Hey baseball fans!
A while back, I had a series on a website called More Than A Fan called ML"what would"B, where I would analyze a "what-if" scenario in baseball history, like what if the Yankees had won the 2004 ALCS. Well, I haven't done it in a while, so I decided to bring it back on Baseball with Matt. In this edition of ML"what would"B, let's see what would've happened if a certain Venezuelan slugger hadn't gotten traded from an NL East team named after a fish.
Miguel Cabrera was one of the best up-and-coming hitters in baseball, but following the 2007 season, the Marlins decided to trade him to the Tigers, where he would become the Triple Crown-winning Miguel Cabrera we all know and love today. But what if the Marlins hadn't traded him?
Well the first major change would be that Miggy never plays first base, because the Marlins have a great slugger at first in Mike Jacobs, but they also have Jorge Cantu at third, so Cabrera is put permanently in the outfield. This turns out great for the Marlins, because now they don't have to replace their sluggers with another slugger for the '08 season. Jacobs and Cantu hit 32 and 29 homers respectively during 2008, so putting Miggy's 37 homers at either position wouldn't have made much sense. But those 37 homers do pay huge dividends for the Marlins' record that season, as the team goes 92-70, good enough for the NL Wild Card spot. They would be knocked out by the Phillies in the NLDS, but with this great power-hitting Marlins squad, Jacobs is never traded to the Royals the following season and his power numbers don't dip.
The 2009 Marlins do even better than in 2008, with the help of batting champ Hanley Ramirez and 34 homers from Jacobs and Cabrera each. Their 97-65 record gets them all the way to the World Series, where they face the Yankees. There, they get absolutely humiliated in a sweep due to a lack of a good pitching staff. This is immediately solved when Florida is greeted by a soon-to-be retiree in the form of Roy Halladay during free agency, who wins the 2010 NL Cy Young award. Partner that with great seasons from Miggy, Jacobs, and Dan Uggla and the emergence of Giancarlo Stanton and the 2010 Marlins finish the season with 95 wins, which is good enough to win the NL East by one game over the Phillies. Florida powers through the NL playoffs, but loses its second consecutive World Series, this time to the Rangers and their AL MVP Josh Hamilton.
After an off 2011 season, the Marlins are looking to once again be a winning team. With the help of a stadium and branding change and the addition of Prince Fielder in the offseason, the Marlins explode for 98 wins, the best record in the NL, as Miguel Cabrera finishes the season with the first Triple Crown since 1967. Miami goes to the World Series where they face...the Yankees! Wait, but what happened to the 2012 AL champion Detroit Tigers, you ask? Well, they don't have Miggy or Prince, so they've been a laughingstock in the AL for years now. Anyway, because of postseason slumps by stars like Robinson Cano and Nick Swisher, the Marlins capitalize and win the franchise's third World Series! And they don't have to ship out their good players after this championship because they actually have a solid attendance record after being good for so many years! Huzzah! What can I say? Anything can happen, here in the ML"what would"B.