Edgar Renteria

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Posted by motoman 03/23/2009 @ 08:13

Tags : edgar renteria, baseball players, baseball, sports

News headlines
Play by play - USA Today
None on with one out and Edgar Renteria due up. Out: Edgar Renteria flied out to right. None on with two outs and Randy Winn due up. Single: Randy Winn singled to left. Runner on first with two outs and Bengie Molina due up. Out: Bengie Molina popped...
Play by play - USA Today
None on with one out and Edgar Renteria due up. Out: Edgar Renteria flied out to right. None on with two outs and Pablo Sandoval due up. Double: Pablo Sandoval doubled to right center. Runner on second with two outs and Bengie Molina due up....
Red Sox lacking at a key position - Boston Globe
We may never know the full story behind the Sox' decision to not re-sign Cabrera, who had solidified the position defensively; or why they chose to give Edgar Renteria a long-term deal; or why they deemed Alex Gonzalez not good enough offensively to...
Hammy keeps Renteria on bench - MLB.com
By Chris Haft / MLB.com SAN DIEGO -- Shortstop Edgar Renteria missed his fourth consecutive start with a strained right hamstring Tuesday, though he was available to pinch-hit in the Giants' series opener against the San Diego Padres....
Play by play - USA Today
Out: Edgar Renteria fouled out to the catcher. None on with one out and Pablo Sandoval due up. Out: Pablo Sandoval struck out swinging. None on with two outs and Bengie Molina due up. Out: Bengie Molina flied out to center to end the inning....
Renteria to miss remainder of series - MLB.com
By Chris Haft / MLB.com SAN FRANCISCO -- Shortstop Edgar Renteria likely will miss the rest of the Giants' series against the New York Mets with a strained right hamstring but could be fit to play by next Tuesday, when the club visits San Diego to...
Play by play - USA Today
None on with one out and Edgar Renteria due up. Single: Edgar Renteria bunt single to third. Runner on first with one out and Rich Aurilia due up. Single: Rich Aurilia singled to left. Runners on first and second with one out and Bengie Molina due up....
Giants' Frandsen stays up despite his slump - San Jose Mercury News
Frandsen was 0 for 14 in four starts at shortstop while Edgar Renteria was injured and Juan Uribe was on bereavement leave. Renteria returned to the lineup Friday and Uribe was activated before the game, but Frandsen still had a place to dress in the...
Giants GM Sabean exploring trade routes - San Jose Mercury News
While Edgar Renteria's return might help a bit, Sabean acknowledged what the dissatisfied fan base already knows: The offense has failed to meet even modest expectations. "We knew we weren't going to have much power, but we've just had the hardest time...
Scorps undergo overnight facelift - Yuma Sun
"They have all these players who don't really play anywhere unless their good enough to play in the Major Leagues, and that's guys like Edgar Renteria, Orlando Cabrera; the top level guys." Renteria - shortstop for the San Francisco Giants - and his...

Boston Red Sox

RedSoxPrimary HangingSocks.svg

The Boston Red Sox are a professional baseball team based in Boston, Massachusetts. The Red Sox are a member of the Major League Baseball’s American League Eastern Division. Since 1912, the Red Sox's home ballpark has been Fenway Park. The "Red Sox" name originates from the iconic uniform feature.

The club was founded in 1901, as of the American League's eight charter franchises. They were a dominant team in the new league -- defeating the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first World Series in 1903. They won four more championships by 1918, and then went into one of the longest championship droughts in baseball history. Many attributed the phenomenon to the "Curse of the Bambino", said to have been caused by the sale of Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees in 1920. The drought was ended in 2004, when the team won their sixth World Series Championship. Since 2003, the Red Sox have competed in four ALCS, have won two World Series, and have emerged as arguably the most successful MLB team of the last decade.

The Red Sox led all MLB teams in average road attendance in 2007, while the small capacity of Fenway Park caused them to rank 11th in home attendance. Every home game since May 15, 2003 has been sold out—a span of over five years and an MLB record.

The name Red Sox, chosen by owner John I. Taylor after the 1907 season, refers to the red hose in the team uniform beginning 1908. Actually, Sox was adopted by newspapers needing a headline-friendly form of Stockings, as "Stockings Win!" in large type would not fit on a page. The Spanish language media sometimes refers to the team as Medias Rojas for Red Stockings.

The name originated with the Cincinnati Red Stockings, 1867-1870 member of the pioneering National Association of Base Ball Players. Managed by Harry Wright, Cincinnati adopted a uniform with white knickers and red stockings, and earned the famous nickname, a year or two before hiring the first fully professional team in 1869. When the club folded after the 1870 season, Wright was hired to organize a new team in Boston, and he did, bringing three teammates and the "Red Stockings" nickname along (Most nicknames were then only nicknames, neither club names nor registered trademarks, so the migration was informal). The Boston Red Stockings won four championships in the five seasons of the new National Association, the first professional league.

Boston and a new Cincinnati club were charter members of the National League in 1876. Perhaps in deference to the Cincinnati history, many people reserved the "Red Stockings" nickname for that city with the Boston team commonly referred to as the "Red Caps" today. Other names were sometimes used before Boston officially adopted the nickname "Braves" in 1912; that club is now based in Atlanta.

The National League club, though seldom called the "Red Stockings" anymore, still wore red trim. In 1907, the National League club adopted an all-white uniform, and the American League team saw an opportunity. On December 18, 1907, Taylor announced that the club had officially adopted red as its new team color. The 1908 uniforms featured a large icon of a red stocking angling across the shirt front. For 1908, the National League club returned to wearing red trim, but the American League team finally had an official nickname, and would remain "The Red Sox" for good.

The name is often shortened to "Bosox" or "BoSox," a combination of "Boston" and "Sox" (similar to the "ChiSox" in Chicago or the minor league "PawSox" of Pawtucket). Sportswriters sometimes refer to the Red Sox as the Crimson Hose, and the Olde Towne Team. However, most fans simply refer to the team as the "Sox" when the context is understood to mean Red Sox.

For years many sources have listed the early Boston AL team as the "Pilgrims", but researcher Bill Nowlin has demonstrated that the name was barely used, if at all, at the time.

In 1901, the minor Western League, led by Ban Johnson, declared its equality with the National League, then the only major league in baseball. Johnson changed the name of the league to the American League, leading teams in his league to be christened with the unofficial nickname "Americans". This was especially true in the case of the new Boston franchise, which would not adopt an official nickname until 1908.

The upstart league placed franchises in Baltimore, Maryland and Buffalo. After looking at his new league Ban Johnson decided that he would need a team in Boston to compete with the National League team there and so cancelled the Buffalo club's franchise, offering one to a new club in Boston. Playing their home games at Huntington Avenue Grounds, the Boston franchise finished second and third before capturing their first pennant in 1903 and repeating the next year. Those teams were led by manager and star third baseman Jimmy Collins, outfielders Chick Stahl, Buck Freeman and Patsy Dougherty and pitcher Cy Young, who in 1901 won the pitching Triple Crown with 33 wins (41.8% of the team's 79 games), 1.62 ERA and 158 strikeouts. His 1901 to 1904 seasons rank among the best four-year runs ever.

In 1903, Boston participated in the first modern World Series, beating the favored Pittsburgh Pirates, winners of the NL pennant by six and a half games, winning the best-of-nine series five games to three. Aided by the modified chants of "Tessie" by the Royal Rooters fan club and by its stronger pitching staff, the Americans managed to overcome the odds, and win the World Series.

The 1904 club was almost as good as the previous team, but due to the surprise emergence of the New York Highlanders, the Boston club found itself in a tight pennant race through the last games of the season. A predecessor to what would become a storied rivalry, this race featured such controversial moves as the trade of Patsy Dougherty to the Highlanders for Bob Unglaub. The climax of the season occurred on the last, dramatic doubleheader at the Highlanders’ home stadium, Hilltop Park. In order to win the pennant, the Highlanders needed to win both games. With Jack Chesbro, the Highlanders' 41-game winner, on the mound, and the score tied 2-2 with a man on third in the top of the ninth, a spitball got away from Chesbro and Lou Criger scored the go-ahead run on one of the most famous wild pitches in history.

Unfortunately, the NL champion New York Giants declined to play any postseason series, fearing it would give their New York rivals credibility (they had expected the Highlanders to win), but a sharp public reaction led the two leagues immediately to make the World Series a permanent championship, starting in 1905.

These successful times soon ended, however, as Boston lost 100 games in 1906. However, several new star players helped the newly renamed Red Sox improve almost immediately.

By 1909, legendary center fielder Tris Speaker had become a fixture in the Boston outfield, and the team worked their way to third place. However, the Red Sox would not win the pennant again until their 105-win 1912 season, finishing with a club record .691 winning percentage. Anchored by an outfield considered to be among the finest in the game—Tris Speaker, Harry Hooper and Duffy Lewis—and superstar pitcher Smoky Joe Wood, the Red Sox beat the New York Giants 4-3-1 in the classic 1912 World Series best known for Snodgrass’s Muff. From 1913 to 1916 the Red Sox were owned by Joseph Lannin, who signed Babe Ruth, soon the best-known and one of the best players ever. Another 101 wins in 1915 propelled the Red Sox to the 1915 World Series, where they beat the Philadelphia Phillies four games to one. Following the 1915 season, Tris Speaker was traded to the Cleveland Indians. His departure was more than compensated for, however, by the emergence of star pitcher Babe Ruth. The Red Sox went on to win the 1916 World Series, this time defeating the Brooklyn Robins. In 1918, Babe Ruth led his team to another World Series championship. This time over the Chicago Cubs.

Harry Frazee bought the Red Sox from Joseph Lannin in 1916 for about $500,000. A couple of notable trades involving Harry Frazee and the Yankees occurred before the Babe Ruth sale. On December 18, 1918, outstanding outfielder Duffy Lewis, pitcher Dutch Leonard (who'd posted a modern record 0.96 ERA in 1914.), and pitcher Ernie Shore were traded to the Yankees for pitcher Ray Caldwell, Slim Love, Roxy Walters, Frank Gilhooley and $15,000. As all three players were well-regarded in Boston — Lewis had been a key player on the 1910s championship teams, Shore had famously relieved Babe Ruth and retired 27 straight, and Leonard had only four years before set a modern record for earned run average — this trade was regarded as a poor one in Boston, Then, on July 13, 1919, submarine-style pitching star Carl Mays was traded to the Yankees for Bob McGraw, Allan Russell and $40,000. Mays would go on to have several good years for the Yankees, but had been a discipline problem for the Red Sox.

On December 26, 1919, Frazee sold Babe Ruth, who had played the previous six seasons for the Red Sox, to the rival New York Yankees (Ruth had just broken the single-season home run record, hitting 29 in 1919.) Legend has it that Frazee did so in order to finance the Broadway play No, No, Nanette. That play did not actually open on Broadway until 1925, but as Leigh Montville discovered during research for his book, The Big Bam: The Life and Times of Babe Ruth, No, No, Nanette had originated as a non-musical stage play called My Lady Friends, which opened on Broadway in December 1919. My Lady Friends had, indeed, been financed by the Ruth sale to the Yankees.

During that period, the Red Sox, Yankees and Chicago White Sox had a détente; they were called "Insurrectos" because their actions antagonized league president Ban Johnson. Although Frazee owned the Boston Red Sox franchise, he did not own Fenway Park (it was owned by the Fenway Park Trust), making his ownership a precarious one; Johnson could move another team into the ballpark. His club was in debt, but Frazee felt the need to purchase its playing site (which he did in 1920). Further, providing the Yankees with a box office attraction would help that mediocre club, which had sided with him against Johnson and "the Loyal Five" clubs. Finally, Ruth was considered a serious disciplinary problem, a reputation he amply confirmed while playing for the Yankees. Frazee moved Ruth to stabilize Red Sox finances and cut distractions. It was a straight sale, no players in return.

New York achieved great success after acquiring Ruth and several other very good players. Boston, meanwhile, did poorly during the 20s and 30s, and the sale of Babe Ruth came to be viewed as the beginning of the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry, widely considered the "Greatest Rivalry on Earth" by sports journalists.

After deciding to get out of baseball, Frazee began selling many of his star players. In the winter of 1920, Wally Schang, Waite Hoyt, Harry Harper and Mike McNally were traded to the Yankees for Del Pratt, Muddy Ruel, John Costello, Hank Thormahlen, Sammy Vick and cash. The following winter, iron man shortstop Everett Scott, and pitchers Bullet Joe Bush and Sad Sam Jones were traded to the Yankees for Roger Peckinpaugh (who would be immediately shipped to the Washington Senators), Jack Quinn, Rip Collins, Bill Piercy and $50,000. On July 23, 1922, Joe Dugan and Elmer Smith were traded to the Yankees for Elmer Miller, Chick Fewster, Johnny Mitchell, and Lefty O'Doul, who was at the time a mediocre pitching prospect. Acquiring Dugan helped the Yankees edge the St. Louis Browns in a tight pennant race, and the resulting uproar helped create a June 15 trading deadline that went into effect the next year. Perhaps an even more outrageous deal was the trade of Herb Pennock, occurring in early 1923. Pennock was traded by the Red Sox to the Yankees for Camp Skinner, Norm McMillan, George Murray and $50,000.

Over an eight-year period from 1925 to 1932, the Red Sox averaged over 100 losses per season. One of the few bright spots on these teams was Earl Webb, who set the all-time mark for most doubles in a season in 1931 with 67. The BoSox’ fortunes began to change in 1933 when Tom Yawkey bought the team. Yawkey acquired pitcher Wes Ferrell and one of the greatest pitchers of all-time, Lefty Grove, making his team competitive once again in the late thirties. He also acquired Joe Cronin, an outstanding shortstop and manager and slugging first baseman Jimmie Foxx whose 50 home runs in 1938 would stand as a club record for 68 years. Foxx also drove in a club record 175 runs.

In 1939, the Red Sox purchased the contract of outfielder Ted Williams from the minor league San Diego Padres of the Pacific Coast League, ushering in an era of the team sometimes called the "Ted Sox." Williams consistently hit for both high power and high average, and is generally considered one of the greatest hitters of all time. The right-field bullpens in Fenway were built in part for Williams' left-handed swing, and are sometimes called "Williamsburg." Before this addition, it was over 400 feet (120 m) to right field. He served two stints in the United States Marine Corps as a pilot and saw active duty in both World War II and the Korean War, missing at least five full seasons of baseball. His book The Science of Hitting is widely read by students of baseball. He is currently the last player to hit over .400 for a full season, batting .406 in 1941.. Williams feuded with sports writers his whole career, calling them "The Knights of the Keyboard," and his relationship with the fans was often rocky as he was seen spitting towards the stands on more than one occasion.

With Williams, the Red Sox reached the 1946 World Series, but lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games in part because of the use of the "Williams Shift," a defensive tactic in which the shortstop would move to the right side of the infield to make it harder for the left-handed-hitting Williams to hit to that side of the field. Some have claimed that he was too proud to hit to the other side of the field, not wanting to let the Cardinals take away his game. His performance may have also been affected by a pitch he took in the elbow in an exhibition game a few days earlier. Either way, in his first and only World Series, Williams gathering just five singles in 25 at-bats for a .200 average.

The Cardinals won the 1946 Series when Enos Slaughter scored the go-ahead run all the way from first base on a base hit to left field. The throw from Leon Culberson was cut off by shortstop Johnny Pesky (for whom the right field foul pole in Fenway is named "Pesky's Pole)," who relayed the ball to the plate just a hair too late. Some say Pesky hesitated or "held the ball" before he turned to throw the ball, but this has been disputed.

Along with Williams and Pesky, the Red Sox featured several other star players during the 1940s, including second baseman Bobby Doerr and center fielder Dom DiMaggio (the younger brother of Joe DiMaggio).

The Red Sox narrowly lost the AL pennant in 1948 and 1949. In 1948, they finished in a tie with Cleveland, and their loss to Cleveland in a one-game playoff ended hopes of an all-Boston World Series. Curiously, manager Joseph McCarthy chose journeyman Denny Galehouse to start the playoff game when the young lefty phenom Mel Parnell was available to pitch. In 1949, the Red Sox were one game ahead of the New York Yankees, with the only two games left for both teams being against each other, and they lost both of those games.

The 1950s were viewed as a time of tribulation for the Red Sox. After Williams returned from the Korean War in 1953, many of the best players from the late 1940s had retired or been traded. The stark contrast in the team led critics to call the Red Sox' daily lineup "Ted Williams and the Seven Dwarfs." Jackie Robinson was even worked out by the team at Fenway Park, however it appeared that owner Tom Yawkey did not want an African American player on his team at that time. Willie Mays also tried out for Boston and was highly praised by team scouts. Ted Williams hit .388 at the age of 38 in 1957, but there was little else for Boston fans to root for. Williams retired at the end of the 1960 season, famously hitting a home run in his final at-bat as memorialized in the John Updike story "Hub fans bid Kid adieu." The Red Sox finally became the last Major League team to field an African American player when they promoted infielder Pumpsie Green from their AAA farm team in 1959.

The 1960s also started poorly for the Red Sox, though 1961 saw the debut of Carl "Yaz" Yastrzemski, Williams' replacement in left field, who developed into one of the better hitters of a pitching-rich decade.

Red Sox fans know 1967 as the season of the "Impossible Dream." The slogan refers to the hit song from the popular musical play "Man of La Mancha." 1967 saw one of the great pennant races in baseball history with four teams in the AL pennant race until almost the last game. The BoSox had finished the 1966 season in ninth place, but they found new life with Yastrzemski as the team went to the 1967 World Series. Yastrzemski won the American League Triple Crown (the most recent player to accomplish such a feat), hitting .326 with 44 home runs and 121 RBIs. He finished one vote short of a unanimous MVP selection, as a Minnesota sportswriter placed Twins center fielder César Tovar first on his ballot. But the Red Sox lost the series — again to the St. Louis Cardinals, in seven games. Legendary pitcher Bob Gibson stymied the Red Sox winning three games.

An 18-year-old Bostonian rookie named Tony Conigliaro slugged 24 home runs in 1964. "Tony C" became the youngest player in Major League Baseball to hit his 100th home run, a record that stands today. However, he was struck just above the left cheek bone by a fastball thrown by Jack Hamilton of the California Angels in August 1967. Conigliaro sat out the entire next season with headaches and blurred vision. Although he did have a productive season in 1970, he was never the same.

