What an eventful week we’ve had. In this episode, I’ll be going a bit off script. So much has happened these last few days. Giancarlo Stanton hit number 47, the Marlins won their double header, they also won the series and the team finally reached the .500 mark. However, this was all bitter-sweet as fans, colleagues and players said good bye to a man whom I believe was larger than life. I want to briefly talk about the passing of a sports broadcasting giant. We had to bid farewell to legendary Felo Ramírez. Born in 1923, this man had a blessed career with many accomplishments as a broadcaster: he called over 40 Caribbean World Series, Roberto Clemente’s 3,000th hit, Hank Aaron’s 715th home run and several boxing matches that included the legendary Muhammad Ali himself. Growing up as a kid, I remember listening to the game on the radio with dad. I first heard his voice when I was about 6 or 7, around the time that I was stepping into little league baseball. Sometimes I heard him while we were driving to my cousin’s house in the car, other times I would hear his memorable voice in the living room at home. And that is what saddens me very much, I will never hear el señor Ramírez’s voice nor his catchy phrases ever again. It is true, when we are long gone all that remains are the memories. Memories held by those who knew him and loved him. He had been the Spanish announcer for the Marlins since the beginning, way back in 1993. Mr. Ramírez witnessed our triumphs, our defeats, our controversies and tragedies. And so when the Marlins took to the field in Philadelphia, it was to honor Felo Ramírez the voice of baseball in Latin America, the voice of the Marlins.

It was one heck of an emotional rollercoaster and it got crazier as the team won both games of their double header scoring a combined 19 runs, only to get crushed the following day 8-0. And the finale was an up and down ride in it of itself! We went ahead 3-1 only to find ourselves down 8-3, it was pretty demoralizing. I was already thinking, despite being 4 frames in, the series was going to be split. But at first light on the fifth day, fans looked to the east and saw Junichi Tazawa atop a magnificently white horse, riding at the head of the bullpen army completely shutting down the Phils. Gandalf would be proud. Galvanized by the sudden reinforcements the team, like Howie Goodman, picked up their swords and stormed back to win 9-8. What a rush, what a game, what a series!

It’s been a long and painful journey. We’ve endured waves of injuries, bad starts, blown games, last second home runs to Yasiel Puig and the endless shit talking from local pundits burying the team’s playoff ambitions. Yet here we stand ladies and gentlemen, we are now a .500 club. We haven’t been here since LATE APRIL. April man. The Miami Marlins have clawed their way, inch by frustrating inch, towards relevancy. One series at a time. One game at a time. The exciting part is, it isn’t even September yet. So the big question appears: now what?

Over 30 games remain and we’re within 4.5 games of the wildcard with the fourth easiest remaining schedule. With our glaring weaknesses on the pitching side of things, we ask is this sustainable? Can the Marlins make it to the post-season? They certainly have the offense to do it, since June the squad’s power has been some of the best in the league and add on top of that the absolute tear Giancarlo Stanton is on. The goal of 61 homers is getting closer and closer with each passing game. There’s also some good news, Justin Bour has begun baseball activities although it’s just taking some swings and playing catch. Add him and our lineup becomes that much scarier. No doubt given our utter lack of quality starts and the workload the bullpen has had to take on, the team is considering turning to the minors to bolster the relief corps. It may come to that. But there is a ton of enthusiasm within the fighting fish.

They’re playing as a unit and are riding a momentum unlike any other seen since 2003. In fact, could this be magic in the making? Are we witnessing another 2003? It is still too early to tell but there’s something in the air. Hope. The hope of not only achieving a winning season but maybe, just maybe something more. Hopping into the DeLorean, if you told me back in early June this is where we’d be I’d be incredibly skeptical. In fact, I’d call you crazy. Not only is it possible to finish the season with a winning record, but so is a wildcard spot. Why not? The team is having fun and so should we. As I said before, enjoy the ride fans because whether we succeed at our goal of making it to the postseason, one thing is for certain, it has been and remains a very fun time to be a Marlins fan. And before I depart here’ one last tidbit as food for thought, even if it’ll last as long as Michael Jordan’s baseball career… Can you imagine if we send off Jeffrey Loria with a World Series trophy? Until next time, stay frosty.

Views from the Cheap Seats is a biweekly segment where a Miami raised sports nut recaps, screams and analyses a week’s worth of games giving a toast, or the finger, to his hometown team depending on their performance. A truly hopeful but always realistic fan putting thoughts to pen to paper and always striving to improve. Be bold, be good, be you.

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Gabriel Garcia
Just an avid sports fan who happens to have a love-hate (mostly love) relationship with his local teams be it collegiate or professional and also happens to be a news junkie. Mix in outstanding optimism with cold realism and you've got yourself a balanced cocktail perfect for champions.

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