez, C John Buck, CF Emilio Bonafacio, RHP Johnson. I can't wait to see the official start of the season, no matter how things may look for my beloved New York Mets.