Although the Red Sox were competitive for much of the late 1960s and early 1970s, they never finished higher than second place in their division. The closest they came to a divisional title was 1972, when they lost by a half-game to the Detroit Tigers. The start of the season was delayed by a players' strike, and the Red Sox further lost a game to a rainout that was never replayed, which caused the Red Sox to lose the division by a half-game. On October 2, 1972, they also lost the second to last game of the year to the Tigers, 3-1, when Luis Aparicio fell rounding third after Yastremski hit a triple in the third inning, Aparicio tried to scamper back to third but this created an out as Yastremski was already on third.

The Red Sox won the AL pennant in 1975. The 1975 Red Sox were as colorful as they were talented, with Yastrzemski and rookie outfielders Jim Rice and Fred Lynn, veteran outfielder Dwight Evans, catcher Carlton Fisk, and pitchers Luis Tiant and eccentric junkballer Bill "The Spaceman" Lee. Fred Lynn won both the American League Rookie of the Year award and the Most Valuable Player award, a feat which had never previously been accomplished, and was not duplicated until Ichiro Suzuki did it in 2001.. In the ALCS, the Red Sox swept the Oakland A's.

In the 1975 World Series, they faced the heavily favored Cincinnati Reds, also known as The Big Red Machine. Luis Tiant won games 1 and 4 of the World Series but after five games, the Red Sox trailed the series 3 games to 2. Game 6 at Fenway Park is considered among the greatest games in postseason history. Down 6-3 in the bottom of the eighth inning, Red Sox pinch hitter Bernie Carbo hit a three run homer into the center field bleachers off Reds fireman Rawly Eastwick to tie the game. In the top of the eleventh inning, right fielder Dwight Evans made a spectacular catch of a Joe Morgan line drive and doubled Ken Griffey at first base to preserve the tie. In the bottom of the twelfth inning, Carlton Fisk hit a deep fly ball which sliced towards the left field foul pole above the Green Monster. As the ball sailed into the night, Fisk waved his arms frantically towards fair territory, seemingly pleading with the ball not to go foul. The ball complied, and bedlam ensued at Fenway as Fisk rounded the bases to win the game for the Red Sox 7-6. Footage of the Fisk home run is shown again and again on ESPN classic.

In 1978, the Red Sox and the Yankees were involved in a tight pennant race. The Yankees were 14½ games behind the Red Sox in July, and on September 10, after completing a 4-game sweep of the Red Sox (known as "The Boston Massacre"), the Yankees tied for the divisional lead.

For the final three weeks of the season, the teams fought closely and the lead changed hands several times. By the final day of the season, the Yankees' magic number to win the division was one — with a win over Cleveland or a Boston loss to the Toronto Blue Jays clinching the division. However, New York lost 9-2 and Boston won 5-0, forcing a one-game playoff to be held at Fenway Park on Monday, October 2.

The most remembered moment from the game was Bucky Dent's 7th inning three-run home run in off Mike Torrez just over the Green Monster, giving the Yankees their first lead. Reggie Jackson provided a solo home run in the 8th that proved to be the difference in the Yankees' 5-4 win, which ended with Yastrzemski popping out to Graig Nettles in foul territory with Rick Burleson representing the tying run at third.

Carl Yastrzemski retired after the 1983 season, during which the Red Sox finished sixth in the seven-team AL East, posting their worst record since 1966. However, in 1986, it appeared that the team's fortunes were about to change. The offense had remained strong with Jim Rice, Dwight Evans, Don Baylor and Wade Boggs. Roger Clemens led the pitching staff, going 24-4 with a 2.48 ERA, and had a 20-strikeout game to win both the American League Cy Young and Most Valuable Player awards. Clemens became the first starting pitcher to win both awards since Vida Blue in 1971, and no starting pitcher has won the MVP award in either league since.

The Red Sox won the AL East for the first time in 11 seasons, and faced the California Angels in the AL Championship Series. The teams split the first two games in Boston, but the Angels won the next two games home games, taking a 3-1 lead in the series. With the Angels poised to win the series, the Red Sox trailed 5-2 heading into the ninth inning of Game 5. A two-run homer by Baylor cut the lead to one. With two outs and a runner on, and one strike away from elimination, Dave Henderson homered off Donnie Moore to put Boston up 6-5. Although the Angels tied the game in the bottom of the ninth, the Red Sox won in the 11th on a Henderson sacrifice fly off Moore. The Red Sox then found themselves with six- and seven-run wins at Fenway Park in Games 6 and 7 to win the American League title.

The Red Sox faced a heavily favored New York Mets team that had won 108 games in the regular season in the 1986 World Series. Boston won the first two games in Shea Stadium but lost the next two at Fenway, knotting the series at 2 games apiece. After Bruce Hurst recorded his second victory of the series in Game 5, the Red Sox returned to Shea Stadium looking to garner their first championship in 68 years. However, Game 6 would go down as one of the most devastating losses in club history. After pitching seven strong innings, Clemens was lifted from the game with a 3-2 lead. Years later, Manager John McNamara said Clemens was suffering from a blister and asked to be taken out of the game, a claim Clemens denied. The Mets then scored a run off reliever and former Met Calvin Schiraldi to tie the score 3-3. The game went to extra innings, where the Red Sox took a 5-3 lead in the top of the 10th on a solo home run by Henderson, a double by Boggs and an RBI single by second baseman Marty Barrett.

After recording two outs in the bottom of the 10th, a graphic appeared on the NBC telecast hailing Barrett as the Player of the Game, and Bruce Hurst had been named World Series MVP. A message even appeared briefly on the Shea Stadium scoreboard congratulating the Red Sox as world champions. After so many years of abject frustration, Red Sox fans around the world could taste victory. With two strikes, Mets catcher Gary Carter hit a single. It was followed by singles by Kevin Mitchell and Ray Knight. With Mookie Wilson batting, a wild pitch by Bob Stanley tied the game at 5. Wilson then hit a slow ground ball to first; the ball rolled through Bill Buckner's legs, allowing Knight to score the winning run from second.

While Buckner was singled out as responsible for the loss, many observers — as well as both Wilson and Buckner — have noted that even if Buckner had fielded the ball cleanly, the speedy Wilson probably would still have been safe, leaving the game-winning run at third with two out.

The Red Sox returned to the postseason in 1988. With the club in fourth place midway through the 1988 season at the All-Star break, manager John McNamara was fired and replaced by Joe Morgan on July 15. Immediately the club won 12 games in a row, and 19 of 20 overall, to surge to the AL East title in what would be referred to as Morgan Magic. But the magic was short-lived, as the team was swept by the Oakland Athletics in the ALCS. Ironically, the MVP of that Series was former Red Sox pitcher and Baseball Hall of Fame player Dennis Eckersley, who saved all four wins for Oakland. Two years later, in 1990, the Red Sox would again win the division and face the Athletics in the ALCS. However, the outcome was the same, with the A's sweeping the ALCS in four straight.

Tom Yawkey died in 1976, and his wife Jean R. Yawkey took control of the team until her death in 1992. Their initials are shown in two stripes on the Left field wall in Morse code. Upon Jean's death, control of the team passed to the Yawkey Trust, led by John Harrington. The trust sold the team in 2002, concluding 70 years of Yawkey ownership.

In 1994, General Manager Lou Gorman was replaced by Dan Duquette, a Massachusetts native who had worked for the Montreal Expos. Duquette revived the team's farm system, which during his tenure produced players such as Nomar Garciaparra, Carl Pavano and David Eckstein. Duquette also spent money on free agents, notably an eight-year, $160 million deal for Manny Ramírez after the 2000 season.

The Red Sox won the newly-realigned American League East in 1995, finishing seven games ahead of the Yankees. However, they were swept in three games in the ALDS by the Cleveland Indians. Their postseason losing streak reached 13 straight games, dating back to the 1986 World Series.

Roger Clemens tied his major league record by fanning 20 Detroit Tigers on September 18, 1996 in what would prove to be one of his final appearances in a Red Sox uniform. After Clemens had turned 30 and then had four seasons, 1993-96, which were by his standards mediocre at best, Duquette said the pitcher was entering "the twilight of his career." Clemens went on to pitch well for another ten years and win four more Cy Young awards.

Out of contention in 1997, the team traded closer Slocum to Seattle for catching prospect Jason Varitek and right-handed pitcher Derek Lowe. Prior to the start of the 1998 season, the Red Sox dealt pitchers Tony Armas, Jr. and Carl Pavano to the Montreal Expos for pitcher Pedro Martínez. Martínez became the anchor of the team's pitching staff and turned in several outstanding seasons. In 1998, the team won the American League Wild Card, but again lost the American League Division Series to the Indians.

In 1999, Duquette called Fenway Park "economically obsolete" and, along with Red Sox ownership, led a push for a new stadium. Despite support from the Massachusetts Legislature and other politicians, issues with buying out neighboring property and steadfast opposition within Boston's city council eventually doomed the project.

On the field, the 1999 Red Sox were finally able to overturn their fortunes against the Indians. Cleveland took a 2-0 series lead, but Boston won the next three games behind strong pitching by Derek Lowe, Pedro Martínez and his brother Ramón Martínez. Game 4's 23-7 win by the Red Sox was the highest-scoring playoff game in major league history. Game 5 began with the Indians taking a 5-2 lead after two innings, but Pedro Martínez, nursing a shoulder injury, came on in the fourth inning and pitched six innings without allowing a hit while the team's offense rallied for a 12-8 win behind two home runs and seven RBIs from outfielder Troy O'Leary . After the ALDS victory, the Red Sox lost the American League Championship Series to the Yankees, four games to one. The one bright spot was a lopsided win for the Red Sox in the much-hyped Martinez-Clemens game.

In 2002, the Red Sox were sold by Yawkey trustee and president Harrington to New England Sports Ventures, a consortium headed by principal owner John Henry. Tom Werner served as executive chairman, Larry Lucchino served as president and CEO, and serving as vice chairman was Les Otten. Dan Duquette was fired as GM of the club on February 28, with former Angels GM Mike Port taking the helm for the 2002 season. A week later, manager Joe Kerrigan was fired and was replaced by Grady Little.

While nearly all offseason moves were made under Dan Duquette, such as signing outfielder Johnny Damon away from the Oakland A's, the new ownership made additions after their purchase of the team, including trading for outfielder Cliff Floyd and relief pitcher Alan Embree. Nomar Garciaparra, Manny Ramírez, and Floyd all hit well, while Pedro Martínez put up his usual outstanding numbers. Derek Lowe, newly converted into a starter, won 20 games—becoming the first player to save 20 games and win 20 games in back-to-back seasons. The Red Sox won 93 games but they finished 10½ games behind the Yankees for the division and 6 behind the Angels for the AL wild card.

In the off-season, Port was replaced by Yale graduate Theo Epstein. At the age of 28, Epstein became the youngest general manager in the history of MLB up to that point. He was raised in Brookline, Massachusetts.

The "Idiots" of 2004 arose out of the "Cowboy Up" team of 2003, a nickname derived from first baseman Kevin Millar's challenge to his teammates to show more determination. In addition to Millar, the team's offense was so deep that 2003 batting champion Bill Mueller batted 7th in the lineup behind sluggers Manny Ramírez and the newly acquired David Ortiz.

GM Theo Epstein, noticing that Mueller was hitting very well in a limited role, traded Shea Hillenbrand to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Byung-Hyun Kim. Receiving much more playing time following the trade, Ortiz contributed significantly in the second half of the season. The trade ended up greatly benefiting the team, as the Red Sox broke many batting records and won the AL Wild Card.

In the 2003 American League Division Series, the Red Sox rallied from a 0-2 series deficit against the Oakland Athletics to win the best-of-five series. Derek Lowe returned to his former relief pitching role to save Game 5, a 4-3 victory. The team then faced the Yankees in the 2003 American League Championship Series. In Game 7, Boston led 5-2 in the eighth inning, but Pedro Martínez allowed three runs to tie the game. The Red Sox could not score off Mariano Rivera over the last three innings and eventually lost the game 6-5 when Yankee third baseman Aaron Boone hit a solo home run off Tim Wakefield.

Some placed the blame for the loss on manager Grady Little for failing to remove starting pitcher Martínez in the 8th inning after some observers believe he began to show signs of tiring. Others credited Little with the team's successful season and dramatic come-from-behind victory in the ALDS. Nevertheless, Boston's management decided a change was in order and did not renew Little's contract. He was replaced by former Philadelphia Phillies manager Terry Francona.

During the 2003-04 offseason, the Red Sox acquired another ace pitcher, Curt Schilling, and a closer, Keith Foulke. Expectations once again ran high that 2004 would be the year that the Red Sox ended their championship drought. The regular season started well in April, but through mid-season the team struggled due to injuries, inconsistency, and defensive woes.

Management shook up the team at the MLB trading deadline on July 31 with a blockbuster four team trade. They traded the team's popular yet often injured shortstop Nomar Garciaparra with outfielder Matt Murton to the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs sent Brendan Harris, Alex Gonzalez and Francis Beltran to the Montreal Expos, and minor leaguer Justin Jones to the Minnesota Twins. The Red Sox received first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz from the Twins, and shortstop Orlando Cabrera from the Expos.

Boston began the postseason by sweeping the AL West champion Anaheim Angels in the ALDS. However, Curt Schilling suffered a torn ankle tendon in Game 1 when he was hit by a line drive. In the third game of the series, Vladimir Guerrero hit a grand slam off Mike Timlin in the 7th inning to tie the game. However, David Ortiz hit a walk-off two-run homer in the 10th inning to win the game. The Red Sox advanced to a rematch in the ALCS against the Yankees.

The series started very poorly for the Red Sox. Schilling, pitching injured, was routed for six runs in three innings and Boston ended up losing Game 1. In the second game, with his Yankees leading 1-0 for most of the game, John Olerud hit a two-run home run to put New York up for good. Following this, the Red Sox were down three games to none after a crushing 19-8 loss in Game 3 at home.

Up to this point, no team in the history of baseball had come back to win from a 3-0 series deficit. In Game 4, the Red Sox found themselves facing elimination, trailing 4-3 in the ninth with Mariano Rivera in to close for the Yankees. After Rivera issued a walk to Kevin Millar, Dave Roberts came on to pinch run and promptly stole second base. He then scored on an RBI single by Bill Mueller, sending the game into extra innings. The Red Sox went on to win the game on a two-run home run by David Ortiz in the 12th inning. Game 5 would last 14 innings, setting the record for the longest ALCS game ever played. Both sides squandered many opportunities, until Ortiz again sealed the win with a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the 14th.

With the series returning to Yankee Stadium for Game 6, the comeback continued with Schilling pitching on a bad ankle. The three sutures in Schilling's ankle bled throughout the game, making his sock appear bloody red. Schilling only allowed one run over 7 innings to lead the Red Sox to victory. In Game 7, the Red Sox completed their historic comeback owing to the strength of Derek Lowe's pitching and Johnny Damon's two home runs (including a grand slam in the second inning). The Yankees were defeated 10-3. Ortiz, who had the game winning RBIs in Games 4 and 5, was named ALCS Most Valuable Player. The Red Sox joined the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs and 1975 New York Islanders as the only professional sports teams in history to win a best-of-seven games series after being down three games to none.

The Red Sox swept the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2004 World Series. The Red Sox began the series with an 11-9 win, marked by Mark Bellhorn's game-winning home run off Pesky's Pole. Game 2 in Boston was won thanks to another great performance by the bloody-socked Curt Schilling. Pedro Martínez (in his first World Series performance) shut out the Cardinals for seven innings and led Boston to a 4-1 victory in game 3, and Derek Lowe and the Red Sox did not allow a single run in game 4. The game ended as Edgar Rentería hit the ball back to closer Keith Foulke. After Foulke lobbed the ball to Mientkiewicz at first, the Red Sox had won their first World Championship in 86 years.

Boston held the Cardinals' offense to only three runs in the final three games and never trailed in the series. Manny Ramírez was named World Series MVP. To add a final, surreal touch to Boston's championship season, on the night of Game 4 a total lunar eclipse colored the moon red over Busch Stadium. The city of Boston held a "rolling rally" for the team on October 30, 2004. Red Sox Nation packed the streets of Boston that Saturday to celebrate as the team rode on the city's famous Duck Boats. The Red Sox earned many accolades from the sports media and throughout the nation for their incredible season. In December, Sports Illustrated named the Boston Red Sox the 2004 Sportsmen of the Year.

After winning its first World Series in 86 years, the club re-signed Jason Varitek and named him team captain. The 2005 AL East would be decided on the last weekend of the season, with the Yankees coming to Fenway Park with a one-game lead in the standings. The Red Sox won two of the three games to finish the season with the same record as the Yankees, 95-67. However, a playoff was not needed. The Yankees had won the season series, 10-9, thus they won the division, and the Red Sox settled for the Wild Card. Boston was swept in three games by the eventual 2005 World Series champion White Sox in the first round of the playoffs.

On October 31, 2005, general manager Theo Epstein resigned on the last day of his contract. On Thanksgiving evening, the Red Sox announced the acquisition of pitcher Josh Beckett and third baseman Mike Lowell from the Florida Marlins, while sending several prospects including Hanley Ramírez to the Marlins. Fan-favorite Johnny Damon broke the hearts of Red Sox Nation by signing a four-year, $52 million deal with the Yankees. The team filled the vacancy in center field left by Damon's departure by trading for Cleveland Indians center fielder Coco Crisp. However, Crisp fractured his left index finger in April and would end up missing over 50 games in 2006. In January 2006, Epstein came to terms with the Red Sox and was once again named General Manager.

The revamped Red Sox infield, with third baseman Mike Lowell joining new shortstop Alex Gonzalez, second baseman Mark Loretta, and first baseman Kevin Youkilis was one of the best-fielding infields in baseball. The Red Sox committed the fewest errors in the American League in 2006, and on June 30, Boston set a major league record of 17 straight errorless games. One of the brightest spots of the 2006 season was the emergence of new closer Jonathan Papelbon. Papelbon ended up setting a Red Sox rookie record with 35 saves and earning an All-Star appearance. Also, David Ortiz provided a late-season highlight when he broke Jimmie Foxx's single season Red Sox home run record by hitting 54 homers. Down the stretch, the Red Sox wilted under the pressure of mounting injuries and poor performances. Boston would compile a 9-21 record in the month of August. Injuries to Jason Varitek, Trot Nixon, and Manny Ramírez severely hurt the offense. Also, injuries to Tim Wakefield, rookie Jon Lester (diagnosed with lymphoma), and Matt Clement left the rotation with major holes to fill. The Red Sox finished 2006 with an 86-76 record and third place in the AL East.

