Johan Santana

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Posted by pompos 04/02/2009 @ 16:07

Tags : johan santana, baseball players, baseball, sports

News headlines
Sheff leads Mets' hit parade to support Santana - Newsday
This one was supposed to be a battle between historic lefthanded pitchers: the Mets' Johan Santana and the Giants' 45-year-old Randy Johnson, with his 298 wins. "It was special to go against him,'' said Santana (5-2, 1.36 ERA), who finally allowed an...
Inside Pitch: Bad defense costs Santana, Mets - Houston Chronicle
The Mets' Johan Santana lowered his ERA from 0.91 to 0.78 but suffered his second loss because of poor defense. David Wright's error in the first inning led to one unearned run and Jose Reyes' two-out error in the seventh inning led to four more,...
Around the Cage: Game 7 scenarios - MLB.com
The most popular Game 7 pitching choices were Roy Halladay of the Toronto Blue Jays and Johan Santana of the New York Mets, although Mike Lowell of the Boston Red Sox went back a ways by choosing Bob Gibson because "he just looked nasty....
No win, no problem for Santana - ESPN
By Eric Karabell Honestly, if you're one of those Johan Santana fantasy owners who complains about how your ace doesn't win enough, nobody wants to hear it. Yes, Santana pitched another gem Monday night against the Braves, and an unearned run in the...
Still No Help for Santana - New York Times
By JOSHUA ROBINSON There is only so much Johan Santana can do to help himself and the Mets. And he is doing it. After seven starts this season, his earned run average was the lowest in the National League at 0.78, and he led the majors in strikeouts...
How Johan Santana is carrying the New York Mets - The Star-Ledger - NJ.com
by Brian Costa/The Star-Ledger Nick Laham/GettyMets ace Johan Santana, who sparkled through seven innings on Wednesday, is developing a reputation for pitching his best when the team needs him most. NEW YORK -- Almost every time he takes the mound,...
Johan Santana is just the latest ace who doesn't get help from his ... - New York Daily News
BY Anthony Mccarron Johan Santana took the loss against the Braves on Monday without allowing an earned run. Hall of Famer Tom Seaver often suffered from poor run support as a Met. Don Drysdale spent June 4, 1964, attending to personal business,...
Santana pitches poorly, but escapes with W - Rotoworld.com
In his worst start of the year, Johan Santana surrendered six runs -- four earned -- over seven innings of work. Yet, he still he escaped with the victory. It's a welcome change of pace for Santana, who usually has to beg for run support....
Phillies Notes: Phils' bats off since Santana beating - Philadelphia Inquirer
By Ray Parrillo WASHINGTON - Ten days ago, New York Mets ace Johan Santana mowed down the Phillies in a 1-0 win. Since then, the Phils' bats have just about turned into sawdust. Though there's not likely a correlation, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel...
Saturday's action on the diamonds - The Canadian Press
Johnson dug himself an early hole against New York and ace Johan Santana, and the potent Mets beat the San Francisco Giants 9-6 on Saturday with another late rally. "I'm not too happy with my last three starts. I'm not happy where I'm at," Johnson said...

Johan Santana

Johan Santana Mets.jpg

Johan Alexander Santana (pronounced ) (born March 13, 1979, in Tovar, Mérida State, Venezuela) is a Major League Baseball left-handed starting pitcher who plays for the New York Mets. As a two-time Cy Young Award winner, Santana has established himself as one of the best pitchers in recent baseball history. His repertoire includes a 91-95 mph fastball, along with a circle changeup, considered by many to be one of the best changeups in baseball.

Santana was discovered in 1994 by Andrés Reiner, a scout who was working for the Houston Astros at the time. He signed Santana and sent him to his academy in Guacara in January 1995. Santana did not like it and almost left but Reiner convinced him to stay. While originally a center fielder, Santana was converted to a pitcher at the academy due to his arm speed. In 1999 he was named the Tovar Mérida Athlete of the Year. After the 1999 major league season, he was left unprotected by the Houston Astros and eligible in the Rule 5 draft. The Twins had the first pick that year, the Marlins the second. The Twins made a deal with the Marlins: the Twins would draft Jared Camp with their first pick and the Marlins would draft Santana. The teams would exchange the two players with the Twins receiving $500,000 to cover their pick.

Santana made his Major League debut with the Twins on April 3, 2000, coming from the bullpen vs. Tampa Bay. He made his first MLB start on April 7, 2000, at Kansas City and recorded his first Major League win in a relief appearance at Houston on June 6. He put up a 6.49 ERA in 86 innings pitched in 2000, his rookie year.

In 2002, the Twins sent Santana to the minors for 2 months to work almost exclusively on perfecting his changeup. He did this for 10 starts and came back up to the majors with a terrific changeup to complement his very good fastball. While in the minors, pitching coach Bobby Cuellar made Santana throw at least one changeup to every batter. According to Cuellar, Santana would sometimes throw 20 in a row during games.

Santana is very good against both right and left-handed hitters. He works quickly and throws a 91-95 mph fastball, a hard slider (which he has developed into a slurve), and a tailing changeup that is considered one of best changeups in baseball. Some announcers refer to the changeup as a "Bugs Bunny" changeup. His pitches are too close to take, but difficult to drive, causing batters to lunge after balls that are down and out of the strike zone. He consistently works to eliminate the difference in his throwing motions, making it very difficult for opposing batters to guess which pitch he's throwing.

Santana was used as a long reliever early in his career after finding little success as a starter. In 2002 he led the majors in wild pitches, with 15.

In 2003, Santana transitioned from relief to the Twins' starting rotation after spending the first four months of the season in the bullpen. He won his last eight decisions and pitched the ALDS opening game against the Yankees.

Due to Santana's early major-league success with the Twins, a young minor-league pitcher in the Anaheim Angels' farm system also named Johan Santana changed his name to Ervin Santana in 2003 and has also achieved major league success.

In 2004, Santana enjoyed one of the great second halves of modern times. He became the first pitcher since 1961 to give up four or fewer hits in ten straight starts, and his 13-0 record broke the old Major League second-half mark shared between Burt Hooton and Rick Sutcliffe.

Santana's other second-half numbers were equally impressive: 11.13 strikeouts per nine innings, 1.21 ERA, 4.74 hits per nine innings, and 6.73 baserunners per nine innings. In addition, Santana set a team season record with 265 strikeouts, surpassing the old 258 mark registered by Bert Blyleven in 1973.

Santana finished in good form with a 20-6 record and led the American League in strikeouts (265), ERA (2.61), strikeouts per nine innings pitched (10.46), WHIP (0.92), batting average allowed (.192), OBP (.249), SLG (.315), and OPS (.564) and walked only 54 batters in 228 innings. Opponents stole just six bases in seven attempts against him, and his 20 victories ranked him second behind only Curt Schilling, who won 21 games for the Red Sox. He easily won the AL Cy Young Award over Schilling with all 28 first-place votes.

It was during the 2004 season that Minnesota Twins fans dubbed him Johan "K" Santana, referring to the large number of strikeouts Santana consistently delivered.

Santana struggled in his first outing of 2005, giving up six runs in the first inning, but quickly regained his composure and returned to Cy Young-winning form in an 8-4 victory over the Seattle Mariners. In his second game, he rocked the Chicago White Sox with 11 strikeouts as the Twins won 5–2. Following a brief slump in May 2005, Santana worked on improving his pitching form and was immediately rewarded with a seven-inning, two-run outing against the Toronto Blue Jays, which the Twins won 7–2. Santana finished with an ERA of 2.87, second-lowest in the American League behind Indians pitcher Kevin Millwood (2.86). However, the weak Twins club of the 2005 season cost him several otherwise-winnable games, and his winning percentage fell considerably in his second full year as a starter. He threw 238 strikeouts during the season, leading the majors. He finished third in the Cy Young voting, finishing behind winner Bartolo Colón of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and Yankees reliever Mariano Rivera.

Santana won the Major League Pitching Triple Crown, the first player to do so since Dwight Gooden in 1985. He completed the season leading the majors in ERA (2.77) and strikeouts (245), and tied Yankees pitcher Chien-Ming Wang in wins (19). He is the first pitcher to win the triple crown with fewer than 20 wins, and the first to win the MLB triple crown with an ERA above 2.60.

