Mike Pizza began his career with the Los Angeles Dodgers as a long shot. The Dodgers drafted him with the 1,390th pick in the 1988 draft. He was truly a diamond in the rough. By 1992 he made his Major League debut. He was named the 1993 rookie of the year. When his career ended in 2007 he had a lifetime batting average of .308, hit 427 home runs and batted in 1,335 runs. A 12 time All Star, Mike Piazza was one of the most popular and talented catchers of the 1990s. One part of his career many people over look or don’t even know about is his time with the Florida Marlins.
On May 15th, 1998 after playing 6 seasons with the Dodgers he was included in a blockbuster trade to the Marlins. The Marlins still trying to dump players from their World Series team traded 5 players including Gary Sheffield and Bobby Bonilla for Mike Piazza and Todd Zeile. The deal was a strange one that no one saw coming. Many were excited to see Piazza play for the Marlins. His addition gave the fans of Florida a chance for hope after almost all of their players had been sent packing in the infamous 1997 fire sale.
Mike Piazza as a Florida Marlin (Getty Images)
Mike Piazza’s Marlins career would be short lived. Piazza was traded 8 days later to the New York Mets after just 5 games with the Fish. During this stint Piazza batted .278, scored 1 run, batted in 5 runs and even landed a triple. Sure it was not the most exciting run but that only because it was so short lived. While it is just a small part of his baseball career it will remain an unusual situation and always be a cool trivial fact you can stump your friends with.
Posted in MLB, sports, Sports History
Tagged 1988 draft, 5 games, 8 days, batting average, bobby bonilla, catcher, dodgers, fire sale, Florida, gary sheffield, marlins, met, mets, mike piazza, MLB, todd zeile, trade
The State of Florida has been the home of Spring Training since the early part of the 1900s. Up until 1993 Florida never had a professional baseball team to call their own. The Florida Marlins who were based in the Miami area were the first. The Tampa Bay Devil Rays were soon to follow in 1998. But Florida has a deep history of pursuing Major League Baseball before they received their teams in the 1990s.
It started in 1983 in the Tampa Bay area when local city officials considered building a baseball stadium to house a pro team. Construction began in 1986 on what is now known as Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. It was completed in 1990. At the time there were no expansion franchises being granted for any city. So they sought a team the best way they could, trying to lure a team from their current city.
Tropicana Filed, The stadium that would bring baseball to the Tampa Bay area. (Getty Images)
The Chicago White Sox were the first team that Tampa pursued. In 1989 The White Sox were not happy in the old Comiskey Park and wanted a new stadium. They flirted with Tampa for a while before ultimately getting their new stadium and staying in Chicago.
The next team that was rumored was the Seattle Mariners. The talks did not go very far and the Mariners remained in Washington.
Tampa had their hearts broken in 1991 when they were denied an expansion franchise. The Miami area won out instead of Tampa and the Florida Marlins came into existence. The Marlins played the first ever regular season game in Florida in April of 1993.
The closest that Tampa ever came to stealing a team away from a city was in 1993. The San Francisco Giants owners were looking to sell and a group of investors from Tampa were looking to buy them. The deal was almost done. The local baseball fans were already celebrating and then the bad news came. The sale was vetoed by the National League Owners. The Giants remained in San Francisco and Tampa was still without a team.
That was until in 1995 when they were granted an expansion franchise. The Tampa Bay Devil Rays played their first regular season game in 1998.
The past does make one wonder how different things would be if the White Sox, Mariners or Giants would have relocated to Tampa. If the White Sox or Mariners would have moved would there have been a team in Miami in 1993? Probably not, there more than likely would have been years later though. The Giants move would have been interesting. The city of San Francisco would probably have a different team right now. There is no way that City would be without a team for too long, not with their tradition and history.
It’s really incredible how things turned out for Tampa. They took a huge risk by building a stadium without having a team for it. For many years they looked like failures. Many in the city thought they would never have a team to call their own. But Tampa proved to be very persistent and got what they wanted in the end.
