Found March 01, 2012 on isportsweb.com:
PLAYERS: Hanley Ramirez
TEAMS: Miami Marlins
Picimg_mlb_apr_19_c763

The Marlins were 72-90 last year and finished 30 games out of first place. Their premiere player, Hanley Ramirez, appeared disinterested and their ace pitcher, Josh Johnson, was once again lost to injury. With a new ballpark on the horizon, the Marlins needed to shake things up this off-season.

Hanley Ramirez

So they executed an extreme makeover. For starters they are no longer the Florida Marlins, but are now the Miami Marlins. They went out and grabbed baseball’s most unusual yet one of its most successful managers in Ozzie Guillen. They will open their new ballpark and excitement surrounding this team is at an all-time high.

Owner Jeffrey Loria went all in with his checkbook and the Marlins made a big splash in free agency. They signed one of baseball’s best and most electrifying players in shortstop Jose Reyes. They snagged one of Guillen’s favorite White Sox and a steady pitcher who owns 2 no-hitters, one of which was a perfect game, in Mark Buerhle. They also acquired one of the game’s best closers in Heath Bell and took a flyer on the enigmatic Carlos Zambrano.

[2012 MLB Preview Central]

Adding all that to a team that already includes slugger extraordinaire Mike call me Giancarlo, Stanton, Hanley Ramirez, Gaby Sanchez, and an outstanding nucleus of young pitching means this team is suddenly a serious contender for the 2012 playoffs. Guillen is a skilled manager and he has the deepest, most talented roster he’s ever had the luxury of working with.

3 Up

Best case scenario for 2012: If things go as planned in Miami, Ozzie Guillen will get Hanley Ramirez to realize his full potential and be the player we all know he can be. Josh Johnson will stay healthy and win the NL Cy Young award. The Marlins will challenge Philadelphia for the AL East crown and earn a spot in the playoffs.

Most important Marlins: Josh Johnson is a Cy Young caliber pitcher and capable of posting ridiculous numbers. The only problem is he has seldom enjoyed a healthy season. If he can somehow stay off the disabled list this year it will give Miami the NL’s equivalent of Justin Verlander. Hanley Ramirez is making the move to third base to accommodate the arrival of Jose Reyes. If he returns to All Star form it will give the Marlins an absolutely devastating line up for opposing pitchers to navigate through. Ramirez is a career .306 hitter who slumped to a .243 last year while battling shoulder problems. He is capable of swatting 25 homers, driving in 100 runs and swiping 25 bases.

Potential breakout players in 2012: Gaby Sanchez is the best first baseman that nobody knows about. He’s posted back-to-back seasons of 19 homers and at least 78 RBI. He is a career .269 hitter and batting in the middle of this line up has the potential to boost his average into the .280 range and drive in over 100 runs. Sanchez is a no-nonsense guy who will thrive under the guidance of Guillen and in the middle of the Marlins batting order. It’s hard to imagine that a guy who hit 34 dingers and drove in 87 runs last year could be a breakout candidate. However, Stanton falls into that category. He could become a household name this year with 40+ taters and well over 100 RBI. Don’t worry he said you could still call him Mike, even though he does prefer his given name of Giancarlo.

3 Down

Worst case scenario for 2012: If Josh Johnson suffers yet another season ending injury it will leave a canyon-sized hole in the Marlins pitching staff. They need him on the bump every 5th game if they are to contend in the NL East – which is a loaded division. If Guillen’s style causes friction with the players it could result in some prolonged growing pains, but I don’t think that is going to happen.

Areas of concern: The biggest concern for Miami is injuries. Last year Josh Johnson and Hanley Ramirez were stalled by medical problems. They’ve also added an explosive personality in Carlos Zambrano. If things go south for the big hurler the team will be on high alert to ensure he doesn’t have a meltdown. I do think Ozzie Guillen is the perfect manager for Big Z and if he can’t tame the big fella, nobody can. “People have a pool in Venezuela to see when we are going to fight.” – Guillen joked.

Who needs to bounce back from a down 2011: Hanley Ramirez was pedestrian in 2011 and that is a crying shame when you consider the abundance of talent he possesses. For a player of his caliber to hit a paltry .243 with just 10 homers and 45 RBI is a debacle. With the addition of Jose Reyes in the line up, HanRam will have RBI opportunities galore and he must cash them in with a 100+ RBI season.

THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Backstop aquariums at Marlins Park now have fish in them (video)

The day has finally arrived. After discussing the impending population of impending sea creatures that would eventually be housed inside the aquariums that comprise a portion of the backstop at the brand new Marlins Park for months upon months, fish are finally swimming around in their new homes and getting acclimated after arriving at the [...]
DON'T TAP THE GLASS

Video: Marlins Park aquariums now have fish

In addition to a crazy ass home run tower, Marlins Park, will feature an aquarium that contains real, live fish, right behind home plate. In fact, the aquarium has already been installed, with the fish already swimming in there:If you're wondering, the glass is shatterproof, but we'll see if that's the case when Josh Johnson tosses a 100 mph wild pitch.Thigh Five: Larry...