Santana also led the American League in WHIP (1.0), opposing batting average (.216), and innings pitched (233.6). He continued to add to his reputation as a great second-half pitcher, losing only one game after the All-Star break while winning 10 and posting a 2.54 ERA. A brief slump cost him the opportunity to make his 20th win of the season. No pitcher in Major League Baseball won 20 games in the 2006 season, the first time in modern major league history this occurred.

Santana won his second Cy Young Award in 2006, becoming the 14th player in MLB history to win the award multiple times. He is the fifth pitcher to win the award by a unanimous vote twice, joining Roger Clemens, Pedro Martínez, and Greg Maddux; Sandy Koufax accomplished the feat three times.

From 2004-2006, Santana has led the league in strikeouts all three years, in ERA twice, and has also led in several other key statistical areas. In that three-year span, he has compiled a 55–19 record with an ERA of 2.75 and WHIP of 0.96, while striking out 748 batters.

After a slow start, with his record falling to 6–6 at one point, Johan jump-started his season with a four-hit shutout, followed by two wins. On July 1, 2007, Santana was named as a member of the 2007 MLB All-Star Game, his third straight appearance.

On June 19, 2007, on the team bus to a game at Shea Stadium, Bert Blyleven said he would have his head shaved if that night's starting pitcher, Johan, threw a complete-game shutout. The Twins won, 9–0, and Santana went the distance. Santana shaved Blyleven's head the following day.

Santana had perhaps his best career game on August 19th against the Texas Rangers in which he struck out 17 batters over eight innings. He walked none and allowed only two hits, both to Sammy Sosa. His 17 strikeouts set a Twins club record for strikeouts in a game.

While Santana did not have a bad season, he led the major leagues in home runs allowed (33) and had the most losses of his career (13). Santana finished the season with only 15 wins, his lowest total since 2003, though he led the American League in WHIP, was 2nd in strikeouts with 235, and 7th in ERA. On the last game of the season, a rain delay in Detroit that lasted over an hour caused Santana to pitch only three innings, ending a 123-start streak where he pitched five innings or more, which was the third longest in the past half century.

In November, it was announced that Johan Santana was awarded the American League Gold Glove Award for pitcher. This was the first time he was selected for this award.

During 2007–2008 off-season, Santana was traded from the Twins to the New York Mets, for Carlos Gomez, Phil Humber, Deolis Guerra, and Kevin Mulvey. On February 1, 2008, the Mets and Santana agreed to a six-year, $137.5 million contract. Santana was named the opening day starter, throwing 100 pitches in seven innings to earn the win against the Florida Marlins. On May 10, 2008, he earned his first win at Shea Stadium as a member of the New York Mets.

On June 1, 2008, Santana earned his 100th career victory, going 7.2 innings and allowing just one run in a 6-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

On July 27, the day after the Mets played a 14 inning game where every pitcher in the bullpen was used, Johan pitched a complete game against the St. Louis Cardinals. He struck out 5 and also got his first RBI as a Met. He won this game, improving his record to 9-7. On August 17, 2008 Santana pitched his second complete game and his 11th win of the season, allowing only 3 hits while walking none and striking out 7 in a 3-0 Mets win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

On September 23, Santana threw a career-high 125 pitches in 8 innings to beat the Chicago Cubs. On 27 September, in the thick of a playoff race and on the final weekend of the season, Santana pitched a complete game 3-hit shutout in a 2-0 win against the Florida Marlins on three-days rest. It was later revealed that Santana had pitched that day, and perhaps in many other starts, with a torn meniscus in his left knee. He underwent successful surgery on it on October 1, 2008.

Santana finished the 2008 regular season with a 16-7 record, posting a 2.53 ERA with 206 strikeouts. His 2.53 ERA led the majors and was a career best. He also set a career high in innings pitched.

Six year, $137.5 million dollar extension with a 2014 club option.

Santana is the second of five children. Johan attended Liceo Jose Nucete Sardi High School, where he played center field. He and his wife, Yasmile, whom he has known since he was 9 years old, have two daughters, Jasmily and Jasmine. He and his family reside in Fort Myers, Florida.

In the off-season, Santana is an active member of his hometown community. In 2006, he started The Johan Santana Foundation to provide assistance to hospitals and bought new gloves and bats for children in surrounding areas. Also in 2006, Santana, as well as the Minnesota Twins, purchased a yellow firetruck for Tovar's fire department. Santana has held a party the past two offseasons called El Cy Youngazo (the Great Cy Young) which includes a toy drive, musical groups, and beer from Santana's sponsor, Regional. Proceeds from Johan's charity wine, Santana's Select, also support his foundation in entirety.

Roll over stat abbreviations for definitions. Stats through March 28, 2009.

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Jake Peavy

Jacob Edward Peavy (pronounced /ˈpʰiːvi/) (born May 31, 1981 in Mobile, Alabama) is a Cy Young Award-winning starting pitcher in Major League Baseball who plays for the San Diego Padres. He bats and throws right-handed. Peavy stands 6'1" tall (1.85 m) and weighs 182 pounds (83 kg).

Peavy was developed by the San Diego Padres minor league system after being drafted out of high school, where he attended St. Paul's Episcopal School. Peavy declined an offer to pitch for Auburn University in order to accept the Padres' contract offer. In 2001, Jake was promoted to the Padres' Class Double-A team, the Mobile BayBears of Alabama. He spent parts of both the 2001 and 2002 seasons playing for the BayBears.

During his third year of major league experience in 2004, Peavy emerged as the Padres' ace starting pitcher and one of the best pitchers in baseball. He compiled a 15-6 record, struck out 173 in 166 innings and led the Major Leagues with a 2.27 ERA. He became the youngest pitcher to win an ERA title since Dwight Gooden in 1985.

On March 5, 2005 he signed a four-year 14.5 million contract and holds a club option for 2009 extension with the Padres.

During the 2005 season, Peavy was selected for the National League All-Star team and ended the regular season leading the National League in strikeouts with 216 (in 203 innings). He was second in the majors to Minnesota's Johan Santana who had 238 strikeouts. In addition he finished the season with a 13–7 record, 2.88 ERA, a strikeout-to-walk ratio of over 4:1 and WHIP of 1.044.

After the Padres won the National League West in 2005, Peavy was widely considered the key to upsetting the St. Louis Cardinals, whom they faced in the National League Division Series. However, Peavy gave up eight runs in the first game, and afterwards it was announced that he would miss the rest of the season with a broken rib, which he apparently suffered while celebrating the Padres clinching the NL West Championship .

Peavy was the captain of Team USA in the 2006 World Baseball Classic. He started the opening game for the U.S., a 2–0 win over Mexico, giving up just one hit and no runs over three innings. He did not factor in the decision in the second round game against Japan, as he gave up three runs in five innings in a game that the U.S. won, 4–3.

In 2006, Peavy got off to a rocky start, in part due to mechanical adjustments brought on by various off-season injuries. Although Peavy would go only 11–14 with a 4.09 ERA, he still managed to finish second in the National League in strikeouts with 215, one shy of both his 2005 league-leading total and of the 2006 NL strikeout leader, Aaron Harang who logged 32 more innings than Peavy. In the playoffs, the Padres again faced the St. Louis Cardinals in the first round. As the game one starter, Peavy had a much stronger outing than his 2005 playoff game, but the Padres again lost to the Cardinals.

On July 1, 2007, for the second time in his career, Peavy was named to the 2007 NL All-Star Team (along with Trevor Hoffman and Chris Young). On July 9, he was named as the starting pitcher for the NL.

On August 2, 2007 Peavy struck out Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Jeff DaVanon, for his 1000th career strikeout.

Peavy won the pitching Triple Crown in 2007, leading the National League with 19 wins, 240 strikeouts, and a 2.54 ERA. Since the divisional play era started in 1969, Peavy is only the eighth player to accomplish this feat . On October 23, Peavy won the Players Choice Award for Outstanding NL Pitcher. He added the NL Cy Young -- as a unanimous choice -- on November 15, becoming just the 10th National League player in history to win the Cy Young Award in a unanimous vote (Sandy Koufax was unanimously selected three times).

