Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Jeff Conine, Met for now, Marlin forever

Jeff Conine was traded to the Marlins' NL-East rival the Mets the other day. With all the former Marlins there it is in Conine's own words, "the Marlins North." Fish Chunks spells the situation out pretty well. I've always been a big believer in Former Marlin Power, and apparently the Mets are too.

It is always sad to see Conine go to a non-Marlin team, because he is the closest thing the Marlins have to an iconic player. He started in the Marlins very first game against the Dodgers and went 4-4 in the win, earning the title Mr. Marlin. (also note that future Former Marlin Mike Piazza was playing for the Dodgers).

He played Left Field when Al Leiter threw the first No Hitter in Marlins' history.

He played First Base when Kevin Brown threw his No Hitter.

He was a member of the 1997 Florida Marlins, the first Wild Card team to ever win the World Series.

During the Marlins 2003 season, they randomly had Jeff Conine bobblehead night...even though he wasn't actually on the team yet. When Mike Lowell got hurt though during the playoff chase, the Marlins ownership manned up and got Conine to help the team out (also, they called up a couple guys named Dontrelle Willis and Miguel Cabrera).

Although his regular season numbers with the Marlins that season aren't particularly great, he had some huge hits against the Phillies which helped the Fish beat them out for the Wild Card spot. At the time, it seemed like he was single-handedly taking a bat to their playoff hopes. In the playoffs he hit .267 in the NLDS, .458 in the NLCS, and .333 in the World Series.

In the Marlins untarnished playoff series record, he's appeared in all but one game(Game 4 of the 1997 WS). For a team like the Marlins where you're forced to watch your team get taken apart over and over again, he is the closest thing to consistency.

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