Theo Epstein's first step toward restocking the team for 2007 was to pursue one of the most anticipated acquisitions in baseball history. On November 14, MLB announced that Boston had won the bid for the rights to negotiate a contract with Japanese superstar pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka. Boston placed a bid of $51.1 million and had 30 days to complete a deal. On December 13, Matsuzaka signed a 6-year, $52 million contract.

Fan favorite Trot Nixon filed for free agency and agreed on a deal with the Indians. With an opening in right field, the Red Sox signed J.D. Drew on January 25, 2007 to a 5-year, $70 million contract. Free agent Shortstop Álex González was replaced by another free agent, Julio Lugo. Second baseman Mark Loretta also left via free agency for the Houston Astros, opening a spot for rookie Dustin Pedroia.

The Red Sox moved into first place in the AL East by mid-April and never relinquished their division lead. While Ortiz and Ramirez provided their usual offense, it was the hitting of Lowell, Youkilis, and Pedroia that anchored the club through the first few months. While Drew, Lugo, and Coco Crisp struggled to provide offense, Lowell and Youkilis more than made up for it with averages well above .300 and impressive home run and RBI totals. Pedroia started badly, hitting below .200 in April. Manager Terry Francona stuck with him and his patience paid off as Pedroia finished the first half over .300.

On the mound, Josh Beckett emerged as the ace of the staff and was 12-2 at the all-star break. His success was needed as Schilling, Matsuzaka, Wakefield and Tavarez all struggled at times. Meanwhile, the Boston bullpen, anchored by Papelbon and Hideki Okajima, was there to pick up the starters often. Papelbon served as the stopper, and the rise of Okajima as a legitimate setup man and occasional closer gave the Red Sox more options late in the game. Okajima posted an ERA of 0.88 through the first half and was selected for the All-Star Game.

By the All-Star break, Boston had the best record in baseball and held their largest lead in the American League East, 10 games over the Blue Jays and Yankees. In the second half, more stars emerged for the Red Sox as they continued to lead the AL East. Beckett continued to shine, reaching 20 wins for the first time in his career. At one point, veteran Tim Wakefield found himself atop the AL in wins and finished with a 17-12 record. Minor league call-up Clay Buchholz provided a spark on September 1 by pitching a no-hitter in his second career start. Another call-up, outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, was thrust into the starting lineup while Manny Ramírez rested through most of September. Ellsbury played brilliantly during the month, hitting .361 with 3 HR, 17 RBI, and 8 stolen bases. Mike Lowell continued to carry the club, hitting cleanup in September and leading the team with 120 RBI for the season. Eventual 2007 Rookie of the Year Dustin Pedroia finished his outstanding first full season with 165 hits and a .317 average. The Red Sox became the first team to clinch a playoff spot for the 2007 season and the Red Sox captured their first AL East title since 1995.

The Red Sox swept the Angels in the ALDS. Facing the Indians in the ALCS, Josh Beckett won Game 1 but the Red Sox stumbled, losing the next three games. Facing a 3-1 deficit and a must-win situation, Beckett pitched eight innings while surrendering only one run and striking out 11 in a masterful Game 5 win. The Red Sox captured their twelfth American League pennant by outscoring the Indians 30-5 over the final three games, winning the final two games at Fenway Park.

The Red Sox faced the Colorado Rockies in the 2007 World Series. Beckett set the tone in game 1, pitching seven strong innings as the offense provided more than enough in a 13-1 victory. In Game 2, Schilling, Okajima, and Papelbon held the Rockies to one run again in a 2-1 game. Moving to Colorado, the Red Sox offense made the difference again in a 10-5 win. Finally, in Game 4, Jon Lester took Wakefield's spot in the rotation and gave the Red Sox an impressive start, pitching 5 2/3 shutout innings. The Rockies threatened, but thanks to World Series MVP Mike Lowell and aided by a home run by Bobby Kielty, Papelbon registered another save as the Red Sox swept the Rockies in four games, capturing their second title in four years.

Following their World Series victory, the Red Sox were forced to address a few personnel questions in the hopes of repeating as champion. The team re-signed free agents Mike Lowell, Curt Schilling, Tim Wakefield and Mike Timlin. The Red Sox also added veteran first baseman Sean Casey to back up Kevin Youkilis.

Injuries to Schilling, Timlin, and Josh Beckett landed each pitcher on the disabled list before the season began, putting added pressure on young starters Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz. The Red Sox began their season by participating in the third opening day game in MLB history to be played in Japan, where they defeated the Oakland A's in the Tokyo Dome. Boston played well to start the season, settling into a top position in the AL East. However, the surprise Tampa Bay Rays took over the top of the division with a sweep over the Red Sox in early July. On May 19, Lester threw the 18th no-hitter in team history, beating the Kansas City Royals 7-0. During the season, Lester emerged as an anchor in the Red Sox rotation, leading the team in starts and innings pitched while compiling a 16-6 record and a 3.21 ERA. Buchholz meanwhile struggled mightily in 2008 to a 2-9 record, ending up back in the minors. Injuries would take a toll on the Red Sox offense during the season. David Ortiz missed 45 games with an injured wrist , Mike Lowell missed weeks with a torn hip labrum, and after a blistering performance in June, J.D. Drew aggravated a back injury that shelved him for much of the second half of the season. Down the stretch, outfielder Manny Ramirez - playing in the final year of his eight year contract - became a distraction to the team. His disruptive behavior included public incidents with fellow players in the dugout (shoving Kevin Youkilis), team employees (pushing the team's 64 year old traveling secretary to the ground), criticizing ownership, and not playing due to laziness and nonexistent injuries. The front office decided to move the disgrunted outfielder at the July 31 trade deadline, shipping him to the Dodgers in a three-way deal with the Pirates that landed them Jason Bay to replace him in left field.

With Ramirez gone, and Bay providing a new spark in the lineup, the Red Sox found new life. Kevin Youkilis had career highs in home runs (29) and RBIs (115). Closer Jonathan Papelbon set a career high in saves with 41. Daisuke Matsuzaka improved on his 2007 performance and led the team in wins, finishing with an 18–3 record. However, it was Dustin Pedroia who emerged as not only a team leader, but an American League MVP candidate. Pedroia hit over .340 in the second half, finishing the year at or near the top in the AL in batting average, hits, runs, and doubles. Despite Boston's 34-19 record following the trading deadline, the Rays held onto the AL East lead and captured their first division title in franchise history.

Boston still made the playoffs as the AL Wild Card. Behind the strong pitching of Jon Lester (two games started and no earned runs allowed), the Red Sox defeated the Angels in the ALDS three games to one. The Red Sox then took on their AL East rivals the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALCS. Down three games to one in the 5th game of the ALCS, Boston mounted the greatest single game comeback in ALCS history. Trailing 7-0 in the 7th inning with elimination pending, the Red Sox came back to win the game 8-7. They tied the series at 3 games apiece before losing Game 7, 3-1, thus becoming the eighth team in a row since 2000 not to repeat as world champions.

Former left fielder Mike Greenwell is from Fort Myers, Florida and was instrumental in bringing his team to the city for spring training. City of Palms Park was built in 1992 for that purpose and holds 8,000 people. It is also the home of the Red Sox Rookie team, the Gulf Coast League Red Sox, from April through June.

Perhaps the most memorable game played at City of Palms was on March 7, 2004. This was the first game played between the Red Sox and New York Yankees since Aaron Boone hit the home run that eliminated the Red Sox from the playoffs the previous October. Boone's replacement at third base, Alex Rodriguez was the high profile key acquisition of the off season for the Yankees, and he was savagely booed by the 7,304 in attendance.

Currently, the flagship radio station of the Red Sox is WRKO, 680 AM. Joe Castiglione, in his 25th year as the voice of the Red Sox, serves as the lead play-by-play announcer, along with the rotating team of Dave O'Brien, Dale Arnold and Jon Rish. Some of Castiglione's predecessors include Curt Gowdy, Ken Coleman, and Ned Martin. He has also worked with play-by-play veterans Bob Starr and Jerry Trupiano. Many stations throughout New England and beyond pick up the broadcasts. In addition WEEI 850 AM, WRKO's sister station and former Red Sox flagship station, broadcast all day games and Wednesday night games.

All Red Sox telecasts not shown nationally on FOX or ESPN are seen on New England Sports Network (NESN) with Don Orsillo calling play-by-play and Jerry Remy, former Red Sox second baseman, as color analyst. NESN became exclusive in 2006; before then, games were shown on such local stations as WBZ, WSBK, WLVI, WABU, and WFXT at various points in team history.

The Red Sox previously had a requirement that the player "must have finished their career with Red Sox," but this was reconsidered after the election of Carlton Fisk to the Hall of Fame. Fisk actually retired with the White Sox, but then-GM Dan Duquette hired him for one day as a special assistant, which allowed Fisk to technically end his career with the Red Sox. After that, with the anticipation that there might be other former Red Sox players who would be denied the chance to have their number by the club (a prime example would be Roger Clemens), the team dropped the rule. Some would argue that the rule still exists de jure, as Wade Boggs' number has not been retired by Boston even though he meets the official requirements (Boggs finished his career with the Tampa Bay Rays). It should be noted that Boston did honor Boggs by voting him into the Red Sox Hall of Fame in 2004, the year before he was enshrined into Cooperstown.

The only exception that has been made to date is for former Boston shortstop Johnny Pesky, whose number 6 was retired on 28 September 2008. Pesky neither spent ten years as a player nor was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame; however, Red Sox ownership cited "... his versatility of his contributions - on the field, off the field, in the dugout...," including as a manager, scout, and special instructor and decided that the honor had been well-earned.

The number 42 was officially retired by Major League Baseball in 1997, but Mo Vaughn was one of a handful of players to continue wearing #42 through a grandfather clause. He last wore it for the team in 1998. On April 15, 2007, the 60th anniversary of Robinson's major league debut, Major League Baseball invited players to wear the number 42 the day in commemoration of Robinson, players Coco Crisp (CF), David Ortiz (DH), and DeMarlo Hale (Coach) all wore 42. Given the same opportunity on April 15, 2008 Crisp, Ortiz and Hale again wore #42 for one game.

Until the late 1990s, the numbers originally hung on the right-field facade in the order in which they were retired: 9-4-1-8. It was pointed out that the numbers, when read as a date (9/4/18), marked the eve of the first game of the 1918 World Series, the last championship series that the Red Sox won before 2004. After the facade was repainted, the numbers were rearranged in numerical order.

There is also considerable debate in Boston media circles and among fans about the potential retiring of Tony Conigliaro's number 25. Nonetheless, since Conigliaro's last full season in Boston, 1970, the number has been assigned to several players (including Orlando Cepeda, Mark Clear, Don Baylor, Larry Parrish, Jack Clark and Troy O'Leary). Number 25 is currently worn by the team's third baseman, Mike Lowell, who coincidentally won the Tony Conigliaro Award in 1999.

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Florida Marlins

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The Florida Marlins are a professional baseball team based in Miami Gardens, Florida, United States. Established in 1993 as an expansion franchise, the Marlins are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball's National League. The Marlins play their home games at Dolphin Stadium, also home to the Miami Dolphins.

The Marlins are notable for winning the World Series twice (1997, 2003) during the only two times they've made it to the postseason. They won despite never winning first place in their division, advancing to the playoffs both times as the National League Wild Card winner. They are the only team to have won all of their postseason series to date.

In recent years, the Marlins ownership has pushed for a new stadium and recently agreed to a plan with Miami-Dade commissioners and the city of Miami to build a $515 million ballpark on the site of the legendary Miami Orange Bowl. As part of the deal, the Marlins in the future will be known as the "Miami Marlins." Their final season in Miami Gardens will be the 2011 season.

On March 7, 1990, H. Wayne Huizenga, CEO of Blockbuster Entertainment Corporation, announced he had purchased 15 percent of the NFL's Miami Dolphins and 50 percent of the Dolphins' home, Joe Robbie Stadium, for an estimated $30 million. Huizenga stated his intention to aggressively pursue an expansion franchise. MLB had announced a few months earlier that it intended to add two new teams to the National League. It was a foregone conclusion that one of them would be placed in Florida; the only question was whether Huizenga would beat out competing groups from Orlando and Tampa Bay. On June 10, 1991, the National League awarded a Miami-based franchise to Huizenga for a $95 million expansion fee. One name considered early on was the Florida Flamingos.

Huizenga immediately announced plans to convert Joe Robbie Stadium (later Pro Player Park, Pro Player Stadium, Dolphins Stadium and now Dolphin Stadium) from a football-only stadium into a multipurpose stadium. The renovation cost only $100 million, largely because Dolphins founder Joe Robbie had anticipated that baseball would eventually come to South Florida and built the stadium with a wider field than is normally the case for the NFL. Purists feared the result would be similar to Exhibition Stadium in Toronto; when the Toronto Blue Jays played there from 1976 to 1989 they were burdened with seats more than 800 feet from the plate. However, Huizenga decided to cut down capacity from 67,000 to just over 43,500, in order to create a more intimate atmosphere. Aside from this, many of the upper deck outfield seats would have been too far from the field. The stadium's baseball capacity has been reduced even further in recent years, and it now seats just over 36,500. However, the Marlins usually open the upper level for postseason games. Huizenga eventually bought the Dolphins, and the stadium, in 1994.

Huizenga also sought, and received, a waiver from ESPN and MLB allowing him to play games on Sunday nights. The Marlins schedule nearly all of their games during the summer months (late May to mid-September) at night due to South Florida's hot and humid summers (with frequent afternoon rain). The Texas Rangers already had a similar waiver; until the Marlins' inception, the Rangers played in the hottest stadium in the majors.

In November 1991, the Marlins hired Fredi Gonzalez as the Marlins first Minor League manager.

Marlins selected catcher Charles Johnson of the University of Miami with their first-ever first round draft pick in the amateur draft of June 1992. Later that year Marlins President Carl Barger collapsed during an owners meeting at the baseball winter meetings in Louisville, Kentucky, and died a few hours later in Humana University Hospital. The Marlins later retired the number 5 in honor of Barger's favorite player, Joe Dimaggio.

The Marlins' first manager was Rene Lachemann, a former catcher who had previously managed the Seattle Mariners and Milwaukee Brewers, and who at the time of his hiring was a third base coach for the Oakland Athletics. The team drafted its initial lineup of players in the 1992 MLB Expansion Draft.The Marlins defeat the Houston Astros 12-8 in their inaugural Spring Training game. Jeff Conine hit Florida's first homer before a crowd of 6,696 at the Cocoa Expo Sports Complex. The Marlins won their first game on April 5, 1993, against the Dodgers. Charlie Hough became the marlins first starting pitcher in the teams history. Jeff Conine went 4-4 in this game, making him an immediate crowd favorite, and by the end of his tenure with Florida, he would earn the nickname "Mr. Marlin." Gary Sheffield and Bryan Harvey represented the Marlins as the club's first All-Star Game selections, and Sheffield homered in the Marlins first All-Star Game at-bat. The team finished the year five games ahead of the last-place New York Mets and with an attendance of 3,064,847. In that season, the Marlins traded their young set-up reliever Trevor Hoffman and two minor-league prospects to the San Diego Padres for third baseman Gary Sheffield. While Sheffield helped Florida immediately and became an all-star, Hoffman eventually emerged as the best closer in the National League. After the 1993 season, Donald A. Smiley was named the second President in club history. The Marlins finished last (51-64) in their division in the strike shortened season of 1994 and fourth (67-76) in 1995. Lachemann was replaced as manager midway through the 1996 season by director of player development, John Boles.

The Marlins had some bright spots on the mound and behind the plate in 1996. The team's 3.95 ERA ranked third in the NL, thanks in large part to newcomer Kevin Brown, who finished the season with a 17-11 win-loss record and an impressive 1.89 ERA. On May 11, Al Leiter pitched the first no-hitter in Marlins history. Catcher Charles Johnson led the league with a .995 fielding percentage, threw out a league-high 48 percent of base runners, and collected his second straight Gold Glove Award for fielding excellence. After a slow start, the Marlins finished the year with an 80-82 win-loss record to place third in their division. Boles returned to his previous position as director of player development, and former Pittsburgh Pirates manager Jim Leyland was hired to lead the club in 1997.

In addition to hiring Leyland as manager, the Marlins signed third baseman Bobby Bonilla, outfielder Moisés Alou, and pitcher Alex Fernandez to lucrative free-agent contracts, raising expectations to levels far beyond what they had ever been in franchise history. The Marlins' franchise got its second no-hitter from ace Kevin Brown on June 10, 1997. Brown nearly had the perfect game, but he hit the Giants' Marvin Benard with a pitch in the 8th inning. With Brown, Leiter and Fernandez heading the rotation, and Robb Nen closing out games, the Marlins' staff was almost systematic during their regular season run. In 1997, the Marlins finished nine games back of the Division Champion Atlanta Braves. But despite this shortcoming, they earned the wild card. Veteran additions such as LF Moisés Alou, 3B Bobby Bonilla, and trade-deadline additions Darren "Dutch" Daulton and Jim Eisenreich added experience and clutch hits. Talented young stars and starters Luis Castillo (2B) and Edgar Rentería (SS) were one of the best double play combos in the League. Castillo did not perform to expectations offensively, and was replaced by Craig Counsell before the playoffs began. They swept the San Francisco Giants 3-0 in the National League Division Series, and then went on to beat the Atlanta Braves 4-2 in the National League Championship Series, where the Marlins overcame the loss of Alex Fernandez to a torn rotator cuff, and Kevin Brown's missing two scheduled starts due to a virus. His place was taken in Game 5 by rookie pitcher Liván Hernández, who had earned a spot in the rotation in the second half of the season, but was not in the rotation during the postseason until circumstances made it necessary. Hernandez would proceed to strike out 15 Braves and outduel multiple Cy Young award-winner Greg Maddux to a 2-1 victory and a 3-2 series lead. Brown would return to the mound for Game 6, pitching a complete game victory to secure the Marlins their first-ever National League pennant. The underdog Marlins went on to face the Cleveland Indians in the 1997 World Series, and won in seven games. In Game 7, Craig Counsell's sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth tied the game at 2, then, with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the 11th, Edgar Rentería's soft liner glanced off the glove of Cleveland pitcher Charles Nagy and into center field to score Counsell and give the Marlins the win.