The completion of the 2007 campaign represented Peavy's sixth year in the league. Over that six-year period Peavy collected two strikeout champion awards, two major league ERA titles, and a unanimous, triple-crown Cy Young Award.

On December 12, 2007, he signed a 4 year extension, worth $52 million with the Padres. At the time the contract was the largest in Padres history. The contract includes a $22 million option for 2013.

On April 5, 2008, Peavy pitched a two-hit complete game over the Los Angeles Dodgers. The following day, still-images from FOX sports video feed from the game showed a dirty, brown substance on the index and middle fingers, along with his thumb. Manager Bud Black defended Peavy saying that "it was a mixture of dirt and rosin". In the two games immediately following the report, Peavy posted a 1–0 record with a 1.92 ERA. In May he went on the DL with a sore throwing elbow. He returned on June 12 and pitched six shutout innings with four strikeouts. He ended 2008 with only a 10-11 record, but had one of the lowest run support per start of any pitcher in the league, and finished the season with a 2.85 ERA.

Peavy has been the subject of numerous trade rumors during the 2008 offseason, amidst reports that the Padres were looking to reduce salaries and build on young players for the future. In November 2008, Peavy added the New York Yankees to the list of teams he would accept a trade to. The list includes several teams from the NL including the Atlanta Braves, St. Louis Cardinals, the Chicago Cubs and the Houston Astros. Peavy prefered to be in the NL, so the Yankees would not be involved. The Astros and Cardinals decided they wouldn't pursue Peavy after talking with GM Kevin Towers on what they would have to give up. However, there were in fact two teams who were in deep talks of acquiring Peavy: the Cubs and the Braves.

In November 2008, the Padres were working with the Braves on a Peavy trade, in which Peavy would be traded to Atlanta for SS Yunel Escobar, OF Gorkys Hernandez, P Blaine Boyer and one of P Charlie Morton or P Jo-Jo Reyes. The Padres also wanted the two top prospects in the organization as well: P Tommy Hanson and OF Jordan Schafer, but after a few weeks, the Braves decided to move on to bring in a few free agents.

Peavy was almost perfect in spring training, pitching 14 total innings with no runs allowed, 10 strikeouts, no walks and and ERA of 0.00.

Peavy's repertoire includes the command of a cut fastball (94-97 mph) two-seam fastballs (88-90 mph) and a four-seam fastball (93-97 mph), a hard slider (83-88 mph), a changeup (80-84 mph), and sports an occasional curveball (74-76 mph).

In his most successful games, Peavy most comfortably uses his two-seam fastballs, throwing an occasional slider. With the idea of the two-seam fastball, Peavy can control and run his fastball to both sides of the plate, cut it in and away from hitters, and make the fastball sink or fade, all in the high 80s-low 90s and can keep the hitters honest by spotting a four-seam fastball at 95 mph.

Since 2004 Peavy has posted the lowest WHIP of any major leaguer . Peavy's two-seam fastball acts primarily as a sinker and induces many ground balls . This can allow Peavy to induce many double plays when runners are on base. Peavy likes to run his fastballs in on lefties and make the pitch break back into the zone, similar to a power version of Greg Maddux's technique.

The natural movement of Peavy's pitches creates a heavier ball which helps to limit the number of home runs Peavy gives up, having allowed only 13 in over 220 innings in 2007 .

It has recently been speculated that the Chicago Cubs will once again attempt to trade for Peavy by giving up several young prospects acquired in earlier trades.

Peavy and wife Katie have two children: Jacob Edward II, born on June 20, 2001 and Wyatt, born on May 24, 2004.

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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.

April 1, 2009 the Marlins traded shortstop Robert Andino to the Baltimore Orioles for right hand pitcher Sean Penn, the trade was completed just before the two teams took the field in a spring training game against each other.

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.

A few weeks before the regular season, the Florida Marlins' 15-year quest for a permanent home became a reality by agreeing to bankroll a big share of a $634 million stadium complex to rise on the grounds of the old Orange Bowl site. The Marlins hope to open at the new stadium on Opening Day 2012 with a new name; Miami Marlins.

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 now approved 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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Minnesota Twins

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The Minnesota Twins are a professional baseball team based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. The Twins are a member of the Central Division of Major League Baseball's American League. The Twins have played in the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome since 1982. In 2010, the Twins will move into a new ballpark, Target Field.

One of the American League's eight charter franchises, the club was founded in Washington, D.C. in 1901 as the Washington Senators. That was a carryover nickname from a previous, unrelated club in the National League. In 1905 the team changed its official name to the Washington Nationals. The name "Nationals" would appear on the uniforms for only 2 seasons, and would then be replaced with the "W" logo for the next 52 years. The media often shortened the nickname to "Nats". Many fans and newspapers (especially out-of-town papers) persisted in using the "Senators" nickname. Over time, "Nationals" faded as a nickname, and "Senators" became dominant. Baseball guides would list the club's nickname as "Nationals or Senators", acknowledging the unique dual-nickname situation.

The team name was officially changed to Washington Senators around the time that long-time team president Clark Griffith died and his son Calvin took over the team. It was not until 1959 that the word "Senators" first appeared on team shirts. "Nats" continued to be used by space-saving headline writers, even for the 1961 expansion team, which was never officially known as "Nationals".

In 1960, Major League Baseball granted the city of Minneapolis an expansion team. Calvin Griffith requested that he be allowed to move his team to Minneapolis and instead grant Washington the expansion team. MLB granted his request, and the team moved to Bloomington, Minnesota after the 1960 season, setting up shop in Metropolitan Stadium, while Washington fielded a brand new "Washington Senators" that would also end up moving - to Arlington, Texas to become the Texas Rangers prior to the 1972 season.

Through the 2008 season, the Senators/Twins have won 3 World Series Championships (1924, 1987 and 1991) and have fielded 16 American League Batting Champions.

For a time, from 1911 to 1933, the Washington Senators were one of the more successful franchises in major-league baseball. The team's rosters included Hall of Famers Goose Goslin, Sam Rice, Joe Cronin, Bucky Harris, Heinie Manush and one of the greatest pitchers of all time, Walter Johnson. But the Senators are remembered more for their many years of mediocrity and futility, including six last-place finishes in the 1940s and 1950s.

When the American League declared itself a major league in 1901, the new league placed a team in Washington, a city that had been abandoned by the National League a year earlier. The Washington club, like the old one, would be called the Senators.

The Senators began their history as a consistently losing team, at times so inept that San Francisco Chronicle columnist Charley Dryden joked: "Washington: First in war, first in peace, and last in the American League." The 1904 Senators lost 113 games, and the next season the team’s owners, trying for a fresh start, changed the team’s name to the Nationals. But the Senators name remained widely used by fans and journalists, and the team later restored it as the official name.

Whatever the name, the club continued to lose, despite the addition in 1907 of a talented 19-year-old pitcher named Walter Johnson. Raised in rural Kansas, Johnson was a tall, lanky man with long arms who, using a leisurely windup and unusual sidearm delivery, threw the ball faster than anyone had ever seen. Johnson’s breakout year was 1910, when he struck out 313 batters, posted an earned-run average of 1.36 and won 25 games for a losing ball club. Over his 21-year Hall of Fame career, Johnson, called the “Big Train,” would win 417 games and strike out 3,509 batters, a major-league record that would stand for more than 50 years.

In 1911, the Senators’ wooden ballpark burned to the ground, and they replaced it with a modern concrete-and-steel structure on the same location. First called National Park, it later would be renamed after the man who was named Washington manager in 1912 and whose name would become almost synonymous with the ball club: Clark Griffith. A star pitcher with the National League’s Chicago Colts in the 1890s, Griffith jumped to the AL in 1901 and became a successful manager with the Chicago White Sox and New York Highlanders. In 1912, with Griffith taking the Senators’ helm and Johnson winning 33 games, the Senators posted their first winning record: 91-61, good for second place behind the Boston Red Sox. The next year, 1913, was Johnson’s best yet, 36 victories and a minuscule 1.14 ERA, and the Senators again finished second, this time behind the Philadelphia Athletics.

Starting in 1916, the Senators settled back into mediocrity. Griffith, frustrated with the owners’ penny-pinching, bought a controlling interest in the team in 1920 and stepped down as field manager a year later to focus on his duties as team president.

