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Opening Lines for Opening Day

           April DOES Matter

            One of the most tired baseball phrases in April is "It's not a sprint, it's a marathon," which is another way of saying "it's no time to panic" when a team gets off to a slow start. But take a look at past Aprils with the Marlins and you would likely be inclined to differ. With the Marlins, there has been a direct correlation between early and end success.

            When the Marlins have enjoyed a winning April, they tended to end up with a winning season. And when they had a losing or .500 April, they usually ended up with a losing season. The Marlins have finished with winning records five times in their 16 seasons, and in four of those above-.500 seasons, they had winning Aprils (Note: Late March games in those seasons where they occur are included with April in this breakdown). The only time the Marlins didn't have a winning April yet managed to wind up with a final winning record was in 2003, when they went 14-15 the first month.

            Take a look at this year-to-year breakdown of the Marlins' April vs. Final records: 1993 (10-13, 64-98); 1994 (12-12, 51-64); 1995 (1-4, 67-76); 1996 (11-16, 80-82); 1997 (15-10, 92-70); 1998 (9-18, 54-108); 1999 (6-17, 64-98); 2000 (13-13, 79-82); 2001 (10-14, 76-86); 2002 (13-13, 79-83); 2003 (14-15, 91-71); 2004 (15-8, 83-79); 2005 (14-8, 83-79); 2006 (6-16, 78-84); 2007 (12-13, 71-91); 2008 (15-12, 84-77). 


           No Extra Innings or Rain Delays, PLEASE!

           Good news for Marlins pitcher Andrew Miller, who is probably itching for a nice, crisp 9-inning game today so that he can get home in time to watch his North Carolina Tar Heels play tonight for the NCAA title (Miller was a student at UNC from 2004-06).

           The Marlins have never encountered rain on Opening Day and have played in just one extra-inning affair in a curtain-raiser, the 2001 opener against the Phillies that went 13 innings.

            And then there was....Carlos Martinez

            Martinez, the right-handed reliever who is with Triple A New Orleans, is the only player left in the Marlins system who was in the organization when the current ownership arrived in 2002.

            And get this: Carlos Martinez, who was signed by the Marlins in 2000 as a non-drafted free agent, wasn't even his name when the Loria/Beinfest/Samson crew hit the scene. He went by Juan Nova at the time.