Following the World Series victory, Huizenga dismantled the team, claiming financial losses despite winning the World Series. He traded most of the club's best players in one of the biggest fire sales in sports history. The first deal came days after the World Series, when outfieldler Moisés Alou was traded to the Houston Astros for pitchers Oscar Hernandez, Manuel Barrios, and Mark Johnson. The Marlins then traded Kevin Brown to the San Diego Padres. In May 1998 season they dealt Bobby Bonilla, Gary Sheffield, Charles Johnson, Jim Eisenreich, and Manuel Barrios to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Mike Piazza and Todd Zeile, both of who would be gone via trades by midseason. This ended the dismantling of the 1997 World Series champs. On the flip side, these trades brought promising youngsters Derrek Lee and A.J. Burnett.

The Marlins' 1998 slumped to 54-108, the worst record in the major leagues that year—still the most in franchise history. They are the only team to lose 100 games a year after winning the World Series. Leyland resigned as manager in October 1998, and was replaced by John Boles. Moreover, Huizenga soon sold the club to John Henry, a commodities trader from Boca Raton, during the off-season. The Marlins had the second overall pick in the 1999 draft and drafted Josh Beckett from the state of Texas. The Marlins finished the 1999 season with the worst record in baseball at 64-98, and traded World Series MVP Liván Hernández to the San Francisco Giants. The Marlins also drafted P Johan Santana from Houston in the Rule 5 Draft but traded him to Minnesota in a prearranged deal for P Jared Camp.

A month prior to the regular season, the Marlins hired David Dombrowski as the third President in club history, making him both President and General Manager. After posting the worst record in baseball for the 1999 season, the Marlins had the first overall pick in the 2000 first-year player draft and selected first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, a 16-year-old native of Bonita, California. The Eastlake High School product agreed to terms with the Marlins that same day. The Marlins went on that season to finish 79-82 and third place in the NL East. This was thanks to the emergence of OF Preston Wilson who had 31 home runs and 121 RBIs. Derrek Lee and Luis Castillo broke out this year as well, as Castillo posted a .334 batting average and Lee had 28 homers in his first full season. Antonio Alfonseca posted a then-club record 45 saves.

The club slowly worked its way back to respectability with a third place finish in 2000, driven by young stars such as A.J. Burnett, Brad Penny, Preston Wilson, Luis Castillo, and Mike Lowell. Burnett pitched the Marlins' third no-hitter on May 12 against the Padres, 2001. In a truly extraordinary performance, he walked nine batters and threw 129 pitches, 65 of which were strikes. Three weeks after the no-no, Manager John Boles was fired and Hall of Famer Tony Perez was named interim manager for the rest of the season. The club finished 76-86 and in fourth place, thanks to Brad Penny's and A.J. Burnett's emergence.

The offseason following the 2001 regular season included an overhaul of the ownership and front office. Tony Perez resigned and returned to his previous role as the front-office Baseball Operations assistant. About a month later, David Dombrowski resigned as President and General Manager of the Florida Marlins and accepted the position as President of the Detroit Tigers. Entering the new year, Henry sold the Marlins to Montreal Expos owner Jeffrey Loria, clearing the way for him to buy the Boston Red Sox. Loria brought the entire Expos management and coaching staff to the Marlins. David Samson became team president, Larry Beinfest became General Manager and Jeff Torborg became manager.

Prior to the 2002 season, the Marlins traded RHP Matt Clement and RHP Antonio Alfonseca to the Cubs for RHP Julian Tavarez, LHP Dontrelle Willis, RHP Jose Cueto and C Ryan Jorgensen. The Marlins had their ups as Luis Castillo had a team record 35 game hitting streak and Kevin Millar had 25 game hit streak. Around the all-star break they made their second big trade sending OF Cliff Floyd to the Expos for RHP Carl Pavano, RHP Justin Wayne, INF Mike Mordecai, LHP Graeme Lloyd, RHP Don Levinski and INF Wilton Guerrero. The same day, the Fish dealt RHP Ryan Dempster to the Cincinnati Reds for OF Juan Encarnacion and LHP Ryan Snare. The Marlins finished 79-83, second best season in team history up to that time, but the their fifth straight losing season since winning the World Series.

Nonetheless the Marlins showed promise entering the offseason as they had a rotation of Josh Beckett, Carl Pavano, Brad Penny, and A.J. Burnett.

During the offseason, the Marlins signed free agent catcher Iván Rodríguez - a 10-time Gold Glove Award winner - and acquired speedy outfielder Juan Pierre from the Colorado Rockies hoping to offset the loss of sluggers Cliff Floyd and Preston Wilson. The Marlins did acquire P Mike Hampton but dealt him and his hefty contract to the Braves for P Tim Spooneybarger.

The Marlins struggled in the opening stages of the season, going 16–22. During that span, Florida lost its top three pitchers: A.J. Burnett, Josh Beckett, and Mark Redman. On May 11, Florida replaced manager Jeff Torborg with 72-year-old Jack McKeon. On May 22, the Marlins hit bottom with a major league worst record of 19-29, having lost 6 straight games. However, help was on the way.

On May 9, the Marlins called up high-kicking southpaw Dontrelle Willis from the Double-A Carolina Mudcats and helped carry the injury-plagued Marlins with an 11–2 record in his first 17 starts. Miguel Cabrera (also from the Mudcats) filled in well, hitting a walk off home run in his first major league game, against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays at Pro Player Stadium. Both Willis and Cabrera would later prove to be essential parts of the Marlin's playoff success. Jeff Conine - an original Marlin and member of the 1997 World Series team - returned from Baltimore, and closer Ugueth Urbina arrived from the Texas Rangers. These acquisitions helped to keep the team in contention, and although they finished ten games behind the Braves, the Marlins captured the NL wild card.

The Marlins won the Division Series against the favored San Francisco Giants three games to one. The series ended with a dramatic collision between Marlins catcher Rodríguez and Giants first basemen J.T. Snow, making it the first postseason series ever to end with the potential tying run being thrown out at the plate.

On October 15, the Marlins defeated the Chicago Cubs four games to three in the Championship Series, coming back from a three games to one deficit. A Beckett complete-game shutout in Game 5, "The Inning" incident with Steve Bartman in Game 6, and a come-from-behind win in Wrigley Field in Game 7 helped the Marlins capture their second NL pennant.

In the 2003 World Series, the Marlins defeated the heavily favored New York Yankees in six games, winning the sixth game in Yankee Stadium. Shortstop Álex González helped the Marlins in Game 4 of the series with a walk off home run in extra innings. Josh Beckett was named the Most Valuable Player for the series after twirling a five-hit complete-game shutout in Game 6. Skipper Jack McKeon became the oldest manager ever to win a World Series title. The Marlins became the first opposing team to win a Series championship on the field at Yankee Stadium since the 1981 World Series, when the Los Angeles Dodgers did it. The Marlins are also the last team to win a World Series at the 1923 Yankee Stadium. The Marlins won the series despite scoring fewer runs (17) than the Yankees (21). The Marlins also became the first team since the creation of the Division Series to win the World Series without ever having home-field advantage during their entire post-season.

The offseason after their second World Series title, the Marlins made a questionable cost-cutting move as Derrek Lee was traded to Chicago Cubs for Hee Seop Choi and pitcher Mike Nannini. The Marlins also lost key parts of their second championship team, Ugueth Urbina and Iván Rodríguez left via free agency (signed by the Detroit Tigers). The Marlins did get good news though as Dontrelle Willis was named NL Rookie of the Year and Jack McKeon named Manager of the Year.

The Marlins opened the 2004 season with expectation for another World Series title, minus Rodriguez, Lee, and Urbina but with rotation intact. They hoped newly acquired 1B Hee Seop Choi would emerge and that the combination of Ramon Castro and Mike Redmond would also come to life, as well as promising outfielder Miguel Cabrera and high kicking pitcher Dontrelle Willis.

The Marlins started the '04 season with a record of 30-20 but struggled in June with an 11-16 record. 5 of the 11 June wins came from pitcher Carl Pavano, who had the best month of the season. They entered the all-star break with a 45-43 record but went 11-14 in the month of July.

These struggles prompted the Marlins to make one of the biggest trades in club history as Los Angeles got P Brad Penny, 1B Hee Seop Choi and Double-A left-hander Bill Murphy in exchange for P Guillermo Mota, C Paul LoDuca and OF Juan Encarnacion. This trade really didn't pan out for either side that season as Penny's season was cut short after a great first half, Choi struggled in his tenure with the Dodgers, Lo Duca had his usual second half outage, Encarnacion was injury prone, and Guillermo Mota had his share of struggles.

The Marlins had a great August, which included a nine game winning streak into September, and then went on a 15 game stretch in which they played two double headers, going 7-8 in 13 days. This led to call-ups and emergency starts by relievers as well as fatigue. A three game home series with the Cubs was rained out, and one of three was played in Chicago's Comiskey Park, although it was considered a home game. The attendance for that third game did not count for either team.

Afterwards the Marlins lost 6 straight, including games to division rivals the Phillies and Braves who were also in contention. They swept the Expos to make up some ground but lost 3 of 4 games to the Philles to fall out of contention. Despite missing the playoffs, 21 year old Miguel Cabrera had 33 home runs and 112 RBIs, numbers that started to draw comparisons to Albert Pujols.

The Marlins posted a winning record of 83-79 (only their third winning season of their history), but finished 13 games back of the division champion Atlanta Braves). They became the fourth consecutive major league team not to repeat as World Series champions since the New York Yankees in 2000.

While losing All-Stars Carl Pavano and Armando Benitez in the off-season, the Marlins signed P Al Leiter and 1B Carlos Delgado. Delgado's contract was the biggest in franchise history at $52 million over 4 years, with an option for a fifth year. Meanwhile, play-by-play TV broadcaster Len Kasper was also lost to the Chicago Cubs and replaced by Rich Waltz (who had previously been with the Seattle Mariners), and radio announcer John "Boog" Sciambi was replaced by Roxy Bernstein.

With the addition of Delgado, many sportswriters expected the Marlins to finish the 2005 season in either first or second place in the NL East. However, at the All-Star break they were 44-42, and the NL East was unusually competitive, as all five of its teams had a winning record at the break. While Cabrera, Willis, and several others posted very good first-half numbers, Lowell was one of the least productive regular major-league starters, and Leiter went 3-7 with an ERA of 6.64 before being traded to the New York Yankees on July 15 for a player to be named later. Additionally, Guillermo Mota, who was acquired by Florida in 2004 along with Paul Lo Duca and Juan Encarnacion and was expected to be their closer, was inconsistent, and the Marlins gave the closer job to veteran Todd Jones, whom they signed in the offseason. However, the Marlins did send four players to the All-Star Game (Willis, Lo Duca, Castillo, and Cabrera), tying a team record.

The club was expected to be quite active at the trading deadline (July 31), as Burnett was slated to be a free agent after the season and had already declared his desire to test the market like Pavano did. Burnett was mentioned in possible trades with the Chicago White Sox, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Toronto Blue Jays, and Texas Rangers, with many rumors also including Lowell or Encarnacion. The Marlins did not make a huge move at the deadline, instead trading minor-leaguers Yorman Bazardo and Mike Flannery to the Seattle Mariners for left-handed pitcher Ron Villone.

The Marlins did have some pleasant surprises during the season. Dontrelle Willis became the 13th member of the Black Aces when he defeated the Washington Nationals to earn his 20th win. He finished the season 22-10 with a 2.63 ERA, and he was considered a favorite to win the Cy Young Award for much of the season. Also, Jones, a journeyman who had been signed as a setup man, had one of the best years of his career as a closer; he earned 40 saves and had a 2.13 ERA. In addition, late-season call up Jeremy Hermida, a highly-regarded prospect who has been compared to the Atlanta Braves' Jeff Francoeur, hit a grand slam in his first major-league at-bat and a game-tying two-run homer in the last game of the season.

The Marlins led the NL wild-card race as late as September 13, then lost 12 of their next 14 games. The Marlins closed the season by sweeping the Braves, and their final record for the season stood at 83-79.

The 2005 offseason would prove to be one of busiest for the Marlins in years, Jack McKeon announced his retirement on October 2 after the Marlins' last game of the season. Former Tampa Bay Devil Rays manager Lou Piniella, Braves third base coach Fredi González (who previously managed in the Marlins' farm system), New York Yankees bench coach Joe Girardi, and even Yankees manager Joe Torre who most thought could have been let go after a short stint postseason. were named as possible replacements for McKeon. On October 19, Girardi was hired as the new manager. Girardi, who was hired at age 41, became one of the youngest current managers in the major leagues.

Few of the coaching staff, aside from infield/first base coach Perry Hill and bullpen coordinator Pierre Arsenault, were expected to return. Pitching coach Mark Wiley and bullpen coach Luis Dorante came under fire during the season due to the late-season struggles of Burnett and the season-long struggles of the Marlins' bullpen. Similarly, hitting coach Bill Robinson was often blamed for the Marlins' offensive woes throughout the season, and in particular for his failure to get Pierre and Lowell out of season-long slumps. Girardi hired Jim Presley as a replacement for Robinson, and also hired Rick Kranitz as the new pitching coach and Bobby Meacham as the new third-base coach.

On October 3, the first day after the end of the regular season, the Marlins made their first offseason moves, releasing relief pitchers John Riedling and Tim Spooneybarger. Riedling had a 4-1 record and a 7.14 ERA during the season; Spooneybarger, who had not played since 2003 due to rehabilitation from Tommy John surgery, had to have the surgery a second time during the season and missed the 2006 season as well. Screwball specialist Jim Mecir retired following the Marlins' last game of the season.

Closer Todd Jones, pitchers A.J. Burnett, Brian Moehler, Ismael Valdéz, Paul Quantrill, first baseman Jeff Conine, infielder Lenny Harris, outfielder Juan Encarnación, and shortstop Álex González were among the Marlins' players whose contracts expired following the 2005 season. Burnett signed a five-year deal with the Toronto Blue Jays worth $55 million and Jones signed for two years with the Detroit Tigers, while Moehler elected to remain with the Marlins. The team declined to offer arbitration to Conine, Valdez, Quantrill, Encarnacion, Damion Easley, and Mike Mordecai, effectively ending their tenures with the club. Soon after announcing a plan to relocate (see below), the Marlins started to shed payroll by dealing their highest-paid players for minor league prospects, in a series of moves reminiscent of the "fire sale" in the 1997 offseason. In response, the club announced that it was, in their opinion, of a "market correction," brought about by the lack of a stadium deal. On November 24, Josh Beckett, Mike Lowell, and Guillermo Mota were traded to the Red Sox for four minor-league prospects: shortstop Hanley Ramirez, and pitchers Aníbal Sánchez, Jesús Delgado, and Harvey García. The trade left Dontrelle Willis as the only remaining member of the team's 2005 Opening Day rotation. The Marlins filled most of the remaining rotation spots with young pitchers such as Jason Vargas, Josh Johnson, and Scott Olsen, all of whom they had recalled from their Class AA affiliate during the 2005 season.

On November 23, the Mets and the Marlins agreed on a deal to move Carlos Delgado to the Mets for first baseman Mike Jacobs and pitching prospect Yusmeiro Petit. Also, the Marlins would have to pay $7 million of Delgado's remaining contract. When the deal was made official the next day, the Marlins also received minor-league infielder Grant Psomas. According to the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, the Marlins passed up the Mets' offer to give them center fielder Lastings Milledge, who was at the time ranked the Mets' top prospect according to Baseball America. Combined, the two trades allowed the Marlins to reduce their 2006 payroll by $27 million.

However, the Marlins were not yet done reducing payroll. Paul Lo Duca was traded to the Mets for two players to be named later, with the Marlins sending pitcher Gabriel Hernandez and outfielder Dante Brinkley to New York to complete the deal. Longtime second baseman Luis Castillo was traded to the Twins for pitchers Travis Bowyer and Scott Tyler, and Juan Pierre to the Cubs for pitchers Sergio Mitre, Ricky Nolasco, and Renyel Pinto. Of the seven players that the Marlins acquired in these three deals, only Mitre and Bowyer had any major-league experience when they came to the Marlins. To replace Castillo, the Marlins signed veteran Pokey Reese, but Reese was released during spring training after going AWOL, and was replaced by Dan Uggla, who had been selected from the Arizona Diamondbacks in the Rule 5 draft. Uggla played in the Arizona organization at the Class AA level in 2005.

At the start of the year, the Marlins had a team salary close to $21 million. Not only was it the lowest team salary in all of MLB, but New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez himself made more money than the entire team. The Marlins made MLB history when they started six rookies in their Opening Day lineup.By May 22, they reached a record of 11 wins and 31 losses. Although the Marlins kept losing games, Miguel Cabrera and rookie Dan Uggla were selected to the All-Star Game. Though Uggla did not play in the All-Star game, he became the first Rule 5 draftee to be selected for an All-Star team in the next year after he was taken in the Rule 5 draft. Uggla, Josh Willingham and Mike Jacobs are the first rookie teammates in NL history to hit at least 20 home runs in the same season.

After the All-Star break, the Marlins began to break both franchise and MLB records. They came back from 11-31 to reach the .500 mark at 68-68. No team has come back to the .500 mark from being 20 games under since 1899. Then, on September 4, 2006, the Marlins rallied from down five runs to defeat the Arizona Diamondbacks 8-5. This improved the Marlins' record to 69-68, marking the first time in Major League history a team that was 20 games under .500 went back over .500 in the same season. Additionally, as of September 8, 2006, three of their rookie starting pitchers (Josh Johnson, Scott Olsen, and Ricky Nolasco) have each won at least eleven games; the Marlins joined the 1934 Philadelphia A's and the 1952 Brooklyn Dodgers in accomplishing this feat.