In 1924, Griffith named 27-year-old second baseman Bucky Harris player-manager. Led by the hitting of Goose Goslin and Sam Rice and a solid pitching staff headlined by the 36-year-old Johnson, the Senators captured their first American League pennant, two games ahead of Babe Ruth and the New York Yankees.

In the World Series, the underdog Senators faced John McGraw's New York Giants. Despite Johnson losing both his two starts, the Senators kept pace to tie the Series at three games apiece and force Game 7. In the ninth inning with the game tied 3-3, Harris brought in Johnson to pitch on just one day of rest – he had been the losing pitcher in Game 5. Johnson shut out the Giants for four innings, and in the bottom of the 12th, a ground ball bounced over Giant third baseman Fred Lindstrom’s head, scoring Muddy Ruel with the winning run. The Washington Senators were world champions. Some called it the greatest World Series Game 7 ever … until 1991.

The Senators repeated as AL champs in 1925 but lost the Series to Pittsburgh. After Johnson’s retirement in 1927, the Senators endured a few losing seasons until returning to contention in 1930, this time with Johnson as manager. But after the Senators finished third in 1931 and 1932, behind powerful New York and Philadelphia, Griffith fired Johnson, a victim of high expectations.

For his new manager in 1933, Griffith returned to the formula that worked for him in 1924, and 26-year-old shortstop Joe Cronin became player-manager. It worked. Washington posted a 99-53 record and swept to the pennant seven games ahead of the Yankees. But the Senators lost the World Series to the Giants in five games.

The Senators sank all the way to seventh in 1934. Attendance plunged as well, and after the season Griffith traded Cronin to the Red Sox for journeyman shortstop Lyn Lary and $225,000 in cash (even though Cronin was married to Griffith’s niece, Mildred). Despite the return of Harris as manager in 1935-42 and 1950-54, Washington remained mostly a losing ball club for the next 25 years, contending for the pennant only in the talent-thin war years of 1943 and 1945. Washington came to be known as "first in war, first in peace, and last in the American League".

In 1954, Senators scout Ossie Bluege signed a 17-year-old ballplayer from Payette, Idaho, named Harmon Killebrew. Because of his $30,000 signing bonus, league rules required Killebrew to spend the rest of 1954 with the Senators as a “bonus baby.” Killebrew bounced between the Senators and the minor leagues for next few years. He became the Senators’ regular third baseman in 1959, leading the league with 42 home runs and earning a starting spot on the American League All-Star team.

The longtime competitive struggles of the team were fictionalized in the book The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant, which became the legendary Broadway musical and movie Damn Yankees. The plot centers around Joe Boyd, a middle-aged real estate salesman and long-suffering fan of the Washington Senators baseball club. In this musical comedy-drama of the Faust legend, Boyd sells his soul to the Devil and becomes slugger Joe Hardy, the "long ball hitter the Senators need that he'd sell his soul for" (as spoken by him in a throwaway line near the beginning of the drama). His hitting prowess enables the Senators to win the American League pennant over the then-dominant Yankees. One of the songs from the musical, "You Gotta Have Heart", is frequently played at baseball games.

The name "Twins" derives from the popular name of the region, the Twin Cities. The NBA's Minneapolis Lakers had re-located to Los Angeles in 1960 due to poor attendance which was perceived to have been caused in part by the reluctance of fans in St. Paul to support the team. Griffith was determined not to alienate fans in either city by naming the team after one city or the other, and so instead proposed to name his team the Twin Cities Twins. When the league rejected that choice as being too generic, a decision then unprecedented in American professional sports was made. The team would be named after its home state and became known as the Minnesota Twins. Later, the Texas Rangers (coincidentally the relocated expansion Senators), Florida Marlins, Colorado Rockies, Arizona Diamondbacks, and the California Angels—now the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim—would follow their lead.

However, the original "Twin Cities Twins" TC logo was kept. The cap logo was abandoned in 1987 when the Twins adopted their current uniforms. By this time, the Twins had become established enough that it could place an "M" on their caps without offending St. Paul. The "TC" logo returned to one version of the home uniforms in 2002, as did the team's original cartoon logo: two players representing the area's two minor league teams displaced by the Twins--the Minneapolis Millers and St. Paul Saints--shaking hands over the Mississippi River, which runs between the two cities.

The Twins were eagerly greeted in Minnesota when they arrived in 1961. They brought a nucleus of talented players: Harmon Killebrew, Bob Allison, Camilo Pascual, Zoilo Versalles, Jim Kaat, Earl Battey, and Lenny Green. The Twins won 91 games in 1962, the most by the franchise since 1933.

The Twins won 102 games and the American League Pennant in 1965, driven by the exciting play of superstar sluggers Harmon Killebrew and Tony Oliva and flashy play of league MVP Zoilo Versalles. However, they were defeated in the 1965 World Series by the Los Angeles Dodgers in seven games; each home team had won until Game 7, when Sandy Koufax shut out the Twins 2–0 in Minnesota. The Twins scored a total of two runs in their four losses, and were shut out three times, twice by Koufax. Although disappointed with the near-miss, the championship drive cemented the team's relationship with the people of Minnesota. The Twins would wait 22 years to return to the World Series; they defeated the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games in the 1987 Series.

In 1967, the Twins were involved in one of the closest pennant races in baseball history. Heading into the final weekend of the season, the Twins, Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Sox, and Detroit Tigers all had a shot at clinching the American League championship. With two games left to play, the Twins and Red Sox were knotted atop the standings; moreover, the two remaining games each team had to play happened to be against each other. Unfortunately for Minnesota baseball fans, the Red Sox won both games and clinched their first pennant since 1946, finishing with a 92–70 record. The Twins and Tigers both finished a game behind, at 91–71, while the White Sox were three games out, at 89–73.

In 1969, Billy Martin was named manager. Martin pushed aggressive base running, with Rod Carew stealing home seven times. The Twins won the American League West, led by Rod Carew (.332, his first batting title), Tony Oliva (.309, 24 HR, 101 RBI) and league MVP Harmon Killebrew (49 HR, 140 RBI). Unfortunately, the Twins were swept by the Baltimore Orioles, who had set a franchise record of 109–53, in the first American League Championship Series. The Orioles would lose to the "Miracle Mets" in the 1969 World Series.

The team continued to post winning records through 1971, winning the first two American League West division titles. However, they then entered a decade-long slump, finishing around .500 for the next eight years. Tony Oliva and Rod Carew continued to provide offensive power, but Killebrew's home run production decreased, as injuries impacted his effectiveness, and the pitching staff languished. Killebrew's final season with the Twins was the 1974 season.

Owner Calvin Griffith faced financial difficulty with the start of free agency. While other owners had fortunes made in other businesses, Griffith's only income came from baseball. He ran the Twins as a family-owned business, employing many family members, and had to turn a profit each season. Stars Lyman Bostock and Larry Hisle left as free agents after the 1977 season and prompted the trade of Rod Carew after the 1978 season.

In the early 1980s, The Twins fell further, winning only 37% of its games from 1981 to 1982. They had their worst season in Minnesota in 1982, with a 60–102 record, the worst the franchise had since the 1904 season (that team went 38–113). From their arrival in 1961 through 1981, the team played its games at Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington, a suburb south of the Twin Cities. The Mall of America now occupies the spot where the "Old Met" stood, complete with home plate and the seat where Harmon Killebrew hit a 520 foot home run, both of those landmarks are located inside of Nickelodeon Universe. The 1982 season brought the team indoors, into the Metrodome, which is in downtown Minneapolis near the Mississippi River.

In 1984, Calvin Griffith sold the Twins to Minneapolis banker Carl Pohlad. In 1985, Minnesota hosted the All-Star Game at the Metrodome, with the National League winning the game 6-1 over the American League. Future World Series MVP Jack Morris was the losing pitcher for the American League.

