Miami Marlins



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Florida owner Wayne Huizenga has invested a ton of money into player payroll and built a roster with numerous All-Stars, and thanks to the recent advent of the wild card, the fifth-year Marlins were about to bare the fruit of his expensive labor force in the seventh game of a sloppy, much maligned—but very entertaining—World Series against the Cleveland Indians, whose fans had suffered without a world title for half a century.
For six innings, the Marlins and the 67,000 in attendance at Miami fell silent to 21-year-old Indian starter Jaret Wright, who had allowed just one hit and four walks through six shutout innings. The Indians, meanwhile, had taken an early 2-0 lead off Florida starter Al Leiter and held onto it through the seventh-inning stretch. Bobby Bonilla led off the Marlins seventh with a solo shot, helping to knock Wright from the game, but the game stayed 2-1 until the bottom of the ninth for Indian closer Jose Mesa—who couldn’t get the job done, placing Florida runners at the corners with one out before Craig Counsell’s sacrifice fly sent the tying run home.
Two innings later, the Marlins threatened anew. Bonilla led off with another hit, this time a single; with one out, Counsell returned to the plate and grounded what appeared to be an inning-ending double play ball to Cleveland second baseman Tony Fernandez. But Bonilla, running from first, shielded the ball in front of Fernandez, who lost sight of it and had it deflect off the top of his glove and into right field, moving Bonilla to third. After an intentional walk and a force out at home, 21-year-old Colombian native Edgar Renteria lined a shot just inches over pitcher Charles Nagy’s outstretched glove and through the infield, sending Counsell home with the run that made the Marlins the first wild card to win a World Series.
No sooner had Huizenga hoisted the World Series trophy did he rain on the parade, saying that a new ballpark was more important than winning it all on the field. Having lost $30 million on the year with no new baseball palace on the horizon, Huizenga quickly dismantled the Marlins roster in one of baseball’s most notorious fire sales of talent.

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