On September 6, rookie Aníbal Sánchez pitched the fourth no-hitter in franchise history. During September, the Marlins advanced to within one game of the NL wild-card lead, but they were eliminated from contention after losing to the Cincinnati Reds on September 26. However, on the next day, Sánchez won his tenth game as a Marlin against the Reds, giving the Marlins four rookie starters who had each won ten or more games: Sánchez, Nolasco, Johnson, and Olsen. The 2006 Marlins were the first team in major-league history to have four rookie pitchers accomplish this feat. Because, as of September 27, Willis has won 12 games, the 2006 Marlins also had five ten-game winners for the first time in franchise history.

Shortly after the 2006 season ended and following months of speculation, Marlins manager Joe Girardi was fired on October 3, 2006 not long after winning the National League Manager of the Year award. This was due to a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers earlier in the year in which Girardi did not challenge a call that pitcher Taylor Tankersley thought was a strike and this prompted owner Jeffrey Loria, who was in the stands and a few feet away from the dugout, to call out Girardi who refused to listen to him. This wasn't the only thing that triggered the feud; earlier in the year Girardi reportedly wanted 1B Mike Jacobs to start off the year in triple A, Willingham to start at catcher, Miguel Cabrera to start at first base. This was just of the few of the other things that got Girardi fired from the Marlins. Within hours, Atlanta Braves third base coach Fredi González was named his replacement and was signed to a three year contract. On October 28, 2006, first baseman Wes Helms and pitchers Matt Herges and Brian Moehler filed for free agency. The next day, closer Joe Borowski filed. On December 29, 2006, the Marlins signed a one-year contract with infielder Aaron Boone. The Marlins also made some minor signings as they signed Lee Gardner and Justin Miller in hopes of rejuvenating their careers with the Fish.

The Marlins opened the 2007 season with high hopes after a successful 2006 season in which most expected they would lose 100 or more games. The underdog Marlins had remained in the Wild Card race until mid-September before finishing a respectable 78-84. The 2007 rotation included Dontrelle Willis, Scott Olsen, Anibal Sanchez, Sergio Mitre, and Ricky Nolasco, and the Marlins entered spring training with hopes that this rotation would blossom into one of the best in the National League. Willis was a Cy Young runner up in 2005, Sanchez threw a no-hitter in 2006, and Olsen led the team in strikeouts in 2006. The Marlins also banked on starter Josh Johnson to come back from an arm injury suffered the season before. Things got worse for Johnson entering spring training as MRI's discovered he had nerve damage in his throwing arm. Eventually, Johnson was put out for the remainder of the season after Tommy John Surgery. The Marlins got even more bad news as spring training went on. INF/1B coach Perry Hill retired, leaving the Marlins with a huge hole as Hill was considered to be one of the best defensive coaches around and was credited for the previous defensive success of Gold Glovers Luis Castillo and Mike Lowell. The Marlins' injuries took a toll as they lost OF Jeremy Hermida when an MRI of his right kneecap revealed a deep bone bruise for a month. Opening Day center fielder, Alejandro De Aza had an ankle sprain, P Sergio Mitre had a blister problem and P Ricky Nolasco had a sore elbow. In May, Marlins sent struggling P Anibal Sanchez to the minor leagues, where he was put on the Minor League DL with shoulder tendinitis. He then went out for the remainder of the season due to a tear in his labrum. The Fish also put promising pitcher Henry Owens on the DL as well as 1B Mike Jacobs. They sought bullpen help, dealing Jorge Julio, who amassed 2 blown saves and 2 loses in his tenure, to the Rockies for P Byung-Hyun Kim.

As injuries amassed for the Marlins, they traded P Randy Messenger to the Giants for P Armando Benitez who became a middle reliever instead as Gregg was the closer. In the June Draft, the Marlins selected 3B Matt Dominguez out of high school; it marked the first time since 2002 that the Fish got a position player rather than pitcher in the first round. The team entered the All Star break with more injuries: SS Hanley Ramirez had a hamstring injury, Miguel Cabrera missed the Home Run Derby with a shoulder injury, and Aaron Boone was out for the remainder of the season. The Marlins sent only one player to the All Star game as Miguel Cabrera went for a franchise record fourth time and fourth straight overall. The team had a record of 42-47 at the break.

After the All-Star break, the Marlins fell apart. After a July 20 game against the Reds, Scott Olsen was arrested by Aventura, Florida police and booked on charges of driving under the influence, resisting arrest with violence and fleeing and eluding a police officer. After completing the Reds series at 48-51, the Marlins sunk dramatically to last place in the NL East with a record of 23-40 the rest of the way and a 71-91 record overall. The Marlins had to deal with the struggles of both Willis and Olsen, the teams' top starters who both finished with ERAs north of 5.00 carrying 15 losses a piece. The Marlins did have some bright spots on offense as they set club records for runs scored (790), hits (1,504), doubles (340), home runs (201), RBIs (749) and slugging percentage (.448).

The Marlins offseason began with trying to get better on defense and pitching. Two players formally filed for free agency, Aaron Boone and Armando Benitez.

The Marlins filled their pitching coach vacancy by hiring Mark Wiley, formerly the pitching coach in the 2005 season and scout for the Rockies in 06' and 07'.

The focus of the 2007 offseason, however, was that the Marlins were officially listening to offers for slugger Miguel Cabrera and pitcher Dontrelle Willis. The team that seemed to be leading was the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. They felt that they had worked out a deal for Cabrera not once, but twice. Angels owner Arte Moreno said that each time, the Marlins came back after he felt a trade had been completed and asked for more to sweeten the trade. The San Francisco Giants expressed similar sentiments about the asking price the Marlins wanted, saying that the Marlins were asking for 4 players, with 3 of the 4 being pitchers and 2 of the 4 being major league players, not minor leaguers. Talks with both teams fell apart, but most still felt the Marlins would complete the trade with the Angels when MLB's annual Winter General Manager Meetings took place in Nashville.

On December 5, 2007, the Marlins agreed to the terms of a trade with the Detroit Tigers. The trade would surprisingly send not only Cabrera, but also Willis, to the Tigers. In return, the Marlins did not receive four players, but six. The Marlins received center fielder Cameron Maybin, catcher Mike Rabelo, and pitchers Andrew Miller, Eulogio De La Cruz, Burke Badenhop, and Dallas Trahern.

With a vacancy at third base, the Marlins signed infielders Jorge Cantu and Dallas McPherson. They've also added veterans Luis Gonzalez and pitcher Mark Hendrickson.

The Marlins began 2008 on a positive note. Analysts expected a lackluster performance on the field, citing the low payroll and loss of Dontrelle Willis and Miguel Cabrera during the offseason. However, in the first few months of the season, the Marlins were off to one of best starts in team history. At one point in the season, the Marlins jumped to (30-20), moved 10 games over .500 for the first time since September 14, 2005. They jumped atop of the National League East in April and May and for the first time with a lead that late in a season since 2002. The good start was attributed to powerful offensive production from their core of Mike Jacobs, Hanley Ramirez, Dan Uggla, Josh Willingham, and Jorge Cantu and quality pitching by southpaws Andrew Miller and Scott Olsen along with right-hander Ricky Nolasco.

The team also received great and encouraging news after injured pitcher Josh Johnson made a fast recovery from Tommy John Surgery and Anibal Sanchez coming back from a torn labrum in the shoulder; leaping into the rotation right away along with calling up prized prospect Chris Volstad. In addition, the Marlins sent two players, Hanley Ramirez, who started the game at Shortstop for the National league, and reserve Dan Uggla to the last All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium. In addition to surprises, the Marlins signed star shortstop Hanley Ramirez to a 6 year, $70 million dollar deal making him the richest Marlin in history.

The Marlins hot start made them a rare buyer at the July trade deadline where they were involved in talks on a three-way deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Boston Red Sox which could have brought Manny Ramirez to the South Florida. The Marlins backed out at the last second when it involved their coveted power-hitting prospect, Michael Stanton. Instead, Manny Ramirez headed up with the Dodgers and the Marlins wound up trading for Arthur Rhodes.

The team struggled in the month of August where they went 11–16 due to lack of offense which they had the earlier months. In September, the Marlins surprised some when they tied the franchise-record nine game win streak which was contributed in part by prized prospect, Cameron Maybin. Unfortunately, the fish lost four straight afterwards eliminating them from playoff contention but they managed to eliminate the New York Mets for the second consecutive season on the final day.

The team finished the season setting a franchise record for most home runs in a season at 208. Mike Jacobs, Dan Uggla, Hanley Ramirez and Jorge Cantu made MLB history by becoming the first foursome of infielders to hit at least 25 homers in a season.

Just a day after the World Series concluded, the Marlins began wheeling and dealing. They traded first baseman Mike Jacobs to the Royals for reliever Leo Nunez, who the Marlins hope can become a setup-man in late innings.

Around a couple of weeks later, the Marlins traded power hitting outfielder Josh Willingham and southpaw Scott Olsen to the Nationals for utility player Emilio Bonifacio and two minor leaguers.

Soon after the Marlins traded closer Kevin Gregg to the Cubs for relief prospect Jose Ceda.

During the offseason, the Marlins have been rumored to be after Pedro Martinez, Andruw Jones, and have been reported to have interest in former Marlin Ivan Rodriguez to add catching depth behind Baker.

The Marlins are the first team in Major League Baseball to have a dance/cheer team: "The Marlins Mermaids". Debuting in 2003, the "Marlin Mermaids" quickly gained national exposure, and have influenced other MLB teams to develop their own cheer/dance squads.

A few years later, the Marlins created an all-male dance team: "The Manatees". This unique group consists of several overweight men, who "show off their own moves" for home crowds during weekends.

The Florida Marlins (soon to be Miami Marlins) hope to begin construction of a new, state-of-the-art stadium at the Miami Orange Bowl site. The planned stadium was the subject of a protracted legal battle. A lawsuit by local automobile franchise mogul and former Philadelphia Eagles owner Norman Braman contested the legality of the deal with Miami-Dade County and the City of Miami. However, Miami-Dade County Judge Beth Cohen dismissed all the charges in Braman's lawsuit. Braman is likely to appeal, but there is only a slight chance of the appeal being heard, so construction will begin soon. When completed, the seating capacity will be 37,000, making it the second smallest stadium (in capacity) in the MLB. Set to open in April 2012, the stadium would become only the sixth MLB stadium to have a retractable roof, joining Rogers Centre, Chase Field, Safeco Field, Miller Park, and Minute Maid Park. The Marlins will share Dolphin Stadium with the NFL's Miami Dolphins and the Miami Hurricanes football team starting in the 2008 season until 2010 when the Marlins' current lease runs out. The new stadium will not be ready until 2012, so the team needs to work out an extension of the lease.

These statistics are current as of September 30, 2008. Bold denotes a playoff season, pennant or championship; italics denote an active season.

As of the 2009 Baseball Hall of Fame election, no inducted members have played for the Marlins. Tony Perez, inducted in honor of his playing career, briefly worked as interim manager of the Marlins after his induction.

The Marlins' flagship radio station from their inception in 1993 through 2007 was WQAM 560 AM. Although the Marlins had plans to leave WQAM after 2006, they ultimately remained with WQAM for the 2007 season. On October 11, 2007, it was announced that the Marlins had entered into a partnership with WAXY 790 AM to broadcast all games for the 2008 season. Dave Van Horne and Glenn Geffner split the play-by-play assignment.

Games are also heard in Spanish on WQBA 1140 AM. Felo Ramirez, who calls play-by-play on that station along with Luis Quintana, won the Ford C. Frick Award from the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2005.

Marlins games are televised by FSN Florida and Sun Sports. FSN Florida's slogan of this year is "You Gotta Be Here". There are no games available over-the-air; the last "free TV" broadcast of a game was on WPXM in 2005. Rich Waltz is the play-by-play announcer and Tommy Hutton is the color analyst.

No Marlin has ever hit for the cycle in history. But the Marlins' Triple-A affiliate had two cycles in one week in August 2008.

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Nomar Garciaparra

NomarGarciaparra 20060604.jpg

Anthony Nomar Garciaparra (pronounced /ˈnoʊ̪mɑɹ ɡɑɹˈsiəˌpɑɹə/; born July 23, 1973, in Whittier, California) is an American Major League Baseball player for the Oakland Athletics. He previously played first base and third base for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and shortstop and third base for the Chicago Cubs, after a decade as an All-Star shortstop for the Boston Red Sox.

His full name is Anthony Nomar Garciaparra, but he began going by Nomar when he was a child, after there were too many Anthonys in his class. Nomar is his father's first name (Ramon) backwards.

Garciaparra is a six-time All-Star (1997, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2006). In five postseason series he has batted .323 with a slugging percentage of .625.

Garciaparra attended St. John Bosco High School in Bellflower, California where he excelled in football, soccer, and baseball and had a 4.0 GPA. His teams won high school league championships in 1990-91, and he won the league MVP honors in 1991, his last year of high school. St. John Bosco High School retired Garciaparra's baseball jersey. St. John Bosco High School's Activities Office window is home to an area dedicated to Garciaparra's baseball career both at the school and with the Dodgers.

Garciaparra was originally drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 5th round of the 1991 draft, but did not sign.

Garciaparra attended Georgia Tech, where he majored in business management and helped the Yellow Jackets reach the College World Series national championships in 1994, where they lost to Oklahoma. Former Boston teammates Jason Varitek and Jay Payton were also members of that team. He was an Atlantic Coast Conference All-Star and a first team All-American twice in 1993-94. Garciaparra and Varitek were the first two Yellow Jackets ever to be two-time All-Americans, having been joined only by Matt Wieters who plays in the Orioles' organization. Nomar was also an academic All-American. While in college, Garciaparra played for the Orleans Cardinals of the Cape Cod Baseball League.

Garciaparra was a first round pick of the Red Sox in 1994 following a successful career at Georgia Tech. He played in the Red Sox minor league system for three years (1994-Sarasota 1995-Trenton, 1996-Pawtucket).

He made his Major League debut on August 31, 1996 as a defensive replacement against Oakland. His first Major League hit was a home run off of Oakland pitcher John Wasdin on September 1.

At the time, Boston's starting shortstop was John Valentin, who finished ninth in MVP voting in 1995. By late 1996, Nomar won the job. Garciaparra's talent was enough to displace Valentin, who was moved to second base (then third base) to make room for young Garciaparra, who batted .241 with 4 home runs, 16 RBI, and 5 stolen bases in his initial stint with the club near the end of 1996. As a rookie in 1997, he hit 30 home runs and drove in 98 runs, setting a new MLB record for RBIs by a leadoff hitter. He also set the major league record for leadoff home runs by a rookie, which has been matched only by Hanley Ramirez of the Florida Marlins. His 30-game hitting streak set an A.L. rookie record. He was named Rookie of the Year in a unanimous vote, competed in the Home Run Derby, and finished eighth in MVP voting. He also won the immediate admiration of Red Sox fans, who referred to him in Boston accents as "NO-mah!".

From 1998-2000, Garciaparra emerged as the one of the better hitters of the Holy Trinity of shortstops, with the highest career OPS of the three by the conclusion of this period. He finished with 35 home runs and 122 RBI in 1998, and placed as the runner-up for AL MVP. Garciaparra then led the American League in batting average for the next two years, hitting .357 in 1999 and .372 in 2000, finishing in the top ten in MVP voting both years. He is one of the few right-handed batters to win consecutive batting titles, and the first since Joe DiMaggio.

In February of 2001, Garciaparra appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated, with the headline "A Cut Above... baseball's toughest out". The week after the issue hit newsstands, Garciaparra reported to spring training with a serious wrist injury, which essentially aborted his season. He recovered by the start of the 2002 season and drove in 120 runs while hitting a league-leading 56 doubles. However, he had a difficult time playing as strongly defensively as before, and his batting average dipped substantially, though it was still an excellent .310.

Before the 2002 season, a new ownership group purchased the Red Sox. The baseball operations staff, led by Theo Epstein, stressed on-base percentage on offense and strong defense, two areas where Garciaparra was about to decline precipitously from his pre-2001 levels. Still, Garciaparra recovered from an injury-filled 2001 season to bat .310 with 24 home runs and 120 RBIs in 2002. The star shortstop was up for a contract extension following the 2004 season and hoped for a deal before that deadline. Still considered one of the best shortstops in baseball, he hoped to receive salaries similar to peers Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter.

In 2003, Garciaparra had a good season in which he was second in the majors in triples, fifth in the AL in hits, and second in the AL in runs scored. Unfortunately, a September slump caused his batting average to dip, but it still ended at a very good .301. He followed that with a poor post-season, contributing zero home runs, one RBI and ten strikeouts in 12 games against the Oakland Athletics and rival Yankees, who eliminated the Red Sox in seven games.

Meanwhile, new stars and cult heroes, led by David Ortiz and Kevin Millar, began to emerge in Boston. Millar convinced nearly every player on the roster other than Johnny Damon and Garciaparra (whose wedding with Mia Hamm followed the season) to shave his head.

After the 2003 season, Red Sox management explored trading Manny Ramírez to the Texas Rangers for shortstop Alex Rodriguez. Details of this proposed trade and the subsequent agreement sending Garciaparra to the Chicago White Sox for Magglio Ordóñez quickly became public. The mega-deal fell apart when the MLBPA refused to approve a restructuring of Rodríguez's contract, and Garciaparra returned to Boston for the start of the 2004 season in the final year of a contract signed in 1997.

On July 31, 2004 (the MLB trading deadline), Garciaparra was the key player involved in a four-team deal that sent Nomar and Matt Murton to the wild card leading Chicago Cubs. The Red Sox received Orlando Cabrera and Doug Mientkiewicz. Nomar expressed his appreciation to Red Sox fans in a speech to media, and left for the Windy City. At first, Garciaparra was assigned jersey number 8, because Cub catcher Michael Barrett wore number 5. A few days later, they switched numbers. The Cubs led the wild card until mid-September, but finished the 2004 season with 89 wins and out of the playoffs. Meanwhile, the Red Sox, in an astonishing series comeback, finally overcame the Yankees en route to a World Series sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals, after which Nomar's former teammates voted to give him a World Series ring. Curt Schilling noted that if it were not for Nomar, the Sox may not have been in a position to win at all.