Posted in MLB, Sports History
Tagged 1983, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1998, almost, April, baseball, Chicago, city, comiskey park, debut, devil rays, did they, first team, Florida, franchise, giants, inagural, mariners, marlins, MLB, move, moved, of, old stadium, opening day, pro, professional, rays, run down, san francisco, seattle, sports, stadium, tampa, tampa bay, tropicana field, white sox
The longest hitting streak of this season has come to an end today in New York. Jose Reyes went 0-4 against the New York Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey. Reyes is now 2-16 all time against Dickey. The consecutive game hitting streak was ended at 26 games. Reyes will likely keep the record through the end of the 2012 season. Reyes started this streak after the All Star break on July 13th and did not let up until Thursday the 9th of August. The pitching of R.A. Dickey proved to be too much for Reyes. If anyone was going to end the streak abruptly it would be the crafty knuckleballer.
Reyes streak was the last remaining hope that Marlins fans had for any excitement this year. The team has fallen 17 games back behind the National League East leading Washington Nationals. The hitting streak was just starting to get major media attention and just as it was it is already over. It was a fun ride to watch the suspense of Reyes getting hits in many of the games in late innings was energizing. Reyes is the defending N.L. batting champion. He is not going to win that title this year but showed that he is still a great hitter and a valuable asset to his team this year.
Where do the Marlins go from here? Likely straight to the off season with no more major stories for the team this season. Although there is another potential streak brewing. The Marlins Carlos Lee has a 14 game hitting streak. Lee will probably not reach even 20 games given his aging veteran status, but hey you never really know.
Reyes has been a great addition to this Marlins team this year. Lucky for the fans of South Florida he will be back next season. With any luck his success will rub off on the rest of the team and the Marlins will be the contenders they were supposed to be this year.
Posted in MLB, sports
Tagged 14 game, 2012 record, 26 games, average, batting champion, carlos lee, citi bank field, east, ends the streak, hitting streak, how long was the streak, jose reyes, marlins, Miami, national league, new york mets, pitcher, r.a. dickey, record, season, south florida, washington nationals
Jose Reyes extended his hitting streak to 26 games on Wednesday night. Reyes went 1-3 in the 13-0 victory for the Marlins. The Marlins will play the final game of their 3 game series with the Mets on Thursday at 12:10pm EST. The Mets pitching sensation R.A. Dickey will take the mound for the Mets. Dickey has a 14-3 record and has an 2.82 ERA. Reyes has not hit well off of Dickey in the past, going 2-12 with 3 strikeouts against the pitcher. Reyes will have his work cut out for him on Thursday against a pitcher like Dickey.
Posted in MLB
Tagged 26 games, 3 game series, hitting streak, jose reyes, marlins, marlins win, mets, mets lose, Miami, new york, r.a. dickey, record, streak extended
Jose Reyes extended his hitting streak to 24 games today. The hit came in the top of the 4th inning against Stephen Strasburg and the Washington Nationals. Reyes now has the record this season for most consecutive games with a hit. He has been on fire since July 13th and shows no sign of slowing down. The Marlins have been having a terrible season and Reyes is the only thing that the fans can be proud of. We could be witnessing history in the Making.
The Marlins will have a day off on Monday before taking on the Met in New York City. This is exciting for the fact that Reyes used to play for the Mets and has a chance to continue his streak in a familiar place. The sports world will more than likely be paying a lot more attention to this streak now that it is the record for this season. I can’t wait to see how long this ride can go.
Posted in MLB
Tagged 24 game hitting streak, 24 games, baseball, batting champion, Florida, games, history, hitting streak, how long can he keep the streak alive, jose reyes, marlins, mets, Miami, new york, new york city, record, season record, stephen strasburg, washington nationals, when is his next game
The Miami Marlins are having a disappointing season, so much so that no one saw this coming. The team headed into the 2012 season with so much hope and excitement for what could be. They have dismantled the team to the point it hardly resembles the team that was supposed to make the playoffs when the year began. As of Saturday the team sits 14.5 games behind the 1st place Washington Nationals and a Wildcard birth looks very unlikely. The only bright spot that can be seen at the point is Jose Reyes and his hot hitting streak.
(Photo By Al Bello/Getty Images)
Jose Reyes began this hitting streak on July 13th and is holding strong at 22 games going into Saturday’s game against the Nationals. Reyes went 1-3 in the first game of Friday’s double header with the Nationals and 3-5 in the second game. Reyes has always been a great hitter but has really improved his hitting and it shows with this current streak. He broke his previous streak of 19 games this past week.
