Here, MetsBlog’s Vinny Cartiglia talks with Marlins blogger Michael Jong of FishStripes.com to get a sense of how Marlins fans feel about their team as the 2012 season winds down:
Coming into the season expectations were high for the Miami Marlins. Yet, here we are with the final 15-or-so games remaining, and the Fish are in a dog fight with the Mets to stay out of the NL East cellar. As a Mets fan, I would describe this season as exhausting. How is this season most commonly described to you by other Marlins fans?
Michael Jong: If there was one word to describe this 2012 Miami Marlins season, it is absolutely “disappointing.” The Marlins came in with such high hopes, which is completely different from what Marlins teams usually face at the start of the season. Never has so much momentum been on the Marlins’ side in regards to doing well in a season, and never have expectations been higher. But ever since the start of the season, things have been on the downswing, and aside from a spectacular May, the Fish underachieved and stumbled their way into one of their worst seasons in recent memory.
While other years like this have happened during this most recent era of Marlins baseball (2007 and more recently 2011), those seasons were at best expected to be .500 campaigns. This year was supposed to be the year the Marlins broke through and really made a statement with their new name, new brand, and new players. Instead, it was the team’s holdovers from the previous year that took another step down and underachieved based on their projections. Add that to a terrible signing (Heath Bell) going horrifically wrong (2012 Heath Bell) and you have the makings for the most disappointing Marlins season in the history of the team. In my 16 years following this team, I’ve come to expect poor seasons, but never when the goals and expectations were so high.