In the 2005 season, a torn left groin forced him onto the disabled list for more than three months. Garciaparra resumed play on August 5, 2005. Because Cubs regular third baseman Aramis Ramírez was on the disabled list for the last few weeks of the 2005 season, he volunteered to temporarily play third base, and Cub skipper Dusty Baker agreed. Aside from his first game in the Majors, in which he played second base, he had played shortstop in all of his other Major League games up to that point in his career.

In 2006, Nomar returned to his home town, signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Also with the team were former Red Sox players Bill Mueller, Derek Lowe, and manager Grady Little.

While facing the New York Mets on June 6, 2006, Nomar hit a two-run home run on the first pitch he ever saw against former teammate and fellow Boston icon Pedro Martínez. Coincidentally, Derek Lowe was the starting pitcher for the Dodgers that day.

Though he was able to retain his original jersey number (5), he moved to first base, while the Dodgers signed Rafael Furcal from the Atlanta Braves to step in for the recovering César Izturis at short. Healthy for the first extended period of time since 2003, he regained his offensive stroke, evidenced by a .370 batting average at one point, and by his remaining constantly productive. By the 2006 MLB All-Star Break, Nomar was tied with Pittsburgh's Freddy Sanchez for the lead among all MLB infielders and all NL batters with a .358 batting average, to go along with 11 home runs and 53 RBIs, carrying a 21-game hitting streak into the break. The .362 average he held at the 2006 All-Star break was the second highest by a Dodger since they moved into Dodger Stadium in 1962 with the only higher mark being held by Mike Piazza.

He adjusted well to playing first base, having committed only 1 error through 588.2 innings played--a .998 fielding percentage. He also was elected to the 2006 NL All-Star Team as the National League All-Star Final Vote winner, receiving around six million votes. It was his sixth trip to the Midsummer Classic, and his first as a first baseman and as a Dodger. His .358 batting average steadily declined to just a hair over .300 by the end of the season. Despite Garciaparra's late season slump and injuries, Garciaparra did prevail in the clutch for the Dodgers during their playoff race with two walk off home runs. The first capped off one of the most amazing games of the season on September 18, when the Dodgers hit four consecutive home runs in the ninth inning against the San Diego Padres to tie the game. After the Padres scored a run in the tenth inning, Nomar hit a walk off two-run home run in the bottom of the tenth to win the game 11-10. Six days later on September 24, Garciaparra hit a walk off grand slam against the Arizona Diamondbacks to give the Dodgers a 5-1 victory with one week left in the regular season. Garciaparra's walk off home run against Arizona propelled the Dodgers to win their last seven games of the regular season, helping the Dodgers to make the playoffs.

On October 7, Garciaparra was named the National League's Comeback Player of the Year for 2006. He received 72,054 votes.

On November 20, 2006 the Dodgers re-signed Garciaparra to a 2-year contract worth $18.5 million, keeping him with the team through the 2008 season.

On June 25, 2007, Garciaparra volunteered to move from first to third base in order to make room for rookie James Loney.

During 2008 spring training Garciaparra suffered a microfracture on his hand after a hit-by-pitch. This forced him to start the 2008 MLB season on the DL. Rookie Blake DeWitt held the job in the meantime. On April 16, he started his first game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, only to suffer a strained left calf muscle 9 days later resulting in another trip to the DL. He returned July, 4th, 2008 playing shortstop for the first time since 2005.

Garciaparra was placed on the DL on August 1, 2008 solely to make room for Manny Ramirez, who had been acquired in a trade. He had sprained his knee in a contest against the Washington Nationals on a play in which Loney threw the ball into the dirt, forcing Garciaparra, who was covering third base, to go to his knees to save the ball, allowing Lastings Milledge to slide into him spikes-first.

On March 6, 2009, Garciaparra signed a one-year deal with the Oakland Athletics.

On November 22, 2003, Garciaparra married Olympian and World Cup Champion soccer star Mia Hamm. The couple have twin girls, Grace Isabella and Ava Caroline, who were born on March 27, 2007, in Los Angeles.

Both he and Mia Hamm were on Olympic teams in their respective sports. Garciaparra was on the 1992 Olympic baseball team, and Hamm was on the 1996, 2000, and 2004 women's Olympic soccer teams.

Garciaparra uses the song "Low Rider" by War as his entrance music when he comes up to bat.

Garciaparra is known for his idiosyncratic tics when batting. This habit includes an elaborate routine of glove adjustments and alternating toe taps on the ground prior to an ensuing pitch.

Garciaparra is the cousin of Arturo Javier Ledesma, a Mexican soccer player who currently plays for Club Deportivo Guadalajara. His uncle is legendary Mexican soccer goalkeeper, Javier "Zully" Ledesma. His brother, Michael Garciaparra, is a baseball player, playing first base for the Double-A Huntsville Stars.

On the Kate Hudson/Radiohead episode on season 26 of Saturday Night Live, Garciaparra cameoed in a "Boston Teens" sketch.

On October 8, 2005, Garciaparra and his uncle Victor were alerted to the screams of two women who had fallen into Boston Harbor outside his condominium. One of the women sustained injuries to her head after hitting the pier on her way in. Garciaparra quickly jumped into the harbor and saved both women, who were later taken to the hospital. Boston Red Sox sarcastic humor website, Bostondirtdogs.com, stated that 2005 starting SS Edgar Renteria would've committed "critical error #31 and 32" in reference to Renteria's 30 fielding errors that season.

Roll over stat abbreviations for definitions. Stats through September 11, 2008.

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Álex González (shortstop)

Álexander Luis González (born February 15, 1977 in Cagua, Aragua State, Venezuela) is a Major League Baseball shortstop who plays for the Cincinnati Reds. Previously, González played with the Florida Marlins (1998-2005) and Boston Red Sox (2006). He bats and throws right-handed.

González' speed and range have enabled him to make acrobatic plays, quickly drawing comparisons to Venezuelan shortstops like Chico Carrasquel, Luis Aparicio, Dave Concepción and Omar Vizquel. His defensive tools were so masterful that by 1999 he established himself as an All-Star.

González is able to make some contributions on offense as well. He hits with considerable power by middle infielder standards, and is considered a good bunter. However, he frequently swings at pitches out of the strike zone, and this poor plate discipline combined with an inability to make consistent contact has caused many to see him as a limited hitter.

In 2001, he led all Major League shortstops with 26 errors.

His most productive season came in 2004, when he posted career highs in home runs (23), RBI (79), games played (159) and at bats (561).

Before the 2006 season, the Boston Red Sox signed González as a free agent to a one-year contract worth $3 million, plugging a hole in the starting lineup after the trade of shortstop Edgar Rentería to the Atlanta Braves.

González committed 32 errors in the last two seasons (16 each), compared to the 30 committed by Edgar Rentería in his only season with the Red Sox. González's signing with the Sox marks the second time he has replaced Rentería as the shortstop; Renteria had just left the Marlins for the St. Louis Cardinals before González joined the team in 1998.

On November 18, 2006, he signed a three-year, $14 million contract with the Cincinnati Reds. In 2008, an MRI showed that Gonzalez still has a fracture in his left knee.

When González was hurt in February, it looked like he'd be back in the middle of April. Gonzalez had surgery on the knee in July, however, and ultimately missed the entire 2008 season.

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Goose Goslin

Goose-goslin.jpg

Leon Allen Goslin (October 16, 1900 – May 15, 1971), better known as Goose Goslin, was a left fielder in Major League Baseball known for his powerful left-handed swing and dependable clutch hitting. He played eighteen seasons with the Washington Senators, St. Louis Browns, and Detroit Tigers, from 1921 until 1938.

Born in Salem, New Jersey, Goslin was 16 when he left home to play on a touring semipro circuit of the Eastern seaboard, and by 19 had moved into the minors in South Carolina, where he was a pitcher. Goslin was discovered by famed scout, Joe Engel. After hearing from Engel, Senators owner, Clark Griffith, personally scouted Goslin and attended a Sally League game in which Goslin was playing for Columbia, South Carolina. A fly ball hit Goslin on the head, and another barely missed him. Goslin also hit three home runs in the game, and Griffith decided to take a chance on him.

Goslin’s difficulty in judging fly balls contributed to his nickname "Goose." Opposing players said Goslin resembled a bird flapping its wings when he ran after a ball with his arms waving. While not a great fielder, Goslin did have a good throwing arm, leading the American League in assists by an outfielder in 1924 and 1925. However, one year during spring training, Goslin wandered to an adjacent field where a track and field team was working out. Goslin tried the shot put, and his throwing arm was never the same afterward.

The 20-year-old Goslin was called up to the major leagues to play for the Washington Senators for the last two weeks of the 1921 season. He had a promising .351 on base percentage in 14 games in 1921 and became a starter for the Senators in 1922.

Goslin played 93 games in 1922 and became a fixture for the Senators in left field until 1930. Goslin hit .324 in his first full season in 1922, followed by a .300 season in 1923 with 99 RBIs. Showing speed on the base paths, Goslin led the American League with 18 triples in 1923.

In 1924, Goslin established himself as one of the league's top run producers, as he led the American League with 129 RBIs and a .344 batting average -- seventh best in the league. At age 23, Goslin also hit for the cycle and was among the league leaders with 17 triples (2nd best), 299 total bases (4th best) and 199 hits (5th best).

After the Senators had losing records in 1922 and 1923, Goslin helped spark the Senators to a 92-win season and their first World Series championship in 1924. With a 36-year-old Walter Johnson contributing 23 wins, and the young Goslin knocking in 129 runs (50 more RBIs than any other player on the team), the Senators finished two games ahead of the Yankees and defeated the New York Giants in the 1924 World Series. Goslin hit .344 with three home runs, seven RBIs and a .656 slugging percentage in the 1924 World Series.

Goslin contributed another strong performance to the 1925 Senators, batting .334, with 72 extra base hits and 113 RBIs. His 20 triples were tops in the American League. Once again, he batted in far more runs than any other Senators batter – 26 more than Sam Rice. The Senators easily won their second consecutive pennant, finishing 8-1/2 games ahead of the Philadelphia Athletics. Despite three home runs, seven RBIs and a .656 slugging percentage by Goslin, the Senators were defeated in the 1925 World Series by a Pittsburgh Pirates team led by Pie Traynor, Kiki Cuyler, and Max Carey.

Despite Goslin’s role in leading the Senators to the 1924 and 1925 World Series, the American League MVP award for 1924 and 1925 went to Goslin's teammates Walter Johnson and Roger Peckinpaugh.

Goslin continued as one of the American League’s best batters with averages of .354 and .334 in 1926 and 1927, but his best season came in 1928. That year, he won the American League batting crown with a career-high .379 batting average. He also finished among the league leaders with a .442 on base percentage (3rd best in the league), a .614 slugging percentage (3rd best), 17 home runs (3rd best), and 63 extra base hits (4th best).

The 1928 batting title was not decided until the last day of the season. Goslin and Heinie Manush of the Browns were tied going into the final game, and the Senators and Browns played each other in the final game. Goslin was leading Manush when his turn came to bat in the ninth inning. If Goslin made an out, he would lose the batting crown. In Lawrence Ritter's 1966 oral history, "The Glory of Their Times," Goslin described the events that followed. Manager Bucky Harris left the decision to Goslin on whether to bat or sit. Goslin decided to sit and take the batting crown, but his teammates (particularly Joe Judge) goaded him that he would appear yellow if he didn't bat. Goslin was persuaded to bat and promptly took two strikes. At that point, Goslin recalled that he unsuccessfully tried to get ejected from the game, as the at bat would then disappear. Goslin began berating the home plate umpire about the strike calls, only to have the umpire tell him that he was not going to get ejected, and wasn't going to get a walk, so he better step back up and swing. Goslin ended up with what he called a "lucky hit" to beat Manush by a fraction of a point.

In 1929, Goslin’s batting average dropped 91 points to .288. Two months into the 1930 season, with Goslin struggling with a .271 batting average, the Senators traded him to the St. Louis Browns for Heinie Manush and Alvin Crowder. The change worked for Goslin, who immediately turned things around, batting .326 with a career-high .652 slugging percentage for the Browns in 1930. In just 101 games for the Browns, Goslin had 30 home runs, 100 RBIs, and 62 extra base hits. Goslin had another solid year for the Browns in 1931, batting .328 with a career-high 42 doubles, 76 extra base hits and 105 RBIs.

While Goslin’s average slipped one point below .300 in 1932, he still knocked in 104 runs for the Browns. At the end of the 1932 season, Goslin was traded back to the Senators. Returning to the Senators in 1933, Goslin led the team back to the World Series. The Senators played in only three World Series in their history, and Goslin played for the Senators in every game of those Series. However, Goslin did not have his usual power in 1933. His 64 RBIs and .452 slugging percentage were Goslin’s lowest numbers since his 1922 rookie season.

After the Senators lost the 1933 World Series, the Senators traded Goslin to the Detroit Tigers for John Stone. Goslin later recounted that owner Clark Griffith told him that he simply couldn't afford to pay him. Even though the Senators had made it to the World Series, the team was not making money. With stars Charlie Gehringer and Hank Greenberg already in place, the Tigers added future Hall of Famers Goslin and Mickey Cochrane in the off-season. The 1934 Tigers became known as the “G-Men,” with the team’s top stars being Gehringer, Greenberg, and Goslin. The 1934 Tigers sailed to the pennant with 101-53 record and were matched up in a classic World Series between the “G-Men” and St. Louis’s “Gashouse Gang.” The Cardinals won a hard-fought seven-game series, which was filled with controversial calls and an infamous play in Game 6 which resulted in the Detroit crowd pelting Joe Medwick with fruit in left field.

Goslin and the Tigers returned to the World Series in 1935. The Tigers won the 1935 World Series on Goslin's game-winning single in the bottom of the ninth inning of Game 6. With the game tied 3-3 in the top of the ninth inning, the Cubs' Stan Hack hit a lead-off triple, but Detroit ace Tommy Bridges struck out the next batter, followed by a ground-out and a fly-out caught by Goslin in left field. In the bottom of the ninth, Goslin came to bat with two outs and Mickey Cochrane on second base. Goslin singled to right, driving in Cochrane for the winning run. Detroit had its first championship, and the "G-Men" were the toast of Detroit.

Goslin is one of only three players to be the last hitter of two World Series, having struck out to end the 1925 World Series and won the 1935 World Series with his walk-off RBI single. Edgar Rentería won the 1997 Series with a walk-off RBI single and ended the 2004 World Series with a groundout to the pitcher. Boss Schmidt of the Detroit Tigers ended the 1907 World Series by popping up and the 1908 World Series by grounding out. Goslin and Mickey Cochrane were the only two non-Yankees in the American League to play in five World Series during the original Yankees dynasty from 1921-1964.

Goslin played two more seasons with the Tigers in 1936 and 1937, batting .315 in 1936 but dropping to .238 in 1937. On July 28, 1936, Goslin hit one of the most unusual home runs in baseball history. Goslin drove the ball into the gap. The Yankees’ right fielder (Joe DiMaggio) and center fielder (Myril Hoag) collided and were knocked unconscious while sprinting for the ball. Goslin rounded the bases with an inside-the-park home run. The Tigers ended up releasing Goslin after his .238 season, and Goslin later recounted (in "The Glory of Their Times") that he received a call from his old boss, Clark Griffith, asking him if he'd be interested in ending his career back where it began in Washington. Goslin jumped at the opportunity and batted .158 in 38 games for the Senators in the 1938 season. In 1939, Goslin became a player-manager for the Trenton Senators of the Interstate League before retiring as a player.

Goslin finished his career after 18 major league seasons with a .316 batting average and a .500 slugging percentage. His 4,325 total bases, 2,735 hits, 921 extra base hits, 1,609 RBIs, 500 doubles, and 173 triples all rank among the Top 50 in major league history. Goslin had 11 seasons with at least 100 RBIs, and his league leadership in RBIs in 1924 deprived Babe Ruth of the triple crown.

Goslin holds the record for career home runs at Yankee Stadium (1923-2008) by a visiting player, with 32.

Goslin was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1968 by the Veterans Committee along with Kiki Cuyler. When he was inducted into the Hall of Fame, Goslin broke down and cried. “I have been lucky,” he said. “I want to thank God, who gave me the health and strength to compete with these great players. I will never forget this. I will take this to my grave.” In 1999, he ranked Number 89 on The Sporting News list of Baseball's Greatest Players, and was nominated as a finalist for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team. He also holds the record for most home runs hit at Yankee Stadium by an opposing player (32).

After retiring from baseball, Goslin operated a boat rental company on Delaware Bay for many years, until he retired in 1969. He died in Bridgeton, New Jersey, aged 70, and is buried in the Baptist Cemetery, Salem, New Jersey.

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Colombia

Flag of Colombia

Colombia (IPA: /kəˈlʌmbɪə/), officially the Republic of Colombia (Spanish: República de Colombia?·i, Spanish pronunciation: ), is a country in north-western South America. Colombia is bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the north west by Panama; and to the west by the Pacific Ocean. Colombia also shares maritime borders with Jamaica, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. Colombia is the 26th largest nation in the world and the fourth largest in South America (after Brazil, Argentina, and Peru). It has the 29th largest population in the world and the second largest in South America, after Brazil. Colombia has the third largest Spanish-speaking population in the world after Mexico and Spain.

The territory of what is now Colombia was originally inhabited by indigenous tribes including the Muisca, Quimbaya, and Tairona. The Spanish arrived in 1499 and initiated a period of conquest and colonisation which ultimately led to the creation of the Viceroyalty of New Granada (comprising modern-day Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador and Panama) with its capital at Bogotá. Independence from Spain was won in 1819, but by 1830 "Gran Colombia" had collapsed with the secession of Venezuela and Ecuador. What is now Colombia and Panama emerged as the Republic of New Granada. The new nation experimented with federalism as the Granadine Confederation (1858), and then the United States of Colombia (1863), before the Republic of Colombia was finally declared in 1886.Panama seceded in 1903.

Colombia has a long tradition of constitutional government, and the Liberal and Conservative parties, founded in 1848 and 1849 respectively, are two of the oldest surviving political parties in the Americas. However, tensions between the two have frequently erupted into violence, most notably in the Thousand Days War (1899-1902) and La Violencia, beginning in 1948. Since the 1960s, government forces, left-wing insurgents and right-wing paramilitaries have been engaged in the continent's longest-running armed conflict. Fuelled by the cocaine trade, this escalated dramatically in the 1990s. However, the insurgents lack the military or popular support necessary to overthrow the government, and in recent years the violence has been decreasing. Many paramilitary groups have demobilised as part of a controversial peace process with the government, and the guerrillas have lost control in many areas where they once dominated. Meanwhile Colombia's homicide rate, for many years the highest in the world, has almost halved since 2002.