Marlins' Stanton prefers to be Giancarlo

His mom calls him Cruz. Teammates call him Bigfoot. Most baseball fans know him as Mike Stanton, precocious slugger for the Miami Marlins, but his first name is actually Giancarlo. ''The man of a million names,'' Stanton said. He likes them all, but with spring training cranking up and Stanton touted as a future home-run champion, he said Wednesday he prefers Giancarlo...

Marlins Park nearing completion – Video tour

The Marlins begin play in their new home this year, and with the season a month away, the park is nearing completion. A few writers from The Miami Herald got a private tour of Marlins Park from the team owner and president Wednesday. Here are two videos from the tour. One is an up-close look at the aquarium which is stocked with fish, and the other gives a look at the interior...

Marlins RF prefers to be called Giancarlo Stanton

His mom calls him Cruz. Teammates call him Bigfoot. Most baseball fans know him as Mike Stanton, slugger for the Miami Marlins, but his first name is actually Giancarlo. And with spring training cranking up and Stanton touted as a future home run champion, he said Wednesday he prefers Giancarlo. For the first time, that's the way he's identified on the roster. That'...

The Miami Marlins have a beautiful new stadium that fans won’t come see them play in

We won’t know until summer is in full swing how good these new Miami Marlins will be, but thanks to the Miami Herald we now know that their ballpark is simply beautiful. There’s no sign of the aquarium that doubles as a backstop, but everything a player or fan would ever need at the ballpark is there. No comes the question, will this entice fans to come out to the ballpark to...

Miami Marlins' Outfielder Mike Stanton Reveals Actual Name Is 'Giancarlo'

Mike Stanton is a man of many names. His mother calls him Cruz, his teammates know him as Bigfoot, but the Miami Marlins hard-hitting right fielder likes to be referred to as "Giancarlo." Stanton, a 6-foot-5 monster with a mammoth bat, says he's a fan of all of his nicknames but that his first name is actually Giancarlo. "I respond to many names," he said...

Emilio Bonifacio, 2012 Fantasy Sleeper

Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d write this post.  Probably because my wildest dreams don’t usually have to do with where I’d rank Emilio Bonifacio and have more to do with Swedish flight attendants and lingonberries.  But then ESPN ranked him 214th overall (I have him 126th overall in my top 300 for 2012 fantasy baseball).  They say, “Apparently, he needs to...

Miami Marlins outfielder Mike Stanton to go by given name Giancarlo

    At just 22 years old Mike Stanton has his entire career ahead of him and if what we’ve seen in his first two seasons is any indication of what we can expect the rest of the way it should be a pretty good one. Before his 22nd birthday he had already hit 56 [...]

Miami's Stanton prefers name Giancarlo to Mike

JUPITER, Fla. (AP) -- His mom calls him Cruz. Teammates call him Bigfoot. Most baseball fans know him as Mike Stanton, slugger for the Miami Marlins, but his first name is actually Giancarlo.

Marlins RF prefers to be called Giancarlo Stanton (Yahoo! Sports)

JUPITER, Fla. (AP) His mom calls him Cruz. Teammates call him Bigfoot. Most baseball fans know him as Mike Stanton, precocious slugger for the Miami Marlins, but his first name is actually Giancarlo.

Miami Marlins’ Mike Stanton now going by Giancarlo Stanton

The Marlins star will go by his official name of Giancarlo Stanton instead of Mike, which he was called his first two seasons.

Miami Marlins’ Mike Stanton now going by Giancarlo Stanton

The Marlins star will go by his official name of Giancarlo Stanton instead of Mike, which he was called his first two seasons.

Miami's Stanton: I'm Giancarlo, not Mike (AP)

His mom calls him Cruz. Teammates call him Bigfoot. Most baseball fans know him as Mike Stanton, slugger for the Miami Marlins, but his first name is actually Giancarlo. And with spring training cranking up and Stanton touted as a future home run champion, he said Wednesday he prefers Giancarlo. For the first time, that's the way he's identified on the roster.

With new name, Giancarlo "Mike" Stanton poised to raise profile

JUPITER, Fla. — His mom calls him Cruz. Teammates call him Bigfoot. Most baseball fans know him as Mike Stanton, precocious slugger for the Miami Marlins, but his first name is actually Giancarlo. "The man of a million names," Stanton said. He likes them all, but with spring training cranking ...
Marlins News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.