After several losing seasons in the Dome, a nucleus of players acquired during the waning years of the Griffith regime (Kent Hrbek, Tom Brunansky, Gary Gaetti, Frank Viola) combined with a few good trades (Bert Blyleven), intelligent free agent acquisitions (Al Newman, Roy Smalley), and a rising star in Kirby Puckett, combined to return the team to the World Series for the first time since 1965, defeating the Detroit Tigers (who won the World Series three years earlier) in the ALCS along the way. The dynamic play of the new superstars electrified the team and propelled the Twins to a seven-game victory over the St. Louis Cardinals to win the 1987 World Series. All games in the 1987 series were won by the home team.

The 1987 Twins set a record for fewest regular season victories by a World Series champion with 85 and a .525 winning percentage. This record was broken by the 2006 Cardinals, who won the World Series after going 83–79 during the regular season and a .513 percentage. While their 56–21 record at the Metrodome was the best overall home record for 1987, the Twins had an appalling 33–52 mark away from the Metrodome and they only won nine road games after the All-Star break.

The Twins won more games in 1988, but could not overcome the powerhouse division rival Oakland Athletics (who in turn lost the 1988 World Series to the Los Angeles Dodgers), even though pitcher Frank Viola won the Cy Young Award in that year. 1989 saw a decline in the win column though Puckett would win the batting title that season.

The Twins surprisingly did quite poorly in 1990, finishing last in the AL West division with a record of 74–88. 1991 brought breakout years from newcomers Shane Mack, Scott Leius, Chili Davis, and rookie of the year Chuck Knoblauch, along with consistently excellent performances from stars Hrbek and Puckett. The pitching staff excelled as well, with Scott Erickson, Rick Aguilera, and St. Paul native Jack Morris having all-star years. The Twins defeated the Atlanta Braves 4 games to 3 to win the nail-biting 1991 World Series, which is considered by many to be the greatest of all time. Game 6 is widely considered to be one of the greatest World Series games ever played. Facing elimination, and with the score tied 3-3 in the bottom of the 11th inning, Kirby Puckett stepped up to the plate and drove the game winning home run into the left field seats to force a decisive Game 7. The home run was Puckett's only walk-off home run of his career. In the final and deciding game, Jack Morris pitched a 10 inning shutout, viewed by many baseball historians as one of the greatest pitching performances in a 7th game of the World Series, to beat the Braves 1–0 and bring home the championship to Minnesota. 1991 was considered to be the first season that any team that ended in last place the previous year advanced to the World Series; Both the Twins and Braves accomplished the unprecedented feat. ESPN rated the 1991 World Series as the best ever played in a 2003 centennial retrospective of the World Series. As with the 1987 World Series, which the Twins themselves won, all 7 games were won by the home team.

The Twins were the first World Series champion to lose three away games and still win the series by winning all four home games; doing it in 1987 and again in 1991. The Arizona Diamondbacks duplicated this feat in 2001, when they became the first National League team to do so.

1992 saw another superb Oakland team that the Twins could not overcome, despite a 90–72 season and solid pitching from John Smiley. After that season, the Twins again fell into an extended slump, posting a losing record each year for the next eight years: 71–91 in 1993, 50–63 in 1994, 56–88 in 1995, 78–84 in 1996, 68–94 in 1997, 70–92 in 1998, 63–97 in 1999 and 69–93 in 2000. From 1994 to 1997 a long sequence of retirements and injuries hurt the team badly, and Tom Kelly spent the remainder of his managerial career attempting to rebuild the Twins. In 1998, management cleared out the team of all of its players earning over 1 million dollars (except for pitcher Brad Radke) and rebuilt from the ground up; the team barely avoided finishing in last place that year, finishing just five games ahead of the Detroit Tigers and avoiding the mark of 100 losses by eight games.

In 1997, owner Carl Pohlad almost sold the Twins to North Carolina businessman Don Beaver, who would have moved the team to the Piedmont Triad (Greensboro–Winston-Salem–High Point) area of the state. The defeat of a referendum for a stadium in that area and a lack of interest in building a stadium for the Twins in Charlotte killed the deal.

Things turned around, and from 2001 to 2006, the Twins compiled the longest streak of consecutive winning seasons since moving to Minnesota, going 85–77 in 2001, 94–67 in 2002, 90–72 in 2003, 92–70 in 2004, 83-79 in 2005, and 96–66 in 2006. From 2002 to 2004, the Twins compiled their longest streak of consecutive league/division championships ever (previous were the 1924 World Champion-1925 AL Champion Senators and the 1969–70 Twins). Threatened with closure by league contraction (along with the Montreal Expos) in 2002, the team battled back to reach the American League Championship Series before being eliminated 4-1 by that year's eventual World Series champion Anaheim Angels. Their streak of three straight division titles, along with some bitterly fought games, have helped to create an intense rivalry with the Chicago White Sox in recent years, starting with 2000 when the Sox clinched the division at the Metrodome, and heating up especially in 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2008.

In 2006, the Twins came from 12 games back in the division at the All-Star break to tie the Detroit Tigers for the lead in the 159th game of the season. With the Tigers having won the season head-to-head by 11 games to 8, the Twins needed a Tiger loss and a Twins win in order to take sole possession of first place and win the division outright, and got both on the last day of the season, when the Tigers lost their third straight game at home to the last place Kansas City Royals in a 10–8 game in 12 innings. After their win against the Chicago White Sox, the Minnesota Twins and somewhere between 30,000 to 40,000 fans watched the Tigers-Royals game on the Metrodome's jumbotrons. This was the first time in major league history that a team has won a division or league outright on the last day of the regular season without ever having had sole possession of first place earlier. The magical season came to a sudden end, however, as the Twins were swept 3–0 in the divisional championship series, while Detroit went on as a wild card entry, beat the Yankees 3–1 in their divisional series, and went on to play the A's in the league championship series. The Tigers would go on to sweep the A's 4–0 in the ALCS and lose the 2006 World Series to the St. Louis Cardinals, who coincidentally broke the record held by the Twins for the worst regular season record by a World Series champion (having gone 83–79).

The Twins are the first team in Major League history to sweep the Player of the Month, Pitcher of the Month, and Rookie of the Month awards, accomplishing this feat in June 2006 with catcher Joe Mauer, pitcher Johan Santana, and rookie pitcher Francisco Liriano respectively. Also in 2006, the club became one of the most decorated in recent baseball history, with Justin Morneau's MVP following the AL Cy Young Award won by Johan Santana and the AL batting title by Joe Mauer. The last team to accomplish this was the 1962 Los Angeles Dodgers. In addition, center fielder Torii Hunter was awarded the Rawlings Gold Glove Award for his defense in the 2006 season, and Mauer and Morneau each received a Silver Slugger Award for the offense as catcher and first baseman respectively.

A new nickname was unintentionally introduced by White Sox manager Ozzie Guillén, who called the Twins "Little F***ing Piranhas" as they gobbled up wins in July through August in the 2006 season. In 2007, the Twins sometimes played an animated sequence of piranhas munching under that caption, in situations where the Twins were scoring runs via "small ball".

In 2008, the Twins finished the 162 game season tied with the Chicago White Sox, who won a rained out game against the Detroit Tigers to face the Twins in Chicago in a 1 game playoff to reach the ALDS. Nick Blackburn pitched for the Twins, giving up 1 run in 6 and 1/3 innings of baseball, allowing a solo home run to Jim Thome. The Twins lost the game and missed the playoffs while the White Sox went on to lose to the eventual American League champion Tampa Bay Rays. Incidentally, this was the last Major League Baseball tiebreaker playoff game whose site was determined by a coin flip. Beginning with the 2009 season, sites for tiebreaker games will be determined by the regular season head-to-head record between the teams involved. Had this rule been in place for the 2008 season, the Twins-White Sox tiebreaker would have been played at the Metrodome.

Over the past 10 years, the Twins have argued that the lack of a modern baseball-dedicated ballpark has stood in the way of producing a top-notch, competitive team, despite the fact that their current stadium, the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, played a crucial role in their championship seasons of 1987 and 1991. The quirks of the facility, such as the turf floor and the white roof, gave the Twins a huge homefield advantage (often referred to as the "Dome"-field advantage). The Twins won every one of their home games in their two World Series victories. Regardless, the Metrodome has often been considered inadequate mainly because of its relatively low income producing power and in the 1990s and early 2000s the Twins were often rumored to be moving to such places as New Jersey, Las Vegas, Portland, Oregon, the Raleigh–Durham area, and others in search of a more financially competitive market. The team was nearly contracted (disbanded) in 2002, a move which would have eliminated the Twins and the Montreal Expos, now the Washington Nationals, franchises. The Twins survived largely due to a court decision which forced them to play out their lease on the Metrodome.