Luis Castillo holds the team record for most consecutive games with a hit with 35 games in 2002. That is a mark that Reyes has a strong chance of beating. The have been 55 players in the history of Major League Baseball to have at least 30 consecutive games with a hit. Reyes is the caliber of hitter and streaky enough to become number 56. The question the will be asked if he can make it past 30 will be how far can he go?
Everyone knows that Joe DiMaggio holds the record at 56 games in 1941 and that mark is very unlikely to be broken soon if ever. The closest anyone has come in the last 20 years was the Phillies Jimmy Rollins in the 2005 and 2006 seasons with 38 games. If anyone was going to make a good run and come close to DiMaggio in this era of baseball it would be Joe Reyes. Reyes is still very young and has a lot of potential as a hitter even though he is already one of the best in baseball. Reyes is the defending National League batting champion and this will not be his last claim to that title.
As this season grows older and the Marlins fall deeper in the standings the Marlins might have something to get excited about. That rests solely in the hands of Jose Reyes and his bat. Could we be watching history right now? It is too early to tell but we are seeing an amazing streak and its time for the sports world to pay attention to Reyes. If they don’t start now they may be missing history in the making.
Posted in MLB
Tagged 2002, 2005, 2006 1941, 30 game streak, 38 games, 56 games, bad season, baseball, batting average, batting champion, best, consecutive, double header, first place, florida marlins, games, history, hitter, hitting streak, how many games, jimmy rollins, joe dimaggio, jose reyes, luis castillo, major leagues, marlins, marlins park, Miami, national league, new york mets, personal record, phillies, playoffs, record, season, team record, the streak, tv, washington nationals, wild card
This season has been very disappointing for the Miami Marlins. They showed that they are essentially giving up on hopes for the playoffs this season by trading some of their top stars. Rebuilding mode has already started when this team was supposed to be ready to contend this year. They have a strong focus on pitching in their trades this week, that is a spot they definitely need help in.
The first trade came on Tuesday when the Marlins sent Omar Infante and Anibal Sanchez to the Detroit Tigers. Infante has had a decent season thus far and had led the team to numerous victories. Sanchez has been with the club for a few years and been a reliable starter at times. Sanchez had a rough start to the season but leveled out towards the summer. The Marlins received top-rated pitching prospect Jacob Turner from the Tigers in the deal.
On Wednesday the Marlins traded away a star they coveted very heavily just a couple of years ago. Going into this season no one suspected that the Marlins would not finish the season with Hanley Ramirez. The rumors started floating around last week that the team was looking at offers for the former N.L. batting champion and multiple time All Star. The Marlins made a deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers to send Ramirez and pitcher Randy Choate to California. The Marlins received pitcher Nathan Eovaldi and a minor leaguer in the deal.
Hanley Ramirez will never be forgotten by the franchise. He was acquired from the Boston Redsox in the 2005 trade that sent Josh Beckett to Boston. The Marlins had coveted and groomed Ramirez as their big star of the future. He had a few season where he played really well and even one a batting title. But the last couple of years has seen Ramirez numbers drop significantly. The Marlins owe a lot of credit to Ramirez for helping them get a new stadium built in Miami for the club. The team signed Ramirez to a 6 year deal a few years ago to show the city of Miami tax payers that they were committed to building a contender. A lot has changed in the last few years and Ramirez is no longer a Miami Marlin.
The Marlins have got to start building a team built for the future. The team has been out of contention for too long. A lot of the blame falls on pitching but really its everything. The Marlins franchise should have been contenders this year but have shown themselves not to be a team that can contend. The decision to trade some of their top talent is questionable
but at least they are receiving top young pitching talent for the future. The city of Miami will lose their patience with the team really quickly if they don’t get a team on the field that not only looks like contenders but play like contenders.
Posted in MLB
Tagged 2005 trade, 2012, anibal sanchez, baseball, batting champion, boston red sox, Detroit Tigers, dismantle, florida marlins, franchise, future, Hanley Ramirez, jacob turner, josh beckett, july 31st, L.A., los angeles dodgers, marlins, marlins park, Miami, MLB, national league, omar infante, playoffs, pro sports, prospect, randy choate, rebuilding, reliever, short stop, south florida, third baseman, trade, trade deadline, trade off, who did they get, why did they trade