Ho hum. The Marlins, the team with the lowest payroll in the majors clinched another winning season with last night's bottom-of-the-ninth comeback. (Quick: How can anyone believe the Phillies will repeat as World Series champs with Brad Lidge as closer?)
So that makes five winning seasons out of the last seven for the Marlins. Consider that the Pittsburgh Pirates haven't finished above .500 since 1992, the year before the Marlins joined the majors. And the Reds haven't had a winning season since 2000. The Marlins have had more winning seasons since 2003 than the free-spending Mets, who have enjoyed only four, and as many as the Chicago Cubs (For this season, I'm crediting teams with a winning record if they have one at the moment).
Here's a breakdown of winning seasons over the past seven years:
7 -- Phillies, Yankees, Red Sox
6 -- Cardinals, Dodgers, Twins, Angels
5 -- Marlins, Braves, Cubs, Astros, White Sox
4 -- Mets, Padres, Blue Jays, A's
3 -- Giants, Diamondbacks, Mariners, Tigers
2 -- Rangers, Indians, Brewers, Rays, Rockies
1 -- Expos (Nationals), Royals
0 -- Pirates, Reds, Orioles
The season's not over yet, of course, but I'm wondering how others feel about the Marlins. Do you think they've met or exceeded expectations? Or do you think they should have done better?