Marlins Remind Me Of My High School Students

I’ve been pretty giddy since last night. Mid-November comes with serious baseball withdraw when all the news is about minor moves and the body is just starving for something big.

And then the Marlins happened.

The Marlins remind me of my High School Students in that they are extremely reactionary. I teach High School Physics and when I give my students a challenging problem, my students will struggle. That’s the entire point. I don’t expect my students to be able to do the problem right away, I expect them to use their science and math skills to fight through the struggle because that’s the ultimate goal of the class. A significant amount of my students will always push the problem away and announce because they don’t see success directly at this moment, Physics is not for them, its too hard, and I’m crazy.

While I don’t doubt the claims that I’m crazy, eventually the students will change on their first two statements. They struggle, they get through the tough parts, they grow, they succeed. They graduate.

The Marlins trade last night shows they handle stress like my High School students. They spent money, they didn’t see success. Their reaction was to blow it all up and start all over again. A lot of baseball writers, myself included, expected this move to happen eventually, just not like this. We expected in two seasons from now for the Marlins to strip their roster player by player as they got older so the team could get younger. It seems common, I don’t have numbers to back me up right now, but teams that go dramatic roster shifts with spending money don’t hit their peak in their first year. The 2005 Mets needed some extra work to be successful in 2006. The 2012 Angels didn’t perform as well as they should have on paper, but there’s a lot reason to believe they will be serious in 2013. The Heat were not the Heat we were expecting after they signed the Big Three, but the year after was different.

The Marlins displayed last night they have a patience problem.

Now it is possible they might have hit gold with the prospects last night, but there is also reason to believe they could have delayed a move like this one more season to try to see if they can make a run for the championship this year. Financial flexibility is extremely valuable, and it is what the Marlins got in this trade, but championships are the most valuable.

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