In October 2005 the Twins went back to state court asking for a ruling that they have no long-term lease with the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission, the owner of the Metrodome where the Twins currently play. In February 2006 the court did rule favorably on the Twins motion. Thus, the Twins were not obligated to play in the Metrodome after the 2006 season. This removed one of the roadblocks that prevented contraction prior to the 2002 season and cleared the way for the Twins to either be relocated or disbanded prior to the 2007 season if a new deal was not reached.

For a long time, the Twins wished to move from the Metrodome to the site behind Target Center within the next half decade, claiming that the Metrodome generates too little revenue for the Twins to be competitive. In particular, the Twins receive very little revenue from luxury suite leasing (as the majority are owned by co-tenant Minnesota Vikings) and only a small percentage of concessions sales; also, the percentage of season-ticket-quality seats in the Metrodome is said to be very low compared to other stadiums, and the capacity of the stadium is far too high for baseball. However, attempts to spur interest and push legislative efforts towards a new stadium repeatedly failed prior to 2006. The Dome is thought to be an increasingly poor fit for all three of its major tenants (the Twins, the Vikings and the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers football team). In fact, the Vikings also have a stadium proposal in various stages of development, and the Twins and Gophers are in the process of constructing their new stadiums.

On May 21, 2006, the Twins' new stadium received the approval of the Minnesota House of Representatives, with a vote of 71–61, and then received approval from the Senate, with a nailbiting vote of 34–32, after 4 a.m. on the second-to-last day of the 2006 legislative session. The bill moved on to Governor Tim Pawlenty, who signed it during a special pre-game ceremony at the HHH Metrodome on May 26, 2006 (the Twins played the Seattle Mariners that night) on what will be the first home plate installed in the new stadium.

On January 5, 2009 owner Carl Pohlad passed away at the age of 93. Pohlad's three sons have inherited the team, with Jim Pohlad assuming control of day-to-day operations and acting as principal owner. The Pohlad family has invested significant sums of their own money into construction of Target Field, and is expected to retain ownership of the team.

Target Field, the future stadium of the Twins is being built in what was a parking lot at the north end of downtown Minneapolis within walking distance of the Target Center. On September 15, 2008 the Twins announced that they had sold naming rights to the Target Corporation and that the stadium would be known as Target Field. The Hiawatha Light Rail line will be extended to the ballpark area with a connection to the Northstar Commuter Rail, which will have its final station at the ballpark. Preliminary plans call for a seating capacity of 40,000 seats and 72 suites. There will be approximately 34 rest rooms compared to only 16 in the Metrodome. The concourses will be open to the playing field with a view of the downtown Minneapolis skyline from every seat in the park. There will not be a retractable roof on the stadium which would add about $200 million on to the cost which is currently set at $522 million. This has received some objection due to the potentially harsh game conditions in early April (similar to other northern pro baseball teams such as the White Sox, Cubs, Tigers, Indians, Red Sox, etc.) and the potential risk of resulting lost revenue. The official groundbreaking for the stadium, originally scheduled for 2 August 2007, was postponed to August 30 due to the collapse of the I-35W Mississippi River bridge. However, officials still expect the work to be completed in time for the 2010 home opener.

With the new ballpark bill, a provision was signed into law that allows the state of Minnesota the right of first refusal to buy the team if it is ever sold, and requires that the name, colors, World Series' trophies and history of the team remain in Minnesota if the Twins are ever moved out of state (a reaction to the loss of the Minnesota North Stars to Dallas in 1993). This is similar to what the City of Cleveland did with the NFL's Cleveland Browns in 1995 when Art Modell moved them to Baltimore and renamed them the Ravens, as well as the 2008 relocation of the NBA's Seattle SuperSonics to Oklahoma City and renamed them the Oklahoma City Thunder. (Though in the latter case, the Thunder retained the Sonics' history and will "share" it with any future Seattle NBA franchise.) The stadium, according to current renderings, will be clad in Kasota limestone, featuring a canopy cover for the seating area, as well as potentially trees in the outfield area. The concourses of the stadium will be wider than those in the Metrodome and will be heated.

A complete list of players who played in at least one game for the Twins franchise.

Molitor and Winfield, St. Paul natives and University of Minnesota graduates, came to the team late in their careers and were warmly received as "hometown heroes," but were elected to the Hall on the basis of their tenures with other teams. Both swatted their 3,000th hit with the Twins.

Cronin, Goslin, Griffith, Harris, Johnson, Killebrew and Wynn are listed on the Washington Hall of Stars display at Robert F. Kennedy Stadium. So are Ossie Bluege, George Case, Joe Judge, George Selkirk, Roy Sievers, Cecil Travis, Mickey Vernon and Eddie Yost.

The Metrodome's upper deck in center and right fields is partly covered by a curtain containing banners of various titles won, and retired numbers.

As of 2007, the Twins' new flagship radio station is KSTP, 1500 kHz AM. It replaces WCCO, which held broadcast rights for the Twins since the team moved to Minneapolis in 1961. The original radio voices of the Twins in 1961 were Ray Scott, Halsey Hall and Bob Wolff. After the first season, Herb Carneal replaced Woolf. Twins TV and radio games were originally sponsored by the Hamm's Brewing Company. In 2006, John Gordon, Herb Carneal, Dan "The Dazzle Man" Gladden, and Jack Morris provided radio commentary.

The television rights are held by Fox Sports North with Dick Bremer as the play-by-play announcer and former Twin Bert Blyleven as color analyst. They are sometimes joined by Ron Coomer and Roy Smalley. Blyleven was suspended by the team briefly in 2006 for inadvertently saying obscene words on a live telecast; he did not realize the broadcast was live and assumed a second take of the segment could be taped.

Fox Sports North also produces Sunday game telecasts on WFTC, "My 29" in the Twin Cities.

On April 1st, 2007, Herb Carneal, the radio voice of the Twins for all but one year of their existence, died in his home in Minnetonka, Minnesota after a long battle with a list of illnesses. Carneal is currently in the Hall of Fame.

Bob Casey was the Twins first public-address announcer starting in 1961 and going until his death in 2005. He was well known for his unique delivery and his signature announcements of "NOOO Smoking in the Metrodome, either go outside or quit!", "Centerfielder, #34, KIRRBYYYYYYY PUCKETTTTTT!!!" and asking fans not to 'throw anything or anybody' onto the field.

Ballpark gimmick: Homer Hanky (1987, 1988, 1991, 1992, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006). The party atmosphere of the Twins clubhouse after a win is well-known, the team's players unwinding with loud rock music (usually the choice of the winning pitcher) and video games. The club has several well-known, harmless hazing rituals, such as requiring the most junior relief pitcher on the team to carry water and snacks to the bullpen in a brightly-colored small child's backpack (Barbie in 2005, SpongeBob Squarepants in 2006, Hello Kitty in 2007), and many of its players, both past and present, are notorious pranksters - the infamous Bert Blyleven even earning the nickname "The Frying Dutchman" for his ability to pull the "hotfoot" - which entails crawling under the bench in the dugout and lighting a teammate's shoelaces on fire.

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David Ortiz

David Ortiz.JPG

David Américo Ortiz Arias (born November 18, 1975 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) is a Major League Baseball designated hitter who has played for the Boston Red Sox since 2003. Previously, Ortiz played for the Minnesota Twins (1997-2002). Nicknamed "Big Papi," Ortiz is a five-time All-Star and holds the Red Sox single-season record for home runs with 54, set during the 2006 season. "Big Papi" is 6'4" and weighs 230 pounds.