Colombia is a standing middle power with the fourth largest economy in South America. It is very ethnically diverse, and the interaction between descendants of the original native inhabitants, Spanish colonists, African slaves and twentieth-century immigrants from Europe and the Middle East has produced a rich cultural heritage. This has also been influenced by Colombia's varied geography. The majority of the urban centres are located in the highlands of the Andes mountains, but Colombian territory also encompasses Amazon rainforest, tropical grassland and both Caribbean and Pacific coastlines. Ecologically, Colombia is one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

The word "Colombia" comes from the name of Christopher Columbus (Italian: Cristoforo Colombo, Spanish: Cristóbal Colón). It was conceived by the revolutionary Francisco de Miranda as a reference to all the New World, but especially to those territories and colonies under Spanish and Portuguese rule. The name was later adopted by the Republic of Colombia of 1819, formed out of the territories of the old Viceroyalty of New Granada (modern day Colombia, Panama, Venezuela and Ecuador).

In 1830, when Venezuela and Ecuador broke away, the Cundinamarca region that remained became a new country — the Republic of New Granada. In 1858 New Granada officially changed its name to the Granadine Confederation, then in 1863 the United States of Colombia, before finally adopting its present name — the Republic of Colombia — in 1886.

Colombia is the 26th largest nation in the world and the fourth largest in South America. It is bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by Panama and the Caribbean Sea; and to the west by the Pacific Ocean. Colombia is the only country in South America to touch both Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

Part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, a region of the world subject to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, Colombia is dominated by the Andes mountains. Beyond the Colombian Massif (in the south-western departments of Cauca and Nariño) these are divided into three branches known as cordilleras (from the Spanish for "rope"): the Cordillera Occidental, running adjacent to the Pacific coast and including the city of Cali; the Cordillera Central, running between the Cauca and Magdalena river valleys (to the west and east respectively) and including the cities of Medellín, Manizales and Pereira; and the Cordillera Oriental, extending north east to the Guajira Peninsula and including Bogotá, Bucaramanga and Cúcuta. Peaks in the Cordillera Occidental exceed 13,000 ft (4,000 m), and in the Cordillera Central and Cordillera Oriental they reach 18,000 ft (5,500 m). At 8,500 ft (2,600 m), Bogotá is the highest city of its size in the world.

East of the Andes lies the savanna of the Llanos, part of the Orinoco River basin, and, in the far south east, the jungle of the Amazon rainforest. Together these lowlands comprise over half Colombia's territory, but they contain less than 3% of the population. To the north the Caribbean coast, home to 20% of the population and the location of the major port cities of Barranquilla and Cartagena, generally consists of low-lying plains, but it also contains the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountain range, which includes the country's tallest peaks (Pico Cristóbal Colón and Pico Simón Bolívar), and the Guajira Desert. By contrast the narrow and discontinuous Pacific coastal lowlands, backed by the Serranía de Baudó mountains, are covered in dense vegetation and sparsely populated. The principal Pacific port is Buenaventura.

Colombian territory also includes a number of Caribbean and Pacific islands.

The climate of Colombia is primarily determined by its proximity to the equator, with tropical and isothermal climate predominating. Other influences are the trade winds and the effect of the Intertropical Convergence Zone on precipitation. Colombia is also affected by the El Niño and La Niña phenomena.

Temperatures generally decrease about 3.5°F (2°C) for every 1,000-ft (300-m) increase in altitude above sea level, presenting perpetual snowy peaks to hot river valleys and basins. Rainfall is concentrated in two wet seasons (roughly corresponding to the spring and autumn of temperate latitudes) but varies considerably by location. Colombia's Pacific coast has one of the highest levels of rainfall in the world, with the south east often drenched by more than 200 in (500 cm) of rain per year. On the other hand rainfall in parts of the Guajira Peninsula seldom exceeds 30 in (75 cm) per year. Rainfall in the rest of the country runs between these two extremes.

Altitude not only affects temperature but is also one of the most important influences on vegetation patterns. The mountainous parts of the country can be divided into several vegetation zones according to altitude, although the altitude limits of each zone may vary somewhat depending on the latitude. Below 3,300 ft (1,000 m) are the tropical crops of the tierra caliente (hot land). The most productive land and the majority of the population can be found in the tierra templada (temperate land, 3,300-6,600 ft or 1,000-2,000 m), which provide the best conditions for the country's coffee growers, and the tierra fría (cold land, 6,600-10,500 ft, 2,000-3,200 m), where wheat and potatoes dominate. Beyond this lie the alpine conditions of the zona forestada (forested zone, 10,500-12,800 ft, 3,200-3,900 m) and then the treeless grasslands of the páramos (12,800-15,100 ft, 3,900-4,600 m). Above 15,100 ft (4,600 m), where temperatures are below freezing, is the tierra helada, a zone of permanent snow and ice.

Colombian flora and fauna also interact with climate zone patterns. Scrub woodland of scattered trees and bushes dominates the semi-arid north-eastern steppe and tropical desert. To the south, savanna (tropical grassland) vegetation covers the eastern plains, the Colombian portion of the Llanos. The rainy areas in the south east are blanketed by tropical rainforest. In the mountains, the spotty patterns of precipitation in alpine areas complicate vegetation patterns. The rainy side of a mountain may be lush and green, while the other side, in the rain shadow, may be parched. As a result Colombia is one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

The environmental challenges faced by Colombia are caused by both natural hazards and human agency. Many natural hazards result from Colombia's position along the Pacific Ring of Fire and the consequent geological instability. Colombia has 15 major volcanoes, the eruptions of which have on occasion resulted in substantial loss of life, such as at Armero in 1985, and geological faults that have caused numerous devastating earthquakes, such as the 1999 Armenia earthquake. Heavy floods both in mountainous areas and in low-lying watersheds and coastal regions regularly cause deaths and considerable damage to property during the rainy seasons. Rainfall intensities vary with the El Niño Southern Oscillation which occurs in unpredictable cycles, at times causing especially severe flooding.

Human induced deforestation has substantially changed the Andean landscape and is creeping into the rainforests of Amazonia and the Pacific coast. Deforestation is also linked to the conversion of lowland tropical forests to oil palm plantations. However, compared to neighbouring countries rates of deforestation in Colombia are still relatively low. In urban areas industry, the use of fossil fuels, and other human produced waste have contaminated the local environment, and demand from rapidly expanding cities has placed increasing stress on the water supply as watersheds are affected and ground water tables fall. Participants in the country's armed conflict have also contributed to the pollution of the environment. Illegal armed groups have deforested large areas of land to plant illegal crops, with an estimated 99,000 hectares used for the cultivation of coca in 2007, while in response the government have fumigated these crops using hazardous chemicals. Insurgents have also destroyed oil pipelines creating major ecological disasters.

Approximately 10,000 BC, hunter-gatherer societies existed near present-day Bogotá (at "El Abra" and "Tequendama") which traded with one another and with cultures living in the Magdalena River Valley. Beginning in the first millennium BC, groups of Amerindians developed the political system of "cacicazgos" with a pyramidal structure of power headed by caciques. Within Colombia, the two cultures with the most complex cacicazgo systems were the Tayronas in the Caribbean Region, and the Muiscas in the highlands around Bogotá, both of which were of the Chibcha language family. The Muisca people are considered to have had one of the most developed political systems in South America, after the Incas.

Spanish explorers made the first exploration of the Caribbean littoral in 1499 led by Rodrigo de Bastidas. Christopher Columbus navigated near the Caribbean in 1502. In 1508, Vasco Nuñez de Balboa started the conquest of the territory through the region of Urabá. In 1513, he was the first European to discover the Pacific Ocean which he called Mar del Sur (or "Sea of the South") and which in fact would bring the Spaniards to Peru and Chile. The territory's main population was made up of hundreds of tribes of the Chibchan and Carib, currently known as the Caribbean people, whom the Spaniards conquered through warfare and alliances, while resulting disease such as smallpox, and the conquest and ethnic cleansing itself caused a demographic reduction among the indigenous. In the sixteenth century, Europeans began to bring slaves from Africa.

Since the beginning of the periods of Conquest and Colonization, there were several rebel movements under Spanish rule, most of them either being crushed or remaining too weak to change the overall situation. The last one which sought outright independence from Spain sprang up around 1810, following the independence of St. Domingue in 1804 (present day Haiti), who provided a non-negligible degree of support to the eventual leaders of this rebellion: Simón Bolívar and Francisco de Paula Santander. Simón Bolívar had become the first President of Colombia, and Francisco de Paula Santander was Vice President; when Simón Bolívar stepped down, Santander became the second President of Colombia. The rebellion finally succeeded in 1819 when the territory of the Viceroyalty of New Granada became the Republic of Colombia organized as a union of Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela (Panama was then an integral part of Colombia).

Internal political and territorial divisions led to the secession of Venezuela and Quito (today's Ecuador) in 1830. The so-called "Department of Cundinamarca" adopted the name "Nueva Granada", which it kept until 1856 when it became the "Confederación Granadina" (Grenadine Confederation). After a two year civil war in 1863, the "United States of Colombia" was created, lasting until 1886, when the country finally became known as the Republic of Colombia. Internal divisions remained between the bipartisan political forces, occasionally igniting very bloody civil wars, the most significant being the Thousand Days civil war (1899 - 1902) which together with the United States of America's intentions to influence in the area (especially the Panama Canal construction and control) led to the separation of the Department of Panama in 1903 and the establishment of it as a nation. Colombia engulfed in a year long war with Peru over a territorial dispute involving the Amazonas Department and its capital Leticia.

Soon after, Colombia achieved a relative degree of political stability, which was interrupted by a bloody conflict that took place between the late 1940s and the early 1950s, a period known as La Violencia ("The Violence"). Its cause was mainly mounting tensions between the two leading political parties, which subsequently ignited after the assassination of the Liberal presidential candidate Jorge Eliécer Gaitán on April 9, 1948. This assassination caused riots in Bogotá and became known as El Bogotazo. The violence from these riots spread through out the country and claimed the lives of at least 180,000 Colombians. From 1953 to 1964 the violence between the two political parties decreased first when Gustavo Rojas deposed the President of Colombia in a coup d'etat and negotiated with the guerrillas, and then under the military junta of General Gabriel París Gordillo.

After Rojas' deposition the two political parties Colombian Conservative Party and Colombian Liberal Party agreed to the creation of a "National Front", whereby the Liberal and Conservative parties would govern jointly. The presidency would be determined by an alternating conservative and liberal president every 4 years for 16 years; the two parties would have parity in all other elective offices. The National Front ended "La Violencia", and National Front administrations attempted to institute far-reaching social and economic reforms in cooperation with the Alliance for Progress. In the end, the contradictions between each successive Liberal and Conservative administration made the results decidedly mixed. Despite the progress in certain sectors, many social and political problems continued, and guerrilla groups were formally created such as the FARC, ELN and M-19 to fight the government and political apparatus. These guerrilla groups were dominated by Marxist doctrines.

Emerging in the late 1970s, powerful and violent drug cartels further developed during the 1980s and 1990s. The Medellín Cartel under Pablo Escobar and the Cali Cartel, in particular, exerted political, economic and social influence in Colombia during this period. These cartels also financed and influenced different illegal armed groups throughout the political spectrum. Some enemies of these allied with the guerrillas and created or influenced paramilitary groups.

The new Colombian Constitution of 1991 was ratified after being drafted by the Constituent Assembly of Colombia. The constitution included key provisions on political, ethnic, human and gender rights. The new constitution initially prohibited the extradition of Colombian nationals. There were accusations of lobbying by drug cartels in favor of this prohibition. The cartels had previously promoted a violent campaign against extradition, leading to many terrorist attack and mafia style executions. They also tried to influence the government and political structure of Colombia by means of corruption, as in the case of the 8000 Process scandal.

In recent years, the country has continued to be plagued by the effects of the drug trade, guerrilla insurgencies like FARC and paramilitary groups such as the AUC (later demobilized, though paramilitarism remains active), which along with other minor factions have engaged in a bloody internal armed conflict. President Andrés Pastrana and the FARC attempted to negotiate a solution to the conflict between 1998 and 2002 in which the government, more or less like Pakistan negotiations with the Taliban , believed the state could not fight forever and agreed to handle huge quantity of land in return for peace.Pastrana began to implement the Plan Colombia initiative, with the dual goal of ending the armed conflict and promoting a strong anti-narcotic strategy. This strategy had huge quantity of land to be officially set as "demilitarize" zones were no soldiers from neither side could reside, but as more and more attacks from the drug cartels persisted on the demilitarize zones the government soon realized the negotiations were a waste of time.

During the presidency of Álvaro Uribe, who was elected on the promise of applying military pressure on the FARC and other outlawed groups, with the promise that after nearly half a century of negotiation with no results was a sign that some entities "just cannot be negotiated with". Mostly through military pressure and increased military hardware from the US most security indicators improved, showing a steep decrease in reported kidnappings (from 3,700 in the year 2000 to 800 in 2005) and a decrease of more than 48% in homicides between July 2002 and May 2005. Guerillas have been reduced from 16,900 insurgents to 8,900 insurgents.

While some in the UN argue Colombia is violating human rights to achieve peace, most do not argue that increase military pressure has had considerable improvements that have favored economic growth and tourism. The 2006–2007 Colombian parapolitics scandal emerged from the revelations and judicial implications of past and present links between paramilitary groups, mainly the AUC, and some government officials and many politicians, most of them allied to the governing administration.

The government of Colombia takes place within the framework of a presidential representative democratic republic as established in the Constitution of 1991. In accordance with the principle of separation of powers, government is divided into three branches: the executive; the legislative; and the judicial. These operate alongside special control institutions (the offices of the Inspector General of Colombia and the Comptroller General of Colombia) and electoral institutions.

The President of Colombia serves as both head of state and head of government, followed by the Vice President and the Council of Ministers. The president is elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms and is currently limited to a maximum of two such terms (increased from one in 2005). At the provincial level executive power is vested in department governors, municipal mayors and local administrators for smaller administrative subdivisions, such as corregidores for corregimientos.

The legislative branch of government is represented nationally by the Congress, a bicameral institution comprising a 166-seat Chamber of Representatives (including four seats reserved for the representatives of minority communities and expatriates) and a 102-seat Senate (including two seats reserved for the representatives of indigenous communities). Members of both houses are elected two months before the president, also by popular vote and to serve four-year terms. At the provincial level the legislative branch is represented by department assemblies and municipal councils. All regional elections are held one year and five months after the presidential election.

The judicial branch is headed by the Supreme Court, consisting of 23 judges divided into three chambers (Penal, Civil and Agrarian, and Labour). The judicial branch also includes the Council of State, which has special responsibility for administrative law and also provides legal advice to the executive, the Constitutional Court, responsible for assuring the integrity of the Colombian constitution, and the Superior Council of Judicature, responsible for auditing the judicial branch. Colombia operates a system of civil law, which since 2005 has been applied through an adversarial system.

Colombia is divided into 32 departments and one capital district, which is treated as a department (Bogotá also serves as the capital of the department of Cundinamarca). Departments are subdivided into municipalities, each of which is assigned a municipal seat, and municipalities are in turn subdivided into corregimientos. Each department has a local government with a governor and assembly directly elected to four-year terms. Each municipality is headed by a mayor and council, and each corregimiento by an elected corregidor, or local leader.

In addition to the capital nine other cities have been designated districts (in effect special municipalities), on the basis of special distinguishing features. These are Barranquilla, Cartagena, Santa Marta, Cúcuta, Popayán, Tunja, Turbo, Buenaventura and Tumaco. Some departments have local administrative subdivisions, where towns have a large concentration of population and municipalities are near each other (for example in Antioquia and Cundinamarca). Where departments have a low population and there are security problems (for example Amazonas, Vaupés and Vichada), special administrative divisions are employed, such as "department corregimientos", which are a hybrid of a municipality and a corregimiento.

The foreign relations of Colombia are mostly concentrated on combating the illegal drug trade, the fight against terrorism, improving Colombia's image in the international community, expanding the international market for Colombian products, and environmental issues. Colombia receives special military and commercial co-operation and support in its fight against internal armed groups from the United States, mainly through Plan Colombia, as well as special financial preferences from the European Union in certain products.

Colombia is a member of the Andean Community of Nations and the Union of South American Nations.

The executive branch of government has responsibility for managing the defense of Colombia, with the President commander-in-chief of the armed forces. The Ministry of Defense exercises day-to-day control of the military and the Colombian National Police. According to UN Human Development Report criteria, Colombia has 209,000 military personnel, and in 2005 3.7% of the country's GDP went towards military expenditure, both figures placing it 21st in the world. Within Latin America, Colombia's armed forces are the third-largest, behind Brazil and Mexico, and it spends the second-highest proportion of GDP after Chile. Since 2000 the Colombian military has also received substantial support from the United States government through the provisions of Plan Colombia.

The Colombian military is divided into three branches: the National Army of Colombia; the Colombian Air Force; and the Colombian National Armada. The National Police functions as a gendarmerie, operating independently from the military as the law enforcement agency for the entire country. Each of these operates with their own intelligence apparatus separate from the national intelligence agency, the Administrative Department of Security. The National Army is formed by divisions, regiments and special units; the National Armada by the Colombian Naval Infantry, the Naval Force of the Caribbean, the Naval Force of the Pacific, the Naval Force of the South, Colombia Coast Guards, Naval Aviation and the Specific Command of San Andres y Providencia; and the Air Force by 13 air units. The National Police has a presence in all municipalities.

For over a century Colombian politics were monopolised by the Liberal Party (founded in 1848 on an anti-clerical, broadly economically liberal and federalist platform), and the Conservative Party (founded in 1849 espousing Catholicism, protectionism, and centralism). This culminated in the formation of the National Front (1958-1974), which formalised arrangements for an alternation of power between the two parties and excluded non-establishment alternatives (thereby fuelling the nascent armed conflict).

