MIAMI (AP) _ The faces of the Florida Marlins are now in Detroit. The team does not have a ballpark to call its own. And all this stands to diminish its already meager South Florida fan base, which last year led the league in empty seats.
Sorry, Florida fans. It seems that as the Marlins open camp in Jupiter, they can be defined by what they do not have.
Last season, the Marlins set franchise records for runs, hits and home runs, but weak starting pitching and defense derailed their hopes and they needed a surge to finish 71-91. And this offseason, the young Marlins got even younger, when the team traded All-Stars Dontrelle Willis and Miguel Cabrera to the Tigers for prospects because management chose to keep the payroll at or near baseball's bottom.
Florida, which finished last in the NL East last season, picked up six players from Detroit in the trade, including lefthanded pitcher Andrew Miller and outfielder Cameron Maybin, both considered future stars.