David Ortiz graduated from Estudia Espailat High School in the Dominican Republic and in 1992 he was signed by the Seattle Mariners who listed him as "David Arias" (possibly not understanding Spanish naming customs). In 1996, the Mariners received Dave Hollins from the Minnesota Twins for a player to be named later. Later that season, the Mariners announced that the player to be named later would be Arias. When he arrived in Minnesota, he informed the team that he preferred to be listed as "David Ortiz," making him, quite literally, a player to be named later. He made his debut in September 1997. For a few years, he was moved back and forth between the Twins and their minor league affiliate, the Salt Lake Buzz. In 2002, Ortiz hit .272 for Minnesota, with 20 home runs and 75 RBIs. The Twins advanced to the American League Championship Series that year, where they lost to the Anaheim Angels. Despite showing flashes of talent, Ortiz' time with the Twins will be remembered as a series of injuries and inconsistency both in the field and at the plate. Ortiz suffered wrist injuries in both 1998 and 2001. When knee problems hit in early 2002 and plagued him throughout the season, his fate with the Twins was sealed despite hitting 32 doubles, 20 homers and 75 RBIs, in only 125 games.

After shopping him around during the off season, and finding no takers, the Twins released Ortiz nine days before Christmas in 2002. The Red Sox took a flier on Ortiz, signing him to a minor league contract the following month. Originally, Jeremy Giambi was assigned the primary role as DH/First Baseman, but his poor performance allowed Ortiz to step in. Additionally, the subsequent trade of Shea Hillenbrand to the Arizona Diamondbacks allowed Bill Mueller to play full time at third base, creating more playing time. Ortiz became the full time designated hitter and hit fifth in the batting order, collecting 21 home runs after the All-Star Game. He finished the season hitting .288 with 31 home runs and 101 RBI in only 128 games. Ortiz finished fifth in the American League MVP vote.

In 2004, Ortiz played a major role in leading the Red Sox to their first World Series championship in 86 years. This was Ortiz's second year with the Red Sox and his first year as their full-time designated hitter. During the season, Ortiz was voted onto the All-Star team for the first time in his career, as he batted .301 with 41 home runs and 139 RBI. Ortiz was also suspended for 5 games (later reduced to 3 games due to an appeal) after being ejected following an incident on July 16 in a game against the Angels in which he threw several bats onto the field that came close to hitting umpires Bill Hohn and Mark Carlson. In the playoffs, Ortiz hit .400 with 5 home runs and 19 RBI. He had multiple game-winning hits to help Boston advance to and ultimately win the World Series. He hit a walk-off home run to win the American League Division Series against the Angels. He then hit a walk-off home run against the New York Yankees in Game 4 of the ALCS and a walk-off single in Game 5 during the American League Championship Series. His post-season heroics earned him MVP honors for the ALCS. Additionally, he finished fourth in AL MVP voting. In the Major League All-Stars' trip to Japan that November, Ortiz clubbed a 160-meter (525 foot) home run off Chiba Lotte Marines pitcher Shunsuke Watanabe, the longest home run ever recorded at Tokyo Dome.

In 2005 Ortiz set a new career high of 47 home runs, 43 of them as a designated hitter, beating Edgar Martínez's record of 37 set in 2000. Twenty of his home runs either tied or gave Boston the lead, and over the period 2003-2005, he hit .326, with 22 home runs and 73 RBIs in only 221 at bats in the late innings of close games. He also led the American League in RBI with 148, and his 47 homers were second in the AL to the Yankees' Alex Rodriguez. He also finished second to Rodriguez in MVP votes.

The 2005 American League|AL MVP was a significant debate among baseball circles as both Rodriguez and Ortiz finished the regular season with impressive offensive statistics. He finished with new career highs in runs (119), RBIs (148), walks (102), on-base percentage (.397), and slugging percentage (.604). Two sportswriters left Ortiz completely off the ten player ballot, citing Ortiz's position as a designated hitter.

In 2006 Ortiz belted 54 home runs (setting a new Red Sox record) and had 137 RBI, while batting .287 with an OPS of 1.049. He led the American League in both HR and RBI, winning the HR crown by 10 over the 2nd place finisher Jermaine Dye .

2006 was a year of Walk-off home runs (the act of winning a game in the bottom half of the last inning) for Ortiz. He excelled in Late Inning Pressure Situations (LIPS), hitting more walk-off base hits (5, including 3 home runs) that year than most teams.

On August 27, 2006, Ortiz tied his career high in home runs by hitting his 47th home run of the year off Cha Seung Baek of the Seattle Mariners. On September 20, 2006, Ortiz tied Jimmie Foxx's single season Red Sox home run record of 50 set in 1938; in the 6th inning against Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Boof Bonser, Big Papi launched the ball into the center field bleachers behind the Red Sox bullpen. Ortiz has the unique achievement of having increased his season home run tally in each of seven consecutive seasons (starting from 1999, year-by-year he has hit 0, 10, 18, 20, 31, 41, 47 and 54 HRs).

On September 21, 2006, Ortiz broke Jimmie Foxx's single season Red Sox home run record by hitting his 51st home run off his former teammate, Johan Santana of the Minnesota Twins. The home run came on a 1-0 pitch in the first inning and it was his 44th home run as a designated hitter in 2006, breaking his own American League single-season record. Ortiz then hit his 52nd home run off reliever Matt Guerrier on a full count in the seventh inning. He finished the season with a franchise record 54 home runs.

Ortiz also said he began feeling ill between games of a day-night doubleheader on August 18, 2006, against New York that dragged into the early morning. Between games, he had gone home and tried to sleep but couldn't. Ortiz was reportedly driven to the hospital by a team assistant. An irregular heartbeat was the cause for the stress according to his doctors. Ortiz would not originally talk about his condition, but opened up to the media on August 25, 2006, reportedly saying "I'm a healthy son of God ".

On August 28, 2006, Ortiz had recurring symptoms from his irregular heartbeat and was a last minute scratch in the Red Sox game at Oakland. Manager Terry Francona and General Manager Theo Epstein agreed that Ortiz fly back to Boston where he was reevaluated and cleared to play again in early September.

In 2007, Ortiz once again was a major force as he helped lead the Red Sox to their seventh World Series title . Despite playing the entire season with a torn meniscus in his right knee as well as nagging injuries to his shoulder and quadriceps, he finished the year hitting .332 with 35 home runs and 117 RBI. In addition, he hit 52 doubles, led the American League in extra base hits and had an OPS of 1.066. In the postseason Ortiz batted .370 with 3 home runs and 10 RBI.

Each time Ortiz crosses the plate after hitting a home run, he looks up and points both index fingers to the sky in tribute to his mother Angela Rosa Arias, who died in a car crash in January 2002 at the age of 46. Ortiz also has a tattoo of his mother on his biceps.

Ortiz and his wife Tiffany have three children, Jessica (born October 23, 1996), Alexandra (born March 22, 2001) and D'Angelo (born July 10, 2004). D'Angelo is named after David's mother. Ortiz has become a Green Bay Packers fan since marrying Tiffany Ortiz (née Brick), who is a native of Kaukauna, Wisconsin, and has been spotted on the sidelines at Packers games. The family now resides in Weston, Massachusetts, another suburb of Boston.

On June 11, 2008, Ortiz became a legal United States citizen at John F. Kennedy Library in Boston.

In 2008, Ortiz named his top 5 favorite films of all time: Scarface, Analyze This, Anaconda, Rambo III, and The Pink Panther.

In April 2007, sporting goods company Reebok debuted the Big Papi 2M Mid Baseball cleat at a party in Canton, Massachusetts, home to the headquarters of Reebok International Ltd. At the party, Ortiz was quoted as saying, "Reebok's loyalty and friendship have always made me feel right at home and we are true partners in every sense of the word,... ." Ortiz first used the cleat during the 2007 MLB All Star Game in San Francisco, California.

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Chien-Ming Wang

Chien Ming Wang.jpg

Wang, Chien-Ming (Chinese: 王建民; born March 31, 1980 in Tainan, Taiwan) is a Taiwanese starting pitcher for the New York Yankees in Major League Baseball. He was initially signed as an amateur free-agent for the 2000 season, playing for the Staten Island Yankees. He came to be known as the Yankees ace pitcher over the 2006 and 2007 seasons.

In a 2006 New York Times interview, Wang revealed that he is the biological child of the man he formerly thought was his uncle. Due to the media frenzy created in Taiwan over this, Wang briefly refused to give interviews to Taiwanese media. Wang has also learned basic English and is able to give interviews to the American media without an interpreter. Wang currently resides in Fort Lee, New Jersey.