By the time of the dissolution of the National Front, traditional political alignments had begun to fragment. This process has continued since, and the consequences of this are exemplified by the results of the last presidential election, held on 28 May 2006, which was won with 62% of the vote by the incumbent, Álvaro Uribe. President Uribe is from a Liberal background but he campaigned as part of the Colombia First movement with the support of the Conservative Party, and his hard line on security issues and liberal economics place him on the right of the modern political spectrum. In second place with 22% was Carlos Gaviria of the Alternative Democratic Pole, a newly formed social democratic alliance which includes elements of the former M-19 guerrilla movement. Horacio Serpa of the Liberal Party achieved third place with 12%. Meanwhile in the congressional elections held earlier that year the two traditional parties secured only 93 out of 268 seats available.

Despite a number of controversies, most notably the ongoing parapolitics scandal, dramatic improvements in security and continued strong economic performance have ensured that President Uribe remains extremely popular among the Colombian people, with his approval rating peaking at 91% in July 2008. However, having served two terms, he will be constitutionally barred from seeking re-election in 2010.

In spite of the difficulties presented by serious internal armed conflict, Colombia's economy grew steadily in the latter part of the twentieth century, with gross domestic product (GDP) increasing at an average rate of over 4% per year between 1970 and 1998. The country suffered a recession in 1999 (the first full year of negative growth since the Great Depression), and the recovery from that recession was long and painful. However in recent years growth has been impressive, reaching 8.2% in 2007, one of the highest rates of growth in Latin America. Meanwhile the Colombian stock exchange climbed from 1,000 points at its creation in July 2001 to over 7,300 points by November 2008.

According to International Monetary Fund estimates, in 2007 Colombia's nominal GDP was US$202.6 billion (37th in the world and fourth in South America). Adjusted for purchasing power parity, GDP per capita stands at $7,968, placing Colombia 82nd in the world. However, in practice this is relatively unevenly distributed among the population, and, in common with much of Latin America, Colombia scores poorly according to the Gini coefficient, with UN figures placing it 119th out of 126 countries. In 2003 the richest 20% of the population had a 62.7% share of income/consumption and the poorest 20% just 2.5%, and 17.8% of Colombians live on less than $2 a day. Government spending is 37.9% of GDP. Almost a quarter of this goes towards servicing the country's relatively high government debt, estimated at 52.8% of GDP in 2007. Other problems facing the economy include weak domestic and foreign demand, the funding of the country's pension system, and unemployment (10.8% in November 2008). Inflation has remained relatively low in recent years, standing at 5.5% in 2007.

Historically an agrarian economy, Colombia urbanised rapidly in the twentieth century, by the end of which just 22.7% of the workforce were employed in agriculture, generating just 11.5% of GDP. 18.7% of the workforce are employed in industry and 58.5% in services, responsible for 36% and 52.5% of GDP respectively. Colombia is rich in natural resources, and its main exports include petroleum, coal, coffee and other agricultural produce, and gold. Unofficially, illegal drugs are also a major export, with over 80% of the world's cocaine produced in Colombia, estimated to account for between 1 and 3% of the country's GDP. Colombia is also known as the world's leading source of emeralds, while over 70% of cut flowers imported by the United States are Colombian. Principal trading partners are the United States (a controversial free trade agreement with the United States is currently awaiting approval by the United States Congress), Venezuela and China. All imports, exports, and the overall balance of trade are at record levels, and the inflow of export dollars has resulted in a substantial re-valuation of the Colombian peso.

Economic performance has been aided by liberal reforms introduced in the early 1990s and continued during the current presidency of Álvaro Uribe, whose policies include measures designed to bring the public sector deficit below 2.5% of GDP. In 2008, the Heritage Foundation assessed the Colombian economy to be 61.9% free, an increase of 2.3% since 2007, placing it 67th in the world and 15th out of 29 countries within the region. Meanwhile the improvements in security resulting from President Uribe's controversial "democratic security" strategy have engendered an increased sense of confidence in the economy. On 28 May 2007 the American magazine BusinessWeek published an article naming Colombia "the most extreme emerging market on Earth".

For many years serious internal armed conflict deterred tourists from visiting Colombia, with official travel advisories warning against travel to the country. However in recent years numbers have risen sharply, thanks to improvements in security resulting from President Álvaro Uribe's "democratic security" strategy, which has included significant increases in military strength and police presence throughout the country and pushed rebel groups further away from the major cities, highways and tourist sites likely to attract international visitors. Foreign tourist visits were predicted to have risen from 0.5 million in 2003 to 1.3 million in 2007, while Lonely Planet picked Colombia as one of their top ten world destinations for 2006. The improvements in the country's security were recognised in November 2008 with a revision of the travel advice on Colombia issued by the British Foreign Office.

Popular tourist attractions include the historic Candelaria district of central Bogotá, the walled city and beaches of Cartagena, the colonial towns of Santa Fe de Antioquia, Villa de Leyva and Santa Cruz de Mompox, and the Las Lajas Cathedral and the Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá. Tourists are also drawn to Colombia's numerous festivals, including Medellín's Festival of the Flowers, the Barranquilla Carnival, the Carnival of Blacks and Whites in Pasto and the Ibero-American Theater Festival in Bogotá. Meanwhile, because of the improved security, Caribbean cruise ships now stop at Cartagena and Santa Marta.

The great variety in geography, flora and fauna across Colombia has also resulted in the development of an ecotourist industry, concentrated in the country's national parks. Popular ecotourist destinations include: along the Caribbean coast, the Tayrona National Natural Park in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountain range and Cabo de la Vela on the tip of the Guajira Peninsula; the Nevado del Ruiz volcano, the Cocora valley and the Tatacoa Desert in the central Andean region; Amacayacu National Park in the Amazon River basin; and the Pacific islands of Malpelo and Gorgona. Colombia is home to seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Colombia has a network of national highways maintained by the Instituto Nacional de Vías or INVIAS (National Institute of Roadways) government agency under the Ministry of Transport. The Pan-American Highway travels through Colombia, connecting the country with Venezuela to the east and Ecuador to the south.

Colombia's principal airport is El Dorado International Airport in Bogotá. Several national airlines (Avianca, AeroRepública, AIRES , SATENA and EasyFly, ), and international airlines (such as Iberia, American Airlines, Varig, Copa, Continental, Delta, Air Canada, Air France, Aerolineas Argentinas, Aerogal, TAME, TACA) operate from El Dorado. Because of its central location in Colombia and America, it is preferred by national land transportation providers, as well as national and international air transportation providers.

Colombia is discussing current trends and challenges as well as recent international developments in the biofuels sector with the intention of contributing to the development of a sustainable and competitive biofuels strategy for Colombia and the region. Arturo Infante Villarreal is the National Biofuels Coordinator, which is within the Department of National Planning.

With an estimated 44.6 million people in 2008, Colombia is the third-most populous country in Latin America, after Brazil and Mexico. The population increased at a rate of 1.9% between 1975 and 2005, predicted to drop to 1.2% over the next decade. Colombia is projected to have a population of 50.7 million by 2015. These trends are reflected in the country's age profile. In 2005 over 30% of the population was under 15 years old, compared to just 5.1% aged 65 and over. Life expectancy at birth in 2005 was 72.3; 2.1% would not reach the age of 5, 9.2% would not reach the age of 40.

The population is concentrated in the Andean highlands and along the Caribbean coast. The nine eastern lowland departments, comprising about 54% of Colombia's area, have less than 3% of the population and a density of less than one person per square kilometer (two persons per square mile). Traditionally a rural society, movement to urban areas was very heavy in the mid-twentieth century, and Colombia is now one of the most urbanized countries in Latin America. The urban population increased from 31% of the total in 1938 to 60% in 1975, and by 2005 the figure stood at 72.7%. The population of Bogotá alone has increased from just over 300,000 in 1938 to approximately 7 million today. In total thirty cities now have populations of 100,000 or more.

Colombia is ranked second in the world in the Happy Planet Index.

The census data in Colombia does not record ethnicity, other than that of those identifying themselves as members of particular minority ethnic groups, so overall percentages are essentially estimates from other sources and can vary from one to another.

According to the CIA World Factbook, the majority of the population (58%) is mestizo, or of mixed European and Amerindian ancestry. 20% is of European ancestry only, 14% mulatto (of mixed European and black African ancestry), 4% of black African ancestry only, and 3% zambo (of mixed Amerindian and black African ancestry). Pure indigenous Amerindians comprise only 1% of the population. The overwhelming majority of Colombians speak Spanish (see also Colombian Spanish), but in total 101 languages are listed for Colombia in the Ethnologue database, of which 80 are spoken today as living languages. Most of these belong to the Chibchan, Arawak and Cariban linguistic families. The Quechua language, spoken by descendants of the Inca empire, has also extended northwards into Colombia, mainly in urban centers of the southern highlands. There are currently about 500,000 speakers of indigenous languages.

Before the Spanish colonization of what is now Colombia, the territory was home to a significant number of indigenous peoples. Many of these were absorbed into the mestizo population, but the remainder currently represents over eighty-five distinct cultures. 567 reserves (resguardos) established for indigenous peoples occupy 365,004 square kilometres (over 30% of the country's total) and are inhabited by more than 800,000 people in over 67,000 families. The 1991 constitution established their native languages as official in their territories, and most of them have bilingual education (native and Spanish).

Some of the largest indigenous groups are the Wayuu, the Arhuacos, the Muisca, the Kuna, the Paez, the Tucano and the Guahibo. Cauca, La Guajira and Guainia have the largest indigenous populations.

The first and most substantial wave of modern immigration to Colombia consisted of Spanish colonists, following the arrival of Europeans in 1499. However a range of other Europeans (Dutch, Germans, Italians, French, Swiss, Belgians and Basques, also many North Americans) migrated to the country in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and, in smaller numbers, Poles, Lithuanians, English, Irish and Croats during and after the Second World War. For example, former Mayor of Bogotá Antanas Mockus is the son of Lithuanian immigrants.

Many immigrant communities have settled on the Caribbean coast, in particular recent immigrants from the Middle East. Barranquilla (the largest city of the Colombian Caribbean) and other Caribbean cities have the largest populations of Lebanese and Arabs, Sephardi Jews, Roma, and people of Italian, German, and French descent. For example, the singer Shakira, a native of Barranquilla, has both Lebanese and Italian ancestry. There are also important communities of Chinese and Japanese.

Black Africans were brought as slaves, mostly to the coastal lowlands, beginning early in the sixteenth century and continuing into the nineteenth century. Large Afro-Colombian communities are found today on the Caribbean and Pacific coasts. The population of the department of Chocó, running along the northern portion of Colombia's Pacific coast, is over 80% black.

The educational experience of many Colombian children begins with attendance at a preschool academy until age 6. Primary education is then free and compulsory. Secondary education (educación media) begins at age 11 and lasts up to six years, in some cases seven (mostly in private schools, where it is usually vocational training). Secondary school graduates are awarded the diploma (high-school diploma). However in many rural areas, teachers are poorly qualified, and only the five years of primary schooling are offered. The school year can extend from February to November or from August to June, and in many public schools attendance is split into morning and afternoon "shifts", in order to accommodate the large numbers of children.

Public spending on education as a proportion of gross domestic product in 2006 was 4.7% — one of the highest rates in Latin America — as compared with 2.4% in 1991. This represented 14.2% of total government expenditure. In 2006, the primary and secondary net enrolment rates stood at 88% and 65% respectively, slightly below the regional average. School life expectancy was 12.4 years. A total of 92.3% of the population aged 15 and older were recorded as literate, including 97.9% of those aged 15-24, both figures slightly higher than the regional average. However, literacy levels are considerably lower in rural areas.

Colombia has 24 public and numerous private universities. These are concentrated in Bogotá, which has become known as "the Athens of South America".

The National Administrative Department of Statistics (DANE) does not collect religious statistics, and accurate reports are difficult to obtain. However, based on various studies, more than 95% of the population adheres to Christianity, the vast majority of which (between 81% and 90%) are Roman Catholic. About 1% of Colombians adhere to indigenous religions and under 1% to Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism. However, despite high numbers of adherents, around 60% of respondents to a poll by El Tiempo reported that they did not practice their faith actively.

While Colombia remains an overwhelmingly Roman Catholic country, the Colombian constitution guarantees freedom and equality of religion. Religious groups are readily able to obtain recognition as organized associations, although some smaller ones have faced difficulty in obtaining the additional recognition required to offer chaplaincy services in public facilities and to perform legally recognised marriages.

Colombia lies at the crossroads of Latin America and the broader American continent, and as such has been marked by a wide range of cultural influences. Native American, Spanish and other European, African, American, Caribbean, and Middle Eastern influences, as well as other Latin American cultural influences, are all present in Colombia's modern culture. Urban migration, industrialization, globalization, and other political, social and economic changes have also left an impression.

Historically, the country's imposing landscape left its various regions largely isolated from one another, resulting in the development of very strong regional identities, in many cases stronger than the national. Modern transport links and means of communication have mitigated this and done much to foster a sense of nationhood, but social and political instability, and in particular fears of armed groups and bandits on intercity highways, have contributed to the maintenance of very clear regional differences. Accent, dress, music, food, politics and general attitude vary greatly between the Bogotanos and other residents of the central highlands, the paisas of Antioquia and the coffee region, the costeños of the Caribbean coast, the llaneros of the eastern plains, and the inhabitants of the Pacific coast and the vast Amazon region to the south east.

The mixing of various different ethnic traditions is reflected in Colombia's music and dance. The most well-known Colombian genres are cumbia and vallenato, the latter now strongly influenced by global pop culture. A powerful and unifying cultural medium in Colombia is television. Most famously, the telenovela Betty La Fea has gained international success through localized versions in the United States, Mexico, and elsewhere. Television has also played a role in the development of the local film industry.

As in many Latin American countries, Colombians have a passion for football (soccer). The Colombian national football team is seen as a symbol of unity and national pride, though local clubs also inspire fierce loyalty and sometimes-violent rivalries. Colombia has "exported" many famous players, such as Freddy Rincon, Carlos Valderrama, Iván Ramiro Córdoba, and Faustino Asprilla. Other Colombian athletes have also achieved success, including NASCAR's Juan Pablo Montoya, Major League Baseball's Edgar Rentería and Orlando Cabrera, and the PGA Tour's Camilo Villegas.

Other famous Colombians include the Nobel Prize winning author Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the artist Fernando Botero, the writers Fernando Vallejo, Laura Restrepo, Álvaro Mutis and James Cañón, the musicians Shakira, Juanes, Carlos Vives and Juan Garcia-Herreros, and the actors Catalina Sandino Moreno, John Leguizamo, Catherine Siachoque and Sofia Vergara.

The cuisine of Colombia developed mainly from the food traditions of European countries. Spanish, Italian and French culinary influences can all be seen in Colombian cooking. The cuisine of neighboring Latin American countries, Mexico, the United States and the Caribbean, as well as the cooking traditions of the country's indigenous inhabitants, have all influenced Colombian food.

Many national symbols, both objects and themes, have arisen from Colombia's diverse cultural traditions and aim to represent what Colombia, and the Colombian people, have in common. Cultural expressions in Colombia are promoted by the government through the Ministry of Culture.

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Edgar Rentería

Edgar Rentería on March 31, 2008.jpg

Edgar Enrique Rentería (pronounced as IPA: ) (born August 7, 1975 in Barranquilla, Colombia) is a Major League Baseball shortstop for the San Francisco Giants. He is also the first Colombian to play in the World Series.

Signed by the Florida Marlins as a non-amateur free agent in 1992, Rentería made his debut in the 1996 season. He finished second behind Dodgers outfielder Todd Hollandsworth in National League Rookie of the Year balloting, after batting .309 with 68 runs scored and 16 stolen bases in 106 games played.

Rentería is well remembered for his 11th inning two-out RBI single in Game Seven of the 1997 World Series to give Florida a 3-2 triumph over the Cleveland Indians. He was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals before the 1999 season.

An amazing transformation has taken place in Rentería's game over the past three seasons. He's always been one of the best defensive players in either league, but now he has developed into a consistent hitter and one of the best all-around shortstops in the majors. In 2003, he became the first National League shortstop in 18 years to compile 100 RBIs in a season. He fell just six hits short of being the first NL shortstop in more than 90 years to have 200 hits and 100 RBIs in the same season. His .330 batting average ranked fourth in the league and he also stole 34 bases.

Rentería signed a four year $40 million deal with the Boston Red Sox in December 2004. Coincidentally, the season before, Rentería was the Cardinals' final out in the World Series when the Boston Red Sox won their first championship since 1918.

After his trade to the Braves, Renteria proved his year with the Red Sox was indeed a fluke. In 2006, Renteria batted .293 with 14 homers and 70 RBI. In the same year he only committed 13 errors, as opposed to 30 in his year with Boston. He quickly became an integral key to the Atlanta Braves offensive attack, hitting ahead of Chipper Jones.

In 2007, Renteria saw an even greater increase in production and was on pace to collect well over 200 hits. However, on August 2, Renteria sprained his ankle while fielding a groundball and was placed in the 15-day DL. This was his first trip to the DL in his career and effectively eliminated his chances of obtaining 200 hits in a season for the first time in his career. Renteria was activated on August 22 and was put in the lineup but left the game after tweaking the ankle after the first pitch he saw. He subsequently returned to the disabled list a day later. He was activated on September 7 and played a day later going 2-for-4. He finished batting .332 (4th in the NL and a new career-high) with 12 homers.

For reasons of salary and the emergence of Braves young shortstop Yunel Escobar, Renteria became expendable to the Braves. On October 29, 2007 Renteria was traded to the Detroit Tigers for pitching prospect Jair Jurrjens and outfielder Gorkys Hernandez.

The 2008 season for the Detroit Tigers looked extremely promising, with many magazine experts predicting that the Tigers would make it to the World Series. But Renteria had another slow start in the American League and continued to struggle all season, both offensively and defensively. He finished the season a major disappointment for the Tigers, who announced that they would not pick up his $12 million dollar option for the 2009 season, but still left the door open for him to accept a smaller deal to re-sign. In the end the Tigers declined to offer arbitration, unwilling to risk the possibility of Rentería returning for a one-year $9 million deal.

On December 4, 2008, Rentería signed a two-year deal with the San Francisco Giants worth 18.5 million with an option for 2011.

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Source : Wikipedia