Wang pitched for the Taiwan national baseball team in the 2002 Asian Games. In 2004, as the apparent ace of the staff, Wang led the Taiwan team to the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. Against Australia, he allowed just three hits with no walks, and at one point retired nine batters in row, to earn the win. He also limited Japan to just five hits in the first six innings; however, the Japanese rallied in the seventh inning against Wang to tie the game with three runs. Japan won the game, preventing Taiwan from advancing to the next round.

He is the third major leaguer from Taiwan, following Dodgers outfielder Chin-Feng Chen and Rockies pitcher Chin-Hui Tsao. Since being called up to the majors, Wang has been idolized in Taiwan where all of his games are televised nationwide, many on public big screens to large audiences, even though he decided not to pitch in the 2006 World Baseball Classic. Because of this popularity, he was named one of the Time 100 for 2007.

Wang rose through the New York Yankees minor league system, including the Single-A Staten Island Yankees, who retired his number 41 in 2006. Wang posted a 1.75 ERA in Staten Island, second-lowest in franchise history. He played for the World Team in the All-Star Futures Game in 2003.

In 2005, Wang was called up from the Yankees' AAA affiliate, the Columbus Clippers. Wang pitched in 18 games, though an injury kept him sidelined for part of the season. He went 8-5 with an earned run average of 4.02. On September 19, 2005, Wang tied a record for assists in a game by a pitcher with nine. In the playoffs against the Angels, Wang pitched 6 2/3 innings and allowed 4 runs, only one of which was earned. The Yankees lost the game and the series.

In 2006 Wang won 19 games (tied for the most in the majors along with Johan Santana), posted a 3.63 ERA and even picked up his first save on June 3 against the Baltimore Orioles. Wang threw two complete games, though the first, on June 18, was bittersweet: against the Washington Nationals, he allowed a 1-out, 2-run, walk-off home run by Ryan Zimmerman to lose the game 3-2. His first complete game win was on July 28, 2006, a 2-hit, 6-0 shutout of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays at Yankee Stadium. In his next start, he threw eight shutout innings against the Toronto Blue Jays, in which he got an outstanding 18 ground ball outs. Were it not that it was an unusually hot day combined with a slightly high pitch count, it would've been one of the rare occurrences in recent times of a pitcher throwing complete game shutouts in consecutive starts. Wang started the first game of the Division Series against the Detroit Tigers. Wang earned the win as the Yankees beat Detroit 8-4.

Overall in 2006, Wang limited batters to a .211 batting average while games were tied, and a .205 batting average in games that were late and close. The Tampa Bay Devil Rays batted just .159 against him, losing three out of four games to the Yankees that Wang pitched. Wang was effective despite the lowest strikeout rate in the majors (3.14 strikeouts per nine innings and 76 strikeouts overall) , thanks in part to his allowing the fewest home runs per nine innings (0.5) . Wang also led the league in ground ball percentage (62.8%) and allowed 2.84 groundouts for every fly ball out.

At the end of the season, Wang finished second to Santana in voting for the Cy Young award. Wang collected 15 second-place votes, and 51 points. He also received a ninth-place vote, good for two points, in the AL MVP balloting, won by Justin Morneau. In MLB.com's This Year in Baseball Awards, he was chosen as the top starter in 2006 season with more than 47% of the fan vote.

Wang began the 2007 season on the disabled list, having injured his right hamstring during spring training. He returned on April 24th against Tampa Bay. On May 5, 2007, Wang pitched 7 1/3 perfect innings before giving up a home run to Ben Broussard of the Seattle Mariners, falling five outs short of a perfect game.

On June 17, 2007, Wang had a superb outing versus the New York Mets, in which he threw 113 pitches through 8 and 2/3 innings for 10 strikeouts (a career high) and just 6 hits.

On August 30, 2007, Wang took a no-hitter into the seventh inning against the Boston Red Sox before giving up a single to Mike Lowell in the seventh. Rookies Joba Chamberlain (1H) and Edwar Ramirez finished the two-hitter, and the Yankees beat the Red Sox 5-0.

In 2007 Wang was 2nd in the AL in wins (19), 3rd for the second straight year in Won-Lost percentage (.731), 9th in wild pitches (9), and 10th in hit batsmen (8). He had a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage. He also had the lowest HR/9 innings pitched ratio in the AL (0.41), was 3rd in GB% (58.5%) and GB/FB (2.51), and had the 5th-lowest strikeouts per 9 innings pitched (4.70).

Despite his regular season performance, Wang faltered in the 2007 postseason. In the American League Divisional Series against the Cleveland Indians, Wang started two games, earning the loss in both appearances. He pitched a combined 5 and 2/3 innings, giving up 12 earned runs, for a postseason ERA of 19.06. The Yankees lost the ALDS in four games.

The beginning of the 2008 season saw Wang at the top of the Yankees rotation and the ace with veterans Mike Mussina and Andy Pettite. In the final Yankee Stadium season opener against the Toronto Blue Jays, Wang pitched 7.0 innings, allowing only 2 runs and picking up his first win of the season. In his first match against the Boston Red Sox in 2008, he pitched a one-run, two-hit complete game.

On April 22, 2008, Wang recorded a win against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field. The victory, in Wang's 85th career start, made him the fastest Major Leaguer to record 50 wins as a starter since Dwight Gooden, who won his 50th game in his 82nd start on June 29, 1986, at Chicago for the New York Mets. Wang also became the quickest Yankee to 50 wins since Ron Guidry, who accomplished this in his 82nd start..

Wang finished April with a perfect 5-0 record, leading the American League along with Joe Saunders. On May 2nd, Wang became the first six-game winner in the American League with a win over the Seattle Mariners with just one earned run over six innings of quality pitching. In a game on May 8th, in a duel of outstanding pitching, Cliff Lee of the Cleveland Indians beat Wang 3-0, handing Wang his first loss of the season. During this loss, Wang allowed three runs and five hits in seven innings. On June 10th, after going six starts with two losses and four no decisions since May 2nd, Wang defeated the Oakland Athletics 3-1 to end the longest victory drought of his career.

On June 15th, Wang was taken out of an interleague game versus the Houston Astros due to a right foot injury he sustained while running the bases, something he was not used to doing as pitchers do not bat in the American League. Wang was diagnosed with a torn Lisfranc ligament of the right foot and a partial tear of the peroneus longus of the right foot. Despite not requiring surgery, he was on crutches and wearing a protective boot. The cast was removed on July 29, but the extensive rehabilitation process prevented Wang from pitching for the remainder of the season.

A finesse pitcher with a power pitcher's velocity, Wang relies on the combination of a mid-90s four-seam fastball, a sinker, along with a slider, changeup, and splitter. His sinker, which is responsible for his elevation to ace status, has very impressive lateral movement and is thrown at greater than average velocity, sitting in the 91-94 mph range. His strikeout pitch is a sharp developing slider that closely resembles the fastball coming out of his hand, thus getting batters to swing ahead of the pitch. Wang also throws a decent split-finger fastball, though he only uses the pitch sparsely when in need of a strikeout or double play. Wang's pitching style is characterized by efficiency, command of the strike zone, few walks, few home runs allowed but also records very few strikeouts. Wang works quickly and uses his ground-ball inducing sinker to produce many double plays. This efficiency often allows Wang to maintain a low pitch count deep into games. In Taiwan and the minor leagues, Wang threw a more conventional assortment of pitches, including a four-seam fastball, a changeup, and far more splitters. The sinker, which has become Wang's signature pitch, was developed during his minor league career with advice from Neil Allen, his AAA pitching coach, and his AAA catcher, Sal Fasano.

Prior to the 2008 season, Wang relied on his sinking fastball about 90% of the time. However, after occasional bad outings, especially during the 2007 ALDS, Wang has worked to fully incorporate a slider and changeup into his repertoire. Through his first three starts of 2008, Wang has used his slider roughly 15% of the time and his changeup around 8%.

On December 22, 2008, Wang and the New York Yankees avoided salary arbitration when they agreed Monday to a $5 million, one-year contract. Wang made $4 million last season after losing in salary arbitration. He had asked for $4.6 million.

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Source : Wikipedia